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About stevo58

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  1. I’ve been thinking of doing this on my casino, just because. How thick were the original acrylic inlays, and how thick is the MOP? Did you have any problems removing the acrylic - I would probably drill through the center and try to pry it out, at least as a first attempt. How did you radius the blocks without removing the frets?
  2. The metal covers act as a huge heat sink, making it very difficult to unsolder the tabs. I doubt if a 40-watt iron will work. My Ersa electronically-controlled solder station, at 450C, couldn’t do it. A 100-watt gun might do it, or a gas flame.
  3. In my opinion, any guitar whose pots are open to the environment should have sealed pots, for example, Bourns type 82 or 95. Otherwise you will be cleaning them regularly. The new worn Casinos have the “P-90 Pro” pickups, which are an improvement over the ones in the standard Casino, which are overwound and muddy. I also think the thin finish is another big improvement. I thinned down the poly clear coat on my 2017 Casino, and it made a big difference. The guitar was livelier and more resonant without that thick blanket.
  4. Well, I own a Gibson 335. Ok, it’s just a Studio, but it’s a fine guitar. I also in the past owned a Dot. It was also a fine guitar. I sold it a couple months after I bought the Gibson. The Gibson just feels better. There’s no comparison. The neck feels stable and resonant, while the Dot was dead and flexible. The finish feels better. It hangs better on a strap somehow. There are just countless small details which add up. It’s the first 2-humbucker guitar I’ve been able to bond with. The proper 335s I’ve played are even more extreme. It’s up to you what you want to pay for. One concrete difference is the laminations. The Epiphone has five laminations while the Gibson has three. This also means the EPI has twice as many glue layers, and I am convinced - with no evidence at all - more layers of glue = bad. Don’t contradict me; I have no reason to believe it, but I do anyway, so I’ll be resistant to facts.
  5. I bought a ‘58 125T fifteen years ago. It had been through the wringer over the decades. The seller was going to hang it on his wall as deco. It had a poorly -done cutaway. An access hatch slightly smaller than a large county in Texas had been cut in the back. An EMG humbucker (with coil split) had replaced the P90 (which was fortunately in the case). The bridge was glued AND screwed to the top. It sported a nylon-saddle tunomatic. It had some mystery inlay added to the peghead. A bigsby had been mounted at some point. And then removed. The pots and jack were shot and unsalvageable. The tuners had been replaced, and several of the replacements were broken. It was a mess. I cleaned it up, put the P90 back in, and made it playable . Eventually, since it has zero collector value, I added a bridge P90, using the coil-tap hole for the switch. It’s by far my favorite guitar. I can get any and everything I want out of it . What a great guitar
  6. To be honest, I never saw any particular point to it.
  7. Yeah that’s it, but the 2015 added a locking tailpiece, too.
  8. There are rosewoods, and there are rosewoods. I have a Prucha tenor banjo with the most amazing piece of rosewood I’ve ever seen as a fingerboard. It’s not pretty, but nearly as fine-grained as ebony, and hard as can be. The banjo is played heavily and I see no wear on it at all. No idea what species it is.
  9. I agree completely with you - except for the fingerboard. As a matter of fact, when they came out, the red-with-black-binding appealed to me immediately. I think it is a very elegant, restrained combination, and I made up my mind immediately to buy one. As I said, I played Teles for decades, and the only 4-knob guitar I own (a highly modified Qing Dao Casino) still confuses me in the heat of a gig. I make heavy use of guitar volume and tone controls and I would always grab the wrong one. The studios aren’t in the lineup anymore, but the last one was creeping up in price close to the 335 Satin, so I suppose it no longer made sense. I’m glad I got mine when I did, as I haven’t seen these on the used market.
  10. I have a wine red 2015, and for the most part love the guitar. (Half-) Significant changes to 2014: different truss rod, rounded fingerboard edges, locking bridge and tailpiece. Insignificant change: f-hole on trc. Mine has black binding on the body and fingerboard, I assume the ginger burst has it, too. That may have been new in 2015. To my taste, the black-on-wine red is very restrained and elegant, and not so in-your-face as white or ivory would be. What I don’t like: the binding is not scraped, not even on the dot side, so the the position markers are wine red on black. One of these days I’ll scrape it myself. I’m not a fan of the baked maple fingerboard - I find it very rough, but usable. I would have much preferred Richlite. I played Teles for 40 years, so the single vol/tone makes sense to me, but I confess it looks goofy on a 335. All in all I like the guitar, and it is my go-to when I want a humbucker guitar (but I only have one other; an LP) but generally I prefer P90s or (not so much any more) Fender single coils. Lately I’ve been playing it more and more. Works very well with a Twin. Some day the pots will have to be switched out, then I’ll probably drill it out for 4 controls and put sealed pots in it. I don’t understand why sealed pots aren’t used in every open guitar. Steven
  11. The absolute best trapeze is the ABM 1504. It’s made in Germany of nickel plated bell brass, is expensive as all get-out, and, in my experience ( I put them on my Casino and my Loar) it actually improves the string definition on the bass strings. Everything else is Asian pot metal. So just order the usual one from Stew Mac or Ali Baba or wherever. I went with ABM because I’m obsessive compulsive and wanted the correct nuts, not the huge long ones that most trapezes have these days. In the photo you see a vintage 125 with the original Gibson tailpiece, and the ABMs on the other two Note that the ABM is longer than the Gibson Steven
  12. stevo58

