Gretsch / 6136 White Falcon / 1960 / White With Gold Sparkle Binding / Guitar For Sale
Single Venetian (round) cutaway. This rare and oh so beautiful 17-inch-wide, 2 3/4-inch deep electric archtop guitar weighs 8.60 lbs. Laminated maple body with five-ply black and white binding and a 7/32 inch band of gold sparkle on the top and bottom of the body and the 'f' holes triple-bound in black, white and gold sparkle. Three-piece maple/ebony/maple neck which is also bound in similar gold sparkle on the sides of the fretboard. "V" headstock with horizontal Gretsch "T-roof" logo cut from gold sparkle plastic and inlaid into white Nitron drum material. The neck has a scale length of 25 1/2 inches, a nice fat nut width of just under 1 3/4 inches and a wonderful medium-to-fat neck profile. On the headstock face (which is also triple-bound in black and white and has a 1/8 inch band of gold sparkle) is a rectangular metal plate which is engraved "The/White/Falcon/36806." Gold sparkle plastic "V"-shaped truss-rod cover. Individual Grover Imperial tuners with stairstep metal buttons. Madagascar ebony fretboard with 21 frets plus zero fret and neo-classic inlaid pearl thumbprint (half-moon) position markers. Two "Patent Applied For" Filter'Tron pickups with sculpted mounting rings and balanced outputs of 4.17k and 4.28k. Clear acrylic pickguard back-painted in gold with Gretsch "T-roof" logo engraved from underneath and a falcon engraved from underneath in black. Three volume controls (volume for each pickup on lower treble bout and master volume on the upper treble bout) and two three-way selector switches (one pickup selector and one tone selector) on the upper bass bout. "Arrow" knobs set in the middle with a mother-of-pearl circle and a red rhinestone at the tip of the arrow and with cross-hatch pattern on the sides. Bar-style bridge on ebony base and factory B-6 Bigsby ("Gretsch by Bigsby") vibrato tailpiece. All metal parts heavily plated in 24-karat gold (except for the Bigsby vibrato, which is aluminum). This guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition, with the exception of the following three minor flaws, which are so insignificant that we cannot even consider them in our condition rating: the gold plating is slightly faded, the sculpted ring around the bridge pickup has two very small cracks, and the truss-rod cover has one tiny little split by the top left-hand screw. Housed in the original Gretsch two-tone gray hardshell case with purple felt lining (9.50). Together with the original Gretsch padded black leather guitar strap, original white guitar cord, original (?) set of flatwound strings, original Gretsch circular clear plastic string container and lid with one string, original case key, original silicon sachet, original Gretsch guitar polishing cloth, original green Gretsch Quality Control Department O.K. card, original cream Gretsch Filter'Tron instruction card, original Gretsch Guitar Guarantee in the original cream envelope, and an old photocopy of the circuit diagram for Gretsch "Double Pick Up # 6440."
This incredible example has hardly ever been played and has almost certainly spent the vast majority of its forty-nine years tucked away under a bed! This White Falcon is an early 1960 example, which still has the 1959-style 2 3/4 inch-deep body. The body thickness was reduced in 1960 to just 2 inches, when double mutes and also a padded back were added.
"'The most beautiful guitar in the world' is surely a description difficult to live up to. But the unparalleled Model 6136 White Falcon introduced in 1954 at music trade shows and designed, touted and adroitly played by Gretsch whiz kid Jimmy Webster may be one instrument that lives up to its reviews. Unabashedly advertising the 6136 as 'the utmost in striking beauty and luxurious styling', the 1955 catalog offered the guitar at a bursar-busting [sic] $600. And, indeed, the White Falcon took jazz-guitar opulence to absurd but utterly impressive and eye-catching extremes. Hearkening more to a previous era of shimmering Bacon & Day-banjo gaudiness -- with its gold sparkle binding, gleaming white lacquered surfaces, swirling, 24-karat-gold plated metal parts, rhinestones, ebony, and iridescent, engraved mother-of-pearl -- than to the turbid, sunbursted drabness of contemporary archtops into whose midst it unfortunately descended, the White Falcon blew away its stodgy, boring Gibson, Epiphone and Guild competitors with volleys of incandescent color and style. The exquisite and unique 'V' headstock is outlined in black, white and gold sparkle binding and is usually overlaid not with wood veneer but, in fact, with white Nitron plastic drum covering material. This white plastic overlay is then inlaid with a vertical...block letter 'Gretsch' logo; the 'G' in the motif has two wings protruding from it. The whole design is cut from gold sparkle plastic...The back of the headstock is laminated with a single-ply, wood backstripe, as found on some banjos, to support the headstock's wings which are glued to the head's center section. The V-shaped truss rod cover, which mimics the headstock's shape, is cut from the same gold plastic drum material used for the headstock inlay motif. Gold-plated Grover Imperial tuners secure the strings." (Jay Scott, The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, p. 104).
