View Poll Results: Which Gibson Should I Get

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  • ES330

    13 17.33%
  • ES335

    11 14.67%
  • ES175

    51 68.00%
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Posts 1 to 39 of 39
  1. #1

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    Hey everyone, I am looking at getting my first Gibson guitar. I’ve always been a Tele or strat guy, but now that I am playing more and more jazz and I am interested in the hollow-body sound, plus I’ve never owned a Gibson and want one. I really like Grant Green and have been drawn to getting the es330 (either the 59 or 64 reissue) just for the hero and tone factor. But, there are also the es335 and es175 to consider, which also have their own heroes and classic jazz vibe too. In your opinion, which is going to give me the best bang for the buck in terms of jazz guitar tone, something that will satisfy my electric jazz guitar GAS for good?

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  3. #2

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    Get the 175. Iconic for a reason.

  4. #3

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    The 175 will be the most different than your solid body. Might as well go all in.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  5. #4

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    ditto on the ES 175 choice for the reasons given above. However, if you're looking to also play other styles of music then you might find the ES 335 to be the most versatile. If you play fusion, R&B, blues, etc., this would be worth considering. I've never played in ES 330 so I can't offer an intelligent opinion on it. I'm not particularly attracted by Grant Green some music.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  6. #5
    I have considered the es175 for the reasons stated...it does seem to be the iconic guitar for jazz, the look, the players. However, I could see myself also wanting a guitar that could be used in more versatile situations, but really want to make sure I satisfy the jazz sound, look, etc... I do like the look of the thinner hollow body, but that doesn’t matter too much. Thanks for the replies!

  7. #6

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    The ES175 is way more versatile than people make you think. Blues, rock-a-billly, western swing, jazz, just about anything but death metal can be played on it just fine.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  8. #7

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    I have a 1968 Gibson ES 175D. I would sell it in a heart beat for what it is said to be worth and buy the Eastman (almost a copy).

  9. #8

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    ES-175... it’s got the sound. FULL STOP.

  10. #9
    I see the 175 has a strong lead...no love for the 330...

    Does the 175 commonly have the P90s or Humbuckers?

  11. #10

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    I have owned and played gigs with all the guitars you are considering. My first question would be: in what context will you be using the guitar?

    Will you be playing mostly at home or at low volume with small groups? The 175 will work. I know others will disagree, but if you use one for loud band work, you will probably find the size and shape to be awkward and, if you use overdrive, you will be fighting feedback. Coming from playing solid bodies, it will be very different.

    A 330 and a 335 look similar but are very different instruments in their construction. Either will be capable of good jazz tones, and will be more versatile than the 175 and more resistant to feedback. The 330 neck is set further into the body and will be more comfortable sitting down. The 335 might be better if you're going to venture into heavier sounds. (and it is heavier!)

    All 3 have 24 3/4 scale lengths. '50s 175s have P-90s. Newer ones have humbuckers. Most 330s have P-90s. 335s have humbuckers. Neck contours vary.

    Everybody here loves 175s and I do too, but I don't think I would reccomend one as a first Gibson. A 330 or 335 can do most of the same things, is more versatile, and will probably be easier to sell if you don't like it.

  12. #11
    I'd get the 175, one of the most iconic and versatile jazz guitars around,a great way to get into traditional jazz playing.

  13. #12

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    My thinking goes in a different direction.

    First consideration is feedback. The 335 has a solid block and will resist feedback, probably to the point where you'll never think about it. But, the other two are hollow and will feedback much more easily. Obviously, there are ways to handle that and a lot of great jazz has been played on hollow guitars, but there are some great players who avoid hollow guitars for that reason. And, it's not just the guitar howling. It's also a more subtle reinforcement of low frequencies that can make a guitar sound muddy at high volume.

    Second is pickup type. You can get P90 or HB pickups (or any third party pu that fits). The P90s will be noisier, but sound great. This is another relevant decision point.

    Third is tone. Apparently, I'm in a small minority, but I'm not crazy about the tone of the HB 175. I liked the P90 better, at least, when Jim Hall played it. I find the 175 amplified tone to be sterile. Of course, it matters whose playing it, but, on average, I think the L5 is a much better sounding guitar.

    The 335 sounds good to me in the hands of players like Larry Carlton, BB King, Eric Clapton ... versatile and never sounds bad.

    I'd make the decision on the feedback issue if I was expecting to play loud.

  14. #13

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    I’ll second Lawson’s words on the ES-175. Make sure it’s the two pickup ES-175D for the most versatility. That will pretty much be the standard though, unless you are looking for a vintage guitar.

    That being said, I don’t think you can go wrong with an ES-330/Epiphone Casino.

  15. #14

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    Feedback issues at high volume on a 175 can be solved. Pat Metheney and Steve Howe are good examples.
    i agree that a 330 or 335 will deliver a nice jazz sound - but you won’t get the “ thunk” of a 175

  16. #15

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    If you prefer a guitar with P90s, but decide that you would prefer a semi-hollow for feedback resistance, Gibson recently did a run of ES-335s with P90s. The one that I have played is outstanding.

