Considering a Gretsch White Falcon Double Cutaway with center block.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GibsonLives, May 7, 2016.

  1. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    I love semihollow body electrics. Currently, I've got a Gibson ES 347 and a Charvel Surfcaster. Also, though it is s9lid, I also own a Tele with TV Jones filtertron-style pickups and a Bigsy. I love all three guitars very much, albeit for different reasons. Having said that, I've never owned a Gretsch, and have very limited experience with the brand.

    As I dive more seriously into both jazz and rockabilly styles, I find myself wanting a slightly different tonal flavor....and also, who am I kidding, that Gretsch is sexy as hell!

    So, what should I expect? I've heard some folks say that higher fret access is usually tricky with Gretsch - is this also true for the newer double cutaway models? What about feedback? I have zero feedback issues with either the 347 or the Surfy. Also, would one expect a Falcon semi to sound louder than or roughly the same as a 335 when played acoustically?

    Any other suggestions, please feel free. The plan is to try some Gibbys and Gretsches side by side next weekend. Maybe someone can give me the heads up on what to look for?

    Steve
     
  2. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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  3. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Don't rule out fully hollow Gretsch guitars, such as 6120, Country Gentleman & White Falcon. I have found them preferable.
     
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  4. e???

    e??? Member

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    I wouldn't worry about feedback on a semi hollow. It's the fully hollow that you gotta think about feeback with.
     
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  5. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Ogre...and sorry if I seem impatient :).

    May I ask what style(s) you use the hollowbodies for? As stated, I'm getting more deeply into jazz, blues, rockabilly, etc., but I do sometimes like to throw on some rather searing OD, and I'm partial to guitars that'll allow me to rip it up when the mood strikes without falling apart. The two aforementioned semis I own will let me do this without protest - in fact, my 347 (which is pretty much a 355 in terms of materials and construction) is probably the most versatile guitar I own, and that includes Strats, which used to be my ultimate go-to guitar type).

    I'll try to check out a hollow or two. I really find myself heading the other way, though - Double-cut Falcon with center-block, Power Jet, etc. Anyway, if I'm trying to expand my tonal palette, maybe I need to broaden my options :).

    Thanks again.

    Steve
     
  6. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    In pro line Gretsch Jets, Billy Bo & Penguin are semi hollow & have no feedback issues - the rest are hollow.
    The centre block hollow models like the Falcon feed back less but are too heavy for me - similar to an LP.

    Best imo are the anti feedback Trestle bracing models ie the Setzer sig Nashville & Hot Rod range.
    But the other hollow bodies don't feedback much and is easy to control anyway.

    You said some folks say "higher fret access is usually tricky".
    I don't agree - they probably never played a Gretsch.

    Your in NY - there's 1000s of Gretsch there - go play em.
    Major thing to look for is the pups - Dynasonics v Filtertrons - ie single coils v humbuckers.
    Otherwise study this product range - there's over 50 models and all are different
    http://www.gretschguitars.com/products/guitars/
     
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  7. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Waxhead. I was looking at the Setzers, but they're fully hollow, aren't they? Do the trestles really work that we'll at combating feedback? Also, yeah I've seen the different pickup types, and all the models I'm drawn to tend to have Filtertrons. I'm planning a trip to House of Guitars next weekend, so we'll see what I learn there.

    Thanks again :).

    Steve
     
  8. Clyde Billt

    Clyde Billt Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't get much feedback with my 6120, possibly due to the lack of sustain, and what I do get is usually on the low end and is easily controllable (and sweeeeet). I wish it did feedback a bit more. I have to kick the Barber Tone Press in when we're doing our first wave punk stuff to get it to scream for me.
    Feed back never seems to be a problem for Billy Duffy.

    I think I have to go with "tricky" also.
    Not a showstopper but I do have to concentrate a bit more when I go over the twelfth fret.

    Great guitars.
    They have their own sound. And it's good.
     
  9. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep. This.

