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2016 ES-275 questions


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I recently purchased a 2016 ES-275 (faded cherry) from Alto Music. The guitar is remarkable. I couldn't be more pleased, and wish I had individual names of the persons involved in its construction. My thanks to Gibson Memphis for the work they do.


I have some questions for anyone who can help, from the forum community to Gibson Memphis itself.


Who was responsible for the design?

I saw videos from Gibson in Japan with Mike Voltz talking about the guitar, suggesting its appearance in good measure was in response to players in the Japanese market. I'm interested in knowing more details, if possible. The guitar is a clear example of the kind of classic, subtle new model design which a company like Gibson is known for. The design is consistent with the history of the "ES-" models but adds to them. The webpage devoted to the 2016 faded cherry model is actually spot-on: the guitar's hollow-body construction, the genuine arch-top rosewood base for the titanium saddle ABR-1 bridge, and other listed factors really do contribute to the guitar's acoustic and amplified sustain and "ring," as well as its tonal flexibility. (I own a 335 and 345, both early 70s, a later 333, and an early RI VOS 330, which are different instruments sound-wise I know. Still, the 275 stands out with a distinctive voice--there's no comparison with the 330 acoustically, though the 330 has P-90s.)

Is the ES-275 as introduced in 2016 still in production, with the same specs, finishes, etc.?

The only new model I've seen is the P-90 sunburst version, and it's difficult to tell if there are any other current/2017 production guitars. Gibson switched apparently from Richlite early on to rosewood, a really smart change it seems to me, and extended the split parallelogram inlays to the first fret. Frankly, the inlays and faded cherry finish sold me on that model over the other, more expensive ones, which lack the parallelogram inlays and the faded cherry finish option.


What kind of strings are used on the guitar?

From what I can tell, the string gauges aren't part of any manufacturer's "standard" offerings (11-14-19-32-42-52), so assembling a set seems the only way to go. The trick is finding a wound G (.019), consistent with other strings from the same manufacturer. D'Addario is the only manufacturer I've found at the moment.

The strings my guitar shipped with were not flat wound either, but more round wound. Again, can Gibson state or recommend a manufacturer, as well as a type (flat- or round-wound)?


Though the ES-Les Paul model barely made it into Tony Bacon's 2016 book on the 335, it's a shame he didn't have time, I assume given the book's publication date (almost a year ago to the day) to include details on the 275.


And yes, I'd like to write that story or article on the 275.


Thanks for your help!

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Arriving today was the July-August 2017 issue of "The ToneQuest Report." Included in the issue is an interview with Mike Voltz regarding the genesis of the ES-275, and TQRs review of an ES-275 Darkburst with P90s, and an ES-275 "F" (figured, w/ humbuckers).


Still leaves earlier questions unanswered, but very cool to see the 275 receiving current attention and high approval from TQR.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know the answers to most of your question. But regarding strings, Gibson generally uses D'Addario at the factory, they are custom wound for Gibson and don't have the colored ball ends that replacement D'Addarios will have. They make a string that is between a round wound and a flat round, and that is probably what came on your 275 from the factory. Hope that helps a little.


And by the way we have a general rule here at the Gibson forum - when talking about a new guitar that you got, you must show pictures or it didn't happen [biggrin] Mainly of course cause we love guitar porn.

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