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Looking for a hollowbody electric (probably an ES-330) and have questions

#1 User is offline   teledan 

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:58 PM

Hey all! I just joined the forum because I have some questions I hope you can help with. I am looking at getting a thin hollowbody electric, preferably with two P90s. The models I have been looking into are:

ES-330
ES-125 TDC
ES-225 TD (probably a re-issue unless I can find a decent vintage one)
ES-275 P90 (I sort of doubt I will be able to find one but they look sweet)

I am definitely leaning toward an ES-330 one reason is because they are easier to find and are still being made. My questions/concerns are mainly related to the neck profiles of these guitars. I definitely prefer a more slim profile (I love the feel of my Blueshawk) but it is not an absolute deal breaker for me. I know that the ES-330 came with different profiles over the years and I would assume the ES-125 and ES-225 had similar profiles over the years as well. Does anyone have any specific information on the neck profiles of these two models though? Also, what about the ES-225 reissue that they did around 2014? And does anyone have any info on the ES-275 neck profile? Anyone have an ES-275 P90? How do you like it?

As for the ES-330, I am leaning toward the 1961 reissue but could possibly go for an ES-330l (Long neck). I don't really want the bigsby on the 61 but would be ok with it as long as it doesn't affect the tone of the hollowbody too much. Any thoughts on this? Am I being paranoid? The ES-330l seems like a nice guitar but I don't really like some of the hardware (the tuners and the knobs mainly). The longer neck seems like it may come in handy and I believe it is a slim profile (anyone know?) but the shorter neck definitely isn't a deal breaker. I think the 61 would be perfect but I am just not sure how I feel about the bigsby. I really wish I could play an ES-330 before I spend money but I haven't found one at any shops around here. I actually called up one of the local Guitar Centers and asked if they had an ES-330 and the kid's like "Oh yeah, we have one of those and it is on sale for $1500" so I drive all the way down there and he pulls out an ES-335 studio! I was kind of peaved. Anyway, I feel like I am rambling now so I will shut up :)
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#2 User is offline   teledan 

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:23 PM

Is $2100 a good deal for a 1961 ES-330 VOS? I think it is a blem or maybe a floor model. Is that a good enough price to jump on it or do they come up often for that kind of money? I am so tempted to pull the trigger, my wife might break my legs but at least I would have this guitar to play while I heal :)
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#3 User is offline   Versatile 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:41 AM

Hi and welcome to the forums.....[thumbup]

Interesting questions....

Can't help with the more specific neck profile enquiries....purely personal....they don't interest me : I take a guitar at face value and adapt to a variety of designs and set-ups....

Historically the ES225 was the direct predecessor to the ES330...

IMO they are both fine guitars with different ergonomics

The ES225 IMO has quite a 'fat neck' and fills the palm quite substantially more than the ES330

That is OK....they both play and sound excellent to my taste.....

The ES225, with it's combination tailpiece/bridge has more of a vintage mojo and less adjustability than the ES330

The ES225 reissue has underwound P90's which IMO give a smoother less aggressive tone which some would prefer....

Enjoy the chase.....[thumbup]

V

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Fiddling at the Pearly Gates
or somewhere
Lower and Warmer....

I like kayaking....it really floats my boat....

I dig most stuff....
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#4 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:50 AM

I would advise you NOT to buy a guitar with a Bigsby without playing it (or another with a Bigsby) first as it changes the feel of the guitar. Not the tone though!

I am in UK so cannot help on price - everything is much more over here! For instance the 1961 ES-330 VOS is in various UK/Europe dealers from £2,600 to £2,999 so it sounds to me like your price in dollars is actually quite cheap.

The 330 is a good choice, generally these have a slightly shorter scale length.
In recent years there have been some 330 reissues with very fat necks so try before you buy.

The ES275 seems to be exactly what you want but is much more expensive and a limited run.

http://www.gibson.co...5-P-90-VOS.aspx

I have a 2013 ES-175 with Bigsby and P-94 (P-90s in hb housing) pups.

