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ES345 Heavy- due to variable tone control ? Can the variable tone control electronics be removed

#1 User is offline   WhiteCatzs 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 01:06 PM

Hi
I am new to the forum and Gibson guitars. I just bought the Memphis es345 with variable tone control- I love the guitar but find it very heavy and uncomfortable to wear. I didnít actually weigh it yet ( itís in the shop for a tune up at the moment)

My Questions are:
1) How much extra weight does the variable tone control assembly add to the ES345 ?

2) Without criticism or judgment ( or bringing up the topic of resale) - hypothetically, could the internal variable tone control electronics be easily removed ( to save weight) without damaging the finish ? The dial would still be left intact on the surface for asthetic purposes.

Thanks for the feedback.
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#2 User is offline   Larsongs 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:14 PM

How much does it weigh? 8 1/2 lbs. would be considered light for an ES335.. 9-10 Lbs. & even a bit more would be in the normal range..

My old ES345 weighed about the same as my current ES335. About 9 Lbs... About the same as my Les Paul Std....

One of the reasons I have Epi Casinos & a Memphis ES Les Paul with Bigsby... All are under 8 Lbs...

L
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#3 User is offline   gnappi 

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 09:16 AM

First off, welcome here.

The 345 is no lightweight, but then again neither are 335's. My 345 is 8lb 13oz. The 335's I own (3) I have weighed on a digital postal scale are at or a bit above 8 lb. 8oz. some (none I've owned and weighed) are known to tip the scale at 9 pounds.

By removing the VT, (and leaving behind whatever it takes to keep the chicken head knob) I don't think a few ounces is going to make any more difference than a wide leather strap won't cure easier and cheaper in the short and long run.

Side question? I'm not being critical, but what made you buy a git that's not known for being a featherweight? Sight unseen? ES-345's are not so rare that one can't be found in many major cities in the U.S and Europe to try out.

Anyway, If you want it lighter, maybe drilling weight relief holes into the block from inside the pup holes and "F" holes will work better? :-) Just kidding, though I'm surprised that no enterprising luthier has come up with such a scheme.

This post has been edited by gnappi: 15 March 2019 - 09:17 AM

Regards,

Gary
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#4 User is offline   WhiteCatzs 

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:38 AM

I canít tell you the weight since it is in the shop having some intonation problems being dealt with ( separate topic) and I never weighed it yet. The store gave me a 1963 custom shop es335 as a loaner until I get mine back- it feels much lighter 7.6lbs.

I never tried my es345 with a strap while standing when I bought it. I think I would have bought it anyways even if I did.

It is a limited edition frost blue colour which I really like and this colour does not appear on any Es 335ís. I do like the tone variations with the varitone, although I donít use it that much.

I have a wide leather strap ( doesnít help that much), maybe Iíll try adding some foam to the back of the strap when I get her back from the shop.

Iíve seen videos of Freddie King playing an ES345 with a wide strap and it is slung around his right shoulder rather than his left- wonder why he does that.
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#5 User is offline   Larsongs 

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 04:56 PM

That is a rare ES335 at 7 1/2 Lbs. You might think about buying it... I would if I didn't have one already... I've never seen one at 8 Lbs.

The Blue ones looks reminded me of the Ltd. Edition Epiphone Gary Clark Jr. Blak n Blu Casino.... Which was a very good Guitar... They were Hollow Body's. Most weighed about 7 - 7 1/2 Lbs. So that ES335 is exceptionally light....

In any case I loved my ES345 & should've kept it... I'd still have bought an ES335 too.... Eventually! Great Guitars! So versatile!!!

Good luck with yours,

L

This post has been edited by Larsongs: 15 March 2019 - 04:59 PM

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#6 User is offline   gnappi 

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:31 AM

View PostWhiteCatzs, on 15 March 2019 - 11:38 AM, said:

I can't tell you the weight since it is in the shop having some intonation problems being dealt with ( separate topic) and I never weighed it yet. The store gave me a 1963 custom shop es335 as a loaner until I get mine back- it feels much lighter 7.6lbs.

I never tried my es345 with a strap while standing when I bought it. I think I would have bought it anyways even if I did.

It is a limited edition frost blue colour which I really like and this colour does not appear on any Es 335's. I do like the tone variations with the varitone, although I don't use it that much.

I have a wide leather strap ( doesn't help that much), maybe I'll try adding some foam to the back of the strap when I get her back from the shop.



+1 on snatching up that 335.

Are you measuring 7.6 pounds at 7 lb. 9.6 oz or 7 lb. 6 ounces? In either case that's an extraordinarily light 335 and definitely not one to compare to other typical 335's.

Regards,

Gary
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#7 User is online   FZ Fan 

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 06:55 PM

My BB has a Varitone. It's not a light guitar. Its got a maple neck and laminated map/pop/map top, back, and sides.

This post has been edited by FZ Fan: 18 March 2019 - 06:56 PM

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#8 User is online   Twang Gang 

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 07:45 PM

I don't think removing the Varitone controls is going to lighten the guitar enough to be noticeable. Plus those controls are what set the guitar apart from other models like 335s.

Maple is heavy and the sandwich of maple/poplar/maple plus the maple neck just make it heavier. There is no getting around this. If you want that sound you will just have to adapt to the weight.

Get a good wide padded strap and play a lot to build up your tolerance and get used to it. It will be worth the effort.

A lot of those old players put the strap just over the right shoulder, but I wouldn't recommend it. Too easy to slip off and certainly not a way to distribute the weight any better.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2018 Taylor 814 CE DLX (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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