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About lifeson355

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  1. I've found that wiping down the metal parts with a dry cloth after I'm done playing helps a lot. Use a separate cloth than the one you use on your finish, of course. My '88 Les Paul Standard took a beating on the nickel hardware because I very rarely wiped it down. With my ES-335 I've been wiping it down, both metal and finish, after I play and it seems to be working well so far, and I consider myself to have fairly corrosive sweat.
  2. Completely agree. I play very hard rock and heavy metal infused instrumental music as my primary form of personal satisfaction and I do it on a Memphis ES-335. Or should I say have been for the past few months since I got the 335. For a long time I played a combination of Les Paul and American Standard Strat trying to cop the tones I had in my head and was never satisfied with the results. I pursued my sound with those guitars because all of my peers and most guitarists I would talk to would say things like "you can't play heavy metal on a 335, it's not what it's built for" or something like that. Well many years went by before I decided that I needed to try something different and when I did I decided to try an ES-335. It turned out to be exactly what I needed for my personal sound. The tones I've been looking for were in the 335 all along, but I held the the false idea that certain guitars just weren't up to certain tasks because I listened to others instead of trying something for myself. And it's not just tone, my playing is getting better than ever on my 335. It's the right guitar for me in every way. Of course everyone is different, but that's the point, you're supposed to find out what works for you. I'm now a firm believer that you can't find your personal voice in music until you listen to what is coming out of you and accept that it is you and not your musical idols, and you can't find your tone until you stop being overly influenced by the opinions of other people about gear and instead start using your own ears and following your musical soul. There is no right or wrong out there. It's all up to you and the beautiful part about it all is that there is a great adventure in there for those willing to undertake it. I truly believe more people fail to become the musicians they want to be because they fail to find out who they are musically and to take the time to find out what gear can actually get them where they want to be.
  3. So it goes back to at least 2012 with the TonePros bridge? My 2014 Memphis 335 came with one, and I was a bit surprised by it since it came directly from the factory through my dealer I figured it would be a standard ABR. I have a Callaham bridge and long studs that I want to try out, but I've been very happy with my stock 335 and don't know when I'll get around to swapping the bridge at this point.
  4. Absolutely love my 2014 Memphis plain top ES-335. Best electric guitar I've owned, one of the best I've played. It sounds fantastic stock. It's so fun to play I have a hard time putting it down, and it's cutting into my J45 playing time.
  5. I have a 2014 ES-335 and I can confirm it came with a TonePros AVR-2 directly from Gibson and it has the 60's slim taper neck. According to my digital caliper it is almost the same thickness from the first fret up to the 12th front to back with a bit more meat (back of the neck) about halfway from center to the edge, top and bottom. I really like the neck a lot. I was very surprised to find a TonePro's bridge when I changed the first set of strings. I've not asked around, but it sounds like that's new for this year. It's a pretty nice bridge, although I have had a little bit of buzz a couple times on the G string that sounded like it was coming from the bridge (saddle perhaps), it has settled down each time it's happened. I have a Callaham bridge with the long studs that I bought intending to swap the stock bridge, but I honestly haven't yet felt the need.
  6. Oops, I should read closer, you mention it's an Anniversary model. Did they do a bound neck on the anniversary?
  7. Awesome looking guitar. Is it really a '58 RI? It looks like it has a bound neck and I thought '58's were unbound.
  8. I have two recent experiences with brand new Gibson guitars, my 2014 ES-335 and my 2013 J-45 Custom. In terms of fit and finish, I'd put the J-45 ahead of the ES. Not to say there is anything wrong with my ES, but the J-45 I got is an amazing guitar. I've been amazed with the quality of the J-45 since the day I picked it up in local guitar shop. I think Gibson is putting a lot of effort into the Acoustic lines. Having said that, I do love my ES-335. The quality of my ES is very high, but there are a few things I will pick on. The first is that the nut had some dark substance on the surface facing the fretboard. At first it almost looked like some of the rosewood from the fretboard had not been leveled down, but when I got a close look at it, it just looked like some kind of adhesive. It came right off when I scraped it with a razor blade. I think the nut was poorly cut for the G and B strings too, but this is a really easy fix in my case. Just needed to file the two slots just a tiny bit as the strings would ping in their slots with an aggressive bend. I also had some very noticeable bridge rattle (unplugged) going on with the G string in between the 10th and 15th frets. That noise was only detectable with the original set of strings. After I changed the strings (.10's) and inspected the bridge, I have not heard the rattle. That's the extent of my issues with the 335. In terms of the fret job, I think it is one of the best I've played from a new Gibson without a after market setup, but there are a few high points, typically up around 20th fret, but a nice level, crown and polish and truss adjustment will get that sorted out. From a tonal standpoint, I absolutely love this guitar. It is capable of a very wide set of usable tones, and I'm still using the stock harness. I am very close to installing my Martin Six String Customs harness in to see what changes that brings. But I'm very happy with the stock tones, and am surprisingly happy with the stock Classic '57's, so I have no plans to swap pickups anytime soon. One thing I am curious about is the fretboard. I've read a number of posts about boards being two pieces, sort of a veneer approach, but I'll have to wait until I replace the nut to verify if my fingerboard is just one piece of rosewood. I guess it really doesn't matter to me since this guitar plays and sounds so good to me, but I'm still curious. I do plan to replace the stock nut with unbleached bone pretty soon. Just my preference. Based only on my experience, I'd say that getting a 2014 ES is worth it. I couldn't tell you how it compares to a 2013 or earlier.
