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Who made you want to play an f-hole guitar?


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For me it was Malcolm Young' date=' Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, whatshisname from Bow Wow Wow, Izzy Stradlin, and other rock and roll hoodlums. How about you?[/quote']



Don't have one, but I already know.


Johnny A, BB King, Clapton and ah.....Gary Moore.

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I started out playing drums and quickly switched to sax. I played in guitar bands all my life, and for those songs that have no space for a sax, I learned to double on bass, guitar (barre chords) and keyboards. Later I also picked up wind synthesizer and flute.


In the first road band I played in, the guitarist had an Epiphone Sheraton. Not the II that they currently sell, but the original with the frequensator trapeze, gold hardware, sunburst finish and that beautiful vine inlay on the headstock. It was simply beautiful. I never got to play it, when I doubled on rhythm I played his "other" guitar.


During the disco years, the guitarist had a cherry red ES-335. By this time I was more mature as a musician and not only was it good looking, but I really liked the sounds the guitarist got out of it. Again when I doubled, I played his "other" guitar.


So I had a yearning to play a Sheraton/335. After all, they must be so good the guitarists didn't want to give them up and let me play them while they played a Fender or solid body Gibson.


Still, I was predominantly a sax player although I played Fender P Bass for a while when saxophones were not in style during the psychedelic era I didn't know much about guitar construction.


I saw what I thought was a 335 in a music store for $300.00 and I bought it. It was my first electric guitar. I loved it. Lightweight and it sounded great to my ears. Later I found out it was a 330, so I went to a music store and tried a 335 back to back with the 330 and decided I liked the sound of the 330 better. The music store rep explained the difference between P90s and humbuckers.


Fast forward to the 21st century. After mostly having the 330 hang on the wall while I learned flute, wind synth, how to make styles for the auto-accompaniment program called Band-in-a-Box, how to run a small business, and how to write web pages, I decided to get serious about the guitar. So I started practicing 2 hours a day using the knowledge my band-mates had shown me through the years, my musical theory knowledge from playing other instruments, and good old Mel Bay.


By then 330s were going for $5,000 on e-bay and since I double on sax, flute, wind synth, vocals, percussion controller and sometimes keyboards, I thought bringing a "collectors item" on stage was a sure way to devalue it by dinging up the finish in those times when I have to switch instruments quickly inviting an accident prone situation. Gibson hadn't re-issued the 330 yet.


So I bought a used MIK 2001 Epiphone Casino. It has Seymour Duncan pickups in it and although it doesn't sound as good acoustically as the Gibson, it actually sounds a bit better plugged in.


They have a wonderful "touch and go" neck, are light weight, beautiful to look at, and sound fantastic. How could you not love them. What they lack in sustain, they more than compensate for by having a more complex tone due to the vibrations of the wood the pickup is mounted on.


Insights and incites by Notes

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Going back to the 60's for me, it was "Johnny Rivers", "Chuck Berry", and "Roy Clark"! I have three "f' hole guitars, a 67' Cherry Finish ES 330 my father purchased for me new for my 16th birthday! A Cherry Finish ES 345TDSV which I purchased new back in 75' and a 2005 Ebony ES 335 I purchased new also.


They are all great guitars!

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I saw what I thought was a 335 in a music store for $300.00 and I bought it. It was my first electric guitar. I loved it. Lightweight and it sounded great to my ears. Later I found out it was a 330...Fast forward to the 21st century. ...By then 330s were going for $5' date='000 on e-bay [/quote']



OK, nice story, but I think it's time for a little realty check here. You want to tell me that you think you're student model ES-330 is worth $5000. If you can sell a 330 for $5000 then your my sales agent, I 'd like you to sell a few pieces for me. I've bought and sold guitars through the BIGGEST names in "vintage" guitars in the world, but I think maybe you must know more than they do.


