filtertron equipped

How does the Players Edition upgrade stack up on the brand’s sleek 6-string “Cadillac”?

Bridge pickup, then middle position, then neck.
All guitar controls at max. Recorded through the boost side of a SoundBrut DrVa MkII, a Ground Control Tsukuyomi mid boost, a SolidGoldFx Electroman MkII, and an Anasounds Element into a Goodsell Valpreaux 21 miked with a Royer R-121 going into an Audient iD44 then into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.


Matchless style and mojo. Plays, feels, and sounds great.

Expensive. Pickups can feel limited compared to Full’Trons. Some may prefer a tone knob for each pickup.


Gretsch G6636TSL Players Edition Silver Falcon




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Will Ray made this guitar into a cutaway, after being frustrated by the reach to the highest frets. It wasn’t easy, but he enlisted the help of a woodworker neighbor.

Oh boy! A cool custom guitar built by one of Buddy Holly’s songwriting partners.

I’m always a sucker for odd guitars, so when I saw this baby on eBay a few years ago, my picking fingers stood at attention. It had a Bo Diddley-style, rectangular-shaped body (with no cutaway at the time), Gretsch-style pickups, and a Tele control plate. It also had a Tele-style maple neck with “JSW” painted on the turquoise headstock. In doing a little research, I learned that Sonny West, a well-known guitar builder out of Texas who also co-wrote several of Buddy Holly’s hits, made this guitar. I could see potential in this guitar, so I sniped it at the last minute for $90 with free shipping.

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New-design Full’Tron pickups turn a familiar semi-hollowbody into a potent axe that’ll wow fans of both vintage Gretsch sounds and sparkling modern tones.

After decades of largely being associated with country and rockabilly, Gretsch introduced the Center Block series in 2013 in an effort to appeal to guitarists who prefer a little more volume and gain. The series, which includes entry-level Streamliners, mid-level Electromatics, and high-end Japanese-built models, pairs Gretsch’s trademark laminated-maple semi-hollow construction with a spruce block running down the center of the body to reduce unwanted feedback.

Now, with the release of the center-block-equipped G6609TFM Players Edition Broadkaster (as well as the more compact G6659TFM Broadkaster Jr. single-cut), Gretsch seems poised to break down even more doors, thanks to the Broadkasters’ new Full’Tron pickups. The company’s first U.S.-made pickup debut in around 40 years, Full’Trons were designed specifically for Center Block instruments and feature alnico 5 and 2 magnets in the neck and bridge, respectively.

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