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Do all 1990's ES295 guitars sound lame?


Bigsbyman

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I just acquired an early 1990's ES295; I've wanted one of these since they were first reissued. I and am stunned at how lame and uninspiring it sounds in comparison to my 335's, Tal Farlow, 1958 Gretsch Double Anniversary, and virtually every other guitar I own. Is it the P100's? Is it the very thick top (looks like 4-5 ply)? ANY feedback is appreciated, no pun intended.

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Interesting observation about the 295. I had an original back in the 60s and thought it was a complete dud, deadest sounding thing I'd ever played. I learned a couple years ago that someone had installed a set of humbucking pickups in an attempt to get some tone out of it. Not sure how successful that was. I tried changing the bridge to a 175 tailpiece & bridge, helped a bit but not much.

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While the playing on that clip is impressive, and the guitar looks a million dollars (or at least a portion of Fort Worth), it reminds me of why I have got fed up with my 1990s Epiphone Casino and love my Gibson Howard Roberts. Despite having pickups which are supposed to be more tightly focused, the Casino lacks definition compared with the HR. Is it Epiphone P90s which lack clarity, or am I just congenitally unable to appreciate the combination of a fully hollow body with P90s? I don't think it is entirely the latter, as I love Chuck Berry's classic recordings, enjoy Scotty Moore's playing, and like the sound of Paul Pigat playing on an ES 350 or ES 125 (Paul Pigat tears it up). So the quality of the pickups probably counts for quite a lot. There are quite a lot of reviews from ES 135 players saying that they love their guitars, but replaced the P100s with real P90s, because the stacked humbuckers didn't quite do it for them. Perhaps that really is your problem, Bigsbyman, and perhaps P100s are to 1990s Gibsons what P90s are to Epiphones of the same period.

 

Interesting thoughts

 

Its a totally different guitar and it all depends on what kind of a sound your looking for .

 

Myself is like the tone of that guitar better than my Gretsch 6120 and I also have a 58 es 335 .

 

 

 

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Ive been told the early version of the 295 guitars had Gibson p90s and at some point they switched to the Epiphone version . Myself I know the Gibson p90s are not the same sound wise Ive compared them side by side and found the Gibson are hotter with more output and are more aggressive.

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Here's what a real 50's 295 can sound like:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpXTcHqKrxc

 

Here's what a reissue ES295 can sound like:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0aW4j3uhmc&playnext=1&list=PL72A2166128AD350F&index=96

 

One caveat though - in some of the Charlie Baty clip you can hear some definite hum coming from the amp, so it's possible he swapped out the P100's for something different. Still, I think it sounds pretty durn good.

 

 

RE: the Epiphone equivalent - I discovered that one of the things holding back some of the Epiphone P90 guitars is definitely the pickups. I've owned a bunch of P90 guitars, among them a 1951 ES350 and a 1966 ES125CD. About 6 months ago I picked up a 2003 Peerless-made Epiphone ES295. Plays great, and unplugged it sounds great, but plug it in and - bleah. It's like what I was hearing acoustically was not coming through when electrified. I finally got around to putting the pickups on a multimeter - they come in at 11.5k ohms! P90's are typically in the 7.8 to 9-ish range. I don't know if they used different coil wire on these hence different resistance, or if they simply way-overwound them, but the pickups had no character.

 

I mention this because I just got through changing the pickups, and adding a push-pull pot for phase reversal on the bridge tone control. It totally woke this guitar up.

 

I've heard that it's not uncommon for Casinos to come with these grossly overwound pickups, too, although changing pickups in a Casino can be an adventure because of the special angled pickup covers and what not. However one of the best sounding MIK Casinos I've ever played was hanging on the wall of a local store and had Duncan Antiquities in it.

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