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Gibson ES 347 - The Red-Headed Stepchild of the Gibson Line?

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thanks artmaker, i re-checked the serial # and realized it was a 1989, not an 82 like i had thought. I was actually thinking of just fixing it up a little, some of the hardware is starting to pit. I might change out the tuners to some sperzel locking tuners, and swap out the pickup covers. Anyway, my question is as long as i keep all the original parts, it won't devalue the guitar, right?

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I am planning on buying a new guitar this summer and I'm trying to decide between the ES-347 and the B.B. King Lucille. The main consideration is the shape of the neck. I have heard that the ES-347 has a wonderful neck that is slim and tapered very nicely. I only play blues, how does the neck on the 347 work for blues? How does it compare to the Lucille with a fatter neck?

 

Unfortunately I have not had a chance to play one to see for myself. Thanks in advance.

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Mine is a 82 Tobacco burst. According to the Blue Book, they were manufactured from '78 to '91.

 

 

gibson2gj2.jpg

 

That's yummy. Congrats.

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It is a nice guitar, but that's a six-year old post.

 

Danny W.

 

Lol. I didnt notice that. Geez by now the owner might be interested in selling it.... to me

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So the only difference is the 347 has a more expensive fret board and it is for some reason less desirable and cheaper than a 335??? Why?

 

It is a question I ask about the 345.

 

I can guarantee that any side-by-side "Review" in one of the laughable guitar magazines (I no longer buy any of them) lauds the 335 and either pans or diminishes the 345. IMO it is by far the better guitar.

 

I have never seen a 347 in the flesh but from all accounts they sound like mighty fine guitars to me (at least the ones with an ebony fretboard)

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The big rock stars play 335s, not 345s or 347s or 355s (mostly) and certainly not the Lucille.

 

That's why the 335 is more popular and why it's worth more.

 

Stupid but true.

 

 

 

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I think collectors and appraisers like the first and simpler model, and because of this the 335 is considered more "collectable". The fancier models 345, 347, or 355 (BBKing) are more complex and less desirable, a conclusion that doesn't really make sense to me. Even with the lack of binding and the Ebony fingerboards the 335 is still king.

 

Here is what is commonly believed about the ES-335, as quoted from "Antique Vintage guitar info" website:

 

Description: Gibson ES335 Electric Thinline Archtop guitar.

Available: 1958 to 1981 (but reissued by Gibson as a reissue dotneck in 1981)

Case: Brown hardshell case with a pink lining was the top-end Gibson case from 1958 to 1961. Then in 1962 the case changed to a black outside with a yellow plush interior. Also available with a low-end aligator cardboard case.

Collectibility Rating: 1958-1960 "dot" models with "large" neck: A+, 1960-1962 "dot" models with a "thin" neck: A, 1962-1964 "block" marker models: B+, 1965 to 1969 "trapeze tailpiece" models: C+.

Production: 1958:317, 1959:592, 1960:514, 1961:886, 1962:876, 1963:1156, 1964:1241, 1965:1750, 1966:2524, 1967:5718, 1968:3760, 1969:2197

General Comments: The Gibson ES-335 guitar with its semi-hollowbody construction is a great guitar. The solid maple block down the center of the body minimizes feedback, but the hollow body wings gives good sustain, tone and weight. This model is most desirable with a stop tailpiece and a large neck size. Also the dot fingerboard inlays (aka "Dot Neck") version is also desirable. Additionally the long pickguard (pre-1961) models are also nice. Bottom line, the 1958 and 1959 models with stop tailpieces are considered the best. Alternatively I like the 1963 and 1964 models with a stop tailpiece, because the neck shape is nice. A Bigsby vibrato on the 1958 to 1964 models hurts the demand of this guitar. Also the 1960 to 1962 style "thin" neck also hurts demand (compared to the earlier "large neck" models, but this is a general fact of all Gibsons of this era).