  9. I use Dunlop dual design strap locks for years on my all of my electrics. http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/dual-design I just put them on my 335 and this is what I had to do: 1) The neck/body button was removed and a 7/64 drill bit used to deepen the existing hole just a little bit, then installed the strap lock button with the screw that comes with the strap lock. 2) The body button was removed and the stock screw head was filed down until it fit inside the strap lock button, and the existing hole was deepened just a little bit (the stock button is thicker than the Dunlop), installed the strap lock button. That's it.
  10. Thank you. I have been putting quite a bit of time in each day with it. Such a fun guitar to play, the clean tones are fantastic, and I love the growl it gives with some gain. Sweet, sweet sounding leads with lots of gain using the neck pickup, and this is the first guitar where I have found myself primarily playing with both pickups (middle switch position). I find for clean tones in particular that having both pickups selected, after dialing in each on it's own, is providing a very nice, warm, wide tone with nice highs great mid range and good tight lows.
  11. I am the proud owner of a 2014 plain top dot neck Memphis ES-335. I've had the new baby for a couple of days, and have only a few hours playing around with it, but I have to say it's a fantastic guitar. I have 10's on it right now as I do a lot of very wide bends (3 and 4 semi tones), and I wanted to see how it felt before considering a move to 11's. I've got a replacement harness from Martin Six Strings with the 500K pots and bumble bee caps that I intend to swap out down the road, but I'm going to give the stock electronics a roll for a while before deciding to change anything. I will likely make a few recordings with the stock electronics and then swap and do the same recordings again to see if there is really a difference coming through on disc, but my first impression of the tones and various tapers on volume and tone are pretty positive. Judging by the chatter on the internet, I was expecting a muffled, tone depleted guitar that could never please me with the stock electronics, but in the short time I've had with this guitar, I was able to dial in a wide variety of very nice usable tones with no effort. I'm sure the honeymoon just needs to come and go before I get the itch to mod anything. I plan to stick with the Classic '57's for quite some time, I like what I'm hearing… today. At any rate, I know what you all really care about… guitar porn. So here it is (granted, it's just a brand new Memphis plain top, so it's not going to blow you away): More pics if you want: http://s968.photobucket.com/user/lifeson355/library/ES335
  12. That's cool. Glad to hear they were above board on it. I agree with Jayyj on this one. I'm a huge Satch fan, but I still don't think I'd buy this 335 if I was looking for Satriani memorabilia, or something I thought might add resale value down the road, personally I'd be looking for examples of the evolution of the JS model Ibanez guitars (especially the Black Dog, Chrome Boy, Rainforest, JS1, etc.). If however, you played and it felt like it was the one, that's really all that matters. I think you can get some excellent examples of 82/83 335's, in natural, and the Shaw pickups for somewhere between $2200 - $3000. I think there is a listing for such on the Gear page at this time. But again, you've actually played this one, and if it spoke to you and you think you'd be inspired to play more if you buy it, then I think it's all the reasoning you need. Best of luck finding the one you want.
  13. Did you find that on Craigslist SF? It looks just like a 335 a shop in Marin is selling. They claim it was owned by Joe Satriani and he supposedly used it on some recordings. I thought about inquiring, but I felt the price was a bit steep, and they aren't' saying up front that they have any way to prove it was owned by Joe. If they can produce some documentation on it, I'd say perhaps worth it, but you could do some searching and should be able to come up with a brand new figured top for around 2500, maybe a shave less. Natural might be a touch more expensive. I just bought a plain top burst that is on it's way for just under 2300. If this is the guitar I think it is, and you do wind up buying, it, I'd love to find out if it ever really was owned by Joe. I have a hard time believing it as he's obviously an Ibanez guy primarily, but then I do know he has played a lot of different guitars over the years, and do seem to recall a Guitar World interview where he mentioned a 335, back in the late 90's I believe, but that's some time ago, and I could be mistaken.
  14. This is a fun question, and my answer is probably going to seem odd in the acoustic forum. Jimmy Page got my ear into guitar, Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen blew my mind, but Alex Lifeson inspired me to actually learn to play, and it just so happens that he was a Gibson man when I first stumbled onto Rush so of course I had to have a Les Paul. Today there are so many amazing guitar players that light a fire for me, but nobody has had so much impact on me as Lifeson. Even today after 40 years of recording and touring his playing is always improving; that's still inspiring. I've seen Rush play live over a dozen times since 1988 and it is always clear that it is about recreating their recorded music, live, to the best of their abilities and to deliver the best sound possible given the venue they are playing. It's about delivering for the rabid fans night after night, tour after tour, it's about being a professional and constantly striving to get better at all aspects of his craft. It's about never losing sight of why you picked up the guitar in the first place; to master an instrument that you were inspired to play by someone or something realizing it is going to take the rest of your life, and you'll still never get there. To me those are the best traits in any player.
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