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Ry Cooders "ES-9"?

#1 User is offline   brians356 

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:44 PM

In May 2003 Guitar Player Magazine had an article about Ry Cooder in which he is shown holding a Gibson archtop with three P-90s and only three volume controls (no tone controls, and no PU selector switch.) The caption of the picture says it is an "1949 ES-9". I can find no evidence any such Gibson model ever existed, in books or on the Internet. Was it a typo, or a one-off custom model?

Brian

'48(?) LG-3, '53 LG-3, '57 LG-2 "3/4"
'49 J-50, '52 J-45
'57 Country Western, '59 Country Western, '64 B-25-12N
'57 ES-225 TD, '59 ES-225 TD, '67 ES-330 TD, '75 SG Standard
'88 Epiphone PR-715, '04 Epi Elitist J-200, '08 Epi Elitist J-200
'07 Jackson Browne CS Prototype
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#2 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:51 AM

After a LOT of searches, I found this photo at a site called rycooder.nl

Posted Image

On this website, they refer to it as a '49 ES-9.

Was this the photo in the magazine? Clearly, it does have a tone knob, in the normal place, because it's an ES-5.
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#3 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

ES-9 is a typo. It's definitely an ES-5.
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#4 User is offline   brians356 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:05 PM

The picture in the magazine (as I recall, I'm in the office now) shows three knobs (I believe in a straight row), and no selector switch. The caption said there were three volume controls and no tone controls. It also said "the pickups are similar to what Merle Travis had" whatever that means.

Nobody else has the May 2003 GP issue? You mean I'm the only guy who is "buried alive" under old magazines?

Brian

'48(?) LG-3, '53 LG-3, '57 LG-2 "3/4"
'49 J-50, '52 J-45
'57 Country Western, '59 Country Western, '64 B-25-12N
'57 ES-225 TD, '59 ES-225 TD, '67 ES-330 TD, '75 SG Standard
'88 Epiphone PR-715, '04 Epi Elitist J-200, '08 Epi Elitist J-200
'07 Jackson Browne CS Prototype
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#5 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:13 PM

View Postbrians356, on 03 April 2012 - 12:05 PM, said:

The picture in the magazine (as I recall, I'm in the office now) shows three knobs (I believe in a straight row), and no selector switch. The caption said there were three volume controls and no tone controls. It also said "the pickups are similar to what Merle Travis had" whatever that means.

Nobody else has the May 2003 GP issue? You mean I'm the only guy who is "buried alive" under old magazines?

Brian

Can you post a scan?

An ES-5 has the three volume knobs in a row. No switch, but it has a master tone control. Maybe Cooder removed the tone knob? [confused]
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#6 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:16 PM

View Postbrians356, on 03 April 2012 - 12:05 PM, said:

It also said "the pickups are similar to what Merle Travis had" whatever that means.

I thought Travis had regular P90's (like and ES-5 had) on his Super 400. I don't think it's a significant comment.
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#7 User is offline   brians356 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

Actually, the pic from rycooder.nl you posted is the "ES-9" pic from the GP article, except the site cropped most of Ry out of the image (as was done on all the pics on the site.)

And this is Ry's description in the article:

"The '49 Gibson ES-9 is fitted with the same pickups Merle Travis had. There's no master volume, just a volume for each pickup.The neck pickup is the sound of a beautiful, big, purple gabardine suit. If you want to twang a bit, you dial the rear pickup in a little and you're there. It has a very rigid top, so it doesn't feed back."

So I was mistaken about the selector switch, and possibly about the tone control. Are there more than 3 knobs in that picture?

But the mystery still remains - in the article "ES-9" is mentioned at least twice, so it's not a simple "typo" in the strict sense of the word. So unless there was a massive screw-up by GP, I believe Ry believes he has an "ES-9."

Brian

'48(?) LG-3, '53 LG-3, '57 LG-2 "3/4"
'49 J-50, '52 J-45
'57 Country Western, '59 Country Western, '64 B-25-12N
'57 ES-225 TD, '59 ES-225 TD, '67 ES-330 TD, '75 SG Standard
'88 Epiphone PR-715, '04 Epi Elitist J-200, '08 Epi Elitist J-200
'07 Jackson Browne CS Prototype
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#8 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:33 PM

In the picture I posted, there are four knobs, as I described. It's an ES-5. No mystery, except why somebody would call it an ES-9.
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#9 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

ES-5:

Posted Image
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#10 User is offline   brians356 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

Got it, in my weakened condition the tone knob looked like a toggle switch in that blurry picture.

So, either Ry himself or GP Magazine will have to explain why they published "ES-9".

Brian

'48(?) LG-3, '53 LG-3, '57 LG-2 "3/4"
'49 J-50, '52 J-45
'57 Country Western, '59 Country Western, '64 B-25-12N
'57 ES-225 TD, '59 ES-225 TD, '67 ES-330 TD, '75 SG Standard
'88 Epiphone PR-715, '04 Epi Elitist J-200, '08 Epi Elitist J-200
'07 Jackson Browne CS Prototype
0

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