 

In that case, the 347 is the most simple model with an ebony board. It doesn't have a mahogany neck as the others do, but a 3-piece maple neck, same as the BBKing model. The absence of the Varitone or a Bigsby vibrato is a mark for simplicity. The TP-6 tailpiece puts it up to the level of some pricier tailpieces I've seen on L5 models. Hang on to these guitars and I think they will become collectable.

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Back, when I got my Gibson "Lucille" they weren't offering a regular ES-345 or 355, at all!

AND, "Lucille" was 400 bucks LESS, than a ES-335, as well! I asked my dealer about

that "weird" price difference, and he said (pretty much) the same thing, about 335's

being a LOT more popular, and selling 10-1 over "Lucille" at that time. Probably not

a lot different, now...except Gibson "wised up," on "Lucille's" price point! Sure

glad I got mine, when I did! Paid right at $1,600 (new) including tax, and case,

of course. 335's were going for right at $2,000 including tax, at that time. At

least, at my dealer's.

 

CB

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The ES-347 will become collectible when Eric Clapton is shown with one on an album cover.

 

He'd better hurry up, he's no Spring Chicken.

 

I'm one to talk, I turn 56 this Saturday. How the hell did that happen?

 

 

 

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The ES-347 will become collectible when Eric Clapton is shown with one on an album cover.

 

He'd better hurry up, he's no Spring Chicken.

 

I'm one to talk, I turn 56 this Saturday. How the hell did that happen?

 

Ahhh, you're still a "kid!" I turned 66, yesterday (November 3)! [scared] "Time Flies!" Especially, these days!

It's the old "toilet paper roll syndrome"...the closer to the end, you get, the faster it goes!" :unsure:

 

CB

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Ahhh, you're still a "kid!" I turned 66, yesterday (November 3)! [scared] "Time Flies!" Especially, these days!

It's the old "toilet paper roll syndrome"...the closer to the end, you get, the faster it goes!" :unsure:

 

CB

Belated Happy Birthday To You, Charlie Brown! :)

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Bought a 1981 ES-347 this year. Absolute fantastic guitar plugged or unplugged. No need ever again for any other semi-hollow body.

Does she still have her stock Dirty Fingers pickups? They are extraordinarily great (not only) on ES Gibsons. An ES-335 Dot Pro I tried at a shop around 1980 had them, too, and this guitar had the best Gibson ES tone I ever experienced personally.

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Does she still have her stock Dirty Fingers pickups? They are extraordinarily great (not only) on ES Gibsons. An ES-335 Dot Pro I tried at a shop around 1980 had them, too, and this guitar had the best Gibson ES tone I ever experienced personally.

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I've had my 1982 347 since 2004, and it is still my favourite guitar. The serial number indicates it was built in Nashville. I bought it from a small local store owned by a guy who has an impressive collection of vintage guitars and amplifiers. He didn't have much info on the history of my 347, only that it was previously owned by a female player. It is black and differs from standard Gibson specification in that the pickups, bridge and tailpiece are chrome, and the tuners are Gibson stamped with fly out handles to enable fast winding. An enquiry to Gibson told me that either it was a custom order or an after market mod, so which of those is the case I can only guess at... but there is no evidence of any work, so I suspect it was a custom order. I have never had the pickups out to see what they are exactly, they are hot though, so perhaps series V11.

I love the way the guitar is made, such a luxury feel and look to it. I had never intended to buy a semi solid when I went in the store, but when I tried it, it felt so good to play that I just had to have it :) I only ever use it for recording, given that it is such a weighty guitar (9.7 pounds) I would expect it would not be the most comfortable for live playing, but no problem for me as I only do studio work.

I guess it will never have the cool factor which the 335 has, and Norlin era guitars seem to have a bad reputation, but I could not care less. It is beautifully made, I love owning and playing it, it has more than doubled in value since I bought it, so what's not to like? It's a lovely guitar which I will never sell.

Edited by dickie

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