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  1. #26

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    So is the location of this putative "24th fret" the location of the next harmonic after the 12th fret?

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  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    So is the location of this putative "24th fret" the location of the next harmonic after the 12th fret?
    The location of the next octave but only as long as you don't fret the string....

  4. #28

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    Yes, the harmonic is over the 24th fret. You can find the location easily enough by finding where the harmonic is. On my Epi it's over the polepieces of the neck pickup. I'm not convinced that's the ideal place, but that's where it is. I don't play a lot of open strings, and I actually prefer the pickup further up the neck.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptchristopher3
    So there is an explanation that this is an intentional tilt to the PU that, through some unidentified phenomenon, reduces feedback. That is great if it works, somehow, for a given player.

    Likewise if there is some unidentified principle by which the PU fares better by following the top contour, AND by using an angled bezel (thus not following the top contour, but nevermind) this feature and its associated (if inexplicable) benefits are achieved, that is equally great.

    A satisfied player making successful music is the goal.

    Can you imagine a Benedetto, Sadowsky, or Collings guitar with such slovenly attention to detail and such a pant-load of “explanation”?

    No personal offense to any post or poster here intended at all. I certainly understand that there are varying views on this, and that a reported view from a Gibson employee is very important to many.

    Personally I find views that are consistent with actual principles associated with the claimed benefits, can be more important than the personal associations of the source of the views. But this may be a very inconvenient and irritating comment to make, especially regarding the Gibson brand.

    What works in terms of a satisfied player making music he/she loves is what counts.
    Well stated. My ES-175 VOS 1959 came with the pickup ring reversed, and one of the consequences was an exposed razor edge on the pickguard bevel--pretty much right where my free fingers would rest. Maybe Gibson has talked themselves into thinking this farkakte setup makes sense, but it looks horrible and I'm not changing it back.


  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Your point is correct, but excuse me for being a nitpicker: it IS the 24th fret (I recently dug into that).

    With the L4 and L5 it is the 22nd fret (as with my Ibanez AF55, reason why I investigated). Look at the picture below, the L4 CES has a 20 fret neck and the pickup sits against the fretboard under the 22nd en 23rd fret. With the ES175, ES335 and ES125 it sits under the 24th and 25th fret.

    But of course this does not affect your point, you are absolutely correct that the position of the pickup is responsible for a large part of the difference in tone!
    That depends on where on the PU you measure. If you measure to the pole pieces, you are correct. But the PU pick up string vibration with a wider surface area than just the pole pieces, so when I measure it, I use the middle of the PU. As I understand it, the other coil in a humbucker is not entirely a silent "dummy", so the "center" of the PU should be somewhat south of the polepieces but if it is in the exact middle of the PU I actually don't know. FWIW, many years ago I tried to reverse the neck PU on my 175 ad modam Wes M. but couldn't detect any significant change in sound.

    Even with single coil PUs, the width of the windings has a bearing on the sound. The fender Strat and Tele PUs sounds more sharp and "ice picky" than the wider wound PUs on the Fender jazzmaster (though of course the sound can to a high degree be tweaked with the tone controls or an EQ pedal). I suppose the sound will become muddy and mushy if the windings are made veeeeeery wide.

    But you are right - both your and my point is that the PU on the 175 is closer to the bridge than on say the L4 and L5 and that accounts for a part of the difference in tone.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark 63
    Well stated. My ES-175 VOS 1959 came with the pickup ring reversed, and one of the consequences was an exposed razor edge on the pickguard bevel--pretty much right where my free fingers would rest. Maybe Gibson has talked themselves into thinking this farkakte setup makes sense, but it looks horrible and I'm not changing it back.

    I recently took delivery of one of the CME floor model ES-175s. It is my first archtop. Your photo of the pickup arrangement could have been taken of my guitar. Identical. Tilted neck pickup and exposed razor edge of pick guard. I was alarmed & prepared to ship it back as it seemed wrong to me and did not inspire confidence. But after poking around a bit it seems it is how Gibson is building them now.

