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Everything posted by GibFen

  1. Thanks for the comments. Looks like I'l just have to try it out. and see, hear, and feel what it may do for me. :)
  2. I've seen some guitars and read about the method of "wrapping" the strings around the tail piece instead of threading the standard way, through the back. When wrapping you feed the string from the front of the tail piece and wrap it around and then on to the saddles. Some say this can give more resonance and sustain as you can lower the tail piece down to the wood as there is plenty of additional angle for the string to sit on it's saddle without hitting the back edge of the bridge, which you never want using either stringing method. I've never tried this wrapping method. Has anyone tried this on their ES guitars that have a tail piece? And if so what are your impressions of any changes?
  3. My 335 satin has very nice and bright top end, very maple like. I am using 9's and really like the feel and tone. Here's the gear. I'm running into a Fender 68 custom dlx reverb and Fender 68 custom vibrolux reverb. CDR is warmer than the Fender deluxe reverb reissue/DRRI because it doesn't have the bright caps on the 2 channels. And the CDR has a "custom" bass-man circuit along with the vintage channel. The CVR is brighter voiced and also has a bright switch on both the custom and vintage channels so it can get really bright if I want it. I tend to run without the bright engaged and treble around 7. On the CDR treble is usually around 9. I run that eq for my SSS Strat as well as my HB guitars; ES335, Schecter C1 Classic, but I also run the Strats treble lower to adjust brightness. Distortion pedals include Bogner Ecstasy Red, Wampler Triple Wreck, Fulltone Fulldrive 2. With the 335 I get a very nice clear and bright tone along with the HB's sweet mids. With the distortion pedals it can get mean and thick. The '57 pups are really sweet cause they can cover a wide tonal ground without getting muddy. My ES335 satin is a fairly bright humbucker guitar not "dark" at all. Satin finish may be helping keep the maple tone brighter. For the pups, measuring towards the middle of the metal cover the distance is around 1/8" with a smidge bit more distance on the neck pups low E side. So not really low but lower than the typical 1/16" and that helps keep it brighter and clearer. This is measured with the no strings fretted. Then, I raise the pole pieces on some of the strings to balance out the string volumes to my liking. On the neck pup the G and B poles are the highest in that order followed by the high E and D poles. On the bridge pup it's G, B, D, high E, highest to lowest pole rise. This gives me a very smooth volume output and very nice clarity. For more classic light distortion the Fulltone FD2 is really nice or the Bogner with moderate gain settings. Hope some of that helps giving you some ideas towards getting you your tone. :)
  4. I agree with you that Gibson really should put up a spec's list for their guitars. They can't rely on a retail sales staff to know the details when those details aren't effectively grouped and listed so even they can learn them. Spec's on product shouldn't rely on the sales persons shoulders because not all sales persons are equally knowledgeable. When they describe a neck as a "slim taper" then they should explain what that is. Using a number is a more effective descriptor by which to compare than a marketing term is. Are Gibson afraid to list a "spec" fearing that some will find that their guitar doesn't meet a certain spec? Then just use "approximately" in front of it. :) For generally better than average info I like Sweetwater.com as they tend to give some more useful info than other online retailers. Their store is really sweet too, but there is only one so if you don't live near Fort Wayne, IN then all you can do is call and speak to one of their sales reps. Their people are great and knowledgeable about all the products they sell. If you've played some Gibsons, then you probably have an idea as to what you may like and not like. Use that info so the sales rep can guide you towards what you may like. Also, most online retailers have a 30 day no hassle return policy. If you buy a recommended guitar you can try it out at home, and if you don't like it call them and use that experience to get you to what you will like. As others here have recommended it would be best to get to a store and try out ES's with different Gibson neck profile, there really aren't that many. Generally there is a standard on neck profile that Gibson has for the most part. Gibson has the larger/thicker neck profile that is like their older "traditional" 1950's guitars. The other basic neck profile is the "60's slim taper". That's the basic form as Gibson has used the thicker and thinner profiles