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Another ES-330 fan


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From Sunday's NY Times: an article called Possessed, about a NY chef and his favorite guitar - his Gibson ES-330.


Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times


"John DeLucie and guitar.


IF music be the food of love, John DeLucie is not about to quit his day job.

But he thinks about it. Mr. DeLucie, the chef behind downtown’s current red-hot spot, the Lion, as well as its last red-hot spot, the Waverly Inn, as well as a new restaurant, the Royal, in Miami Beach, has his work cut out for him.


So when he comes home from the Lion, usually around 11 p.m., still wired up from work, he has found a way to shut out the noise and pipe in his own — via a guitar and a pair of headphones.


“I’m in the kitchen all day long,” he said, sitting in his West Village apartment. “You need something that takes you out of the daily grind. I can come in here, put these on, crank the volume all the way up, and no one will ever hear.”


But before you go thinking that you get the picture — the chef who works all day at a hyper-connected restaurant comes home and gets his ya-yas out tapping into some Adam Sandler-esque fantasy of male regression comin’ home, popping open a cold one and getting all Jimmy Page to “Whole Lotta Love” — just wait.


“This isn’t ‘Guitar Hero,’ ” he said, chuckling. “This so isn’t that.”


No, it’s not. Standing against one wall, neatly arrayed like soldiers, are five guitars: a 1970s Stratocaster; a new Line 6 Variax; an acoustic guitar; a custom-made white electric guitar; and a Gibson ES-330. On a counter against the opposite wall is a keyboard and a big-screen iMac running Logic Pro, Apple’s high-grade zillion-variable music production software. This is not a room to jam in; it’s a minor recording studio that Mr. DeLucie uses to create songs.


In some ways, he said, making music is similar to cooking. The success of both comes down to the quality of the ingredients as much as how they’re put together. He grew up on Long Island with an Italian grandmother who loved to cook and a father who played guitar, and good food and music were mainstays of his childhood diet.


But the real pleasure he gets out of playing guitar is how it takes him away from thinking like a cook. So, of all his guitars, it’s the Gibson ES-330, made in 1964 with dual pickups and an ombré “sunburst” design of brown and blond, that he loves above the rest. He bought it in 2006, not long after the Waverly Inn opened to such success.


This instrument, his first good, grown-up guitar, is a thin-line hollow-body model prized for its versatility and classic sound. Never truly famous itself, it received a little reflected glory in the ’60s when John Lennon and Paul McCartney played the Epiphone Casino, a hollow-body guitar virtually identical in look, feel and sound to the ES-330.


“The sound has a fullness, a roundness — the notes sustain better,” he said, comparing it with his first guitar, the Stratocaster. And while he prizes his other guitars for various reasons (the Variax’s digital format allows him dozens of guitar sounds; his new custom-made white electric has a rock-star glamour), the ES-330 is his ideal, for two very different reasons. No. 1: Its versatile, pure sound means he can use it as an ingredient, using Logic Pro’s amps to cook the sound any way he likes. But then, the problem with obsessing about getting a song perfect is that it starts to feel like work.


“I have to remember that I’m not Jimmy Page,” he said. “That’s when I have to take a break from it, when I get frustrated that I can’t express myself well enough, that I can’t play as well or as fast or as nuanced as I want to.”


Luckily, Reason No. 2: the ES-330 is simply a joy to play as much as it is a joy to hear. And at the end of the day, it’s important to have something that can wind you down when so many things can wind you up."


- As the deliriously happy owner of a 1966 ES-330 I second Mr. DeLucie's comments about his 330. It's why a clumsy amateur like myself looks forward to getting a chance to play a little after a tough day at work. I've had 4 of them before I got this one, but this one is just magical. My favorite guitar of all time. Any other 330 fans out there?

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Yes, fellow ES330 fan here !!

I love it as a complement to my ES335 and for it's meaty P90 pickups

The ES330 is light handling and with many tonal possibilities...as explored by the Beatles with their Casinos

Great ES330 players...Grant Green, Andy Summers, BB King(pre Lucille)






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