  8. #32

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    Prediction : In 20 years, these 175s--which are great sounding by the way--are going to be like the volute guitars from Gibson's Nolin past.

  9. #33

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    Hmm. You prefer a plain top to that beautiful flaming? That's crazy talk, sir!


    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    It's lovely wood, but for some reason, I like a plain top 175, with a sunburst.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Prediction : In 20 years, these 175s--which are great sounding by the way--are going to be like the volute guitars from Gibson's Nolin past.
    What does cajun background have to do with it? (nudge, nudge, get it? Huh? Get it?)

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Prediction : In 20 years, these 175s--which are great sounding by the way--are going to be like the volute guitars from Gibson's Nolin past.
    I disagree. The pickup mount is as easy a fix as the ugly amp knobs (Witch hats) that Norlin used. OTOH, volutes, maple necks, chrome hardware and 14 degree headstocks are, for the most part unfixable. Then there are the PUPS. 57 Classics and MHS PUPS sound warmer that T-tops. (though that is an easy fix as well). To their credit, Norlin did replace the T-Tops with Shaw PUPS (Excellent PUPS) at around the same time they dropped the volute.

    In 20 years, the 175 may not have much of a following unless jazz makes a comeback.

    @ Lawson: Did Norlin have anything to do with New Orleans???

  12. #36

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    There has GOT to be a reason why Gibson assembles them this way. It would make more sense if a percentage of them came like this, and the consensus was that it was just careless assembly and shoddy QC. But every one?!? That must be intentional. But WHY??? WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Could it be that someone looked at an old photo of a guitar from the 60s that happened to have the ring mounted backwards accidentally - and then instructed, without realizing that it was incorrect, to assemble them that way? The way these are assembled just makes absolutely no sense. It HAS to be intentional. AFAIK, this is the ONLY guitar with pickup rings that is put together like this. MY theory is that they do it like this because it puts the front coil of the pickup closer to the strings and that results in a warmer tone. But I don't know. I just reversed mine. It looks so much more "correct" - and I don't think the tone difference, if any, is profound (although I did change string gauge and brand at the time) and it is SO much better esthetically. . . and YET - it's friggin' gnawing at me! I'm messing with some secret, unknown Gibson magic tone formula. I'll probably cave in at the next string change and switch it back! Where the hell is Eric Johnson when you need him. Why isn't there a Federal investigation into this? I bet it has something to do with the aliens. They are secretly flipping the rings around.

  13. #37

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    The neck,position P90 on my '55 175 is on the contour of the curve, tilted toward the tail. Sounds just fine to me.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fusionshred
    There has GOT to be a reason why Gibson assembles them this way. It would make more sense if a percentage of them came like this, and the consensus was that it was just careless assembly and shoddy QC. But every one?!? That must be intentional. But WHY??? WHY?!?!?!?!?!

    Could it be that someone looked at an old photo of a guitar from the 60s that happened to have the ring mounted backwards accidentally - and then instructed, without realizing that it was incorrect, to assemble them that way? The way these are assembled just makes absolutely no sense. It HAS to be intentional. AFAIK, this is the ONLY guitar with pickup rings that is put together like this. MY theory is that they do it like this because it puts the front coil of the pickup closer to the strings and that results in a warmer tone. But I don't know. I just reversed mine. It looks so much more "correct" - and I don't think the tone difference, if any, is profound (although I did change string gauge and brand at the time) and it is SO much better esthetically. . . and YET - it's friggin' gnawing at me! I'm messing with some secret, unknown Gibson magic tone formula. I'll probably cave in at the next string change and switch it back! Where the hell is Eric Johnson when you need him. Why isn't there a Federal investigation into this? I bet it has something to do with the aliens. They are secretly flipping the rings around.
    They do it this way to mess with our minds. I mean, it's Gibson so... it must have a reason that goes back to core cult doctrines... that I don't know the core cult doctrine means... I'm not really a true member of the cult... so what do I have to do to become a true member of the inner circle of illuminated Gibsonians... it all ends up driving us steadily, remorselessly insane. If I just buy maybe one more Gibson archtop, it will all become clear...

