Need advice: New Falcon has floating fingerboard fall away/hump

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Diggey, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Diggey

    Diggey Gretschie

    Jul 27, 2008
    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’ve been on both of the forums a long time and don’t stir up trouble so please- no snarky sharkys.

    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?
  2. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    If I'm understanding you correctly I don't think I've ever seen that before and sounds like it may be something you want to have addressed by Gretsch. It could be an issue with how the frets are seated.
    Pictures may be helpful, if possible.
  3. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    I wouldn't worry if it's not causing any issues. I often set up a neck with the last few frets dressed lower than the rest to get an ultra low action. It's a Tim Lurch thing.
  4. Diggey

    Diggey Gretschie

    Jul 27, 2008
    BB864939-F6E9-4DB4-BEF9-2F41DC7F16EA.jpeg A2200D49-7B06-470A-A6A1-D915EAEFAFA1.jpeg It isn’t frets it’s the whole fingerboard and extension that is falling away.
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    That‘s a flaw you should adress to Gretsch.
  6. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    You shouldn't be considering living with this defect. You should be able to return it where you bought it. It is obviously defective. Since you bought it new it should be taken care of by Gretsch. Good luck it is a beautiful instrument, Gretsch should make it right.
    Tony65x55 likes this.
  7. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    What Raye said.
  8. LA Miles

    LA Miles Country Gent

    Dec 6, 2012
    I actually believe that "fretboard fall-away" at the last few frets is not unheard of and may not be a defect. I don't beleive your frets have been dressed lower - it's "FB Fall-away" from your description. I had a a Gretsch (?) that the FB Fell-away.

    I'd check with the folks you bought it from to at least document your concern. Check with Gretsch C Svc and maybe a local luthier that really understands setups. Good Luck
    Tinman46 likes this.
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    It is clearly a warranty-matter.
  10. dirtyoldbanjoman

    dirtyoldbanjoman Electromatic

    Jan 25, 2010
    I looked at my 2016 6120t 55 and it has this as well
    They may just be designed this way now.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  11. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Pretty common on vintage archtops, i haven't looked at many newer prolines.
  12. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Is it possible to lower the bridge and adjust the truss rod to have a straight shot across the frets with no hump? I'd only see this as an issue if it is impossible to adjust the issue away.
    hcsterg likes this.
  13. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    I am not sure about the Falcon in question, but "fall away" above the 15th fret (varies with guitar/neck attach method etc) is quite common - at least I always thought so having come across it many times when looking for info on re-fretting or neck building.

    Again, I am not a tech or luthier, but seems to be a desirable thing in a lot of cases. Am I missing something? (Not for the first time...)
    Tinman46 likes this.
  14. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    That’s a very expensive brand new guitar.
    It should be perfect.
    Return it for a replacement.
    Good luck..
  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    I've seen the same thing on $10,000 Gibsons. If it isn't causing any problems I wouldn't give it a second thought.
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    IMHO, the presence of a light fall away can be intentional : I already saw that on some instruments, and I noticed that my G400 Synchromatic has one - that I misunterpreted as a hump because the neck was poorly adjusted (too much relief).

    If you read Dan Erlewine's Guitar Player Repair Guide, that's stated also : a fall away in the tongue of the neck can be included in the design of the instrument, in order to avoid buzzing when you play circa the 12th fret and hit the strings strongly.

    Conversely, a hump before the neck's tongue on a new instrument would be suspicious, but you mention that the neck plays well, nonetheless...

    As you have a straightedge, have you measured the relief of the neck, just for curiosity (using thickness gauges, for example) ?

  17. Dreamtime

    Dreamtime Gretschie

    Dec 14, 2017
    New York
    Many doom and gloomers here. Your fretboard falls away? Yeah, it sounds bad, but if you were to look closely (make measurements even) at an instrument that has that floating end of the fretboard, you would see it might slump down a bit.

    I got my Falcon about seven years ago. I noticed that tail end slumps ever so slightly. I also noticed it did not affect playability at all. I kept an eye on it, checked if it were years later it's the same as day one when I got the guitar. No change at all. I wouldn't sweat it, it may just be a normal way that floating fretboard sets.

    Now if you want to talk about the Flacon gold plating after seven years? Man, much of it is gone. My gold bridge, my gold Bigsby a grey lead color.
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    Gold plating is notoriously non-durable.
  19. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    I have to agree with LA Miles, BrianW and others. Fall away is a very common thing and purposefully done on many guitars. It compensates for for the hump you could get after the neck is strung up and under tension. Fall away usually starts where the neck meets the body.
    I have begun creating a slight fall away on my neck builds by putting a little more elbow grease into the radius sanding block on that end. Some guys do it while levelling the frets.
  20. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    My understanding of deliberate fall away is as Tinman46 stated. From the neck-body joint towards the bridge is not affected by the truss rod so fall away prevents issues at the higher frets (which could not be "cured" with a truss rod adjustment)