    I've got the full-hollow double-cut White Falcon. The two things I don't like about it are 1) that full-hollow body can get boomy & feed back, and 2) that 17"-wide lower bout can get tiresome of playing while sitting.
    This, of course, is before the center-block models were available (2010?). Don't get me wrong, the Gretsch sound is there in spades (ZERO problems with the stock pickups/electronics), just a couple of quirks that would be nice to not have to work around.

    If I could do it all over again, I should have gotten the (now-discontinued) 6120DC. Sealed top, 16"-wide bout, same ebony fretboard, gorgeous Nashville orange, but different scale neck.

    I'd recommend playing one in person first, if at all possible (Rocky Street Sounds?).
     
  10. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    +1 to the suggestion of trying some trestle-braced hollow Gretsches -- feedback is very controllable with them, even at volume. The center-block Gretsches are way too Gibson-ish for my tastes -- especially if you want to expand your options. I prefer Dynas over filters, but both are good. For filter'trons, I especially like the long scale hollow models -- which mostly means Falcons, Clubs, and a couple of Gent/TR variants. Unfortunately, they've now begun to use model names pretty indiscriminately, so you have to check specs carefully.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  11. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    I think the Trestle bracing is way better than the centre block cos
    a) It eliminates feedback just as well.
    b) It's light - the centre blocks are too heavy for me.
    c) Sounds better as it keeps the airy hollow body tone.

    The Setzers also come with his TV Jones sig pups or TV Jones Classics.
    These are THE best pups $ can buy imo
     
  12. jw71

    jw71 Member

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    Trestle bracing in Gretsch guitars not only enhances feedback resistance, they also "tighten" up the tone. It makes the tone sound more focused, a bit gainier due to the focus, and eliminates some of the woofyness or flub in the sound. I also believe that trestle bracing makes the guitar cut through more. I've had Gretsch guitars with trestle bracing and a soundpost. I definitely noticed a difference between them. But, everybody hears things differently, so YMMV.
     
  13. unseen hand

    unseen hand Member

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    Hello... I'm going to jump in on this thread of that is OK..

    I'm determined to find myself a Gretsch, probably a 6119 or 6120.

    I've been looking at late 50's 6119's with the one pickup and mid 60's 6119's and 6120's that are a little more in my price range.

    Do the thinner mid 60's gretsch 's still have the Trestle bracing?

    Am I going to really miss that neck pickup on the early versions? I like the idea of the simplicity of the one pickup. I'm also wondering if that three way tone switch is useful?!

    As a general rule are there any eras to avoid? I know Baldwin took over at some point.

    Thx
     
  14. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Not a problem, unseen hand. Feel free to ask away, and I'll just lurk. After all, I still haven't been able to make it out to Rochester. As it stands, I'm shooting for Memorial Day weekend, assuming life doesn't continue to get in the way.

    Steve
     
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    If you want info on vintage Gretsch I suggest you ask here where the experts hang out
    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/forums/vintage-gretsch-discussion.3/
     
  16. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    OP here.

    So, on the one hand, I never made it out to Rochester.

    But, on the other hand, I did stop into a cool new (to me, anyway) music store here in Syracuse called Ish Guitars.

    What actually brought me there was a used Gibson ES-359 they had, but I just couldn't jibe with the neck-shape.

    Now, I'd been there once awhile back, and checked out a few Gretsches they had, but they were all Electromatics, which weren't my bag.

    Now, they had a couple higher-end MIJ models in stock, and I got to play a very nice single-cutaway centerblock black Falcon.

    Neck felt much nicer and sleeker than the Gibby, which felt comparatively sloppy overall. Not sure if it's exactly what I want, but I certainly wouldn't be disappointed with it.

    The other Japanese Gretsch he had was a solidbody, and I never played it, mainly because I was too busy falling in love with the amp I'd plugged into: a Tone King Imperial mkii (full review in the amps forum).

    So, yeah, I went for a guitar, found a different guitar, and now, can't stop thinking about an amp...I wonder if GAS can be fatal.

    Steve
     

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