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Everything posted by lpdeluxe

  1. I use a local company that can build a box to fit. FedEx might be able to do that. I would ship it without the case: a properly made box will work well enough. I have a bass that came from Japan without a case in a cardboard box, with zero issues. If Gibson requires shipping it in the case, that's another matter obviously.
  2. A friend told me a long time ago (probably ca. 1982): "always buy gear you can gig with. You'll grow into it, and when it's time to move on, you'll get more for it." I had a similar discussion with my stepson's father, who questioned why, as a classic guitar student, he needed a custom-made nylon string from a local luthier who had made a gorgeous steel string acoustic for me. I told him that it would always be worth more than he paid for it, and that having a quality guitar meant not wasting his time (as many of us have) trying to learn complex technique on a substandard instrument, with the concomitant poor action and sound. Another issue: I bought this perfect '00 ES-335 from craigslist for $1750US in 2009:
  3. I'd love to have a red, mono ES-335 with a Bigsby, but the amount of time I spend playing electric guitar these days makes a purchase impractical. I guess I'll just have to get by with my 335. In 1982, I pondered a 347 vs a Chet Atkins Country Gent. Gretsch won out at the time, but, having sold it in '07 (for multiples of what I had paid for it), I toyed first with a Les Paul and later with an SG before settling on the beauty pictured below. For what it's worth, my current playing partner is plugging into my Deluxe Reverb when he comes by on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it sounds terrific. Ah, but that red 355....
  4. The Gibson knobs are very likely original. On the other hand, Adrian Ingram's book, The Gibson 335 has an undated catalog photo of an ES-347 (p 49) that shows speed knobs. I have a 1982 Gibson catalog that shows the top hats, I think.
  5. One other possibility: Elderly Guitars in Lansing, MI http://www.elderly.com/ maintains a data base of which cases fit which guitars. You might give them a call.
  6. My personal favorite is the Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight. I have one that gets heavy use, both by myself and my friends. We use it to amplify a Fishman-equipped Martin, a Martin EM18, a Carvin SH550, a '69 ES-340 and my own 335. It never fails to deliver a great tone, and it's small and light weight (25.6 lb) with a 1x12 speaker and 250 watts; it has chorus, delay and reverb in various combinations. I also have a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue and a Bandmaster VM head on a Weber California Ceramic 15 cabinet. Each one has its virtues, but the JM hits a real sweet spot. I traded off a Blues Jr NOS (tweed, Jensen speaker) because it couldn't compete, soundwise. It was small and handsome, but it didn't really contribute to the sound the way the others do.
  7. Not any one player, but had I seen the EC clips posted earlier, that would have done it! F-hole guitars just always seemed to be in the hands of knowledgeable players, while solid bodies belonged to guys who jumped around a lot. But mostly I guess I liked the traditional look of the f-hole. I've never tried to emulate other guitarists, for some reason, and I've never thought of myself as a "guitarist." I play electric bass, and electric guitar, and harmonica --almost forgot, Dobro -- with different lineups, so I think of myself as a musician who plays guitar. Sorry 'bout that.
  8. I have owned Kalamazoo, Memphis and Nashville guitars, and there's no difference in my experience. Gibson, like other manufacturers, depends heavily upon accurate jigs and fixtures to ensure consistency. It's not like a one-man luthier shop where there might be enormous variation between instruments.Checkout this video and you'll see what I mean. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4764707652331081865
  9. The current serial numbers have the date of manufacture encoded in them, so that's easy to check.
  10. It was a combination of things. I'm tall and rangey, and solid bodies -- although I loved the Les Paul gold top and the SG w/Bigsby I had -- just don't fit me. The ergonomics of a 335 are a lot better, as far as I'm concerned. My first really good guitar was a '63 Chet Atkins Country Gent. I played it steadily for 25 years, and I didn't know what I was missing until I got the LP. Hello, upper frets! But it was a boat anchor, so I added the SG. Much easier on my shoulder, but still too small. At last I found the 335 for a remarkable price and that did it for me: feel, sound and looks. Pics are always nice:
  11. lpdeluxe


    No. It's just the angle of the camera.
  12. =sigh= If I **EVER** find a cherry red 335 with mono wiring and a Bigsby....
  13. Danny W, gorgeous collection! Here are two of my favorites, along with a Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight: The speaker cabinet is a Weber California Ceramic 15 in one of their now discontinued boxes.
  14. My November 2000 lightly figured natural:
  15. lpdeluxe


