ES-345 Tone(s) Question
Posted 09 April 2017 - 06:56 PM
I know that tone is subjective but I'm finding that my high strings are very thin. My group currently plays 'classic stuff' from Neil Young/Tom Petty to Sheryl Crow/Linda Ronstadt.
As attached, I have a'65 (which I bought new while in my high school band) with a 'jumped' cable so it's coming out mono, into either a solid state 1-12 Marshall or my '73 VT-22 Ampeg.
If my 16 year-old self knew what I know now I probably would have opted for an LP, but I fell in love with the look and feel; love the '60's necks.
So, other 345 owners, what are you using/what are you playing?
Posted 10 April 2017 - 07:36 AM
As this is my third ES-3XX guitar (had a 320 and 335 prior to the 345), I can tell you there is no inherent design/build flaw in the 345 to make the high strings sound thin.
Here's a few things to try to see if your setup might be affecting your sound:
There have been many explanations written around the www about why you can’t just jump the signal wires together on a stereo 345. As I have never owned a “stereo” guitar, I have no personal experience with this other than reading the schematics. Comparing the Gibson wiring diagrams of the stereo vs. mono versions of the 345 (http://www.gibson.co...Schematics.aspx), it shows that it’s not just the output jack that is the difference, there is a completely different signal path and wiring order. As this conversion from stereo to mono is a MAJOR re-wire, which involves gutting the guitar, let’s look at some other things first.
The first thing I would do is to run this guitar true stereo. This will require a TRS to two TS ¼” breakout cable similar to what was originally furnished with the guitar from the factory. This type cable is made by “Hosa” for TRS effects loops, and available at stores such as GC. Run this “splitter” cable to two separate amps, not different channels of the same amp, or two inputs of the same amp channel, as there are “phase” issues here, same as just jumping the wires at the guitar jack. I would also plug in each side of the splitter cable individually. Check your results to see which, if any, of these tests might solve your problem. If so, you have “phase” issues at work here. I have read that the “phase” problems of using a stereo 345 in mono can be solved by flipping one of the magnets in one of the pickups. This is way above my pay grade, but the technical info is out there if you need it.
IF… the true-stereo test does not identify the problem, I would look next at pickup height adjustment on the treble side. Too low is bad, AND too high is bad. Again technical research and trial and error is needed here.
And then there is always string gauge to consider. Of course 8’s or 9’s will sound thinner than 10’s or 11’s, but a “balanced” set should be, well, balanced. I use 11’s or 12’s on my 345, but then I like piano wires on all my guitars (14’s on my jazzboxes).
I really think the “phase” issues are going to be your problem.
Posted 12 April 2017 - 02:52 PM
Thanks for the reply, btw.
Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:51 PM
I have no interest in having the guitar gutted/modded to a mono system, so I'll be further investigating the possibility of flipping a magnet.
Thanks for your suggestion, which I probably should have tried by now anyway.
I'd still be interested in what amps other vintage 345 owners use.