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My Newest......an ES330L


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Thanks to a lot of good advise I got from my fellow guitarists here, I ordered a Custom ES330L that arrived today. Just wanted to share with all of you. For decades all I would ever consider were humbuckers on my Gibsons until last year when I purchased a SG Classic. Needless to say I fell in love with that incredible gritty tone from the P90s. As good as they sound on the SG, I can't believe how they sound on a thin line hollow body!! A fantastic blues and jazz guitar.


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Bob: I have an ES330TDC that looks just like yours. My dad bought it for me used when I was 14 years old, in 1969. I've always been curious about what wood it was made of. Do you know where I could find this information? Judging from the serial number pressed into the back of the neck, 065718, I think it was made about 1967. If you could point me in the right direction, many thanks. Over the years, the guitar has been a goodun, as the old folks say...Josh

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Bob: I have an ES330TDC that looks just like yours. My dad bought it for me used when I was 14 years old' date=' in 1969. I've always been curious about what wood it was made of.<...>[/quote']


I bought mine used. After extensive search, the serial number says mine was probably made in 1969 but since it has a "Made In USA" stamp on the headstock, it was more likely made in 1970. So I consider it a 1970 model.


I have no idea what kind of wood these were made out of.


As an acoustic guitar it sounds much fuller than my 2001 Casino. Of course there are other differences besides for the wood, nitro vs. poly, nylon vs. metal saddles, and the location of the bridge on the guitar due to the higher fret access of the 330.


I'd also be interested in what kind of wood and anything else about this guitar.


For playing at home, it's my favorite.


On stage, I use this (and some Gibson folks will disapprove):




It's a bottom-feeder LTD EC-50. I put GFS Mean 90s in it and a Big D Varitone. I also put my band's logo on it.


Why is it my gig guitar?


1) Great neck (but so does my Gibson and Epiphone)


2) P90 sound although I admit the Epiphone with Duncans sounds a bit better


3) Contoured body more comfortable than the hollow bodies, but a bit heavier


4) One volume knob near my right pinky - this is a big factor. I adjust this frequently while playing. I never realized what a great asset one vol knob was until I rescued the LTD from the junk pile (I got it for almost nothing and made it my first mod project)


5) Varitone. Although I don't use it as much as I should, one of the settings thins out the sound to make it sound Fender-ish


6) I can put it on an airplane without as much fear because it is a solid body and if the gorillas damage it, it didn't cost me that much to begin with


7) The 330 has become a collector's item. Since I play sax, wind synth, flute, guitar, vocals, percussion controller and sometimes keyboards on stage, and since I often have to switch instruments quickly, there is a good possibility that the Gibson will get dinged during an instrument switch mishap, and that would break my heart.


But the ES-330 is still my very favorite guitar. It's just to precious to abuse on a gig.


Insights and incites by Notes ?

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Wow artmaker, that's a beauty.


Unlike Notes, I always gig my favorite guitars, but they do get banged up a little. In his defense though, I don't wear nearly as many hats as him.....


I just want my best gear with me when performing.

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Nothing wrong with that Murph.


BTW, I bring my best sax to the gig. It's my main voice.


Unless it's outdoors near the salt water, then I bring my back-up horn since it is already tarnished.


I started bringing the ESP to the gig when I had a weekly gig for a year and a half on a salt water lagoon about a quarter of a mile from the ocean. I didn't want the salt air getting inside the hollow guitars and raising hell with the electronics. (And we are returning next October, she is doing some remodeling this summer).


So I modded the ESP with the Mean 90s, and found out something that never occurred to me all the time I played Gibsons or Epiphones, one master volume near the picking hand is a great tool. I never want to do without that again.


Especially since many of the patches on my FX pedal are at different volumes, and when I twist the Varitone, it also dampens the volume. So I can compensate for all these differences while I'm playing, even if I am playing on both pickups. Also I can boost the volume for a solo and take it back again with no problem.


Also, one of the Mean 90s is RWRP so if I want humbucking, I simply select both pickups.


My Gibson is 100% stock so I don't want to mess with it. But I'm thinking about having someone put a master volume on the pickguard of the Casino. It shouldn't be too hard to do for someone who knows how. Then the Casino might become my favorite gigging guitar.


The only thing I don't like about the ESP is that it's black. I wear black on stage, so it doesn't show up well (it is show biz) and it shows every little fingerprint. But it's one nice little guitar. I was seriously surprised.


Here is my main instrument.






Notes ?

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Bob: I'm glad the 330 has become a collectors item. I'll continue to research as to what materials it's made of' date=' and if I find out anything, I'll pass it along...Josh[/quote']



Before the economy tanked, I saw similar ones to mine go for over $5,000 - not bad for a guitar I paid $300 for!


Of course, they probably not going for that now that money is tight, and $300 isn't worth nearly as much as it was back then.


On the other hand, I have no intention of selling it. I generally don't sell my instruments until they are worn out (and I've worn out a few).


I still have an alto sax (made in 1925) that I bought used in 1964 or 65. It has the voice of an angel (see avatar). I don't bring it to the gig anymore. Carrying a tenor, wind synth, guitar, flute, percussion controller, and PA set is enough to schlep. The wind synth gives me a "good enough for the audience" alto sound. Not to mean anything derogatory to the audience, but they are listening with untrained ears, and I suppose some of them might even prefer the synth alto tone to my acoustic alto. Tone is like that.


Speaking of tone. The acoustic tone of the 330 is much richer and fuller than the Casino. That's why the Gibson is my number one practice guitar. I don't have to plug it in to practice and it sounds good.


Notes ?

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I run moderate volumes on stage, 100dba or less and I use a direct box/fx pedal. No feedback problems for me at all.


I think if you play loud in front of an amp, you could have some problems. But if you are playing that loud and don't have ear plugs, you are probably damaging your ears.


Insights and incites by Notes ?

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Congratulations Artmaker.

I´m glad to see that you have finally purchased the same guitar than me.

I see that you are happy with your new 330. As I said you in another topic, I belive that it is a great guitar for jazz, blues and classic rock´n´roll and the P90´s sound is amazing.

Congratulations again.

This is my guitar, I bought it in January 2010.



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You guys are giving me GAS for another one ;-)


I like the blue model myself, but the red is beautiful too.


I bought my Casino before Gibson re-issued the 330. If they had, I would have gone with another 330. It's all about the timing, and it isn't the first time I've been premature ;-)


Notes ?

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