  15. #39

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    Side Question -Would the Guitar sound better if the pickup was right at end of neck ?

    Maybe less Tone rolloff needed or none at all ?

    Some of the Heritage Models sound good that way in Demos but not sure if the H575 is really as Phatt / Deep as an ES 175 and never heard the Heritage in person..

    Also has anyone ever had or heard a Single Coil switch on an ES 175 ?

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Yes, the harmonic is over the 24th fret. You can find the location easily enough by finding where the harmonic is. On my Epi it's over the polepieces of the neck pickup. I'm not convinced that's the ideal place, but that's where it is. I don't play a lot of open strings, and I actually prefer the pickup further up the neck.
    Yes - especially if people are turning the Tone Knob down ...further up the Neck may be better..OR may not be audible.
    I don't own a 175 but really like the Tones...and will probably get some type of Guitar to get really thick single line cleans .

    However I asked about the Neck PU right at fingerboard end - nothing to do with Harmonic Nodes - just warmer Tones ..

    AND possibly would that require less or no Tone Knob roll off because I do not like the ' rumble' or slight low buzz on chords that sometimes results from turning down the Tone Knob which I hear on some Demos and Videos.

    RE :The 'Tilt ' of the neck pickup relative to the Strings is most likely an 'accident ' from the Construction of the Guitar and neck angle etc.
    I said an accident - not a defect - a' feature ' .
    People like me who might have a Single Coil switch
    even on an Archtop would benefit from the' Tilt' because as you see the Neck Coil is closer to the strings . So a little extra output in Single Coil .
    To Test whether the Tilt is audible a Pickup Mounting Ring like Carvin/ Kiesel uses with 3 scews
    which allows adjustable Tilt could return it to Parallel..but I think mostly not audible at all except in Single Coil Mode, which no one probably has on a 175.

    The Heritage H575 has the pickup next to the Fingerboard but not built exactly the same I don't think...so probably not a valid comparison.

    Of course ES 175s sound excellent to great as they are ...so my comments should be in that context.


    Also IF the Tilt is audible ( maybe Eric Johnson could hear it ..) it would be slightly warmer with the tilt since the neck coil is closer to the strings.

    I don't think the Tilt is audible.

    But moving the PU to the Fingerboard might be slightly warmer .

    I see listings for Floor Models at CME for 175s at only $2400 to $2500 -that's a lot of Guitar for the money.

    Does Gibson shave the frets down on these like they do on Les Pauls ?

  17. #41

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    The ES 175 produces an iconic sound via the neck pickup. There are guitars that produce warmer sounds. For example, in Gibson's line the L5 CES and L4CES are warmer.

    However, the 175 gets a sound that is both identifiable and very jazzy.

  18. #42

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    In my case on the Tal even with the reversed ring at the neck, the pickup would not be 100% parallel to strings.
    Since I already needed to deal with a slight sympathetic vibration at that location, I could put to rest both the noise and my OCD by using a pick cut in half to make the whole thing 100% parallel.
    A theory about the Gibson ES-175 Neck Pickup-20171229_092614_resized-jpgA theory about the Gibson ES-175 Neck Pickup-20171229_092450_resized-jpg

  19. #43

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    On the position of the neck pickup, I tested 2 ES175s, an ES165 Herb Ellis, an Epiphone Zephyr Regent Re-issue, and a Gibson L5ces. Every one of them has the pole pieces positioned at the 14th fret harmonic. The proportions of the L5ces body and scale make that position closer to the neck. But on the 16" ES1x5 bodies, with their shorter scale, that pulls the 24th fret harmonic further from the end of the fingerboard.

    For me that ends that discussion. All the relevant guitars I've been able to examine have their pickups positioned so the pole pieces align under the 24th fret harmonic. Not the center of the pickup, the pole pieces.

