Gretsch G6636TSL Silver Falcon: The Premier Guitar Review

ZackyDog

Friend of Fred
Feb 6, 2015
7,582
In the USA
Greetings :)

Here <<<LINK

Gretsch-G6636TSL-Players-Edition-Silver-Falcon_WEB.jpg
 
Aug 17, 2022
1
South Carolina.
I’ve got one..and I love it.. but it was challenging to bond with. Mostly because of (oddly) uninspiring tones, tuning issues and overall Bigsby stiffness, none of which I expected from a Gretsch of this pedigree.
I’ve been playing, setting up and maintaining my own guitars for over 30 years and I love making guitars play and sound as nice as they possibly can.

I’ve had several Jets, both sparkle and Firebird varieties, a Green Double Annie, a RHH 6120 and a few other 6120s and I loved them all.. And through it all I decided that Gretsch Filtertrons were my favourite humbucking pickups. I should add the I mostly play through Vox AC-circuits.

One day my wife told me to choose a guitar that she could purchase for me.. one that would be super special to me.
What a lovely gesture!!
Now, I’ve had many top shelf guitars throughout my life that I’ve let go of for one reason or another.. Gibson Customs, Rickenbackers, Gretschs, Fenders, PRS, etc., and in the end I figured out what guitars I missed the most.. so I had some ideas.

My favourite guitars had some element of chambering or hollowness to them, my trusty Strat Plus Deluxe aside.
I knew I loved Gibson ES335 but they didn’t have Filtertons (unless I got the Cornell signature model, OR just installed them myself. I also knew I loved Gretsch Jets with their Filtertrons and Bigsbys.
So, I wanted something that would incorporate them both in design somehow.

In walks the Players Edition Silver Falcon.
It’s smaller, it’s shorter scale, Filtertrons, centre block, V-headstock that really works with the double cut silhouette, locking tuners, sparkly binding and headstock inlay, jewelled knobs!!.. all the things!
So I chose it.. It arrived.. and I wanted to fall in love with it.. but initially I had a hard time.

The pickups seemed dead to my ears no matter the adjustment or string choice. Whether I raised the pickups and dropped the poles or dropped the pickups and raised the poles, the notes wouldn’t “bloom” in a way I like them to.
And the tuning was very unstable, even after deliberate and active trem use, allowing the parts to “settle” into place, Nothing. It was all very plunky and dead which is not something you want from an instrument your wife just paid a lot of money for. So, I wanted to see if I could make it more Gretchy and less… dead.

I remedied the tone with a TV Jones Super’Tron in the neck position and a Power’Tron in the bridge.
The tuning issues were resolved with some nut filing and graphite, a BricksBiggsFix tuning stabiliser bar to lessen the break angle off the back of the bridge, along with a TonePros bridge/saddle designed more for trem use.. though I’m still thinking a roller bridge could be better.
Also installed a “softer” Bigsby spring.
Oh, and I took some of the sheen off the back of the neck.. totally reversible with some buffing.

Now this Falcon sounds fabulous!.. like a Gretsch in the neck position and more hollow’ish in the middle position as expected.. AND more Gibson ES335 midrange bite in the bridge position thanks to the more PAF sounding Power’Tron Plus. The tuning is very stable now, no matter how much I lean into this instrument.

It’s now a joy to play!
But…. I’m still missing a Rickenbacker.
Anyone with a 381? I’ll trade you. 😉





Also, the stock case isn’t engineered for the slightly downsized body dimensions of this newer Players Edition design so it shakes about during transport. Lame.

I expected a lot more considering the pedigree and price point of this guitar.
Why the Players Edition Silver Falcon didn’t already come with TV Jones pickups is beyond me.
 
Last edited:

BuddyHollywood

Synchromatic
Sep 11, 2009
536
Venice, CA
I’ve got one..and I love it.. but it was challenging to bond with. Mostly because of (oddly) uninspiring tones, tuning issues and overall Bigsby stiffness, none of which I expected from a Gretsch of this pedigree.
I’ve been playing, setting up and maintaining my own guitars for over 30 years and I love making guitars play and sound as nice as they possibly can.

I’ve had several Jets, both sparkle and Firebird varieties, a Green Double Annie, a RHH 6120 and a few other 6120s and I loved them all.. And through it all I decided that Gretsch Filtertrons were my favourite humbucking pickups. I should add the I mostly play through Vox AC-circuits.

