Watch Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus offer a guided tour of his new signature Gretsch Falcons

Having been teased for months, before being finally unveiled amid Gretsch’s midsummer mega-launch, the Richard Fortus Signature Falcon has been released, and it’s a most special electric guitar.

There are two finish options, with some hard choices to be made, so helpfully Fortus sat down with Gretsch to walk through the design and demo their sounds. 

Fortus has put his name to two Falcons. The Black model comes with a V-Stoptail and has a shorter 24.6” scale, while the Vintage White model puts vintage wobble on the menu courtesy of its String-Thru Bigsby and has a full 25.5” scale length.

Whether you are leaning towards the traditional feel of the Bigsby or for the more thrashable appeal of the V-Stoptail model, these are exquisite rock ’n’ roll machines. Tortoiseshell aficionados are going be in clover with the details applied to the headstock and pickguard

They are built to be played hard, with a chambered spruce centre block in situ to support the laminated maple arch-top and cut down on feedback in high-volume scenarios. 

Fortus had the Gretsch R&D team burning the midnight oil to develop the custom-voiced Filter’Tron pickups which you will find at the neck and bridge positions, and he says that his signature model is capable of applying that Gretsch sound in many different musical situations.

“Gretsch has always been such an integral part of rock ’n’ roll tone,” said Fortus. “From Malcolm to Harrison, Neil Young to Billy Duffy. It’s such an honour and lifelong dream to have my name associated with it. I wanted something that I could play all night for rhythm and lead.

“With their classic Gretsch chime, along with their super thick and tight low end, these Falcons are built to be all-around versatile guitars for all types of players.”

Those players will find a comfortable Standard U profile maple neck topped with a 12” radius ebony fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. 

The G6636T-RF Richard Fortus Signature Falcon Center Block with String-Thru Bigsby is available priced £3,199 / $3,599. As is the V-Stoptail model, and that's priced £3,049 / $3,399. See Gretsch for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.