Centerblock or no?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by donb1234, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. donb1234

    donb1234 Electromatic

    Sep 8, 2019
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Currently trying to decide between White Falcon models, and I see a center block for sale and an LTV which is the nitro finished, but no center block.

    I'm not planning at the moment to play anything loud/high gain, so I think the non-centerblock would be fine, but am interested to hear from anyone that's had them, just how bad/difficult controlling a non-centerblock Falcon could be at high gain/high volume?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Electromatic

    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    It’s really not that hard to control. Check out a live video of Reverend Horton Heat playing his 6120. He tends to crank it up pretty loud without an issue.

    Same for bands like the Living End:

    I suspect all the bracing and center block stuff was more about sustain than feedback.
    heinzman and DHart like this.
  3. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I have 3 hollowbody guitars, and I play loud. I never have a problem with feedback.
    Not saying I never have feedback, I just never have a problem with it.

    If I’m playing low volume it’s a nonissue.

    Personally, I like full hollows or solid bodies. I had a semi-hollow and it was great, but I liked my hollows much much more.

    Go where guitars are sold and try both.
    Outlaw, DHart and section2 like this.
  4. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    I don't have a Falcon, but I have both a fully hollow and a semi-hollow Gretsch. When I'm sitting in front of my amp, I definitely get more feedback bloom from my fully hollow G3900 than I get from my center block 5620T. But my G3900 gives me a richer hollow-body sound. It's my go-to guitar for clean tones.

    My 5620 responds more like a solid-body guitar with a hint of hollow-body flavour. I love to use it when I want a little (or a lot of) grit. It also sounds great clean, but my hollow-body just has a fuller, richer tone that I can't get from the semi-hollow. It's hard to describe. I love both guitars, but if I were choosing a Gretsch to play mostly clean, I'd choose a hollow-body.

    I don't play live, so feedback isn't really an issue for me—but if Neil Young could play his Falcon live without unwanted feedback, I'm sure anyone can.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  5. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    May 13, 2018
    Been trying to decide also. Actually my favorite guitars are solid body. I have not bonded well with Es335 types. But wondering if a semi is the best for me actually...
  6. unknown fan

    unknown fan Gretschie

    Aug 7, 2018
    I keep thinking that I should pop some foam in my 5420, but the only time I have unwanted feedback issues is when I jump off stage and play in front of the house cabinets. I use a Helix Floor direct to the board, so I cant speak to the issues that may arise with having an amp onstage. I know Billy Duffy has mentioned that he used to stuff a tshirt in his Falcon and now has his tech use foam blocks which solves his fb issues - but he uses miked amps on stage and I dare say that contributes to a feedback sensitive environment too
  7. DougCraft

    DougCraft Gretschie

    Apr 24, 2018
    Northern Colorado
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
    new6659, MTurner and unknown fan like this.
  8. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2019
    Don... think of tone too (aside from feedback). You will get a very different tone from a full hollowbody than a center block. And, as that Living End video demonstrates, you can rock a 6120, HARD. And use that rich feedback to your advantage, too!
    section2 likes this.
  9. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2019
    duplicate post - deleted
  10. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Semi's and Full Hollows are different animals. I personally prefer Semi's to virtually all other designs but my reasoning is the versatility you get with a Semi. A Semi can give you a good "hollow body" sound as well as get you into "solid body" territory, but the inherent sound and tone of a Semi and how it interacts with you on stage has me hooked. The two Centre Block guitars I have are a 355 and Panther. I do have a full hollow body (Reverend PA-1) and it can be played loud in live situations. You do have to keep your wits about you because there is a high probability you will get feedback but it is quite manageable and "hollows" have such a great woody tone. A good friend has let me play his Falcon on a couple of occasions and there were never any big issues with feedback.
    new6659 and section2 like this.
  11. Joey L

    Joey L Synchromatic

    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    mbkri likes this.
  12. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Center block works for me, aside from the weight.
    Don't forget, Les Paul invented it---"The Log"!
    GlenP likes this.
  13. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    It doesn't matter what guitar you have, hollow, semi, solid, plastic, wood, nitro, poly, trestle, post and pier blocks, Here is the deal, you are going to sound just like you, no matter what you do. :)
    DougCraft, Robbie, MTurner and 2 others like this.
  14. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2019
    Cute, but avoids the matter at hand.

    Of course whatever guitar one plays, your playing/music will be like you... BUT, your tone/sound will differ from guitar to guitar.

    So, for the OP, if you’re after a particular tone... YES, different guitars, different types of guitars, different pickups, different electronics all do make a difference, especially if you are closely attuned to tone.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  15. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    This is my experience, too. Unfortunately.

    Whether I am playing my cheapie Yamaha or my wife's brother-in-law's Martin D-41, I sound like the same sack of [feces].
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