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Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:49 pm
by fuzzjunkie
Some of you might remember me mentioning wanting a Gretsch 6136 Silver Falcon over the years. Well, I finally have one!


I’ve always liked Gretsch guitars. If I had the room and money I would probably have a Duo Jet, a 6120, and a Falcon. But I can only have one, and I wanted one like Robert Smith was holding on the cover of Guitar Player c. 1995. The classic white and gold is cool, but my aesthetic is more black and silver.

I have only seen a couple in the flesh and only got to hold one of them back in 2004. It was for sale, but well out of my price range, and since I don’t play acoustic, it felt gigantic! I reconciled myself that I would never bound with a guitar that big. It looked and sounded amazing though, so much more than the 5000 series Gretsch I could afford.

In 2013 Gretsch rolled out their thin line center block guitars and one model was a Silver Falcon. 1.75” instead of 3” and the width is 16” instead of 17.” It had the vertical winged logo that went away in 2004 when Fender took over. I had saved up a few times before, but the vertical logo was part of the look, and the Fender Falcons have the old school horizontal logo.

This thin line was cheaper than the standard Silver Falcon, but it also had the volume knob instead of the tone switch and no Bigsby vibrato. The tone switch is what I always liked about Filter’Tron Gretsch guitars. Would the thin line body and vertical logo (and price) offset the tone knob and lack of a Bigsby?

Being able to play one might have helped the decision, but none were available. I couldn’t reconcile buying without playing, so I bought a Rickenbacker 360 v64 instead. It satisfied the thin line urge and I thought maybe I could get a Gretsch Black Phoenix and add a mud switch to get the look and tone. But then I was still in the “Is it too big and too expensive and over the top?” boat I was already in.

After reading about all the great Gretsch’ in the other thread I decided I needed one for myself. I thought about a Duo Jet. I love them, I could have a smaller black and silver guitar, but I wanted the big Gretsch sound. A 6120 is smaller than a Falcon, but still expensive and it doesn’t have the look. I decided the center block Falcon would cover the most bases if I could only have one. Thinner body, shorter scale, and set up like a Duo Jet, but a big woody tone like the big box Gretsch, plus the Silver Falcon looks. I spent a couple of months looking because it would be the first guitar I ever bought sight unseen.

I really like it! Acoustically it is just a tad louder and more resonant than the Rickenbacker and feels similar in size. Plugged in it has that woody Gretsch thump though. Not as much as a Full size Falcon, but like a bigger Duo Jet, which is enough. I wondered about how the shorter scale and flatter ebony fretboard when I am so used to vintage Jazzmasters and Telecasters, but it wasn’t a problem.

The bridge is a pinned Adjust-o-mastic and there is an intonation issue, but I will wait until I put on some heavier strings before addressing that or getting a Compton. The pickups have been set up in a strange way too. Not 100% sure what the original owner was trying to do, but I will be making adjustments there as well. It has the G-Cadillac tailpiece instead of a B-6 Bigsby. It looks sharp, but I can’t imagine having a Gretsch without a Bigsby, so I will replace that too eventually.

Re: NewGretschDay

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:20 pm
by andy
Very nice! A good Gretsch is a great thing to have around.

Re: NewGretschDay

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:03 am
by Steadyriot.
The Silver Falcon has always been one of my dream guitars.
Enjoy it, it seems lovely!

Re: NewGretschDay

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:04 am
by Ceylon
That's a gorgeous guitar! Esecially the headstock looks amazing in black. Congratulations!

Re: NewGretschDay

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:49 am
by fuzzjunkie
Ceylon wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:04 am
That's a gorgeous guitar! Esecially the headstock looks amazing in black. Congratulations!
The headstock looks really large when viewed on its own, but works in proportion to the size of the guitar. I like the look of the vertical logo and the body doesn’t feel too large, so I am glad that I didn’t get the standard Silver Falcon even though I will have to source a Bigsby for it.

Re: NewGretschDay

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:53 am
by Maggieo
Oh man, that's a nice one! :-*