    ES 125

    Especially since it’s fully hollow. It may have been a ‘student’ guitar but (imho) they are excellent. They just don’t have any bling at all. They are also very, very light and easy on the back. There are full depth and thin line versions, with and without cutaway, and one or two pickups. I believe (but am not certain) all non-cutaways, regardless of depth, are single pickup. The full-depth cutaway versions are rare. Mine started its life as a 125T (thinline, no cutaway, one pickup) but someone added a cutaway and when I got it I added the bridge pickup - it had been so abused it had no collector’s value anyway. This is my absolute favorite electric guitar, it covers everything from jazz to blues to, say, AC/DC should that interest you. Bad choice for metal. It’s hollow, so you learn to work with feedback - although, since I use small amps and low gain, I’ve never had an issue. The thinline version is directly comparable to an ES-330 or Casino. The full depth version could be compared to a P90 175. I will say this - P90s on a completely hollow body are about as close to heaven as I’ll ever get. Steven
  13. Happens to us all. In the early 80s I had to sell a beautiful Gretsch Streamliner to pay my rent. Another one I regret.
  14. That was my first good guitar, too. I traded it in 1980 for a SF Vibrolux. Wish I still had both of those. I’ve kept an eye out for one, but they are rare here. steven
  15. Hi. This is, I think, my first post. I went with a friend, pre-lockdown, to compare J-45s at a shop here with a large selection, among them the standard J-45, the Studio, and the Sustainable. I believe he also tried a Hummingbird Studio and a couple others. Of course there will always be guitar-to-guitar variation, so this only applies to those specific guitars. The J-45 was as you would expect a J-45 to be. It was an acceptable but not exceptional example of a J-45. The J-45 Studio sounded like a piece of dead, wet wood. I don’t think we spent more than two minutes with that one. Sometimes you know when a guitar is absolutely right, and sometimes you know when a guitar is absolutely wrong. This one was absolutely wrong. The J-45 Sustainable was MAGNIFICENT. If I had been looking for a new acoustic, I would have bought it on the spot. I’m a Martin OM player, but that particular guitar was the first in-shop guitar in years that nearly broke my neck doing a cartoon double-take. It was fabulous. For personal reasons, he wanted to check out the Hummingbird Sustainable too, which they didn’t have. They got one in two weeks later and that’s what he bought. Just like the J-45, it is a splendid sounding guitar. Very responsive and dynamic, you can go from delicate balanced fingerpicking to thunderous bass flat picking without a thought. I spent quite a bit of time playing it and it was the first guitar I ever played that made me consider giving up my OM. Having said that, he reports it is very sensitive to weather changes, which we attribute to the finish. More so than any other guitar he has owned. But the sustainables are winners in my book. Given a massive, statistically significant sample size of two, I’ve played exactly two very fine guitars. steven
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