6120 or Falcon?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Robbie, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I’m winding down my Band of 25 years this October and looking at selling off some gear......maybe.

    I’m considering selling off 2 or 3 guitars and replacing them with either a 6120 or White Falcon. Assuming the same bracing and personal preference for appearance aside, from a sound perspective why would you purchase one over the other? I prefer a 16” body and short scale but can get along with any of them. I’m thinking it mostly comes down to visual but perhaps I’m missing something that you knowledgeable folks can clue me in on. Is there a major difference in sound when playing electrically?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
    Lionpotato likes this.
  2. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    One thing to bear in mind is that the Falcon (17") has a larger body than the 6120 (16"), so it's a bit more of an arm full. Also which headstock do you prefer? I'd personally go for the Falcon if I could get the black one without the gold hardware, but let's be honest you can't go wrong with either really.
  3. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Well at this point (and pricepoint) I think Gretsch are turning out superb instruments and you are going to love whatever you decide, but the body size is the major issue thats going to separate the 6120 from the falcon (ignoring the visual differences).
    I play sitting down a lot and a fatter body is not an issue but standing i prefer a thinner body.
    My centreblock Silver Falcon has all the looks but is easier to maneuver than my 6120, so im guessing that i would find my 6120 easier to perform with than an even fatter full size Falcon.
    19cad61 and Robbie like this.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Yes I prefer the 16” body rather than 17”. Wondering if there is a huge difference in sound. No place close by where I can play both.
    Yukimajo likes this.
  5. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Agree on the quality. My 6137 has been a fabulous instrument.
  6. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Agree on the quality. My 6137 has been a fabulous instrument.
  7. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I know Nigel (@Trash Kidd) has a Falcon and I'm sure has had a 6120, so would be well placed to let you know.
    Trash Kidd and Robbie like this.
  8. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    I have and had both. First off, I won't say that the differences are major, but to me, they are noticeable when playing them.

    The tones are very similar, but the Falcon does sound a bit fuller, or "bigger/deeper" to my ears.

    The biggest difference to me is how the longer scale feels and sounds on lower register single note playing.

    There just seems to be more attack on lower lead notes.

    Hard to put into words, but that long scale just wants you to attack a note harder. It's in the feel of the strings to me, and comes across in the sound too, whether you hit the string harder or not.

    Like I said, hard for me to describe, but it's there. Love both guitars and guess that's why I have both.

    Best of luck on your choice, can't go wrong with either.
    Echocat23, Merc and Robbie like this.
  9. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    . Subtle differences in my opinion. You may also need to consider mud switch vs tone knob.
    Robbie likes this.
  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    As long as they have the same kind of pickups in them there should not be a noticeable difference in tone.
    Considering the different scale-length and bodysize there is a clear difference in feel.
    I would buy the guitar that makes me feel best. And that has to do with the look, too.
    T Bone, section2, Merc and 1 other person like this.
  11. LA Miles

    LA Miles Country Gent

    Dec 6, 2012
    I'd just get the more comfortable one for you, the 6120.

    As to the sound, yeah the Falcon would be a bit "fuller" but other than that with Gretsch' myriad varieties of PUP's, bracing, depth, controls, etc. especially in a 6120, it seems you could get the tone you want. Good luck.
    Merc and Robbie like this.
  12. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    When I decided to get a ProLine, I flew to Streetsounds and played em all. Not normally a bling guy, but I shipped a G6136T-59GE Vintage Select 1959 White Falcon home. The guitar with richest tone in the store to my ears.
    Robbie and G5422T like this.
  13. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    It's a bit of a drive but The Guitar Corner in Kitchener Ontario usually has a pretty good selection of proline Gretsch. Phone ahead but the last time I was in there they had a couple Falcons and 6120s. They even had a Falcon Junior. Might be worth the drive to compare.
    Robbie, new6659, r0de0 and 1 other person like this.
  14. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Seeing you mentioned you prefer a short scale, I would choose it over a long scale despite getting along with both. If it checks the boxes on preference, it would bring more joy to play regularly. I hope you play the heck out of which ever one you decide on.
    Robbie likes this.
  15. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Billy Duffy’s White Falcon has been the first Gretsch I fell in love with.
    Brian Setzer’s 6120 has been the first Gretsch I wanted to have so bad.
    As long as pickups are the same ( that will address the tone one way - filter - or the other - Dynas- ), I doubt you’ll find any noticeable difference that’s not due to the amp you use, the stage volume or your pedalboard.
    Said that, I’d choose the one that fit best with my stage persona. I never was a big fan of the Falcon’s headstock so for me it’s been an obvious choice. Either way, it’s gonna be great.;)
    Robbie likes this.
  16. Highroller

    Highroller Synchromatic

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Like a lot of us, I’ve played various Falcon models over the years, and the difference between the 16” and 17” bodies never seemed like that big a deal to me. Barely even notice it when you’re playing it.

    But keep in mind, Falcons are “show guitars”. Bling City. All that sparkle looks great to the audience and it’s flashy as hell, but personally, from my perspective – that of a player – it’s almost too much. For example, the gold sparkle binding down the edge of the fretboard - to me, super distracting.

    It’s a matter of “livability”. Sometimes you want Elvis and Vegas and gold Cadillacs, sometimes you just want a great sounding guitar. After all, it’s not like a big ol’ orange 6120 is some kind of wallflower. Stands out on stage just fine, but offstage, just a little bit easier to live with on a day to day basis.

    YMMV, but I made that decision once before, and I’d do it again, Go with the 6120.
    Robbie and new6659 like this.
  17. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    I’ve not had a 6120 but would love one! I’ve had 5420s. Must say since the day I got my White Falcon no other guitar has had a look in.
    Still love my Falcon as much as the day I got it. It’s my main gigging guitar.
    The bigger body & longer scale suits me down to the ground being 6ft1”. When I pick up my LP’s & Tele they feel tiny!
    Waxhead, CatTones, Robbie and 2 others like this.
  18. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    You really need to try both ( side by side if you're lucky enough to find the two together in the same store ) Start doing it / hunting down now ! Don't wait until October please :rolleyes:
    sh4rkbyt3 and Robbie like this.
  19. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    My only complaint with the Falcon is the tiny black side dots are very hard to see against the gold sparkle binding. I wish they were bigger/and or a more contrasting color, but I’ve gotten used to it.
    MrMajstyk, Tony65x55 and Trash Kidd like this.
  20. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    On my trip to Rocky’s, my favorite 16” was a great feeling and playing Annie, but it had HiLow Trons which I didn’t much care for the sound of.
    I loved the Falcon model with the Dynas and G tailpiece, but the bridge was kinda wonky and appeared like it might be unstable. It sounded fantastic tho.
    Came really close to buying a Penguin outfitted same as the Falcon I bought. TV classics, mud switch, exact same bling. Just not as full and rich sounding as the big ol Falcon.
    I played a half doz 6120s in various configurations, but I was surprised that none of em really spoke to me, can’t really put my finger on why other than they just didn’t feel or sound like they had”it”. Probably the phase of the moon or the weather in Brooklyn. YMMV.
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
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