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Everything posted by spitball

  1. Your LPC truss cover appears to be placed a bit off-center to the left (see the top screw in relation to the inlays above it). As others have said, I wouldn't be worried about that in itself. The headstock looks legit to me overall.
  2. spitball


    Since I bought a Memphis 2011 ES-345 a few years ago, I have been crazy about the ES-345. It really is much like you described, relative to the ES-335 and ES-355. I personally think the older (say, mid 60s through early 80s) ES-345 and ES-355 instruments did sound a lot different than their ES-335 counterparts. The stereo wiring along with the Varitone kind of "smoothed out" the tone a bit, which wasn't necessarily bad in all cases, though I did not really care for the tone of the early 70s ES-355 I once had; it was rather bland. The newer ES-345 (and, I assume ES-355) made since the late 90s, seem to be "better" - though I don't really like all the internet-speak that groups models from one year or era into "better" and "worse" groups. But I like the fact that you get two jacks on the rim of the guitar, so you can play either in stereo or mono mode. Nice feature, there. (Note: This feature is not on the new '59 and '64 reissue ES-345). Also, the 2011 model I have seems to have the best tone of any Gibson I've ever had, including a couple late 60s ES models. I guess the combination of the pickups, the wood, and wiring is spot on. The bypass position sounds very full-on ES-335, and the other Varitone positions get those cool tonal effects. The darn thing just feels great in my hands too. I was a little leery of the "60s" neck these have until I actually played one. Mine is not super-thin as I'd feared. It's more like a medium profile; nicely rounded and smooth to hold.
  3. I haven't played an ES with the 50s neck. But I know that I dislike the super fat necks Gibson put on the R7 Les Pauls I once had. What Gibson calls "60s Slim", as on my 2011 ES-345, is just perfect for me. It's not super slim, and it's nicely rounded. I had a Yamaha SA2200 which felt too slim for me.
  4. After reading many threads on this subject in this and other forums, the only conclusion I can make is that you are likely to get a great guitar from either factory. My Memphis ES-345 is as good as - actually better than - any other Gibson I've ever had, including a couple made in Kalamazoo in the late 60s. The sound and feel are unmatched.
  5. I checked out the Sweetwater and Dave's websites. Wow, these are stunning! I am still plenty happy with my standard (and less expensive) Memphis ES-345 with dual jacks, but you can see that the new shapes are closer to the original. Strangely, nobody at Gibson seems to notice that the split inlays are still wider than they were in the old days.
  6. I saw this link posted on the Les Paul Forum by, I believe, Steve Selvidge, who is playing the 335. Its a good song, IMO, and the 335 and 345 both look and sound amazing. I have a red 345, and the only thing I regret is that it isn't sunburst like this one.
  7. The early 80s ES-335 DOT reissue guitars seem to be very well regarded on internet forums. Like the originals in the late 50s, I have seen them in cherry red, natural, and sunburst (though the DOT Reissue sunburst is quite different than the old sunbursts). The general consensus is that Gibson made many undesirable changes to many of their model specs and to the production process through the late 60s and 70s. Enjoy your 335...I would always like to have at least one Fender single-coil and one Gibson HB guitar.
  8. For a while, I had a '67 ES-335 and a '68 ES-345. They were excellent, but did not play or sound quite as good as the newbie 2011:
  9. I don't recall what solvent I used, but it didn't come out very clean and was a pain in the neck. I would recommend painting over the silkscreen or putting a sticker over it. If you really just want to remove it and have a clean case that looks like the silkscreen was never there - I don't have any good suggestions. I wanted it just to be blank, but I ultimately silkscreened my own name over the mess.
  10. I actually removed the "BB King" silkscreen from the case of my ES-345. Lord knows, I'm not trying to be BB King.
  11. Thank you... Although it is a touch blurry, it came out great, especially considering that I didn't try hard to compose the picture. I think it may have already been leaning there when I decided to take a picture.
  12. I think the standard 2011 ES-345 that I have is close enough already to whatever a "Freddie King" ES-345 would be. The main difference being the dual input jacks on the rim...which I prefer over the original single stereo jack on top.
  13. That's a 1983 serial number and that's a model that was being made in 1983, so it's certainly from '83.
  14. Since others have dared muddy the waters here with their respective 345 and 355 cousins, I will display my 345 too. :) This not a Historic, Reissue, Signature, etc...just a stock 2011 ES-345 made in the Memphis plant. It is the best Gibson electric I've had out of a dozen or so.
  15. I went back and looked at your '79 ES-355. I used to have a 1970-72 ES-355 that looked just like yours, with the very dark Walnut finish...not the tepid dung brown. Beautiful, but unfortunately, the tone of my guitar was pretty sterile, so it's long gone from my possession.
  16. The ES-335 DOT reissue (1981 onwards) went back to the original headstock angle without the volute.
  17. John, do you have pictures of your ES-345?
  18. Sounds like you made a good choice! I can echo your words about playability and sound. And yes, the neck is wonderful!
  19. I feel like a bit of a complainer to even mention the inlays. The 345 I have is so damned good that I do not covet any vintage models. Still, it's a silly thing for them to get "wrong".
  20. I have no idea why the dimensions were changed. The old ones look better. But as I mentioned, I like the new guitars enough to overlook this. The material seems to be a little brighter in color, too, making the change more noticeable to me.
  21. Has anyone else noticed that the twin parallelogram inlays on the ES-345 and other models changed sometime maybe back in the 90s? The inlays became wider and thus the space between them narrowed. Compare any Gibson with these inlays from the 1980s or earlier with one made in the 90s or later, and I think you'll see what I mean. The new ones look strange to me - almost like they're a Gibson copy. This doesn't bother me enough to pass on these guitars. My favorite Gibson I've ever bought is my 2011 ES-345.
  22. I have to disagree there. I can't think of a "major upgrade" that could be done to the Memphis 345. I suppose hide glue would be considered one. Other than that, I think the Memphis models have it going.
  23. I'm in agreement about the late 60s theory. The "witch hat" knobs started somewhere in 1967 (some '67 guitars have them, some don't). The bound f-holes started in the early 70s. I would take out the neck pickup and peek inside the cavity. If you can see the end of the neck tenon inside the cavity, then the guitar is probably from mid '67 to mid '69. Otherwise, I'd say late '69 or '70.
  24. My less-than educated guess is that you have a large streak of mineral deposits in the top. I personally like the unique marking it makes. If I really liked the guitar's feel and voice, I would keep it. However, I can understand a buyer passing on that guitar if the mark was too distracting for them.
  25. Did you ever make the comparison? I'm curious to hear reviews of vintage and reissue 345s.
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