  17. #16

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    In terms of the OP: Get the Gibson ES-175, and don't look back. As stringswinger has said so often and so truly, a 175 is all the jazz guitar you'll ever need.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 06-01-2019 at 03:30 PM. Reason: word
    Best regards, k

  18. #17

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    I have had all three and prefer the 175 by a mile. One guitar that is missing from your choice is the Les Paul (my jazz preference in a Les Paul is for a Standard/Studio). I prefer a Les Paul for jazz to a 335 or 330.

    And the 175 truly is all the jazz guitar that a jazz guitarist will ever need.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  19. #18

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    Don't underestimate the ergonomics.
    If you come from Tele/Strat world, the boby thickness and body width of the ES175 will drive you to a complete new world. Make sure that you can feel comfortable with such a body.
    IMO, an ES-339 is the best choice you can do
    As I am already covered in this field, from your list, I'd choose the ES-330.

    But, just a question : has it to be a Gibson ?
    So many other choices.
    Make a jazz noise here

  20. #19
    It looks like they stopped making the Memphis custom 175...would require buying used

  21. #20

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    Regarding the 330, I played one of the newer reissues a couple of years ago. I thought it sounded great -- better than all the 335's I was jonesing after -- but the neck was a baseball bat and the frets were tiny. That part I didn't like so much.

  22. #21

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    Of the three Gibsons you have chosen the Es 175 is probably the
    best for Jazz, but why not widen your choice? If you can acquire
    one, a Tal Farlow or an L4CES are very good options, of course
    if it is in your price range, a L5CES, or Wes Montgomery are hard
    to beat.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx View Post
    Of the three Gibsons you have chosen the Es 175 is probably the
    best for Jazz, but why not widen your choice? If you can acquire
    one, a Tal Farlow or an L4CES are very good options, of course
    if it is in your price range, a L5CES, or Wes Montgomery are hard
    to beat.

    In in my opinion, if it has to be a Gibson you should strongly consider a Tal Farlow. Several Tal owners on this forum who can attest to its fantastic jazz tone and playability. As I recall it is not quite as thick as the 175 and has a distinctive look that many find very attractive.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanzant View Post
    I really like Grant Green and have been drawn to getting the es330 (either the 59 or 64 reissue) just for the hero and tone factor. But, there are also the es335 and es175 ... which is going to ... satisfy my electric jazz guitar GAS for good?
    Short answer: you'll likely end up with more than one Gibson electric, so perhaps the better question is, which one should I buy first? As others have said, the ES-175 is the iconic jazz tool. But given your penchant for Grant Green, it may be inspirational to have a guitar similar to one he played. For you the ES-330 may be the ticket.

    If you can swing it, play them all before you buy them. It's going to be more difficult to do that with the ES-175, because they are out of production. But if you keep your eyes and ears open, one will pop up on locally and you can go play it. You won't regret buying the 175. But you may still want the 330 just to get close to Grant's tone.

  25. #24
    Yeah, this is sort of where I was leaning, and the 330 would be easier to get...

  26. #25

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    The ES-275, in all its variants, deserves a look-see.

    Not that I would pay the asking but silverfoxx mentioned the L-4CES and there's one here: RARE! Gibson L-4 CES HSL4 Master Model Singed By James Hutchins 2004 Wine Red - Lovies Guitars .

    NB I don't know if James Hutchins actually built it but he was the Custom Shop Sup at the time and did the final inspection. Hutch may have picked most of the wood for the archtop guitars though.
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  27. #26

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    I wouldn't mind a 330, but only if it had the 16th fret neck joint.

  28. #27

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    Let me just say this....

    it does not matter how well I play something or what I play it on, my wife will complain that is does not sound as well as my ‘65 ES-335 that I sold is 2003.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  29. #28

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    I'd consider a Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion III. I just picked one up and love it. I wouldn't buy any guitar without trying it anymore. I've just had too many that I didn't bond with and wound up flipping.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I wouldn't mind a 330, but only if it had the 16th fret neck joint.
    330L. With P90s.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    1948 Gibson L-7N
    1981 Epi Emperor T (MIJ Matsumoku)
    1998 Epi Zephyr Regent (Peerless)
    1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio
    2004 Gibson SG Special Faded
    2006 Epi G-1275 (MIK, Unsung)
    2013 Squier Affinity Telecaster, BSB
    (among others)

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian B View Post
    330L. With P90s.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    19th fret neck joint sucks...

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by 339 in june View Post
    Don't underestimate the ergonomics.
    If you come from Tele/Strat world, the boby thickness and body width of the ES175 will drive you to a complete new world. Make sure that you can feel comfortable with such a body.
    IMO, an ES-339 is the best choice you can do
    As I am already covered in this field, from your list, I'd choose the ES-330.