concurrently over the years. There are of course slight variations to that basic theme. If you try at least the thicker and a thinner neck, then you'll fairly quickly know which you prefer. One variation to the basic theme is something like the Rich Robinson '63 ES335. It has the "slim taper" neck, that Gibson started using in the 60's. But, instead of the more standard Gibson 1.687"/1.68" nut width for the slim taper, this model has a 1.711" nut width, which is slightly wider. The '63 ES335 TD is made more with "historical" specs and it also has a 1.68" nut width with a neck profile labeled "Slim-Rounded C". I'm sure this is sized more like a "slim taper", which is the neck profile I greatly prefer. I can't play well on the thicker and rounder traditional necks cause I've got a med-large hand but short fingers. That's why I LOVE LOVE my 2013 ES335 satin cherry with a slim taper neck. Great neck for me. It feels more like my '91 Fender Strat Plus Dlx in thickness There's also the aspect of fret board "radius". A lower number radius is a rounder fret board and a larger number radius is a flatter fret board. Radius is expressed in inches. For example, my Strat has a radius of 9.5", which is rounder than my Schecter's 14" radius. Les Pauls and ES's are typically 12". I've read that some older LP's were 10", and some say that LP Customs are 10", but I don't know that for certain. The nut width on most LP's is 1-11/16", which is wider than most ES's. For the average player a rounder profile/lower number radius makes chording easier and cleaner, and a flatter radius make for easier soloing and cleaner bends. The 30/60 is slightly thicker than the '60 slim taper. It's basically the the shape of a 60's slim taper but .030" thicker. "30/60", .030" thicker/60's slim taper. :) Haven't played one though. I was considering an ES339, but I prefer the tone of the larger ES335. Remember, this is all basic spec, and variations in actual necks are a reality, like some LP fret boards actually being flatter than their 12" radius "spec". That's why it's best if you can actually play the guitars you're interested in to feel and hear which one speaks to you and feels right. Next best option is to try some guitars out at a local store to get an idea of what you prefer and then order 1 or 2 and try them out at home. Don't be afraid to use a retailers return policy, use it to your advantage. After all, it's not our fault they don't stock the vast majority of what they actually sell. Even if you have to pay for return shipping it could be worth it to get the guitar you really want. with Guitar Center you can return online ordered guitars and gear right to your local GC store, so no return shipping cost. Happy shopping, especially as an Xmas present to yourself. :)
  5. It's possible the pup routes were cut wrong and then the pups installed incorrectly. But then that too is a manufacturing problem. The bigger concern for me is the centering of the strings on the fret board. Again, if all the parts are installed correctly, then the string should form a straight line from the tail piece all the way to the nut slot, and the string should be as much over the center of the pole piece as possible. If all those individual parts are off here and there the end result can look awful and at worst have intonation problems and/or not have proper fret board spacing where he low strings may be too close to the fret board edge or the opposite where the high strings are too close to the fret board edge. When that happens playing feel suffers and can make bending on the higher strings feel very odd. In all that's a faulty and badly made guitar that needs to be rejected, and it should have NEVER left Gibson's plant for retail sale, imo.
  6. I bought my ES335 satin last month and it's a 2013 model. 2014 models were being sold at the same time. Retail list on mine is $2499, which is the same price for the 2014 models. But, I got a great discount on mine from $2499 to $1842 out the door tax included. Maybe use that discount as a guide, about 26% off regular retail for mine. If you're getting a 2 model year older guitar, then you should expect a good discount reflecting it's depreciation and likely lower list price for that model year. I didn't see a 30% increase from 2013 to 2014. I didn't see any increase really, but Gibson does increase prices from time to time. For many 2015 model year prices have gone way up, in a crazy way. And Gibson says they are no longer building guitars with the satin finish. Too bad really cause I love my satin finish, it does have a bit different tone. Some my not like it but some of us do. :) As for getting an "older" new guitar it didn't matter to me at all because I love how this one feels, plays, and sounds. The 2014's aren't any different so out the door price is what mattered after I found the one I wanted.
