Modern Gretsch Guitars

Country Gent/Falcon

1

Hey guys, I'm relatively new here and a long time lurker as they say. I've played gibson guitars most of my life and have fallen in love with this gretsch sound for just about everything. I'm selling a 335 and will be in the market for a new gretsch. I'm looking at either a new country gent or a black/white falcon (players edition most likely on the falcon). I've played both here and there at different times, but I'm having a hard time finding a place where I can try both side by side. I'm playing rock and pop for the most part so other then the obvious aesthetics, what am i looking at as far as the biggest differences sonically? Thanks for the help!

2

Next time you are in a store try to get someone else to play the guitar and just listen. Gents come in different flavors but most have sealed tops with Filtertrons. Falcons have (mostly) large open f-holes with (mostly) deep 2.75 inch bodies with either Dynasonics or Filtertrons and therefore have a more woody tone. What exact bands do you like and exactly what kind of tones are you going for? Is distortion/feedback part of your sound?

3

Just to give you a back story. For a few years I owned a 67 gent which was a wonderful guitar, but it was needing more work than the guitar was worth. I thought a 335 would be a reasonable choice for a hollow-y body sound. While it's a great guitar, it's not different enough from my Les Paul which I prefer to it. Enter looking for a gretsch again. I do a fair amount of session work which varies stylistically and when I play around town it's Chris Stapleton-ish. So to answer your question feedback is not part of my sound, but I'll be using it as a color on tracks as well as rock n roll rhythm stuff. I'm a Malcolm Young freak.

4

so, to sum it up I'm wanting a gretsch that is gonna be the biggest contrast from a les paul and a tele which I use the most.

5

I think a Falcon with the deeper body, single cutaway, open f-holes and some flavor of FilterTrons (Gretsch Hi-Sensitive or TV Jones as you prefer) would provide the most sonic contrast to what you already have. Your Tele has single coil twang covered, and the Lester will provide as much overdrive and sustain as you're likely to need.

A deep hollow body is a whole 'nother thang, as they say, and you'll have a whole palette of colors to work with between the two pickups and the mud switch (or tone knob, if that's what you happen to find). Another option would be a Country Club, which has very similar specs and sound to a Falcon, but with a less ostentatious "bling" factor (and usually a lower price tag).

On the other hand, some folks find the Gent's thinner body more comfortable, and that's a factor that only you can evaluate.

Good luck in your search, and let us know the results!

6

There's also the center block versions of the Falcon to consider!

7

Thank you. This is very helpful.

8

To get as far from the sound of the Tele & LP, I'd suggest you look for a Gretsch with features as covered already, I'll touch on these and a few other features to get that sound you're after.

The deeper the body the better to add that woody flavor so the Country Club and it's higher priced/lots of bling brother the Falcon are good choices. With apologies to Fritz, to add to that tone, the less interior 'extras', trestle bracing and/or a center block the better to add a more acoustic flavor.

While it's somewhat subjective, a tone knob/control rather than a mud switch gives you a finer range of control. A post-FMIC hollowbody should suit your needs nicely. Others around here can point you in the right direction for which models of CC & Falcons have the features to let you find that tone you're after.

9

The falcon is becoming the front runner. Anyone spent anytime with the falcon players edition? The pinned bridge and string through bigsby are large selling points, however given the slimmer body does that effect how "falcon-y" it sounds? I admittedly need to delve deeper into this subject as I'm sure several threads exist.

10

The thinner the body, the less acoustic sound you'll get.

Here's a comparison: my '98 Gibson Gent is only 1.625" deep, has a center block and open f-holes. My '72 Super Chet is 2.75" deep and has a hybrid light trestle bracing. Both guitars are single cut, 17" wide body with a 1.75" wide neck at the zero fret/nut. Both are strung with identical D'addario Half Round Lights. The Gent has no acoustic properties whatsoever whereas the SC has quite a decent tone and some volume. The SC has an acoustic flavor plugged in but the Gent not at all. Nice tone, but no acoustic flavor.

11

I've got both. I'd get the Players Edition Falcon.

12

Hey to Elliot! Good to see you round the ranch.


For the most contrast with anything else, I’d start with pickups. No matter what the FilterTron, it’s still a double-coil pickup with construction similar to a Gibson ‘bucker. That can be a wonderful thing, and I’m not suggesting F’Trons don’t sound distinctive. They do.

But DynaSonics are built like no other pickups, and have a wholly unique tone to match. A Jet/Penguin with Dynas sounds nothing like a Tele - and at the other end of the body-girth-and-air spectrum, a Club or Falcon with Dynas would be hard to confuse sonically with anything Gibsonesque.

And it’s not like Dynas don’t rock. It’s fair to ask how shred-metal they get, but they can cover rock with a meaty gnarly tone you don’t get elsewhere.

Dynas got the flow!

13

Boz with the Muscle Shoals Crew.

14

Well after a couple weeks of searching, I've found a guy that's interested in trading his 2006 white falcon for my 335. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of it. Everything is stock and the guitar is in great shape. We're gonna meet next week, as he lives a few hours away. Anything specific to look for in identifying any potential issues?

15

And BTW, grateful for all of your input.

16

Is this Falcon pre or post FMIC? It's not so much a what to look for when you have it in hand, but the value is different in favor of the post FMIC guitars due to the wiring harness/pots/knobs not being of the same quality. The pre version of the F'trons with ceramic magnets isn't favored by most but some don't mind them so that's up to you.

There's a difference in body shape with the pre versions but again, it's personal preference whether it bothers you or not.

if this falcon is old enough to be a stereo version make sure everything works. Pups and wiring can always be upgraded so there's that to consider as well. Any chance of a pic?

18

Falcon sounds great.

One consideration is that the 1959 style Gent has a wider neck and is the only Gretsch with that feature. Also, it had a unique pickup set that offers a little more punch. You can always customize your falcon with different pickups. You can’t change the neck.

19

My bad on missing the year. An '06 gets you all the better stuff.

20

ha! thanks Dave for clarifying. Yea, I was pretty sure 2006 was in the post FMIC category. I've played a handful of these and they all seem to be great and consistent. I haven't played one that was a dud which gives me high hopes.

21

Just curious on which model this Falcon is? single or double cut, pups etc. Regardless, it beats a 335, IMO.

22

ha! agreed. yea. well, it's a stock '06. single cutaway and the pickups gretsch filtertrons they were putting in them.


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