Designed for the working professional, Gretsch's all-new Players Edition Hollow Body instruments feature authentic Gretsch sound and style while incorporating cutting-edge features for maximum power, comfort and versatility. From the classic standout aesthetics to the deep, complex sound, this top-notch performer is ideal for elevating your musical game and making a statement. Here's Nick Jennison to tell us more.
The Gretsch Falcon is the coolest guitar in the world. There are no arguments to the contrary that I will entertain on this. Yes, other guitars might be more practical, more reliable, more versatile,
easier to play, etc etc, but cooler? Nope - the Falcon reigns supreme. Of course, the above criticisms are valid, and perhaps the timeless beauty of these legendary instruments isn’t enough for you to outweigh the drawbacks. Well, dear reader, Gretsch has got you covered.
The G6136TG Players Edition Falcon is every inch the Falcon we know and love but with a number of important “player” upgrades, the kind of which we often see from parent company Fender on their Player Series guitars - and the kind of modifications that working players make to their own instruments.
Let’s start with what’s stayed the same: the neck is the same comfortable C shape, with a 12” ebony board and a 25.5” scale length. It still has a laminated maple, fully hollow body, albeit with the hybrid “ML” bracing, which purports to offer the open and complex tone of Parallel Bracing combined with the reduced feedback and increased sustain of Trestle Bracing. Visually, the changes are very minor, save for the absolutely gorgeous Midnight Sapphire finish (with the iconic white also available).
On then to the changes. The tuners have been replaced with Grover Imperial locking machine heads - visually the same as the Imperials found on more traditional Falcons (at least from the front), but with the added benefit of greatly increased tuning stability, especially when using the Bigsby trem. Speaking of which, the tremolo on this model is a String-Thru Bigsby B6GP, which speeds up string changes and potentially offers even greater stability. While it’s hard to say if this is true with any degree of scientific rigour, I can certainly say that the tremolo on the Players Edition Falcon is smooth, even and holds its tuning like a champ. No doubt also contributing to this is the Graph Tech TUSQ XL nut.
Perhaps the biggest changes are in the electronics. The pickups are the all-new FT-67 Filter’Tron humbuckers, which are noticeably more powerful than your typical Filter’Trons, but without sacrificing the character that makes the originals so beloved. They’re a very well-balanced set, with plenty of shimmering highs and clean, glassy mids that are perfect for rockabilly and old-school country styles, but with enough punch to hang in a rock or blues band without breaking a sweat. Winding the gain up, you’ll be rewarded with an easy-to-control natural feedback that’s super addictive to lean into, but never gets out of control. They also clean up beautifully with the master volume pot, thanks to the treble bleed circuit which preserves your high end as you roll back the volume. This also allows you to use said master volume as an overall volume control for cleaner styles, while the master tone control does a great job of warming up the tone for jazz, slide and swampy blues without ever becoming muddy.
Other “player” updates include Luminlay side dots for better on-stage visibility (a godsend, given how difficult it can be to see position markers against that gorgeous gold sparkle binding), and Grover strap locks as standard (one of the first “mods” I do to literally all of my guitars.
The Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon represents the ideal marriage of Falcon “cool” and modern reliability. The character and aesthetics of this iconic design remain unchanged, but all of those annoying quirks exhibited by vintage models have been quietly fixed. If you’ve always fancied a Flacon but functionality issues have made you hesitant to pull the trigger, this might be the guitar for you.
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