One day my wife told me to choose a guitar that she could purchase for me.. one that would be super special to me.
What a lovely gesture!!
Now, I’ve had many top shelf guitars throughout my life that I’ve let go of for one reason or another.. Gibson Customs, Rickenbackers, Gretschs, Fenders, PRS, etc., and in the end I figured out what guitars I missed the most.. so I had some ideas.

My favourite guitars had some element of chambering or hollowness to them, my trusty Strat Plus Deluxe aside.
I knew I loved Gibson ES335 but they didn’t have Filtertons (unless I got the Cornell signature model, OR just installed them myself. I also knew I loved Gretsch Jets with their Filtertrons and Bigsbys.
So, I wanted something that would incorporate them both in design somehow.

In walks the Players Edition Silver Falcon.
It’s smaller, it’s shorter scale, Filtertrons, centre block, V-headstock that really works with the double cut silhouette, locking tuners, sparkly binding and headstock inlay, jewelled knobs!!.. all the things!
So I chose it.. It arrived.. and I wanted to fall in love with it.. but initially I had a hard time.

The pickups seemed dead to my ears no matter the adjustment or string choice. Whether I raised the pickups and dropped the poles or dropped the pickups and raised the poles, the notes wouldn’t “bloom” in a way I like them to.
And the tuning was very unstable, even after deliberate and active trem use, allowing the parts to “settle” into place, Nothing. It was all very plunky and dead which is not something you want from an instrument your wife just paid a lot of money for. So, I wanted to see if I could make it more Gretchy and less… dead.

I remedied the tone with a TV Jones Super’Tron in the neck position and a Power’Tron in the bridge.
The tuning issues were resolved with some nut filing and graphite, a BricksBiggsFix tuning stabiliser bar to lessen the break angle off the back of the bridge, along with a TonePros bridge/saddle designed more for trem use.. though I’m still thinking a roller bridge could be better.
Also installed a “softer” Bigsby spring.
Oh, and I took some of the sheen off the back of the neck.. totally reversible with some buffing.

Now this Falcon sounds fabulous!.. like a Gretsch in the neck position and more hollow’ish in the middle position as expected.. AND more Gibson ES335 midrange bite in the bridge position thanks to the more PAF sounding Power’Tron Plus. The tuning is very stable now, no matter how much I lean into this instrument.

It’s now a joy to play!
But…. I’m still missing a Rickenbacker.
Anyone with a 381? I’ll trade you. 😉





Also, the stock case isn’t engineered for the slightly downsized body dimensions of this newer Players Edition design so it shakes about during transport. Lame.

I expected a lot more considering the pedigree and price point of this guitar.
Why the Players Edition Silver Falcon didn’t already come with TV Jones pickups is beyond me.
I like your review better than Premier Guitar's review.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
552
New York
Hi @Kiesinnnervoice . I like your very comprehensive review. This isn’t intended as a criticism, but it points to what many of us experience with our guitars. Even the highest caliber of instruments often take a little tweaking , or sometimes more than a little, to make them just right for us. My least tweaked or modified guitar is my Gretsch Anniversary. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it’s grown on me. Either that or I’ve grown into it and become much more accepting of its many idiosyncrasies. What you described is the process of making a Silver Falcon exactly right for you. Someone else may have liked it as it was or changed it differently from how you changed yours. Having spent much more of my life as an engineer than I spent pretending to be a musician I appreciate your logic. The part of me that plays music knows that you make better music when your instrument is just right. Enjoy your Silver Falcon.
 

Vlad the Inhaler

Electromatic
Jun 28, 2022
40
hell
The pickups seemed dead to my ears no matter the adjustment or string choice. Whether I raised the pickups and dropped the poles or dropped the pickups and raised the poles, the notes wouldn’t “bloom” in a way I like them to.
And the tuning was very unstable, even after deliberate and active trem use, allowing the parts to “settle” into place, Nothing. It was all very plunky and dead which is not something you want from an instrument your wife just paid a lot of money for. So, I wanted to see if I could make it more Gretchy and less… dead.

I have the same guitar in white/gold it took several months to settle well, tuning stability was helped alot by a little big bends nut sauce on the saddles and nut: the bigsby even with bigsby condom/roller is quite hair-trigger sensitive
[and now it all holds tune even with alot of bigsby abuse]


maybe I got lucky but love the sounds of the stock pickups in mine they sound great: super gretschy and very 3 dimensional, even prefer them to TV Jones which would normally be a natural upgrade> love this AXE>


Screen Shot 2022-08-20 at 5.39.15 pm.png
 


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