Gretsch has unveiled a pair of signature Falcons for Guns N' Roses guitarist and avowed tone enthusiast Richard Fortus. Long been in the works, these signature birds are a quite exceptional-looking electric guitars, dialling back the bling with the liberal use of tortoiseshell for its headstock logo, bezels and pickguard.
MusicRadar first got wind that Fortus and Gretsch were feather-bedding the nest and workshopping some new specs for a signature Falcon at last year's Virtual Guitar Show, and the finished article will land with dealers in November.
The Richard Fortus Signature Falcon is offered with the choice of a V-Stoptail with Black finish or a Vintage White model with a string-thru Bigsby B6CP vibrato and TonePros tune-o-matic bridge with roller saddles. It has a maple centre-block build, with a feedback-killing piece of chambered spruce reinforcing the arched laminate top.
Both Falcons have a 1.75” and 17” wide double-cutaway shape, with a Standard U-shaped maple neck glued to the body and topped with a 12” radius ebony fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets.
Much of the time spent on developing the model went into pickup design, with Gretsch and Fortus plumping for a set of Custom Wound Filter’Trons unlike any others.
Speaking to MusicRadar in the video below, he describes them as “sort of like a cross between a traditional Filter'Tron and a PAF.“ With Fortus favouring single-channel amps that are run in full-bore overdrive, he uses his guitar's volume control for his clean sounds, so we would expect these to clean up nicely.
Fortus' Falcon has all nickel hardware and matching jewelled G-arrow control knobs. The control circuit has been pared down to just master volume and tone controls and a three-way pickup selector. There is a treble bleed circuit on the master volume and the master tone control has a No-Load Pot.
Elsewhere, there are pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays, Grover Rotomatic die-cast tuners, Graph Tech TUSQ XL nuts, and both guitars ship with a hard case.
Besides the finishes and the hardware, there are some differences between the instruments, with the V-Stoptail model having a shorter 24.6“ scale and the Bigsby-equipped Vintage White model a full 25.5“ scale.
The G6636T-RF Richard Fortus Signature Falcon Center Block with String-Thru Bigsby is available to preorder, shipping in November, and is priced £3,199 / $3,599 , €3,549.00. The V-Stoptail model is priced £3,049 / $3,399 / €3,389. See Gretsch for more details.