    I haven't had a chance to examine the L4ces, but now I think I'd like to!

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    On the position of the neck pickup, I tested 2 ES175s, an ES165 Herb Ellis, an Epiphone Zephyr Regent Re-issue, and a Gibson L5ces. Every one of them has the pole pieces positioned at the 14th fret harmonic. The proportions of the L5ces body and scale make that position closer to the neck. But on the 16" ES1x5 bodies, with their shorter scale, that pulls the 24th fret harmonic further from the end of the fingerboard.

    For me that ends that discussion. All the relevant guitars I've been able to examine have their pickups positioned so the pole pieces align under the 24th fret harmonic. Not the center of the pickup, the pole pieces.

    I haven't had a chance to examine the L4ces, but now I think I'd like to!

    The 24th fret harmonics lie at the middle of the neck pup on my L5CES; if the pup were placed to align the 24th fret with the pole pieces, the gap would be just as big as on the ES175.

    Related to this, I never understood why one should care about the location of the pups relative to open string harmonics; whatever sweet spot you choose only works for the open string notes, or perhaps fretted notes with closely related harmonics like at the 7th or 5th fret.

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren
    The 24th fret harmonics lie at the middle of the neck pup on my L5CES; if the pup were placed to align the 24th fret with the pole pieces, the gap would be just as big as on the ES175.

    Related to this, I never understood why one should care about the location of the pups relative to open string harmonics; whatever sweet spot you choose only works for the open string notes, or perhaps fretted notes with closely related harmonics like at the 7th or 5th fret.
    I'll re-check my own L5ces.

    I also totally agree with your comment about the value (or not) of that principle of placement. The point, though, is that at least for the ES1x5 vs. L5ces, the issue apparently wasn't to move the pickup closer to the neck for "warmth" but simply to apply the same principle--proximity to the 24th fret harmonic--to differently proportioned bodies, scale lengths, and fretboard lengths.

    I also wonder if these were originally set with P90's in mind, where the "center" of the pickup was also the location of the pole pieces, and they simply did not change the tooling when they went to humbuckers?

  22. #46

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    Lawson,

    Interesting theory about P90s, which have the pole pieces in the middle. Though didn't the earliest 175s have P90s too?

    BTW the body proportions are irrelevant to the 24th fret harmonic location; it's always right at the location of the 24th fret, if one was there. Imagine adding 4 more frets to your L5; that puts you around the center of the neck pup.

    Ren

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren
    Lawson,

    Interesting theory about P90s, which have the pole pieces in the middle. Though didn't the earliest 175s have P90s too?

    BTW the body proportions are irrelevant to the 24th fret harmonic location; it's always right at the location of the 24th fret, if one was there. Imagine adding 4 more frets to your L5; that puts you around the center of the neck pup.

    Ren
    What I was saying about body proportion was directed at the space between the neck pickup and the end of the fingerboard. Differing scale length and other physical variables might place that 24th fret harmonic at a point farther or closer relative to the end of the fingerboard. Also some of these guitars have 19 or 20 frets on the fingerboard, which would affect the size of that space as well. The space size I'm thinking is a consequence of applying the 24th fret principle to different scale lengths, fretboard lengths, body shapes, etc.

  24. #48

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    You know, I never gave much thought to where--on the geography of the guitar top--the neck pickup was located on either the L5 or the ES175. What I liked was that BOTH guitars sounded magnificent. Clearly, they got there via different archtop electric formulas. Gibson developed the two guitars separately, but arrived at tremendous results in each case. The '49 and subsequent ES175 models seem to be an outgrowth of the ES150, ES250, and ES300 efforts--especially in terms of the pickup type and placement. The L5CES, developed in the 50s, seems to be a deliberate and separate product line--although it is associated with an older guitar than any of the others mentioned above.

