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  1. #1

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    The Gibson ES-775 looked great, as it was like a laminated version of an L4.

    The neck pickup was a little closer to the fretboard than on an ES-175 providing a slightly mellower sound, and the cutaway was a bit more pronounced giving better upper fret access.

    It appeared in 1990 and was discontinued in 1993.

    Why do you suppose the short lifespan?



    Gentleman playing an ES-775


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Maybe like the ES-345 and ES-355 the embellishments were less palatable than the plain Jane ES-335? Maybe the maple neck? The neck pup placement?

    Who knows what players reject, I figure if a disliked head design can trump sound, all bets are off, and there's really no answer.

  4. #3

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    I think that they were either just before or just after the next jazz revival, so that style of guitar wasn’t popular.

  5. #4

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    I'm sure they were short lived because they were selling like hotcakes.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I'm sure they were short lived because they were selling like hotcakes.
    Funny enough, that often seems to be the case with Gibson..... the ES-333 (all the ES-335 you need for half the price) was quickly discontinued as well, while they sold like hotcakes indeed..... I’m glad I got one!

  7. #6

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    But on the 775: a befriended guitar player in town has one that I played a couple of times. A rather heavy instrument but it played like butter and I really liked the sound: more compressed and mid scooped than a 175, much more steering towards L5 territory!

  8. #7

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    Players, for the most part, have a guitar. Among all the guitar players, the percentage of jazz players is really small. Among them, the percentage of jazz guitar players who have money to burn and have been waiting for an alternative to the ES-175 and don't have one already... well you see.
    An instrument like that can support itself in the line over time, but Gibson is/was run by executive decisions of fast money and make a lot of it now. That probably means somebody with good ideas can manage to sell the idea, and if it doesn't sell a million yesterday, the business heads see it as a failure.
    Players and businessmen don't always see things eye to eye.
    By the way, I work in a place where I'm seeing Gibsons off the production line and I must say, it's looking really good. The instruments being made very recently herald some kind of return to old values-and the new president has put customer satisfaction up at the top of priorities. A girl got a guitar that had a bad finish job, built about a year and a half ago I'd guess (substandard era). Got the run around for 6 months. THen the new president contacted her directly. "We'll make you a new one. From scratch. Pick any colour you want and tell us if you want any special features." She, we all were floored. Good job Gibson!

    David

  9. #8

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    I think there were kinda pricey for what they are. (Lam) Icbw.
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 03-26-2019 at 01:18 PM.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I'm sure they were short lived because they were selling like hotcakes.
    There are a few alternatives to poor sales that could also explain it: poor profit margins so there's little or no profit when they do sell; complexity of manufacturing thereby depriving limited resources from more profitable or important products; or alternatively that it was competing with other models that were already part of their core offering. My recollection was that in the early 90's Gibson was badly back ordered on all of their more elaborate archtops and that their problem at the time was not so much demand but rather their inability to actually produce sufficient numbers of guitars in a timely manner to satisfy that demand.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 03-27-2019 at 07:20 PM.

  11. #10

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    Thanks for the replies! I was pretty clear that they didn't sell very well, I was wondering if it was a price thing or a weight thing or something else. They do look & sound great!

  12. #11

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    I think time has told us that generally "improvements" to the 175 make them sound less like a 175, and most folks really just want...the sound of a 175.

  13. #12

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    I managed to get my hands on one way back. I liked it, but I like almost any guitar and I'm a sucker for Gibsons so not sure if that counts.

    IMHO it was a little on the gaudy side and a little bit heavy. It was on the expensive side, too.

    Sounded great. A little more mellow than a standard 175 IIRC. More like a Tal than a 175. Maybe it was the ebony fingerboard or maybe it was just that particular guitar.

    It felt like a solid guitar, almost like a solid body ... whereas my favorite 175s feel light and featherlike

    No famous guitar players associated with it, either. Most people want what their heroes are playing.

  14. #13

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    I agree with all of the above except I don't find the 775 to be a nice looking guitar. I think the headstock inlay is uninspired - if not downright corny. What is that thing? The fretboard inlays and tailpiece add nothing special to the instrument from an aesthetic perspective.

    The Barney Kessel design was odd looking to the extent it exudes that English Bulldog kind of "cuteness". And while I'm at it, the faux scroll on the Tal Farlow is ........

    Notwitstanding all of the above, it just goes to show that in spite of all the efforts Gibson and others have made to provide unique looking instruments, the fundamental instrument designs continue to deliver sound-wise.

    Albert

    (Sorry Guys - I've been a bit irritable lately.)

  15. #14

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    My understanding is that Gibson put the scroll on the Tal because Tal insisted on it. I like it better than many embellishments on other models.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    My understanding is that Gibson put the scroll on the Tal because Tal insisted on it. I like it better than many embellishments on other models.
    I really like the scroll and pg, but not the upside-down crowns on the head and fretboard. Yuck.

  17. #16

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    I sort of assumed these were made to use up leftover headstock overlays and fretboards from other discontinued models.

  18. #17

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    I owned an ES-775 for many years. Lovely guitar for Jazz especially ! They did weigh more than most standard 175 models,and had a bit brighter attack on the notes as well.
    The neck was 3 piece Maple and an ebony fingerboard as well.

