Gibson Guitar Board: ES-330 VOS - I want one but don't like the 2-piece parts - Gibson Guitar Board

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ES-330 VOS - I want one but don't like the 2-piece parts

#1 User is offline   Sofaplayer 

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:29 PM

So everyone who has actually played one is raving about this guitar. I am really tempted to buy one but apparently the 2012 models have a 2-piece layered fretboard and a 1-piece top and back while the 2013 models have a 1-piece fretboard but a 2-piece top and back. Can anyone confirm this or do they exist with a 1-piece fretboard *and* a 1-piece top and back without that nasty seam running from neck to tailpiece?

Although I don't suppose I would see, feel or hear a difference, I don't want a layered fretboard because I am concerned about stability when it needs to be refretted and because I think it may have a negative impact on resale value in decades from now. I want a 1-piece top and back merely for cosmetic reasons. No need to discuss that further.

Also, what part of the serial indicates the year of production? Those Memphis serials sure are difficult to decipher.


Thanks for your comments.
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#2 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 01:38 AM

I have a 2012 natural finish, purchased after A-Bing three, and the plugged & unplugged tone is stellar - to such a degree that the two piece fretboard became a non-issue for me. I literally could not leave the store without that particular 330.

Play every one you can get your hands on for the best frame of reference. It also so happened that the one I fell for had a slightly smaller neck profile, which fit me like a glove. They truly are not all created equal.

As for the criteria you have outlined, I've heard that some 2013s were to be made with a one piece front & back, but haven't seen one yet.

You might try emailing customer service regarding serial numbers, as you will have to go with a 2013 to get the one piece board.

Good luck in your search.
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
> Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada-Elitist) / '09 Elitist 1965 Casino
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood D / > Ibanez: '81 M-340
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire
'14 Savoy A-150b / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#3 User is offline   Spoonful 

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 04:35 AM

Hi,

I don't own one, but want one. Looking at the specs - the top and back are made of laminated wood. Would they really need to make them out of multiple pieces? That seems strange.
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#4 User is offline   bram99 

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:08 PM

I have a 2012 VSB...the top is laminated with a single top sheet (no seam)....I have no idea if the fretboard is or is not laminated and don't care. I could understand the concern for cosmetic reasons if you were talking about a visible laminated acoustic bridge, but the fret board is bound and there is no way to tell. I am with Babouz on this one.....once i got my hands on a 330 VOS in a store, I did not set it down until i was putting it in my car...these are fantastic instruments....I would not let a potentially laminated fretboard be the deciding factor here...

resale decades from now? This is the way Gibson made them, decades from now yours will be "original two piece fretboard".

these 330s are really really nice.....enjoy it and take care of it and the resale will be there as much as any other really nice well cared for vintage guitar.

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#5 User is offline   brez9091 

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

These VOS 330's are so great i bought the burst blonde and cherry. Like anither said " I HAD to have them. I believe the fingerboard issue to be a NON issue. It looks grest and plays great. There are no dead spots at all. Not always the case. I predict that, because Gibson started doing these boards as a result of an over reaching government raid, and for a very brief time, it makes them historically significant, and potentually desirable down the road. Assuming they hold up well over time. I think they will. And don't see refrets being a problem. Best newGibsons i've ever had. Along with my 1997 Gibson Tal Farlow. Gibson's all time sleeper bang for the buck model.
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#6 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:23 AM

I have a guitar with a two piece fretboard. I would have rather had a one piece fretboard. It's probably not a big deal. But it's surely not as desirable as a one piece fretboard. I can't see any of these guitars with oddball woods becoming valuable because they have these woods. These are less valuable variations of the models.

The tops and backs shouldn't have a seam in them. They're made from plywood. The models shown on the Gibson website don't have any seams in them.
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#7 User is offline   brez9091 

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:55 AM

I agree. I'm not saying they are better. I was not happy to be served pancakes when i ordered steak.
But, in this case, my pancakes sound better cooking than my other steak dinners.
If you can follow my babble.
I do think early enviromental movement related ephemera, like things related to this cites raid, might make it collectable. Rarity is a prime mover.
Thanks fir your take on things delivered in such a civil manner. Greatly appreciated. Don't get me going about Gibson. They are disingenuous in a multitude of ways.
But, still, now and then, they turn out some of the BEST guitars.
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#8 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:37 PM

.
On bound fretboards, if you take off the nut, you can see the glue seam -

Posted Image


Those that say a glued two piece fretboard is more stable than a single piece haven't taken a good look at a Gibson laminated fretboard - the top layer is thinner than the bottom and the fret tangs cut the top layer into 22 little pieces of wood, making it no more stable than a one piece fretboard.