Paul McCartney's '60 sunburst Les Paul came from a friend of mine (search this site), Johnny Winter's Firebird came from the same "dealer" (search this site). I haven't bought an off the wall guitar since I bought one of the first Les Paul Standard reissues from Mel Bal (around 1975). The slide player in my band played Johnny Winter's dobro before Johnny did (and will get it when he dies). Did you know that there was a '63 Firebird V waiting on Duane Allman to get home to Georgia from REHAB in New York, that he never even had a chance to see? I was also offered Duane's tobacco sunburst LP, but I wouldn't trade my Corvette Stingray for it. I've recently had pieces backstage at a Derek Trucks concert, and was asked to ship an amp to the 2009 Allman Bros Beacon Theater concerts. I even turned down a guy that wanted to trade his '56 hardtail Strat for my '60 Strat, plus a little cash (OK, I should have took that deal).


The one thing I do on this website is try to refute the BS. There are people out there that think because they read it on the WWW, it must be true. I also try to remain somewhat annonomus, but I have been dealing in, AND PLAYING, vintage guitars for almost 40 years, I won't have crap like this posted without a rebuttal.


Have a nice day,


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Notes' date='

OK, nice story, but I think it's time for a little realty check here. You want to tell me that you think you're student model ES-330 is worth $5000. [/quote']


I saw them going on eBay from $4,000 to well over $6,000. Considering the year and the shape my 330 is in, I gave it a conservative estimate of $5,000. If they aren't worth that much, then why do they sell for that much?


At that time Gibson hadn't re-issued the 330 (which sells for about $2,000) and I do admit, since the economy went down, the prices of all vintage guitars have gone down as the demand for collectibles of all sorts have diminished.


Do I think it's was worth $5,000 at the time I bought the Casino? Not to me, but then I'm more into the tool than the collectible status of any instrument. I don't think most "signature" guitars are worth the money either. But a lot of other people do.


And if the 330 is a student model, then the Casino must be a beginners model. After all, it's made from cheaper wood, doesn't have as high fret access, and doesn't have real MOP inlays.


I've seen Chuck Berry, Emily Remler and many other professionals play this "student" instrument.


I like the weight, neck, and sound of it. That's all that matters to me.


Here is a picture of my "student" instruments.




Insights and incites by Notes

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Man... how'd this innocent thread turn toward Trainwreck?

None of my business, and I certainly realize "asking" ain't the same as "going for" (and blonde ain't walnut either), but it took all of five seconds to find this listing (fwiw)



Oh... and to answer the o.p. -- T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Freddie King and Jimmy Johnson.

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Actually for me it wasn't one guitarist it was jazz music itself that made me want to play an f hole. I had played Les Pauls for years in blues/rock bands and I drifted into listening to trumpet players such as Chet Baker, Miles Davis.


I then decided that I wanted to play jazz standards and began taking lessons. I bought an old Maton Supreme many years ago and then bought a few Gibsons - L5, L4, ES165, ES150. The f holes just gave me the sound I wanted both acoustically and through the amp. Solid bodies just don't give you the warmth for the style of music that I'm now interested in.

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What made me want to play an f-hole guitar was EVEYBODY that played Les Pauls and Stratocasters.


During the early 70's all the local guitar players were still playing no-name POS electrics, I was able to buy a "real" Fender Stratocaster. Then everyone figured out Hendrix and Clapton, etc, were playing Stats and started to buy them, so I bought a Les Paul. By the mid-70's, people figured out players like Duane Allman, Jimmy Page, etc, were playing Les Pauls and started to buy and play them. At this time I started playing an ES-335. Then SRV came along in the early 80's and the Strats came back into favour, and I was able to just stick with my 335. I feel that having a different sound than the rest of the pack has served me well, especially in two-guitar bands where there was a difference in sound between the two guitar players. My interest in f-hole guitars AND jazz music then led me to full bodied archtops.


Even when invited to a jam, and especially when hired to do a fill-in gig, I will try to find out what the other guitar player(s), is playing and bring something different.

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Not exactly got any great insatiable yearnings for an F-Hole guitar but...


Seeing Alvin Lee play Hey Joe (an' all his other stuff) on one...

Watching Clapton use one at the farewell gig...

And B.B.King always plays one...

Oh... and Robby Krieger has also been seen with one...

All this gave me a hankering for a 335.


I must admit that I don't really like other semi-acoustics even though I do own three Rickenbackers and am looking to buy a 339 or similar... so there you go.






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