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  1. #401

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    Quote Originally Posted by gravyTrain View Post
    I don't think it is possible to have a perfect jazz guitar, and here's why.

    Regardless, I love the Gibson ES-137, and intend to get one, but I'll bet it's not even close to the best sounding jazz guitar out there; but I like it, and when everything is all said and done -- isn't that all that matters?
    That is interesting to me because one of the guitars that stands out to me as overpriced rubbish the past 10 years is the 137. I have repeatedly tried them in shops not wanting to believe how poor and uneven the quality is and repeatedly I see a model built with an embarrassing lack of care. So I am glad to hear that you are liking them, but I wonder where you are finding these gems.

    I see the 137 as a reduced cost 135, which was a surprisingly well built guitar in the 90's and early 00's.

    That said, a good used 135 is a bargain in the $800-1500 price range. And it is a versatile guitar. It handles club rock volumes just fine. String it with .011's and it will be quite responsive to touch dynamics...not as much as a carved archtop, but more than most solid bodies.

    But with Gibson's, I'd only purchase an older axe that I have play tested. The brand name only means more $$ than a comparable axe from another brand (e.g., Guild, Yamaha) and it certainly has no relationship at all to quality expectations.

    My $.02.

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  3. #402

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    [QUOTE=benrosow;970870]That is interesting to me because one of the guitars that stands out to me as overpriced rubbish the past 10 years is the 137. I have repeatedly tried them in shops not wanting to believe how poor and uneven the quality is and repeatedly I see a model built with an embarrassing lack of care. So I am glad to hear that you are liking them, but I wonder where you are finding these gems.

    I see the 137 as a reduced cost 135, which was a surprisingly well built guitar in the 90's and early 00's.

    That said, a good used 135 is a bargain in the $800-1500 price range. And it is a versatile guitar. It handles club rock volumes just fine. String it with .011's and it will be quite responsive to touch dynamics...not as much as a carved archtop, but more than most solid bodies.


    Does the 135 have the sustain and tuning stability of the 137 and get a deeper tone in your opinion on neck PU ?

  4. #403

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    Aside from the 137 seeming to be a later version of the 135 to a reduced price point, they "should" be about the same in construction. They both come in various P/U and bridge configurations so the variations within one model are probably greater than those between the models. e.g., My 135 has P100 stacked humbuckers where others have P90's or PAF types. They all have a big fat solid block from heel to end pin like a 335, but deeper since the body is deeper. I like the geometry of the guitar very much. But I think the sound of an apples to apples 137 vs 135 should be about the same, general quality issues aside. Less sustain than a Les Paul, but more resonance and greater response to pick attack. More sustain than a 175 but less picking dynamics and greater feedback resistance. I would not expect the neck P/U to be deeper or bassier on a 135 than a 137.

    For your 137, just make sure you play test it first and, if it passes inspection, then go for it. But I would not ever buy one off the web because I have seen too many junk examples. The 135's between '95 and '05 are more reliably of good quality.

  5. #404

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    If only two. Gibson 175 and Gibson 335. I like my old Ibanez Johnnie Smith and reissue Gretsch synchromatic. They don’t really do it for me, but they are great chordal chunka chunkas.
    Gibson 175, 335, 355, SG , Les Paul, Chet Atkins. Plus a few others.

  6. #405

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    Take a "short neck" 330, put only one P90 in neck position, add one inch to the body depth, give it a beefy mahogany neck and also mahogany back and sides. Color it blonde or sunset burst.
    I'll certainly buy it.

  7. #406

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo View Post
    Take a "short neck" 330, put only one P90 in neck position, add one inch to the body depth, give it a beefy mahogany neck and also mahogany back and sides. Color it blonde or sunset burst.
    I'll certainly buy it.
    A 50's ES175 might get you close. But no Mahogany backs, unfortunately.


  8. #407

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheThunder View Post
    In your opinion, what would you describe as the best all around jazz guitar, either currently produced or out-of-production, and what makes it so amazing.

    just for fun

    Thunder
    For me - my '06 Gibson ES-175 with '57 Classics. Looks great, plays great, feels great, sounds great. A keeper.
    Best regards, k

  9. #408

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    Gibson got very close to perfection at least three times: ES-175, ES-350 (original style, before short-scale and PAFs), and the L5-CES.

    I realize that one has a shorter scale, but it is SUCH a sweet jazz guitar. I played one for 30 years, for goodness' sake. At this point, it's like a marriage.

    Still, the 17" archtops, i.e., the L5 and the ES-350, are virtually unbeatable for getting it done on the job. I will, without regret, sub a Fender in there on the band stand--but it is a substitute for what I truly have in mind.

    I am always imagining, "How would things sound, right now, if I were playing an L5?"

  10. #409

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    The perfect jazz guitar is whichever one I am selling at the time.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  11. #410

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    I would settle for a Gibson Johnny Smith single pick-up for my ultimate Jazz guitar, but of course, it would have to be a "good one", meaning not all guitars are created equal, even if they are the same make and model.

    What I have to be happy with is my 1988 ES-175 (mahogany back and sides), an Unsung 1989 MIK Epi Sheraton, and a 1992 MIK Epi Emperor Regent.

  12. #411

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    I've had and currently have many archtops, solid bodies and a semi hollow. My ES 175 remains my favorite. I recently acquired a Byrdland. It sounds really good. I briefly thought it could be my main guitar. ES 175 fought back. Regained her crown. As she always does.

  13. #412

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    If you ask a visual artist to draw a jazz guitar from memory

    (I'll bet). they'll draw an L5ces with a Venetian cutaway

    its the Iconic shape for a Jazz box

  14. #413

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    The ES-125 is the perfect jazz guitar, because:

    - it has only pickup, so one does not become tempted to use the devilish bridge pickup that sounds no good for jazz;
    - it has no cutaway, so one has to become creative in the 0-14 fret range, which sounds much better anyway;
    - it is fully hollow and will feedback on higher volume levels so one is not tempted to play too loud;
    - it has no thrills and no fancy ornaments so one is not tempted to show off with a fancy guitar but can only show off with good playing;
    - it has a P90 which is THE ultimate jazz pickup and is not affected by the dreadful and utterly useless PAF-hype;
    - it was only available in sunburst (not counting the early hog versions), so one is not tempted to have a mine-looks-better-than-yours contest;
    - it does not cost 5k;
    - Martijn van Iterson plays one.

    End of discussion!

    ;-)
    Last edited by Little Jay; 11-05-2019 at 09:58 AM.
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  15. #414

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    The ES-125 is the perfect jazz guitar, because:


    - Martijn van Iterson plays one.

    End of discussion!

    ;-)
    That's your real name, right?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  16. #415

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    That's your real name, right?
    Shhhhhh!
    Keep it quiet.....
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  17. #416

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    Shhhhhh!
    Keep it quiet.....
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.