Vintage Gretsch Guitars

early stereo falcon?


Do they all have the tuners set so deeply into the headstock?? Looks weird.


The stereo Falcon on the cover of the 1959 and 1961 catalogs (similar cover, two different catalogs) has the same pickups as the one for sale. The Falcon had "super project-o-sonic", as opposed to the stereo Country Club and Anni models. According to the ad copy in the catalog, the Falcon had "4-way split Filtertrons"-- split EAD/GBE on each pickup, hence the 4 "tone color" switches whereas the Country Club only had EAD on the neck pickup and GBE on the bridge pickup (two "tone color" switches) -- at least for the first few years. The Anni had the same config as the Country Club, but with HiLoTrons.

The "tone color" switches on the Stereo Falcon were an interesting hybrid of controls-- the guitar did not have a conventional "3-way pickup selector". Instead, since each pickup was technically two separate pickups in the same housing, one switch acted as the string group selector (EAD, EADGBE, GBE) and a second switch served as the master tone switch for the selected string grouping. The same arrangement was duplicated for the neck and bridge positions, which is why there are 4 switches. The Switch on the cutaway bout (where a master volume control would normally be) was the "3-way closing switch", which allowed single output (either bass or treble to one amp, dual mono (bass and treble) output to both amps, and split "stereo" binaural output with bass going to one amp and treble to the other amp.

An even more interesting twist to this is that some examples were wired with the pickup selectors cross-paired, so pickup selector #1 would select EAD(neck)--EAD(neck)+GBE(bridge)--GBE(bridge) string groups, while pickup selector #2 would select EAD(bridge)--EAD(bridge+GBE(neck)--GBE(neck) string groups.

Not a bit bewildering at all, is it?

It's important to note that some later double-cut Baldwin Stereo Falcons ('68-ish and later, with the controls arrayed along the lower bout) were wired a bit differently in that they also added a standby switch.

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