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Gibson ES 165 Herb Ellis

Blue Notes

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Would love some feedback on this one. Being a full hollowbody I'm guessing its purely a jazzbox but would the centre block mean you can play with a little overdrive for blues? Also is this an actual Custom Shop guitar or just made in the Custom Shop like many ES-137's?



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No this is like an ES175 but with just one pickup, probably a Kent Armstrong, attached to the end of the board rather than the top.

Looks very nice; I know that 175s and all other ES-guitars are made at Gibson Memphis.

However this particular one is fancier than many ES-165s I see on ebay USA for instance, so....

I would expect the number to start with 'CS' or for there to be a decal/transfer of some sort indicating Custom Shop somewhere, or else it must say so in the black book which contains the details.

Sure you could play blues on it; jazz blues - Herb Ellis was an incredible player in that style.

Might not be as good with an overdrive pedal as say a 335, 330 or similar....but it could be done.

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Well I've since contacted the seller and the guitar doesnt have a centre block so that answers my question. I thought it strange that it would have one to start with.



some put a Dowel in side to stop the feedback.. or to prevent a top from collapsing..

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Looks OK....


Looks like the best of the bunch....late model with floating P/U....[thumbup]


I had a less than inspiring experience with an early ES165 about 20yrs ago....:blink:


Gold hardware seemed fussy but guitar build in general was OK


Dry wiring (vintage correct) was unreliable and had to be upgraded under warranty


Top mounted P/U suffered from vibration buzzes....hence this later model has a neck mounted P/U....


A beautiful looking guitar which didn't seem to sell despite the number of custom built single P/U jazz guitars currently offered....


Herb Ellis's original ES175 had a single P90 in neck position.....[thumbup]


IMO fairly deep hollow jazzers like this are a niche market....the ES175 caters for the many satisfied working players....


Other practical options like the ES137 and ES330 are more versatile for general use.....





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Nice looking guitar, as new and never played shouldn't have any problems. I don't know what the exchange rate is, but for AU $4295 this is probably sort of a one trick pony. Single pickup in the neck position and NO tone control. I'm sure it will give a nice warm jazzy tone especially with the right strings, but not very versatile. I am lucky enough to have an L-5 which is pretty much a jazz box, but it does have 2 57 Classic Humbuckers, two volume and two tone controls so I can vary the sound quite a bit. This is just pretty much plug it in and go - as long as it has the tone you want all the time then fine, but few if any variations allowed. [unsure]

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