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Ian s

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  1. Ian s

    es 12 string

    Had similar problem with mine, after much trial and error it is now with D'Addario EXL 150s 10-46s which have lighter octave strings than the Ernie Balls so a bit more comfortable. Still has a pretty dark sound for an electric 12 string though. I have 2 other electric 12 strings - an Italia which is very jangly, the top half of an EDS- 1275 which is full and raucous, and the 335-12 which is kinda dark. It's good in alt tunings like DADGAD, Drop D or even just tuned as standard but a tone down, in D.
  2. If I understand what you're saying right, it would seem it's just been adjusted higher. The tailpiece height sets break angle at the bridge and therefore affects string tension, depending on string gauge. Can be set as part of your preferred setup.
  3. For the sound of an ES -5 Switchmaster in rock, check Steve Howe on the Fragile album, which is all played on Switchmaster except for the final track, which is his trademark ES 175. Roundabout, South Side of the Sky and Long Distance Runaround all perfectly demonstrate that "all pickups on" sound, unique to the ES-5.
  4. Just acquired a blonde one. perfect :-) pics in a nother thread: http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/121690-es-5-switchmaster/
  5. Yeah, and feels and sounds as good as it looks. This one is how all Gibsons should be :-)
  6. Well, here's one for starters....
  7. Same for me - my 175 arrived with some pretty light ones on, which came off more or less straight away. But on the Switchmaster, I agree, they feel like 12s.
  8. Thanks for the update - good to know :-)
  9. New addition to the family a couple of days ago - a blonde Switchmaster (photos soon!) Very nice guitar indeed :-) Usually the first thing I do with a new guitar is change the stock fitted "rubber bands" for heavier strings - on my 175 it's SEG-900s, .11 to .52 (These seem to be discontinued however) But, to my surprise, with the Switchmaster I actually really like the stock strings! They seem quite heavy compared to my 175, but that might just be a product of the longer scale? So, can anyone tell me: A. What the current stock strings fitted on a new Switchmaster are? B. If they have any recommendations for a suitable replacement for the apparently now unavailable L5 SEG-900 11-52s for the 175. I'm down to my last few sets now....
  10. I use these: D'Addario EXL150 12 string 10-46s Not sure if it was the factory gauge, but they do fine, sit in the nut well and all that
  11. Ian s


    I have a 2010 Trans Brown ES345 and it's great! The Trans Brown colour is quite variable (I tried at a few before buying and the shade varied a lot between different instruments) It's a shade or 2 darker than the 60s/70s "walnut" colour. Walnut shows a fair bit of grain whereas Trans Brown is darker, running from showing very little grain at all through to a darker walnut type, if that makes sense. Binding is totally white, whereas walnuts had a more creamy shade. Having said that, the finish is now lightening up a little after a few years, and the binding is toning down, so I guess it's getting more walnut-y! The gold hardware seems to be holding up really well so far, despite me having fairly caustic paws that call for a lot of string changes! The neck is great, kinda medium, certainly not skinny but not too much of a handful either. It invites you to dart all over but never feels cramped. frets are not as flat and wide as I've seen on 355s and some 335s, again good for me. Output is stereo with 2 edge mounted sockets, so no need for any splitter lead shennanigans. Or you can have mono out by just using one socket. Stereo is great for recording, but more limited in a live playing situation, although if you can be bothered to play out with 2 amps, you can get a huge stage sound with both pickups blasting. Middle position puts pickups out of phase. Varitone is very useful to me. a great range of sounds - superb for recording. Downside is that it as it's a notch filter output level drops progressively as you move from one setting to another. Thankfully I use a volume pedal most of the time anyway and always have done, so I'm used to riding that to even things out a bit without having to use the volume knobs, which would affect the tone. Comparison with a 335? well, it's a little heavier. My 335 (70s) has a skinny neck which 20 years ago I loved but now sometimes seems a little cramped to my older fatter fingers. I can run around for sure on the 335, but for intricate voicings and especially when hybrid picking, prefer the fuller neck of the 345. Issues: well there had to be some! The guitar needed a bit of work on the nut at first, but then I did move up from the factory strings (10s or 11s?) to 12-52s so that was kinda to be expected. The one I ended up buying had a small imperfection (a chip or poor scrape job) in the binding, others I looked at were spot on, but this one seemed for some reason to play and sound better for me, so I lived with it. It's a tiny fault anyway. Overall, I find it a hugely versatile beast that encourages me to play with a greater sense adventure than some other guitars. To me, although it doesn't have quite the individual personality of some of my other guitars such as a 175 or a Tele, but neither does it have the quirks and foibles that they do. It's even response over a huge range of different tones is a major asset. If I had to save either the 345 or the 335 from a burning building it would be a tough decision. Maybe that's because I have a lot of personal history with the 335 though as I've had it a much longer time. I certainly play the 345 more nowadays... a couple of poor quality pics - it looks much nicer, and a bit lighter shade, than these would have you believe..
  12. The 175 in the pic is a recent custom ordered modified SH-175 signature model, not his '64 "Mr.Gibson" In fact he only takes his original '64 175 out in the UK nowadays as he won't risk it on air transport - he has a number 2 175 (also a '64) and a couple of modern signature models as spares. Back in 1978 he had a custom made "Gibson - The Steve Howe" model, a 3pu 175 type made for him by Gibson which he used on the Drama album and during touring in 1980, but it got stolen. Another was made but he didn't like it as much and removed the middle pickup. I believe he sold it a few years back but not certain.. The whole 3pu thing was inspired by his love of of the ES5 Switchmaster "all pickups on" sound of his '59 model which is all over the Fragile album, especially on Long Distance Runaround. The Byrdland tailpiece on the 345 appeared in 1978 - he'd sent the guitar back to Gibson for an overhaul after 6 years of constant touring, and they unilaterally decided to replace the original standard trapeze with this one, which is engraved with "ES-345" instead of the usual "Byrdland". He was quite surprised when he got it back! In recent years he's expressed some regret at heavily modding instruments in the early 70s, such as his Telecaster and Broadcaster fitted with Gibson switches in the Gibson upper bout location, and PAFs in the neck position. although he's still into tinkering, he doesn't do it on his amazing vintage instruments any more but on carefully selected reissues etc. The Switchmaster is gorgeous - Though I'm not sure if the one he is using on tour now is his original '59 one acquired just before the Fragile sessions in '71 Most of this information is in the hard to find book "The Steve Howe Guitar Collection" which is a great read with lots of personal notes on his instruments and their stories By the way, He's recently been seen out a bit with an absolutely stonking Black Beauty with 3 P90s. Mega!
  13. Ian s


    My 70s white has gone nice and creamy, and certainly needs less attention than a black to keep it looking snappy
  14. great amps. Very heavy, very loud, superb clean sounds. totally robust. Something to watch for is that on some of them the chorus can be a little noisy, whilst others are super quiet.
  15. If you can view and play the instrument before committing, then all good, you can make an informed decision. I often message asking to arrange a viewing, if the seller isn't happy to do this then walk away. Personally I'd go for this, currently in stock: http://www.thomann.de/gb/gibson_eds_1275_aw.htm except for the fact that I already own a 1970s one :-) thomann have really good customer care and returns policy if there are any issues
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