    I believe some of the aesthetic touches were leftover from other Gibson guitars ,like the Howard Roberts inlays ,and RD Custom breadstick inlay. Lovely instrument!

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by customxke
    I sort of assumed these were made to use up leftover headstock overlays and fretboards from other discontinued models.
    I think these guitars were early in the "Henry" era.

    I also imagined that the 775 used old stock Artist series headstock inlays for the winged base side effe hole shape (I'm surprised how many people don't recognize what that is (a seahorse? Really?)). The fingerboard inlays could be old Howard Roberts.

    I swapped the toggle switch cap to black and changed the keystone with flip-out string winder tuner buttons to ebony Grover shaped buttons.

    Another good look for this is to remove the L-5 style pick guard and install P-94s. Gives it a leaner, nimbler look.

    As far as it's general appearance goes, I'll say this: women and wedding photographers really like it. I do think this model looks best in Natural with all that ebony (fingerboard, tailpiece insert, control knobs, black toggle switch, tuner buttons, bridge base).


    We know there are a lot of variables to whether or not we like a guitar. One is, does it do everything I ask of it and never let me down?

    That's been my experience with the gently used 1992 ES-775 I bought in 1994. Paid $1600 (a lot for me then). The previous owner needed to fund a piano purchase.

    My 775 is high quality all the way and an example of the type of product that gave Gibson its most favorable reputations over the years.

    I'm fine with the 7 pound 14 ounce weight, but then, since 1994 I've played in a restaurant and society event band where the only person standing for three hours is the vocalist.

    It has covered a wide spectrum of musical genres for me (through a Dean Markley CD-60, then Fender Blues Jr (BillM mods) and now Fender PRRI (Cannabis Rex) and I've always mic'd my amps for a hint of extra coverage.

    I'm lucky in that I usually take a '59 ES-225TCD "player" with me as back-up and between the two guitars feel like all bases are covered.

    Why was the Gibson ES-775 so Short-lived?-img_20170703_100516184_hdr-jpg

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    My understanding is that Gibson put the scroll on the Tal because Tal insisted on it. I like it better than many embellishments on other models.
    The cutaway horn was supposed to be an actual scroll, like on an F style mandolin. Gibson nixed that for obvious reasons.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gib&GuildFan
    I think these guitars were early in the "Henry" era.

    I also imagined that the 775 used old stock Artist series headstock inlays for the winged base side effe hole shape (I'm surprised how many people don't recognize what that is (a seahorse? Really?)). The fingerboard inlays could be old Howard Roberts.

    I swapped the toggle switch cap to black and changed the keystone with flip-out string winder tuner buttons to ebony Grover shaped buttons.

    Another good look for this is to remove the L-5 style pick guard and install P-94s. Gives it a leaner, nimbler look.

    As far as it's general appearance goes, I'll say this: women and wedding photographers really like it. I do think this model looks best in Natural with all that ebony (fingerboard, tailpiece insert, control knobs, black toggle switch, tuner buttons, bridge base).


    We know there are a lot of variables to whether or not we like a guitar. One is, does it do everything I ask of it and never let me down?

    That's been my experience with the gently used 1992 ES-775 I bought in 1994. Paid $1600 (a lot for me then). The previous owner needed to fund a piano purchase.

    My 775 is high quality all the way and an example of the type of product that gave Gibson its most favorable reputations over the years.

    I'm fine with the 7 pound 14 ounce weight, but then, since 1994 I've played in a restaurant and society event band where the only person standing for three hours is the vocalist.

    It has covered a wide spectrum of musical genres for me (through a Dean Markley CD-60, then Fender Blues Jr (BillM mods) and now Fender PRRI (Cannabis Rex) and I've always mic'd my amps for a hint of extra coverage.

    I'm lucky in that I usually take a '59 ES-225TCD "player" with me as back-up and between the two guitars feel like all bases are covered.

    Why was the Gibson ES-775 so Short-lived?-img_20170703_100516184_hdr-jpg

    Don't know about anyone else but I think that thing's beautiful. If it sounds as good as it looks that's quite a find.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpnblues
    Don't know about anyone else but I think that thing's beautiful. If it sounds as good as it looks that's quite a find.
    They are IMO quite fetching.

    I played a natural one, albeit in a parking lot and was the only one I ever saw, unfortunately one of the PO's hogged out the "2" on the back of the head with a chisel or dremel then filled in the crater with clear resin. The price was not very good and despite it playing like butter, I let it go. I liked it enough that if I ever got to play another, my sainted 1996 175 might have a new owner shortly thereafter.

  23. #22

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    Bought one new in 1992 or there about. Loved the guitar but had to sell it to pay a tax bill. Definitely on the heavier side at over 8lbs. But it was definitely a heavier ply construction.

    Just as in Gibson's past , leftover materials from previous models Howard Roberts, RD Custom,etc were used in the construction.
    I believe the ad copy at the time was Henry Js attempt at offering the best variant of the 175 platform. After all Herb Ellis was one his favorite guitarists.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    RD Custom breadstick inlay
    Hah! For the win!

  25. #24

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    I also forgot to mention the ebony fingerboard as well as the front pickup shifted closer to the neck. Those along with the maple construction made for very focused tone rather than the 175 softer attack.