  7. Yes, the saddle notch should be placed so that the string maintains alignment with the pole pieces. The strings should go over their respective pole piece, and string spacing should also be correct maintaining a straight line from, the saddle to it's nut slot, and that should really start at the tail piece. IF the tail piece and bridge are set properly then the notch should be pretty close to the center, but it won't be exactly there as the bridge is set at a slight angle, but still pretty much in the middle. The problem is that too many tail pieces and/or bridges are not set properly in the first place as the holes were likely not drilled in the correct position. Tail pieces and bridges are exacting pieces by manufacturing process. Placement of the holes improperly is where the problem can happen and start that then results in having strings leaving the tail piece at an angle in order to compensate for improper placement of the TP and/or bridge. The saddle slots are then cut to try and compensate and align the strings route over the pole pieces and then onto the strings nut slot, while maintaining proper string spacing and centering on the fret board. But, in the case of this guitar it's clear that things were not set/built properly as demonstrated by trying to install a new bridge, with properly pre-cut saddle,s at the proper position that resulted in the strings not being in alignment and not centered properly on the neck. The new bridge and it's pre-cut slots assumes the tail piece and bridge are/were properly installed in the first place. I've seen this big flaw on a lot of ES guitars and frankly it's not acceptable though people do accept it. I rejected a good number of ES335's precisely because of this issue. I don't like the strings to hit their saddle slot at a side angle/laterally. It adds an odd stress point that's going to wear the saddle notch oddly over time and could cause intonation problems. I've had a guitar, not a Gibson, where the bridge was not set properly and I had intonation problems with it for years. I finally called the manufacturer, Schecter, and asked for help. They asked for pictures and how I did the intonation. I sent picts and explained. They asked for the guitar to be send to them for evaluation. What I suspected they confirmed. The guitar has a lifetime warranty and once Schecter saw the problem they warranted the guitar and offered me a brand new one, which was just reissued this year. I accepted and they sent me a brand spanking new one and it's fantastic, better than the original I bought in 2005. That's excellent customer service. OP, I suggest contacting Gibson to see if they too will honor their lifetime warranty and correct the improper placement of either the tail piece or bridge like Schecter did. I'm really curious to read what Gibson does about it. Please post the results.
  8. I will 2nd and 3rd that statement. From my experience with Les Pauls I see a SERIOUS lack of pride from Gibson luthiers. I shopped for an bought my first LP standard last year at Sweetwater and was appalled at how many LPs lack pride of construction. I looked at like 10-12 of them and played about 7-8. Of all of those LP's only about 4 were what one would call "perfect". It's amazing that a company that charges such a premium price for their products gets away with what they pass off as first quality that should be B-stock. The one aspect of LP's that drives me NUTS is where the neck meets the body and the resulting pathetic looking finish. On both sides of where the neck is set, on the body surface, Gibson can't seem to get the finish smooth and flawless. 75-80% of LP's have a sandy ripply looking finish at that spot. It looks very ugly and it's way way too common. How Gibson can't get this right, when a $500 Epiphone does, is astounding. I have NEVER seen this ugly finish on any lower priced LP type guitar be it Epiphone, ESP, LTD, Ibanez, etc... The other areas are the lack of ability to install tuning pegs in a straight line. On some Gibson guitars the tuning pegs look like they were installed by a drunk monkey, and that may be insulting monkeys wrongfully. :) Way too often the nuts have rough unsmoothed edges and gaps where they sit in their slot. If you get a new Les Paul run, don't walk, to the best neighborhood luthier and have the nut properly cut and smoothed or suffer tuning instability with the B and G string going "ting" as you try to tune it and the string is catching in it's poorly cut slot. I see for 2015 Gibson is using a completely different nut to try and eliminate a problem that has existed for decades. All that said, I am very impressed with the quality of ES335's in comparison. Now they are not without their faults either. I saw a number of ES's where the strings don't like up evenly across the neck, where either the low E is way too close or too far from the fret board edge or the same issue with the high E, and then the strings don't line up with the pups pole pieces as they should. One way too many the strings coming out of the tail piece have a noticeable angle as they route to their saddles clearly showing either the tail piece of the bridge was not set properly, yet there they are for sale as first quality not B stock. I passed on a number of ES's because of that because on those guitars the string spacing in relation to the fret board edge is way off. This is really inexcusable. There are plenty that have perfectly set string spacing so why not everyone of them? My ES335 satin is as close to perfect as can be, it was made properly. Some excuse these flaws as some acceptable condition of Gibson's being "hand made". I don't buy that for a minute. Gibson uses plenty of machines. The problem is that their luthiers are too lax about detail. Seem they know the guitars will sell so it seems Gibson doesn't care about releasing products like that. How freaking difficult is it to set the tuners properly and straight? It's not if you take care and pride in what you're doing knowing how much someone will pay for one. Yeah, I know I sound picky, but damn, consider how much we pay for these guitars compared others. I expect perfection when paying a premium price. It should be exceptional quality and construction, not just acceptable. I am VERY impressed, again, with most of the ES335 line especially the satin ones. That's a major reason why I purchased my satin cherry. Everyone I tried, about 4-5, looked great, played great, and sounded great. The construction of these is exceptional. I applaud the people working on assembling those guitars, they do a great job and earned my business. Gibson, put those luthiers in charge of training and supervising the rest of your construction line!