Posted Image


Regarding collector value - who knows, but I wouldn't put any stock in the idea. All of these alternatives are virtually gone now and Gibson is back to rosewood an ebony for fretboards - I would guess because that's what the customers want.

Having said all that, if I was in love with a guitar, a laminated fretboard wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me.


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Posted Image
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Life.. is.. short,.. buy.. the.. guitar.
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#9 User is offline   brez9091 

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:02 PM

I agree with all of that.
But all the guitars i've played that had the pancaked boards HAVE been great.
1 solid piece is always preferable to me.
But you may have noticed. When they went back to one piece, the jacked up prices.
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#10 User is offline   Sofaplayer 

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:11 PM

Baked maple may become desireable, not a layered rosewood board. In 30 years from now, all 2012 Gibsons with a rosewood board will be less valueable than 2011s or 2013s. My 2 cts. What beats it is the Gibson marketing babble about enhanced stability and that they were kind enough to not raise the prices although the production had become more expensive. Now it's the same with the 2-piece top and back. Gibson says that they did that because some of the more exclusive models in the 60ies had 2-piece tops and backs. The real reason is probably some kind of saving in the production process. They are really trying to take us on a ride - again!

I'll pass up on this guitar, I just don't think that they deserve my money on this.

The guitar may be great and all. I know it's my loss.

Still, happy playing to all of yout that have bought it.
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#11 User is offline   soundjunkie 

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:43 PM

My strat body is three-pieces, sounds awesome though. For bodies..ya cheap cheap, but tonally whats the real dif? The fretboard on ANY guitar should be one lamination of rosewood or maple. I can't believe these photo's. For real? On a guitar produced in the usa! I have to say that is really disappointing!
"Gonna Roll Till I'm Old and Rock Till I Drop" Foghat
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#12 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:25 AM

I've never seen a plywood top with a seam in it. :unsure:
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#13 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:14 PM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 08 September 2013 - 06:25 AM, said:

I've never seen a plywood top with a seam in it. :unsure:

That's what the 2013 ES-330 VOS is sporting.
I much prefer the more standard one-piece top,
whereas the two piece (I assume) fretboard
on my 2012 doesn't bother me in the least,
since I can't see it!
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
> Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada-Elitist) / '09 Elitist 1965 Casino
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood D / > Ibanez: '81 M-340
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire
'14 Savoy A-150b / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#14 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:32 AM

View Postbobouz, on 08 September 2013 - 01:14 PM, said:

That's what the 2013 ES-330 VOS is sporting.
I much prefer the more standard one-piece top,
whereas the two piece (I assume) fretboard
on my 2012 doesn't bother me in the least,
since I can't see it!

You still got me scratching my head. You must have run into the only one with a seam in it. All the pix I see are normal looking. Got pix?
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#15 User is offline   bram99 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:40 PM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 09 September 2013 - 05:32 AM, said:

You still got me scratching my head. You must have run into the only one with a seam in it. All the pix I see are normal looking. Got pix?


it is true...

http://davesguitar.c...mphis/es-330-4/

odd give that it is plywood.

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#16 User is offline   Spoonful 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:48 PM

Maybe thats to make it look like solid wood???? What next?
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#17 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:56 PM

.

I don't care for that look at all. If they don't bookmatch those two plies, I agree there seems to be no purpose but to make the production cost cheaper, with no regard to the way the look.


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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Life.. is.. short,.. buy.. the.. guitar.
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#18 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:29 AM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 09 September 2013 - 05:32 AM, said:

You still got me scratching my head. You must have run into the only one with a seam in it. All the pix I see are normal looking. Got pix?

Along with the above pic from Dave's, as of today on Sweetwater's Guitar Gallery, they have five new 330s (4 sunburst, 1 natural), all with two piece tops. In particular if you look at the shots taken at an angle from the bass side, or enlarge the photos, it becomes easier to distinguish the two pieces between the trapeze tailpiece.
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
> Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada-Elitist) / '09 Elitist 1965 Casino
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood D / > Ibanez: '81 M-340
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire
'14 Savoy A-150b / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#19 User is offline   rduval 

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:46 AM

My '12 Cherry is definitely one piece, I just checked. The 2 piece does seem odd and "cheap" for a Custom Shop guitar, especially at these prices.
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#20 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:31 AM

View Postbobouz, on 10 September 2013 - 10:29 AM, said:

Along with the above pic from Dave's, as of today on Sweetwater's Guitar Gallery, they have five new 330s (4 sunburst, 1 natural), all with two piece tops. In particular if you look at the shots taken at an angle from the bass side, or enlarge the photos, it becomes easier to distinguish the two pieces between the trapeze tailpiece.


Oh yeah. Wow. That's weird. The new ones must be 2 piece. They do look kind of cheesy.
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