Tag Archives: White Falcon

Gretsch Custom Shop Introduces New Vintage-Correct Cadillac G Tailpieces

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Gretsch Tailpieces

On the left is a vintage-correct Gretsch tailpiece. The one on the right is non-vintage-correct.

The craftsmen in the Gretsch Custom Shop have taken yet another step towards making the most historically accurate Gretsch guitars they can.

After almost a year of research, development and production, new White Penguin and White Falcon guitars coming out of the Custom Shop will feature redesigned vintage correct Cadillac G tailpieces.

Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and his team searched far and wide for an original tailpiece that could serve as a template for the new models.

“I’ve been changing some of our parts to be more vintage correct to elevate our guitars to a higher level,” Stern said. “I’ve been wanting to work on the tailpiece for a long time. The hardest part was finding an original; that took a lot of time.”

Stern thought he had someone willing to let him borrow an original tailpiece in early 2014, but that fell through once the Gretsch enthusiast got nervous about lending the rare part out.

Gretsch '59 Penguin Relic

A Gretsch '59 White Penguin Relic featuring the new vintage-correct non-symmetrical tailpiece.

Luckily, Stern heard from Naoaki Toyofuku of Thrill on the String, a dealer in Japan with an incredible collection of vintage Gretsch guitars.

“He was kind enough to send me a couple tailpieces almost a year ago,” Stern explained. “I had to get them drawn up by our research and development department, and then we got a 3D print of the parts. Then, it was off to the manufacturer.”

What came out of the process is a non-symmetrical long and short version of the tailpiece  that will go on the White Falcons and White Penguins, in addition to a symmetrical long and short version for Falcons and Penguins that are in custom colors. All are vintage correct.

“But if a customer wants to order a White Penguin with a symmetrical tailpiece, for example, we can do it,” Stern was quick to add.

Last year, Stern finished work on new vintage-correct knobs for White Falcons and Penguins, and the prodigious luthier said he is not yet finished in his quest for authenticity.

“The knobs were a pretty big project, and I have something that I’m working on for next year, but we’ll keep that under wraps for the time being,” he said. “We’ve gotta save some surprises!”

Gretsch White Penguin

A closeup of the new vintage-correct non-symmetrical tailpiece on a Gretsch '59 White Penguin Relic.

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Billy Duffy Talks White Falcon With Total Guitar

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Billy Duffy and his White Falcon

By Jimmy Smith

It’s no surprise to hear that Billy Duffy loves his White Falcon. Seeing the Cult guitarist with the majestic Gretsch six-string is a common sight for Duffy fanatics.  Recently, Total Guitar magazine sat down with Duffy to see how it all started.

“I always thought it was like a mythical kind of thing: this big, white semi-acoustic guitar,” said Duffy. “It was looks first.

“I really liked that Neil Young approach of getting a really aggressive sound out of a Gretsch,” he continued. “My high-school band was just slightly pre-punk. We got into stuff like Neil Young – sorta folky, rocky – and Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash had them; that was the first time I saw the guitar. [Then] I joined Theater of Hate, took all my life’s savings and bought a guitar.”

For more on the interview with Billy Duffy pick up June’s issue of Total Guitar here.

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Stephen Stills Talks Woodstock in Latest Gretsch Interview

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The legendary Stephen Stills has had a blockbuster career, earning two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

And through much of his career, Stills could be seen with a trusty Gretsch White Falcon, a guitar he was first introduced to by Neil Young.

Stills was kind enough to talk about his relationship with Gretsch in a recent interview, which includes the amazing story of how Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young nearly missed their chance to play at the original Woodstock.

Watch the interview below and visit Crosby, Stills and Nash’s official website for current tour dates.

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Billy Duffy Dissects His New Signature White Falcon

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The Cult’s Billy Duffy recently sat down to break down his signature Gretsch White Falcon, noting several of the features of this majestic guitar.

Watch the interview below and visit the Cult’s official website for more information.

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GretschTech: “G Arrow” Control Knobs

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One of the most distinctively stylish features of Gretsch guitars past and present is the “G arrow” control knob. If you already own a Gretsch, you know what we’re referring to—the volume and tone knobs on your instrument, which are in most cases adorned with an engraved later “G” pierced by an arrow. This was an early but not original development.

Gretsch’s earliest electric guitars of the late 1940s and early 1950s—mostly Hawaiian lap steel and arch-top Electromatic models—had plain control knobs. When the original golden age of Gretsch electric guitars began in earnest in 1954, a much more distinctive control knob style was adopted, quite unlike that of contemporaries such as Fender and Gibson. 1954 saw the introduction of gold- and chrome-plated brass knobs with plain unadorned tops and a crosshatched pattern around the circumference. (more…)

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