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Gretsch G6192 ‘53 Electromatic II Relic

Gretsch G6192 ‘53 Electromatic II Relic

Price: $9,500

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Masterbuilt by Stephen Stern in 2014

This very special guitar is about as good a Gretsch as you could ever play. Built in 2014, this very rare model came into being as a tribute to the great, and severely overlooked jazz guitarist Billy Bean. From its esthetic beauty, to its perfect, gentle relicing, to its amazing tone and playability, this Gretsch G6192 '53 Electromatic II is evidence of not only superb Masterbuilt quality but to the sheer power and confidence of Gretsch’s design and vision in the '50s.

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CRAIG'S POV

This very special guitar is about as good a Gretsch as I have ever played. Built in 2014, this very rare model came into being as a tribute to the great, and severely overlooked jazz guitarist Billy Bean. Here is the back story:

If you are a jazz guitar aficionado, you're familiar with the music of Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell. But you've probably never heard of Billy Bean, who in my opinion stands toe to toe with any of the well known legends of jazz. I was very fortunate when I was a kid to sit next to him while he was playing in my father's band. The truth is, I must have made him feel uncomfortable because all I did was stare at him like laser hoping to absorb some of his magic. (Thanks Billy, for showing me a cool 6/9 chord on Georgia Brown.)

My appreciation of his greatness isn't due to my youthful fascination with his playing. The great Larry Coryell wrote a song, "Billy Bean" in his honor. And the recordings that he did in the '50s with John Pisano are a testament to his immense talent and superb musicality. Really, he's a talent deserving wider recognition, as they used to say in Downbeat magazine. He's just one of the greats, period. It's tragic that his career didn't lead to more commercial success and popularity.

One of the earliest - and rare - guitars Billy played in the '50s was a Gretsch '53 Electromatic II. It caught my eye and heart. It was as cool as cool could possibly be, as individual as individual could be, totally iconic and totally mesmerizing, like Billy himself. Over the years I have never been able to locate one that looked like Billy's, so I reached out to the master luthier Stephen Stern to recreate the model. To my great fortune and with the help of my friend Frank Glionna, owner of Music Gallery, we made it happen. Stephen was so delighted with the project that he built 3 of them. Two were featured at Winter Namm and sold immediately. The first, and the original one, was sent to me and has been in my collection ever since - until now. I've decided that it's time for this beauty to move on, find a new home and a player/collector who will appreciate just how amazing a guitar it is.

From its esthetic beauty, to its perfect, gentle relicing, to its amazing tone and playability, this Gretsch G6192 '53 Electromatic II is evidence of not only superb Masterbuilt quality but to the sheer power and confidence of Gretsch’s design and vision in the '50s. Stephen Stern is a real master and put all his talent and craft into lovingly re-creating a guitar that was worthy of Billy's immense gift.

This guitar transcends styles and is one of the best playing and sounding Gretsch archtops that has crossed my path. A special guitar, an honest to goodness instrument, for a serious guitar enthusiast who wants only the best - there's a lot more to tell about this fabulous guitar!

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.


FromGretsch Custom Shop
Masterbuilt byStephen Stern
ModelG6192 '53 Electromatic II Relic Electric
Neck profilefat C
Neckcurly maple
Body size17" style
Scale length25 1/2"
Top/back/sidescurly maple laminate
Fretboarddark rosewood
Fretboard radius12"
Inlaysmother of pearl large block
Bindingmultiple cream; neck, body, headstock
Finishaged amber relic nitrocellulose
Nutbone
Nut width1 11/16"
Fretsvintage
PickupsDynasonic single-coil
Electronicsmaster volume, master tone, individual volume controls
BridgeSynchromatic rosewood
TailpieceMelita "harp"
Weight7 lbs 4 oz
Caseoriginal hardshell
DocsCertificate of Authenticity
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