Gibson Chet Atkins SST
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The Gibson Chet Atkins SST was a solid body acoustic-electric designed by country musician Chet Atkins. The steel-string model was introduced in 1987 and was discontinued in 2006. Chet Atkins CE was the original nylon string version of 1982 and possibly the first of its kind.
The SST had a solid spruce or cedar top and a mahogany body. Unlike most acoustic-electrics the SST had no resonating chamber or soundhole. The acoustic sound came from a bridge mounted transducer with an active pre-amp. The SST had controls for volume as well as boost and cut for both treble and bass signals.
The SST was offered in five finishes: natural, ebony, white, burgundy and cherry sunburst. It had mother of pearl inlays on the fretboard, headstock, and bridge and features gold plated hardware. Later models had star inlays and a Les Paul style headstock. It also sports Chet Atkins's signature above the fretboard.
The SST quickly became popular among rock and country players because high volume levels could be reached without any feedback, whereas most traditional acoustic electrics will emit moderate to high levels of feedback when they come near amplifiers, speakers or microphones. This ability made the SST suitable acoustic guitar for live music.
Notable SST Players
- Chet Atkins
- Keziah Jones
- Lindsey Buckingham
- Mark Knopfler
- Emerson Hart
- Tonino Baliardo
- Dave Matthews
- Jorma Kaukonen
- Keller Williams
- David Gilmour
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