  9. I'll echo what others have said, new guitars NEED a proper set up every time. How much needs to be done varies, but every new guitar should have a proper set up. If you learn to do most of the stuff yourself, then you'll be able to keep the guitar in tune whenever you do string changes and/or when the humidity and temps change. In my experience the older the guitar the more stable it is because the wood has stabilized more as it aged. I have a '91 Strat Plus Dlx that is very stable. It was always a stable guitar but became more so over the years. Yet, I still have to adjust the truss rod from time to time as well as check and adjust intonation. But, I know how to do basic guitar set ups so I tend to check and tweak more often only because I can. My new ES335 satin is new but had been in the store for a few months. It was in great shape and tune when I bought it, but I still did all the checks and adjustments to get it to play like I want and to set intonation. I changed to 9's from the stock 10 strings and that required a truss rod adjustment. I also lowered the action quite a bit and was very pleasantly surprised at how low I could get. I am really amazed at how low the action is now while still playing cleanly with no note choke and an ever so slight buzz when not plugged in, but given how low the action is I'm leaving it for now. Intonation was pretty good, I only have to adjust a couple of strings just a bit. I've had it now for a bit over a month and it's amazingly stable. I did use nut lube on all the strings at the nut and a bit on the saddles. Tuning stability is great for a Gibson that often need some better nut dressing to smooth out the slots so that the strings move smoothly, which is a big source of tuning stability. I don't do nut cutting so I'm taking it to one of those guys who the pro's go to to give the nut a proper setup. The B string slot needs to be cut just a tad. You can learn and do the basic setup and tuning by watching a few youtube video's and then it'll become an easy and quick thing to check and adjust. Congrats to you and your son on the L5! What a fantastic gift and you're great dad with great taste in choosing that guitar. :) Cheers to you, and happy holidays!
  10. I'm not familiar with a '73 LP Signature as a semi hollow guitar. Does it have F holes? Is it made like an ES335? As for the laminated thing, I wouldn't be that concerned about a solid top semi hollow vs a laminated top. The most important thing is that it sounds good and especially sounds good to you. Carvin makes semi hollows that are not laminated. The body is carved from a single piece of wood. They start with a solid single piece and then hollow it out. The top is also a solid piece of wood that is then carved, and then both pieces are glued together. It's a solid construction to be sure. I've never played one, and I've read lots of positive things about how they sound and play. I was seriously considering getting one before I found my ES335 Satin. I feel in LOVE with my ES335 so there was no reason to keep looking. I would like one day to get a solid carved semi hollow Carvin, but for now I'm so very happy with my ES335 that I've got no desire to shop for another guitar. I play my ES335 through my Fender '68 custom deluxe reverb and '68 custom vibrolux reverb amps and the tones are beautiful whether clean or high gain with pedals. With high gain the volume has to be pretty loud and I have to be pretty close to the amp before feedback happens, and it will under those conditions. But, when the volume is cranked you simply have to stand farther away and have a quick hand with the volume control. Any guitar that has a semi hollow construction is designed so that it has a more "acoustic" tone, that's why it's a "semi hollow". A semi hollow shouldn't sound like a solid body electric. If it did, then why bother with it, just get a solid body. High gain/distortion also sounds different when played with a semi hollow vs solid body, and I really like the distortion tones with my ES335.
  11. That's interesting. Cosmetically I like the satin and don't really want to shine it up. But if it improves the tone that may something I may eventually try. For now I love the tone. It's a lot brighter than I thought it would be through my rig. This ES is nearly as bright as my Strat! And the electronics are fantastic and very responsive, which is great as I can dial the treble range up or down nicely. When you say "livens up...", can you give an idea of what that means? Is the tone brighter? Is there more damping tightening up the notes? Did you wax the neck too? I really like how smooth it feels. It's similar to how my '91 American Strat was when new. After a few years of playing that neck has taken on a nice natural sheen and more fluid feel. Did the wax improve the neck fee? I don't want any tackiness, and that's why I prefer the satin neck over the gloss. Gloss necks feel smooth but depending on weather conditions humidity can make it feel sticky. Thanks for the great info. :)
  12. Thanks! Much appreciated. Just from playing and set up I can tell I'm going to have to adjust the nut slots, in particular the B and G strings. It needs just a touch more depth. Chords sound in tune, but if I put just a wee bit more pressure on those strings on a D or A minor chord it's a bit out of tune. I'm going to have to borrow a nut file from my buddies music store and tweek it a bit. I'm really impressed with how great Gibson built this particular ES335. I've set the action so low I didn't think it would work, but it's working great. The fret job on this ES is excellent. Thanks again. :)
  13. Yes I feel the same way. :) I set up my guitars to my liking. I just wanted to know what specs Gibson uses as a starting point.
