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clayville

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About clayville

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    356 is my number

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    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=239050

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  • Location
    Boston
  • Interests
    Home recording, the Blues, all things related to Gibson CS-356s, watercoloring, Boston sports teams
  1. +1 on DR Pure Blues I find that the small bodied Gibson semi-hollow guitars can trend a little bit "bright" sounding and the DR's seem to be a little warmer sounding than, say, D'Adarrios on my CS-356 to my ear. But feel free to experiment in the coming weeks/months. Try different ones until you find one you like - strings are the cheapest mod there is (other than screwdriver adjustments to pickup height, which can also make a big difference on these).
  2. My 2003 CS-356 (bought new) doesn't have an inside sticker. My theory is that the inside carve/routing on these models doesn't lend itself to secure sticker placement.
  3. Just chiming in to say I love my '95 J-100 Extra (Antique Natural, not sunburst). With the mahogany back and sides it's a warm, loud, beefy beast and has only gotten better sounding with age (Jeebus, can it really be 24 years since I bought it new?). The o.p. wants what he wants (don't we all), but I'd just point out that it's the mahogany that delivers the distinctive sound on J-100's of that era, not the finish - and it's a different sound than the maple sides/back found on most J-200's. These aren't just cheaper, less blingy J-200's - they're a different sonic flavor altogether (imho).
  4. For what it's worth, when I moved away from D'Addarios on my CS-356 about five years ago I eventually settled on DR Pure Blues 10-46s after a few experiments and have never looked back. They seem warmer and less 'brittle' sounding in that guitar, and seem to create a richer, more 'round' and full sound. But that sounds lvague, even to me. Kind of depends on what you're looking for, what direction you want to take your guitar's sound... but if you're just looking for a change as I was, I liked my results.
  5. You might have better luck asking this question in the "Acoustic" area...
  6. A bit of a hazy memory now, but I'll echo Jinder and others above. I was in Nashville on business 25 years ago and of course wandered into Gruhn to drool. They had a player grade Style O that was gorgeous and yet well-loved - I was smitten and almost bought it on the spot (for about a third of what they seem to go for now). But... the huge neck and tight sound gave me pause. I played it for about an hour over a couple of days and just never felt it was holding it's own or adding much to the sounds I had available from my other more humble acoustics. They're beautiful, but as others have said don't project like you'd expect, and they're more unwieldy than you imagine too - the unusual upper bouts seemed to make it awkward to play in the higher registers and they're a bit of an "armful", if that makes any sense. Guess I'm just no Bill Broonzy in the end.
  7. On the interior construction/design of the Johnny A: As I recall from back when they were launched (could be slightly wrong) I believe there is a relatively small oval-shaped block beneath the bridge to support it on the Johnny A (perhaps 4"wide across east-to-west and about an inch and a half wide north-to-south). My interest was mostly in comparison to the CS-356/CS-336 design which is similar but less hollow overall - the 356/336 has much more central block remaining inside between the neck and bridge, and an internal "dish" carve that matches the contour of the outside/back carve. I remember reading somewhere that the Johnny A has a flat carve on the inside/back instead. On all these guitars the block is integral to the back wood - the backs are routed from a solid slab leaving the block intact. The other main difference between the 356/336 and Johnny A is in the scale length - 356/336 has a standard Gibson scale length of 24.75" while the Johnny A has a 'Fender' scale length of 25.5".
  8. Dan Erlewine's book "How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great" is a really good resource for understanding all the components of a setup and many minor minor problem-solving situations that can crop up with a guitar you'd like to improve. Even if you're not confident in doing the work yourself, your desire to understand the process is a good one. There's no "right" answer, though - every experienced player has his own style and taste in how they like a guitar setup for them, what kind of music they typically play, and everything from string gauge to action to pickup heights and more plays a role in ideal playability for YOU and your style. And every guitar has a slightly different geometry so all these adjustments are a bit of a compromise to make the guitar work for you as a system of elements - from neck angles to nuts to bridges to tailpieces.
  9. I live in Boston too. When I got my J-100 Xtra new in the Fall of 1995 I kept it on a stand within easy reach and admired its inviting beauty and my vast wisdom in buying it. Once the heat kicked on in the winter it took about two months before *PING* a crack opened up between the fingerboard and the sound hole that needed to be repaired and cleated. I've been a faithful humidifier of my acoustics ever since - with a sound hole Dampit - and now I keep them cased. Lesson learned.... painfully.
  10. Just FYI: There are construction and scale-length differences too. The Johnny A is more hollow inside than the 336/356 with less 'center block' area left integral with the back wood, and I believe the Johnny A routing leaves the inside-back flat whereas on the 336/356 the inside/back routing is dished like the back itself. And the Johhny A uses a longer, "Fender" 25.5" scale length than the usual Gibson 24.75 scale length.
  11. In some respects, the smaller body size of the 339 just has a different character than the, er, full-bodied oomph of a 335 - in clean, lo-gain situations it will sound "smaller" because, well, it IS smaller. But if it sounds constricted, try comparing the pickup height between the two guitars. If your 339's pickups are much closer to the strings than your 335's it's possible they're reducing the perceived resonance and richness. The pickups themselves should be fine (I love mine), but I'd experiment with height to see if you can get closer to your ideal. I find the small-bodied Gibsons like my 356 to be sensitive to such things, so I'd try lowering your neck pickup a bit and fiddling with pole piece height across the strings to try and dial in the sound you're after, then do the same with the bridge pickup to balance for volume between the two pickups. Always try screwdriver mods first! Just my two cents
  12. If I didn't take my '95 J-100 Extra I'd miss the booming mahogany every single day. Plus: It's a cannon, perfect for signaling passing ships. \:D/
  13. When I got my 7.2 lbs 2003 CS-356 new almost 15 years ago it killed off my LP gas almost entirely. Light, versatile, comfortable, all the horsepower need. :)
  14. It's been a very long time since Gibson has promoted the availability of these outstanding guitars on their own website (though I believe they've been in production in limited dealer runs throughout the last decade). Great to see them getting their due.
  15. clayville

    NGD

    That's a really handsome top! You might be right that it would pop and hang together even more with gold or amber knobs on that natural coloring. Worth a try to see how you like it. One small thing I notice (and mine had the same "issue" till I fiddled with it): it looks like you might benefit from rotating your neck pickup ring 180 degrees to put the thin edge facing the tail end of the guitar. I did some research to try and find any source that could point to a performance issue with a pickup that rests not parallel to the strings without any luck, but after thinking about flipping it for years I finally did it one string change a few years back. Really easy to do. You may need to gently bend the tabs that the main pickup screws thread into within the cavity for the pup to be parallel. A small thing (I believe), but I found the flipped ring with the thin edge on the tail side to be more aesthetically pleasing and a parallel seating of the pickup to make height adjustment a bit more rational even though I didn't notice much of a performance difference. In your photo, it looks a little like that tail edge sticking up may be limiting your options a bit. As you've seen me say, I think small screwdriver adjustments on these can make a big difference, and I keep track of screw turns when I make them so I can get back to where I was if I don't like the results. The neck pickup on mine has been one of the best sounding pickups I've ever had from the get go, so I was reluctant to make big changes.... but some years ago I lowered the neck pickup about a 3/16" below where it had been and then lowered the bridge pickup until the volume matched, and the guitar seems to have a bit more sustain - perhaps the neck magnet was dampening string vibration a little? Something to perhaps consider without radical modding. cheers, Clay
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