ES 335 Artist
Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:48 PM
That's an ES-Artist--no 335 in the name.
It's built like an ES-355 without f-holes, the electronic forerunner of what's now the Lucille model.
It has active electronics by Moog--the three toggles activate a compressor, an expander and a bright boost. The tone controls are active bass and treble. It was quite versatile, able to do a wide variety of tones, but the built-in buffering made it impossible to get a standard Gibson humbucker sound without modifying the guitar with a pickup-loading circuit. Activating both the expander and compressor produced a unique sound that I used often.
There was also a matching LP-Artist and an RD-Artist.
Here's a photo of one of my '78 ES-Artists along with a '71 ES-355, taken ca 1978:
Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:26 AM
Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:34 PM
The pickups on the Artist series look like standard humbuckers but are specially-made, low-output, wide-range ones. In addition, they are buffered by the electronics from the normal cable loading with standard electronics, so there isn't the resonant peak and roll-off that is part of the expected humbucker sound. Although the active electronics has a wide range of treble boost and cut, it can't replicate this response.
I loaded the pickups by installing a parallel r/c network right across the toggle switch center contacts to approximate the normal humbucker sound. Since it's been over 30 years, I don't remember what values I used, but it worked pretty well and didn't seem to affect adversely the range of tones that the guitar could produce. It was easily reversible, too.
Hope this helps.
Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:16 AM
But why not a reissue of these with Firebird X technology in place of the Moog circuit? These guitars strike me as essentially the wrong technology in a great looking package: the Firebird X seemed like a lot of very interesting ideas in a package only a mother could love. Given the X didn't exactly take the world by storm, it seems a shame to waste the R&D time and money invested, and it strikes me that guitarists who are interested in the principal of digital guitars might be more accepting of a traditional looking upmarket instrument with the technology on board.
So there you have it: rescue Gibson's least successful design since the tenor lute by combining it with, well, their second least successful design since the tenor lute! Sounds like the kind of crazy plan Gibson would delight in...
Anyway, great looking guitar. Interesting how pointy the corners are compared to the '71 ES-355. My '79 ES-355 is similar to the Artist, noticably pointier than the earlier models.
Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:46 AM
Ive talked him down to 2500 Hundred