1998 Gibson Chet Atkins Tennessean with custom electronics and Bigsby B7 Vibrato.

The Blue Book Says:

– single round cutaway semi-hollow bound maple body, f-holes, raised pickguard with engraved “Tennessean,” arm rest on bottom bass bout, 3-piece maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with signature/pearl logo inlay, 3-per-side tuners with pearl buttons, chrome hardware, 2 covered humbucker pickups, master volume on upper treble bout, 2 volume/1 tone controls, 3-position switch, available in Country Gentleman Brown (CG, disc.), Faded Cherry (RD), Sunrise Orange (OR), Ebony (EB, disc.), Pelham Blue (mfg. 2004) or Wine Red (WR), disc. 2005.


I say:

Summer project time again.

When this arrived it had a rather bizarre set of P90 pickups installed and locking tuners.  In the case there was a Bigsby B7 and the original Gibson tuners – the choice seemed obvious – and since the pickups had 4 conductor wiring it seemed rude not to add coil taps 🙂

Overall the guitar is in very good condition considering it has been used extensively.  It has lost its original arm rest and scratch plate, but still carries the holes where they were attached.

Finished in Sunrise Orange Translucent lacquer, the guitar is striking.  The lacquer is generally in good condition, with very few marks that could be considered abuse.  Over the whole body there are light dents and scratches but very few patches where the wood is showing (I think that these are only on the headstock and they are very small).  There is one dent in the back of the neck that can be felt whilst playing – but it doesn’t hinder playing in any way.

The headstock has had a set of Grover kidney bean tuners installed.  You can see some of the marks where the locking tuners were fitted – but nothing extreme or ugly.

The ebony (?) fingerboard and frets are in excellent condition and show no signs of wear, and the offset fret markers are an interesting shift from the ordinary.

The pickups are Gibson Standard 490 pickups  – but I’ve installed push pull volume pots that coil tap the neck and bridge independently.

The neck feels slightly wider than my Les Paul necks, but this is possibly due to the shallow D shaped neck that feels fast and easy to play.

The addition of the Bigsby looks awesome to me, but this leaves the problem of the tailpiece studs and earthing (all electronics are earthed to the treble side tailpiece stud).  To earth the Bigsby I’ve put a small piece of copper between the stud and the Tailpiece.

The case has clearly done it’s job – and shows evidence of bouncing around in the boot of someone’s car – it’s lost the clasp for the combination lock, but the remaining clasps work fine and mean that the case can still do it’s job!