    But, just a question : has it to be a Gibson ?
    So many other choices.
    I came to say the same. If you have been a Fender player your life (like I was before the jazz bug bit me hard. Now my son is named Gibson) the first time holding a 175 can be shocking. Its become normal to me now, but it is definitely something to consider. It is worth trying to play one, or even a similar option from Eastman or Epiphone if a real 175 can't be found, to see how you feel about it.

    I am in the minority here but I voted for the 330 without a second thought. Its the best of both worlds. Fully hollow, relatively feedback free, and more comfortable to me. Plus the tones, as you referenced with Grant Green, can't be beat. Though my profile picture shows you that I might be biased

  33. #32

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    I am with SS, i can never get a jazz sound out of a 335 like I can with a Les Paul. Just listen to Clint Strong play a Les Paul.

    You just need a 175 and be done.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alder Statesman View Post
    Let me just say this....

    it does not matter how well I play something or what I play it on, my wife will complain that is does not sound as well as my ‘65 ES-335 that I sold is 2003.
    Your wife, like me has 100% Historical Earshot Auditory Recall Syndrome (HEARS) :-)

    Funny my all time git benchmark is my long gone late 60's early 70's walnut 335 with trapeze TP which I sold way back to pay the rent. I wonder if it really was as good as I remember it, but I'll never know.

    At any rate, I play 335's and a 339 (with a smattering of other brand semi's) more than anything else.
    Regards,

    Gary

  35. #34

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    If you are a Grant Green fan the 330 is for you. I got the '59 just a month ago and I love it. Such a comfortable little guitar and the P90s are great – very dynamic pickups. My favourite tone ist the neck pickup with tone full and the volume rolled back a bit. Very woody and responsive. I also have a 335 and these are not really comparable – the lack of a center block let the 330 be a real jazz guitar while the 335 (while nice in it's own right) behaves more like a solid body (long sustain, brighter tone).
    I put flatwounds on the 330 and channelling Grant Green is no problemo, senior!

  36. #35

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    I'll chime in again with my opinions.

    Just finishing up a pit band gig for a local fundraiser. Last show is tonight. I dragged out my ES175 for this gig. It's been sitting in the case for three years I only use it for this sort of thing.

    With that said. I can't wait to put it back in it's case and get back to my Eastman AR610. The Gibson is a great guitar and plays like a dream but the Eastman just feels better to me.

    If you must have a Gibson than the ES175 would be the choice.

  37. #36

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    Keep in mind the difference in scale length. Some people will go back and forth between scale lengths with no issues but personally I have a tough time of it because after a lot of practice my muscle memory had me reaching too far when trying to play a shorter scale length. Takes me a while to adjust and I can but switching between them on different days never had me playing my best - I had to make sure I was sticking with one for an extended period. Not sure if this would be an issue for you but if you’re going to still play your Tele or Strat then getting a compatible scale length archtop might be something to consider.

    Being used to Fender you’re playing 25.5” and a 175 or 330 are both 24.75”. There are Gibsons with the longer scale length too but not as many and they are generally more expensive (L5, Johnny Smith, S400 etc.) - if you want a really great laminate Gibson archtop with a 25.5” scale check out the Tal Farlow model. The 175 is of course iconic and has a sound we all know but if you go that route make sure you try before you buy, or if online have a good return policy. They are not all winners sadly but good ones are great.

    You also might want to check out Ibanez. That’s one brand I always felt safe buying online because their quality control is great. I had a 175 and an Ibanez PM100 and when I still had a collection of guitars I sold the 175 first and the PM100 last because it was just a better instrument all around and got the 175 sound (having been based on a 175). There are also some nice vintage 175 lawsuit Ibanez models from the 70s, I had one but with a different name on the headstock (same factory and guitar apparently, just rebranded) and that was a good guitar too.

    Edit: also to repeat what Lawson said, the 175 is versatile. Most two pickup guitars are - I used my L5 for almost everything. Might look a little different playing rock on an archtop (in the pit it didn’t matter for me) but except for the heaviest types of sounds an electric archtop will do just fine.




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  38. #37

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    I once owned over 30 archtops. Now I only own this one

    When I got pretty good I went on the road with a group - We starved - Wes Montgomery

  39. #38

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    I own and really love my L5 CES. It's hollow, has hum buckers. After owning that guitar, I played an Epiphone Casino '61 ReIssue. Immediately fell in love with it, the price was right (used) and it was set up perfectly. It's size is perfect - Great for my blues gigs, lightweight. I dig jazz tones when playing Blues, so this Casino just does it all for me, because it is hollow, and the neck is larger but very comfortable. I've sold some beautiful classic guitars because the necks were too small for me to really play well on. ( I like Fender necks a lot)
    The tone of the Casino's Gibson USA P90's is incredibly good, so much so, that I've considered
    putting P90's on my L5. So check out the better Casinos or a 330, they are wonderful.

  40. #39

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    Only you will know which one suits you best.And there are no wrong choices here. Each one has a different take on a plywood classic!