  14. I've got an ES335 and did a nice set up the other day. It plays great and sounds great. I'd like to see the actual Gibson set up specs to compare those to my set up and to use as a reference. The action is now super low and I didn't think the guitar would handle it but it's great. There is a very slight string buzz unplugged and only a very tiny amount coming through the amp at times, so I want to raise the action a touch. The spec's would be a great help. Man do I LOVE this guitar. The satin red finish looks great and the feel of the neck is smooth and fast. I tried a number of ES's in satin and gloss and kept coming back to the satin cherry. There is just something better about the tone to my ears with the satin finish. Very happy to have found this particular ES335. Thanks for the spec's if you can post them. :)
  15. That is what I would have suggested. I see too many guitars with the pups set up way too high, especially with rock players. Many of them want more gain and think that if they crank the pup closer to the strings they'll get the tone they want. But, as you've discovered, yes there is more gain but more often that gain comes at the cost of great tone. The level goes up but so does the "mud" and the lose of clarity. Chords get muddy and solo's lose definition and dynamics. Also, most players never adjust the "adjustable" pole pieces in the pups. For the longest time I too never touched them. Then, a few years back I did some reading on how pups work and such and started experimenting with the pole pieces and adjusting them. I raise and lower the poles to help level out the individual strings level respective to each other. I've got much better tone and clarity since then. Raise and/or lower the pups to get the necessary volume level for best clarity, and then use the poles to adjust for each strings volume level. If you want or need more gain use a boost pedal. A boost pedal lets you adjust your signal level into the amp. That way you get the cleanest and best sounding tone from your guitar and pups, use the boost to adjust the input into the amp. If you want distortion, then a pedal is the thing for that. Great non master volume amps, like most Fenders, can give a great power tube distortion but they have to get pretty loud to do it. To keep the volume down use a distortion pedal and the sounds and tones can be fantastic. I just got a new ES335 stain cherry and I LOVE this guitar with even really high gain/distortion. I'm running it into my Fender 68 Custom Deluxe reverb, silver face, into the Bassman circuit, and the tones are awesome. Then I use either/or my Bogner Ecstasy Red distortion pedal for the more classic hard rock and gritty blues tones, and my Wampler Triple Wreck for the really heavy blues, hard rock, and even Metal tones. This ES335 ROCKS with high gain! The tone is really rich and full and gets downright meaner and nastier than even a Les Paul can. It's a more unique sound. The band Sound Garden use ES's with really high gain and get some cool tones. Granted their sound is a bit more on the pushed and distorted mids, but for what they do the tone is fantastic. I like a lot of high gain at times, not so much for "Metal" playing but for the tone and sustain it can give, more along the lines of Santana or Gary Moore, high gain but with clarity. If I were in a hard rock or metal band I would gladly rock my ES335 in it.
  16. I agree with both of you. ALL guitars are made to be played, and all cars are made to be driven. Of course it's anybody's right and choice to buy a guitar and keep it as a case queen only using it for delicate play once in a while, just as a car can be a garage queen only taken out on sunny days. I don't have big money to purchase very expensive guitars or cars, but what I do own I play and drive. My oldest guitar is a 1991 Fender American Strat Plus Dlx that I bought new in 1991. Two more years and it'll be vintage. :) I've played that guitar heavily all these years and played at rehearsals, at home, gigs, studio and it's a players guitar with visible use. But it's far from damaged or in bad shape. It's actually in fantastic shape and still plays and sounds beautifully. Even the hardware doesn't look it's 23yrs of age. My latest purchase is a new ES335 in satin cherry, and I LOVE this guitar. The price was a good bit higher than the competition, but there is just something about this guitar that had me pony'ing up the extra dough and to me it's worth it. This one too will be played extensively. I hope to keep the Strat and ES335 and hand it down to the next generation and hopefully one of my younger nieces or nephews will want to play in the future and play these guitars. It's a cool thought to know there may still be some physical connection with family even after I'm gone. Both of these guitars will likely live on much longer than me. :)
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