6120 or Falcon?

Robbie

Friend of Fred
Jun 17, 2013
5,838
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:

mbkri

Country Gent
Sep 22, 2012
2,944
Chicago
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.
 

Robbie

Friend of Fred
Jun 17, 2013
5,838
Sarnia Ontario Canada
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.

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.
 

Robbie

Friend of Fred
Jun 17, 2013
5,838
Sarnia Ontario Canada
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.

Agree on the quality. My 6137 has been a fabulous instrument.
 

G5422T

Country Gent
May 24, 2012
4,122
usa
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.
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Oct 18, 2015
12,549
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.
 

LA Miles

Country Gent
Dec 6, 2012
1,785
UPSTATE NY
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.
 

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,918
North Alabama
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.

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.
 

Tinman46

Country Gent
Dec 19, 2011
3,024
Nope
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.
 

Merc

Friend of Fred
May 6, 2017
5,548
Florida
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.
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,561
Firenze, 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.;)
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
2,138
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.
 

Trash Kidd

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2015
4,879
London U.K.
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.
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!
 

thunder58

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dec 23, 2010
27,175
tappan ny
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?
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:
 

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,918
North Alabama
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.

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.
 

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,918
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.
 


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