"In 1958 major structural changes occurred in the model, both aesthetic and functional, yielding a more modern guitar with streamlined appointments and appearance. These new features...persisted until 1962 when the model became a thin, double-cutatway guitar. The trademark headstock shape remains on the 1958 White Falcon but the lovely, winged vertical logo is replaced with a simpler, horizontal 'Gretsch' block letter logo cut from gold sparkle plastic and inlaid into white Nitron drum material. A square, gold-plated headstock plate appears for the first time on many, but not all, 1958 examples of the 6136 and bears the guitar's serial number reiterated on the introduced-in-1957, orange and gray label on the inside of the guitar...The bound-in-gold ebony fingerboard uses neo-classic thumbprint markers instead of the fancier, feather-engraved, humped-block inlays. A heel dowel reinforces the neck joist of the maple-ebony-maple, three-piece neck. Gretsch's Action-flo nut (zero fret) debuts in 1959. The guitar's 25 1/2-inch scale terminates on an ebony based, gold-plated space control bridge, no longer a Melita. Although never mentioned in company catalogs, The White Falcon's top is changed this year from spruce to laminated maple and all subsequent incarnations of the model used an all-maple body. Like the Model 6120 and the Country Club, an internal bracing system premiers this year; the parallel top braces are intersected by two perpendicular feet running from the top to the back and supporting the bridge and pickups. A new electronics configuration appears on the scene with a three-position tone-selector switch located near the pickup-selector switch and features Patent Applied For Filter'Tron pickups and unsculpted mounting rings" (Jay Scott, The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, p. 108).
Fretted Americana , USA
We specialize in acquiring and offering the finest specimens of American vintage electric guitars with particular attention to those in their complete, original state. We are the only dealer to embrace a written code of ethics (in Terms & Conditions). We encourage you to read it.
HOW WE WORK
We want to inspire and win your trust and confidence. You don't want to have any negative surprises upon receipt of an instrument that you've invested yourself as well as your money into. Nor do you want any untoward surprises should you decide to sell it in the future.
To that end, every guitar that we offer is catalogued to a degree and depth of detail that is fast becoming the standard in the trade. When we declare an instrument to be completely original, it is. If it is not, we tell you exactly in what manner it has been altered.
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Each guitar we acquire is skillfully and painstakingly dissected by David Brass, who is a trained luthier as well as a dealer and collector. All parts, no matter how small, are meticulously examined. We have an enviable reference library of wide breadth and scope that we refer to when necessary for crucial facts. The instrument is put under a black-light: original finish or refin? Even the most skillfully masked ding is uncovered. David then fastidiously reassembles the instrument. It is then cleaned with the finest products available for wood and metal.
An inspection certificate of authenticity signed by David is provided with every guitar you purchase.
We keep our inventory relatively small and highly select. We choose our guitars with extreme care so we can offer you the finest examples of the finest rare guitars in the world.
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CODE OF ETHICS
We wish to establish an ongoing relationship with you based upon your trust in our knowledge and judgment.
To that end:
We meticulously inspect in detail every guitar that we offer. We check the finish, all of the electrical components, serial numbers, etc. With over thirty years of experience collecting and handling vintage guitars and our enormous reference library, we bring to bear all that is known about guitar manufacturers, models, and annual production.
We provide full, detailed descriptions and specs to each guitar.
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We will deal fairly and ethically; no surprises, flim-flam, dubious business practices or shenanigans.
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We allow a full 48 hour honeymoon period when you buy a guitar from us. If you are not 100% satisfied with it we will refund the purchase price in full, less shipping, upon return of the guitar in the same condition as sold. Please call us before returning the instrument.
Please inspect your new guitar immediately upon receiving it. If any guitar we offer is found to be not as described, we will happily refund the full purchase price, less shipping, upon return of the guitar in the same condition as sold. Please call us before returning the instrument.