Good luck.
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#5 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:59 AM

A little bit of first-hand info re a couple of 330 models:

> The ES-330L has Gibson's 30/60 neck. It's just a tad bit wider than the traditional '60s profile, and is very nicely rolled on the edges. I generally like rather smallish necks, and find this profile to be super comfortable all the way up the neck. Mine is a 2010 model, in Beale St. Blue. I have two other Gibsons that share the 30/60 profile, and imho, it's a real winner.

> The 2012 ES-330 VOS is an absolutely wonderful recreation of the '59 ES-330, but the necks were typically quite chunky. When these were in stores, I played three. The first two were way too fat for me, but the third one was a natural finish example with a significantly smaller neck profile. It felt & sounded so good that I never let it out of my hands for fear someone else would pick it up - and brought it home. The moral of the story is that they definitely are not all created equal.

As for the '61 reissue ES-330 VOS you mentioned, $2100 seems like a very fair price if it's essentially like new. If the store has a reasonable return policy, it would be worth getting the guitar in-hand to give it a test run.

Best of luck in your quest!
> 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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#6 User is offline   teledan 

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:34 PM

Thank you all for your responses! That 30/60 neck sounds nice, I have heard great things about it. DO you know of any other models that use this same neck profile? I really wish I could play some of these before I make a decision.
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#7 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 02:17 PM

View Postteledan, on 13 November 2017 - 01:34 PM, said:

That 30/60 neck sounds nice, I have heard great things about it. DO you know of any other models that use this same neck profile?

When the ES-339 was initially released in 2007, it came in two versions: one with the 30/60 neck, and the other with the fatter '59 profile. That's the first time I remember seeing the 30/60 neck designation. I have a 339 made in 2009, and it's exactly the same 30/60 profile as on my 2010 330-L.

I also have a Les Paul Special from 2012, with a neck profile that was not listed as a 30/60, but mirrors it virtually to a tea (even though the LP was made in Nashville, while the ES-330L & ES-339 were made in Memphis).

There are probably others I'm not aware of. I imagine you'd just have to browse through spec sheets. I don't know if the 30/60 neck designation is still being used, as I haven't really followed this closely since around 2012.
> 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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#8 User is offline   teledan 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:51 AM

Thank you! Anyone know the difference between the 30/60 profile and the "slim 1961 neck profile"?
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#9 User is offline   teledan 

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:42 PM

Anyone know what the neck profile on the current ES-330 model is like?

http://www.gibson.co...S-330-2018.aspx

Is it chunkier like a 59 or is it more slim? They have it listed as a “Rounded C” profile but I am not sure how that compares. Thanks for all the help!!
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#10 User is offline   teledan 

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:30 PM

Ok I found a bit of info on the 2018 model. It looks like they are about .825" at the 1st fret and 1.0" at the 12th fret. So not quite as thick as the 59 but chunkier than the 61. Not sure where the 30/60 falls into all of that but I think I have narrowed my decision down to either the 2018 model or a 1961 VOS. I just really wish they would have made the bigsby optional on the 61 VOS :(

EDIT: Regarding the 30/60 profile, I did find this bit of info in another post:

"It designates it's a 60's neck profile but 0.030" thicker (not a lot so it feels more like a 60's neck than a 50's)."
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#11 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 02:41 AM

View Postteledan, on 21 November 2017 - 02:30 PM, said:

EDIT: Regarding the 30/60 profile, I did find this bit of info in another post:
"It designates it's a 60's neck profile but 0.030" thicker (not a lot so it feels more like a 60's neck than a 50's)."

I would agree that it feels more like a '60s neck than a '50s, but you can certainly feel the additional width when compared to a '60s profile. That said, on the 30/60 neck examples I have, the way the edges are rolled is a big part of the overall comfort equation.
> 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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