Modern Gretsch Guitars

Need advice: New Falcon has floating fingerboard fall away or hum


First, I'm not thrashing the brand or making this a call to complain. I have owned many many Gretsch guitars and have several now. Stuff happens. So this isn't a call to bash. I'm asking for advice please.

I got my new Blue 6136T-Azure Falcon, and notice the fingerboard at about the 14 fret to the end near the pickups kind of goes back down ever so slightly. I put a straight edge on it and sure enough there's a gap on the last few frets if I lay the edge on the frets. However, I played up and down the neck and no buzzes occur so there isn't a hump that's causing an issue.

I've never seen this before and I have 3 falcons currently to compare it to and none of them have it.

What are your thoughts? Does anyone else's finger boards "fall away"? At the end?

Is this a sign of something wrong?

The guitar is purdy, and plays great- with maybe some semi higher action on the last couple frets. I also can sort of see it when I look at the binding line. I guess I'm concerned this leads to issues down the road and also alittle tiny bit miffed at the price I paid should this be on this Falcon?


A photo would be helpful.

It is not uncommon to see that portion which overhangs the body, and is without truss rod adjustment, to favor a "tilt" downwards for clean playing.

Very common when a neck is reset, depending on brand and joint style.

I am not saying it is or should be on your Falcon, just that I am familiar with it...


Here is looking down the neck


The threshold is at the 14 and then starts to drop.


Apparently it's not a bad thing at all. In reading Dan Erlewines's repair book, he talks about "fall away" when fretting or refretting a guitar. According to Dan in How to Set Up, Maintain, and Repair Electrics and Acoustics "Straight necks have lower, faster action ... This slight fallaway in the last few frets would guarantee no buzzing in the upper register, but it's not a must — either dead flatness, or else fallaway, is correct". According to Dan this applies to all guitars, archtops with floating fret board extensions, flat top acoustics, and Fender style bolt necks. For all intents and purposes you have the "anti-hump" fret board extension. Theoretically, with the "fall away", if your frets are level, and all is well with the nut, you should be able to have a nice fast straight neck set-up with a minimum of relief. No worries.


That's what they do with acoustics too. No problem. Just be happy it;s not the other direction...the common vintage Gretsch problem!


Do you think it's a sign of an issue that will come out later?


Fall away is common nowadays with fret jobs, but I've never heard of it being engineered into the fretboard/neck angle. It's probably not a problem, per se, but I've never heard of a fretboard on a new guitar wanting to be anything other than dead flat. If Gretsch is engineering fall away into their guitars, it may be a good idea. If they're not, it may be a mistake. I'd check with them.


Of all the modern Gretsches that I've had over the years, none of them had this "fall away".

I guess my question would be will this condition get worse or not? It's a brand new guitar, and if it were mine, I would be giving Joe C a holler for his opinion on this.


If there's no fret buzz, and the uppermost frets play in tune, I wouldn't consider it a problem.


Biggest question for me is do you think it’s going to be an issue later? I know time will tell but I’ve never experienced it so wasn’t sure if it keeps curling down or what.


Trust your ears. If you don't hear a problem, there's no problem.


Well I can tell you if you saw it in person you'd agree it isn't designed that way and none of my other Gretsch's have it or have had it. So, I'm exchanging it and hopefully it isn't an issue. Thanks for the input.

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