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About Rigormortis

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  1. Rigormortis


    Didn't one of the ES 33* series have a mahogany block instead of the maple?
  2. One reason commonly given was that the trapeze "got in the way" of the strumming done for rock-n-roll.
  3. My 1982 335 has low frets also. I always figured this was a 335 characteristic.
  4. If you were classically trained on an acoustic to keep your thumb on the back of the neck, you really have a hard time moving down. Same with jazz players who learned sitting. I got a double dose. Then I learned some Hendrix stuff with the thumb over the top, and that helped me let go of the classical position and lower the strap a notch.
  5. Rigormortis

    New nut

    That's a very reasonable price for a bone nut and setup. Enjoy!
  6. I don't know all the different models being made. But I'll give you a list of my preferences if I were doing some shopping. I have probably messed with the fretboard mostly, getting it stoned just right so the action is really low. So I would pay close attention to the neck qualities. With all the 335s I've played, the differences are in the quality of the neck--it's weakness since it is mahogany and of the Gibson design. Gibson 335s have been made with different peghead angles over the years to strengthen that flaw. Still, the most common complaint with the new guitars is the lack of attention to the frets. Some are Plek'd, but many are reported to not be crowned and polished; still it tells me they are paying closer attention to the frets than they did back in 1980. The frets should be medium jumbo. The fatter necks are fine with me for the 335, as long as the action is low and the frets are low profile. I like the solid feel of a thicker neck, and it matches the guitar very nicely. I really dislike the plastic nut. It would be first on my list to be replaced, possibly by a compensating nut. I'm not a fan of the vintage tuners, and would look for a smoother machine and higher quality too I think. My pup choice is '57 classic PAFs. I have the '57 Classic Plus in the bridge. The ebony, or red, would be the color I'd choose, since I like both those colors and they have a good resale value. The solid color lacquer with contrasting bindings are the best options for the 335. pay attention to the binding work, since the quality of that varies somewhat. Tone and volume knobs would be gold or amber top hats. I think they are harder than speed knobs to turn while you're playing, but they look just right on a 335. The switch tip would be a vintage mellow white. Stay away from an ABR-1 unless you love vintage stuff. The Nashville is better, and there are upgrades that are much nicer. These need filing and proper setups anyway, no matter the quality. Those are my preferences, from lots of years of thinking about 335s. Good luck.
  7. That wiring option allows you to completely control the volume in the middle position with just one knob. It sounds like a nice guitar.
  8. Right on. I replaced the plastic with hard unbleached bone and was very happy with the results-- tone, tuning, regulation, appearance all improved. I know it might make me go broke, but if I were a Custom Shop making custom 335s and selling them for $3000 to $5000, I would put in a $15 bone nut anyway. I might even crown the frets and set up the bridge saddles. What the heck!
  9. 2mm at the 12th for the E6; 1.2 mm for e1. This depends on the guitar, of course. but it's what I like for my SG. Neck relief is the normal cigarette-paper thickness. I don't like the strings to slap the frets at all, since they loose energy doing that, and you can hear a pinched quality.
  10. Very nice! I love Strats as well, but I'm all for trading in relics if it gets you something as nice as your 335. Good job. That curly maple is killer. The label was white in the 50's then orange for a while until '69, and went to white or off white. Gibson has been putting orange labels into their reissues lately. What year is yours? "ESTD" is Electro-Spanish, Thinline, Double pickups. They are all thinline and all have double pickups; so the TD is left off sometimes. "ES335DOT" indicated the Dot neck, I think. I'm not familiar with ESDT, but it may be the same as "DOT". Gibson has made a lot of versions. Somebody here knows, I'm sure.
  11. I totally agree that guitars off the rack don't have good setups as a rule. Some are horrible, and some decent guitars are unplayable because of lack of attention. I've been fixing and building guitars for quite a while now, and it's easy to forget all the mistakes I made learning how to do things. It certainly seems easy now to set up a guitar that has decent components. It still takes some time though. I haven't found a setup problem yet I couldn't fix, but sometimes it takes a new part or some work. Yesterday, I set up an acoustic right off the rack that apparently had never been played (couldn't be played, actually). It took me about four hours to do it right--changing strings, setting the neck, stoning and crowning the frets, bushing the tuning machines, waxing the fingerboard, cutting the nut, trimming the saddle, planing, sanding, and re-finishing the bridge, fitting the bridge pins, and polishing the guitar. I only did what needed to be done to get the action down low enough to play easily (started out at 11/64 at the 12th!). Next time it will be easier to set up, but the bill was $200 with just a few quality parts. The guitar brand new was not much more than that. So, yeah--Learn to do your own setups if you are at all good with tools.
  12. Can't top that. But, Yes a bone bridge saddle properly made will change the sound for the better, over plastic. I think the most critical thing for sound is actually that the string pulls over the bridge and down to the pin in a good angle. If the angle is not great enough, the sustain suffers. This is a function of the bridge height and saddle height. A good pin that pops up easily with your pin lifter is a thing of beauty. I pretty much hate the plastic pins that don't fit and get stuck, but I doubt they affect sound.
  13. Yep. You will probably benefit from an adjustment to bridge for intonation after a small string change like that. It will affect everything with your setup, but in a very minor way that may not need to be addressed all at once. If you like the thicker strings, then you might eventually do a proper setup to make the most of what they have to offer.
  14. This is a very common complaint, and it has happened to me. With new tuning machines, the open strings going slack after tuning up to pitch is due to the strings stretching. The open strings going sharp after tuning up to pitch is due to strings sticking in the nut. If they go flat on you, just stretch them some more, as you would a new string, until they stay put (the strings enter a stable state for the tension you are applying to them in normal playing). For the nut sticking, chapstick or graphite works for me--but I also have perfectly filed slots. Check for nut sticking by pressing on the string above the nut; observe and listen, Some tuning machines have too much play in them to start with, for my taste. You have to always tune up to pitch with those. I'm thinking of the original vintage style on my old Les Paul. But I've come to appreciate those and just accept them, as so many virtuoso players have done for the last 50 years. Basically, if you have new machines, you might find a tuning machine type you like the feel of more; but it will not solve the problem. Most "locking" tuners just lock the string on; some actually lock the mechanism into position so it doesn't move when you bump it. Heads up on that! But this is only half the story: The unwound G string is a difficult one because the string tension is oddly lower and the actual tuning pitch is a compromise; they call it a "Tempered Interval". A lower pitched and lower tensioned guitar string will tend to sharpness when fretted; since the unwound G string has the lowest pitch and the lowest tension of the unwound strings, it goes noticeably sharp when fretted near the nut (the adjustable bridge intonation compensates for this when fretted higher up the neck). The unwound G also has the highest output! Nice, huh? Some players go back to a wound G, which is dang hard to bend but has a better sound and balanced output. If you do a lot of fretting right near the nut, getting the nut action as low as possible helps, and adjustable nuts are available. Interesting note--in all the time I've spent with violinists, I have seldom heard the kind of complaints about their tuners or fingerboards or strings as we hear from guitar players. And violinists have a much more difficult mechanism to make music with! I attribute this to the fact that almost all violinists have started with good teachers, who pass on the knowledge and reassure the student that good music really can be made on an imperfect thing if they just learn to accept it and do what is required to deal with it.
  15. Bring lots of friends. It helps if they are already loosened up too and a little bit loud. (I guess I'm assuming it's a bar.) Generally, if you have a good sense of fun about you, even the strangers want you to succeed, and the heckling is good natured. The really good songs to play at a bar are upbeat and match the mood of the place. Quiet ones don't get appreciated unless the mood is right. Did I say "heckling" ?
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