Thin-bodied Falcon PE

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by gravix, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. gravix

    gravix Electromatic

    Mar 5, 2019
    Hello Gretschers!

    I've been a silent lurker for some time on this forum trying to get as much info as possible before my first Gretsch buy. I've got my eyes set on a Falcon, and due to a shoulder injury, I'm reluctant to buy the full body ones and was narrowing down my choice to smaller/junior models...

    I'm having a hard time finding genuine reviews/opinions about those 6136 Player Editions with thinner bodies, so I hope those of you who have one or experienced playing them can chime in.

    1. How are is string-thru Bigsby on those things?
    2. Does the thinner body feels much lighter than a full-body 17" as in for example between a full LP and a weight-relieved one? I'm really concerned about the weight on my right shoulder.
    3. How close are the HS pickups to the Gretsch sound? A lot of people are saying the thin model doesn't do the Gretsch sound justice as it is doesn't resonate as much. To be fair, from the few YT videos I've seen, the thin PE falcon lacks that warm sound of his bigger brother, but then again, hard to compare based on different videos and setups.
    4. I might opt for some limited thin-bodies such as the azure metallic that come in thin-body with a TVJ pickup. Do you think this would be a warmer than the stock HS?

    Thanks in advance for your responses :)
    Jena and RocknRollShakeUp like this.
  2. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    I have no experience with the guitar in question. I did have a Players Edition Tennessee Rose and I can tell you the Players Editions are very nice. Locking tuners, string through Bigsby, treble bleed, strap locks, all great features.
    Jena, new6659 and gravix like this.
  3. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    The HS Filtertrons are nice pickups and many folks here think the same.
    I doubt that the thinner PE models are significantly lighter than the deep-bodied models. Especially not the double-cut Falcon which has a centerblock that should increase the weight of the guitar. The 6136 model has ML bracing, though.
    The string through Bigsby is as great as the model with pins that anchor the strings. The difference is that it makes re-stringing a bit easier.
    TVJ builts many Filtertron pickup variants. Some are hotter/some are darker sounding/some are brighter than the HS models.

    If I were you I would check out the guitar in person. At that pricepoint the stock pickups should be right for you. If not: Better buy a different model.
    Jena, G5422T and gravix like this.
  4. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome abroad gravix!
    gravix likes this.
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I love the HS Filters in my Penguin.
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  6. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    May 24, 2012
    Have to agree with everything, except the last paragraph.

    IMO, if you like the feel of the guitar and its' features, but not quite liking the tone offered by the HS Filters is no big deal. Plenty of options to swap them out.

    To the OP, and to my ears, HS Filters sound just a tad darker than TV's. I've had full depth Falcon and Gent with them, and liked

    That said, I eventually swapped the Falcon pups to TV Classics. I liked them more and worth the money to me.

    Right now, I'm getting ready to put TV's Ray Butts in my -58 Gent.

    So for me, swapping pups is no big deal, and having the HS Filters in a guitar is not a deal breaker. You may end up loving them.

    Last thing. I love the string through Bigsby. Some folks may argue against them for various reasons. I've got three Prolines with them, and zero issues.

    Chet did this on his decades ago with no problems either. End of any arguing in my book. It works.

    Best of luck on your Gretsch quest.

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
    Jena, loudnlousy and gravix like this.
  7. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, gravix!
    gravix likes this.
  8. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Welcome and good luck with your choice. Can't go wrong with all the suggestions here.
    Jena and gravix like this.
  9. gretscher09

    gretscher09 Electromatic

    Apr 18, 2009
    The String-thru Bigsby is fine - no issues. It's prolly a great feature for folks who have never restrung a regular bigsby.
    I wouldn't worry about which filtertron comes with the guitar. If you aren't happy with them TV Jones has a variety that should meet your sonic goal.
    The PEs are great guitars. They are 1/2" thinner and have ML bracing that is suppose to provide the same body tone as the 2.75" models with trestle bracing.
    I haven't played a Jr Falcon but being 16" wide, with a thinner body and 24.6" scale I suspect they don't have quite the same full tone as the regular Falcon.
    Check out Wildwood Guitars website - they have lots of Falcons and list their weights. There are also videos. Sweetwater also lists the weight so you can compare models. Good luck.
    gravix and G5422T like this.
  10. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    You could confirm weights fairly easy but I somehow think a standard Falcon would or at least might be lighter than a PE with centre block etc.
    gravix likes this.
  11. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Welcome to GT
    gravix likes this.
  12. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Welcome friend
    gravix likes this.
  13. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Gretschie