    When I first played an L5CES and an ES175--both in the late-60s IIRC--I remember being struck by how lush and sophisticated a tone each guitar was capable of delivering. (It's also at about that time that I played my first Super 400. Wow.) Back then, I remember thinking that the L5 was warmer sounding than the ES175, but I also remember being drawn more to the sound of the ES175.

    Later, around 1978 or so, I began my search for a jazz electric to complement the '38 Gibson L50 I owned. I systematically auditioned everything from top-line Guild, Gibson, Gretsch, etc., electric archtops. I had saved enough money to purchase a Super 400 if I wanted, but ultimately purchased a ES175.

    There is something VERY balanced across the fretboard, from low-E to high-C, on the ES175--especially with a set of TI JAZZ SWING .12-.50 strings. The sound and feel of the 24-3/4" scale is quite different from the 25-1/2" scale on the L5 (or the Tal Farlow) guitar. I am a long-scale devotee. That said, I think that the shorter scale on the ES175 is superb on that instrument.

    Now, having said all of this, I will state a preference for the two pickups on the ES175 not being slanted towards each other like the home and away bleachers at a high school football field. Just sayin'. I like the neck pickup look on vinlander's Tal.

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    You know, I never gave much thought to where--on the geography of the guitar top--the neck pickup was located on either the L5 or the ES175. What I liked was that BOTH guitars sounded magnificent. Clearly, they got there via different archtop electric formulas. Gibson developed the two guitars separately, but arrived at tremendous results in each case. The '49 and subsequent ES175 models seem to be an outgrowth of the ES150, ES250, and ES300 efforts--especially in terms of the pickup type and placement. The L5CES, developed in the 50s, seems to be a deliberate and separate product line--although it is associated with an older guitar than any of the others mentioned above.

    When I first played an L5CES and an ES175--both in the late-60s IIRC--I remember being struck by how lush and sophisticated a tone each guitar was capable of delivering. (It's also at about that time that I played my first Super 400. Wow.) Back then, I remember thinking that the L5 was warmer sounding than the ES175, but I also remember being drawn more to the sound of the ES175.

    Later, around 1978 or so, I began my search for a jazz electric to complement the '38 Gibson L50 I owned. I systematically auditioned everything from top-line Guild, Gibson, Gretsch, etc., electric archtops. I had saved enough money to purchase a Super 400 if I wanted, but ultimately purchased a ES175.

    There is something VERY balanced across the fretboard, from low-E to high-C, on the ES175--especially with a set of TI JAZZ SWING .12-.50 strings. The sound and feel of the 24-3/4" scale is quite different from the 25-1/2" scale on the L5 (or the Tal Farlow) guitar. I am a long-scale devotee. That said, I think that the shorter scale on the ES175 is superb on that instrument.

    Now, having said all of this, I will state a preference for the two pickups on the ES175 not being slanted towards each other like the home and away bleachers at a high school football field. Just sayin'. I like the neck pickup look on vinlander's Tal.
    Every word you've stated here chimes with how I feel about this as well. Both those guitars really struck the right formula, each has its own feel and tone, and that's why it's fun to be able to play each!

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    What I was saying about body proportion was directed at the space between the neck pickup and the end of the fingerboard. Differing scale length and other physical variables might place that 24th fret harmonic at a point farther or closer relative to the end of the fingerboard. Also some of these guitars have 19 or 20 frets on the fingerboard, which would affect the size of that space as well. The space size I'm thinking is a consequence of applying the 24th fret principle to different scale lengths, fretboard lengths, body shapes, etc.
    Lawson,

    I guess what I'm trying to say, respectfully, is that I don't agree that the neck pup locations on the 175 and L5 are the same relative to the 24th fret harmonic location. On the 175, the 24th fret lies over the pole pieces, whereas on the L5, the 24th fret is at the center of the pup. I'd love to know why this design difference exists. I checked some pics of old 175s and L5s with P90s, and the same difference is there. BTW the L4CES has the same scale length as the 175, and you can see that the neck pup is closer to the neck on the L4 compared to the 175.

    Ren