    I have a 2000 Memphis-built 335 that I found on craigslist for $1750 with case. It's a honey, and just this morning I installed a Bigsby B-5 with a Vibramate. Here's a picture: Your question is pretty wide-ranging and you'll get a lot of answers. Some will tell you that this or that year or place of manufacture means it's junk, but look at each one individually and make up your own mind.
  16. I learned how to cut nuts a long time ago, and it's a skill that frequently repays. You can get a set of nut slot files at stewmac.com and be set for life.http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Files/Gauged_Nut_Slotting_Files.html
  17. I bought mine off craigslist for San Antonio. I was planning a quick trip to Austin and decided to look for a 335. I had recently sold a '63 Chet Atkins Country Gent for a bit over $3K, so I wasn't afraid of spending a little money. In the event, the 335 was so perfect that I didn't haggle -- I just handed over the asking price, which was a pretty good deal anyway. So keep looking. They are out there, if you are persistent. Of course, I ended up driving 310 one way to get it, but in Texas we're used to distances. I hate to sound like a snob, but it really is better than any Epiphone I've seen. As I mentioned, once I got it I sold my other electrics (a Les Paul and a Bigsby-equipped SG) because this one does it for me.
  18. I guess I'm a little late to the party, but I'll add my virtual $.02 worth: a couple of years ago I traded for a Sheraton II. I'd always thought they were excellent "bang for the buck" guitars and I had previously owned an Epi Bluegrass resonator that was nicely made, even if it didn't have a sound that excited me. In any case, I really liked the Epiphone neck, and the look (after I took off the pickguard and changed out the pickup rings and knobs). It didn't have much of a sound, so I swapped in a pair of Seymour Duncans. In passing, that was major surgery and very tedious to do, since everything has to go in and out through the treble f-hole, which, on my Samick-built SII, was too small for conventional pots. After I finally got it done, it still didn't sound like much, and I stumbled upon a 335 for $1750. As soon as I picked up the Gibson, I knew I had to have it. Two years later, and it is now my sole electric guitar. My Les Paul and SG are gone, and so is the Epiphone. An objective comparison between the Epiphone and the Gibson: the Sheraton was made of lower-quality wood with visible flaws (no surprise, there) while the 335 has lightly figured, unmarred timber. The neck and headstock inlays are fancier on the Epiphone, but there was noticeable filler around the "vine" inlays. The 13-year-old (at that time) pots and switch were noisy (I replaced them with better quality parts when I rewired it) on the Epi, while the 5-year younger 335 has zero issues. Of course, the Sheraton has the 5-piece maple neck, while the Gibson uses a single piece of nice mahogany. The pickguard on the Epiphone was flimsy and poorly mounted, while that on the Gibson is solid and, in my opinion, much more attractive. Other things like the hard shell case are more robust than the Epiphone equivalent (the case on it was starting to come apart inside). Subjectively, I couldn't bond with the Sheraton. It didn't have a sound I liked, and it had some odd omissions such as the lack of side markers above the 12th fret (although the wood joints were a useful guide). It felt lighter and not as sturdy as the 335. The Gibson, on the other hand, is exactly what I wanted in appearance, feel, ergonomics and sound. In other words, the Epiphone didn't seem to be worth the roughly $400 (considering my time, trade-in, and parts) I had in it; the Gibson was a bargain. Pics:
  19. I vote for the 335. I have one, and it's a much better fit for me (I'm tall, with long arms). If you're really a solid-body guy one of the others might be better. I've sold my Les Paul and SG because they were too small, so it may be you can ignore my advice.
  20. Bigsby vibratos were designed in the era before slinky strings. I had a '63 Gretsch Chet Atkins that stayed in tune really well once I put .011s, with a wound 3rd on it. Another tip is to find the strings you like on it, then change the strings one at a time and tune each one to pitch as you install it. This minimizes the difficulties and will result in fast tune-ups with new strings.
  21. Very cool. I had a "'nother guitar manufacturer starting with the letter 'G'" Chet Atkins Country Gent (that would be a Brooklyn-made '63, not Japanese) and I loved the upper-bout strap button and the Bigsby. Alas, the rest of it was not up to my 335. By the time (almost 30 years later) I got the Gibson, my chassis had evolved to the point that I sit down when I play -- otherwise I would emulate your clever mod. Pictures are called for: (Chester) (Larry) "Larry?" Where did THAT come from?
  22. Correction: Norlin sold Gibson in 1986. A friend has a gorgeous bird's-eye maple ES-340 in natural from 1969. The wood in it puts my '00 lightly figured 335 to shame, plus his has turned a lovely amber over the years. By the way, everything I have ever read on the 340 has said that natural was a rare finish, but every one I have seen or seen a picture of has been blonde.
  23. Norlin ran Gibson from late '68 into '82. They made a lot of boneheaded changes to cut costs (Norlin was made up of a couple of MBAs who worshiped the bottom line) but that doesn't mean there are no good Norlins. I had a '70 LP Deluxe with all the "bad" features -- pancake body, volute -- and it sang. I sold it after I got my dream guitar, a blonde 335.
  24. I've got D'Addario EJ21s on my 335: .012/.016/.024w/.032/.042/.052. They sing.
  25. I have plugged my 335 into a Blues Jr NOS, a Deluxe Reverb Reissue, a Jazzmaster Ultralight, a Band-Master VM head with a Weber California Ceramic 15 cabinet, ZT Lunchbox and Club amps, and a Silvertone 1484 (all of them mine, except for the ZTs which were part of an evaluation I participated in). I like an amp with a rounder bottom end and a sweeter top (the BM/Weber) over the brighter amps like the DRRI and the Lunchbox. The ZT Club got pretty close, but the overall tone was a little too one-dimensional. The BJ was a bit recessed sounding, and the next best after the BM/W was the JM. Finally, the 1484 just sounds good, but unfortunately the nearly-60-old reverb is pretty crappy, and it's not an amp I like to haul around. I leave the tone controls fairly flat, adjusting for different rooms, and prefer amps with separate gain/volume controls so I can add a little distortion when needed (this doesn't really apply to the Silvertone: its tone controls are really limited). I like to use the neck pickup, which probably puts me in the minority of 335 owners. There's a mid-range presence that I'm always trying for; an amp has to have a little sparkle for me without a harsh treble. I could probably happily go with the Jazzmaster if I could only have one, because it's the lightest one and is the most versatile, but "my" sound seems to be in the Band-Master/Weber beast. I hope you find an amp you really like -- the 335 is a great guitar.
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