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    Have a 6120 players edition as well as a 6120 vintage select and 12 other various Gretsch Guitars. The player is by far the best one I have as far as quality, and comfort. It’s a masterpiece. The thinner body is the same depth as the 512x models peerless made. It isn’t really lighter because of the bracing but these aren’t heavy guitars anyway. They resonate as well as any of my other guitars and the hs filtertrons have a great sound. Some say the TVs are warmer but compared to my Brian Setzer signature TVs the differences are difficult to detect.
    Personally the string through bigsby is the only thing I don’t like. I’ve use the other kind for so long that the string through just slows me down.
    new6659, Jena, Bertotti and 1 other person like this.
  14. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Plenty of great Gretsch tone in the thin bodies. A Country Gent is another option for a "17 thinline.
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  15. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    True. I have a centre block Falcon, and would say it's just as heavy as a full sized, hollow Falcon.
    Jena, loudnlousy and gravix like this.
  16. gravix

    gravix Electromatic

    Mar 5, 2019
    Thanks a lot to all for chiming in and putting my mind to ease.

    It seems there is really not much weight difference between the new PE and a fullbody. In any case it should easily be 2 pounds lighter than my custom LP which I've had to keep in its case for the past years.

    Those new electronics and features seem to be non-interfering with the Gretsch sound and experience, and as many of you have mentioned, the pups can be easily changed from stock, if need be.

    I'm having my eyes on a thin-body azure metallic 6136 and the dark cherry 6136. Both limited edition falcons, same TVJ classic pups, string-thru Bigsby on both but one is ML bracing, the other trestle.

    I shall see which deal I can score. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can post the pictures :)
    drmilktruck and Jena like this.
  17. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    That will work very well with higher loudness. It should be quite a bit heavier than the ML braced one.
    gravix likes this.
  18. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    gravix likes this.
  19. Welcome from the USA western Rockies . . .
    I found a Sweetwater listing for a Gretsch G6136T Players Edition Black Falcon w/ Bigsby
    weight listed at a very comfortable 7lbs 13 0z.

    fwiw, in theory a center block could add weight, some weight - but they used spruce so not too bad on the scale.
    Maybe, in my mod, the spruce block might be better for re-pinning in the non-floating bridge . . . (?) I dunno
    A floating bridge might have been something my lefty mod should have considered though.

    Best of luck.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  20. RocknRollShakeUp

    RocknRollShakeUp Synchromatic

    Jun 20, 2017
    Welcome to the forum and good luck on your search!

    I have a PE Black Falcon that I love. It is my one and only Gretsch and I haven't played a vintage spec. Falcon so I can't comment on any tonal difference between the two. I don't know how much .5" makes tone wise, but I enjoy the increased ergonomics of the slightly thinner body. The ML bracing also allows some really nice and controllable semi-acoustic feedback with louder and more gainy playing too, so it still sounds and behaves like a typical Gretsch semi acoustic guitar in that sense, so it isn't like a 335 or anything, it still sounds and behaves just like a Gretsch should to my ears.

    I really like the PE appointments including the string thru Bigsby. It makes restringing easy for me.

    Mine is under 8 lbs (7.87 lbs I think it was), and most were in the 8.0 to 8.3 oz range when I was looking. I did look for a light one. I'm not sure how heavy the full thickness Falcons are, typically, but I do remember a Vintage Select Falcon that was 8.6 oz. I'm sure you may find lighter ones. I remember a Setzer Silver Falcon that was listed on the web site at less than 8 lbs at Wildwood guitars. I played a centerblock version of the Falcon at a store and it seemed heavy to me, relatively speaking so I would expect those to be in the mid 8 's easy.

    Regarding the pickups I did change them to Setzer Signatures which were brighter, twangier and chimier and gave more clarity. However this was in the context of playing with verb and multidelays and some compression which needed pickups that cut better. I think the HS filtertrons would be more than fine going straight into a nice bright and chimey amp even for me that generally likes treblier tones more than more nasally or bassier "warmer" tones. Even still the HS filtertrons did well for me in a recording I did where lots of ambient effects were used, although live I would have needed more cut I think, especially in the wound strings, when using such textured ambient sounds. Here is the ambient recording where the HS filtertron'ed Falcon was multitracked with very wet and delayed tones. . I don't have anything with the Setzers.

    I hope this helps! To review, the PE Falcon with ML bracimg is killer, and the HS Filtertrons may work out really well for your needs, and if not a pickup change is no big deal.
    gravix, Jena and G5422T like this.
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