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  1. #51

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    Yes. Some volutes are special.
    Modern Gibson ES-175-headstock-back-jpg

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  3. #52

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    I have a 1989 ES 175D, Tobacco sunburst, mahogany back sides and neck. The two humbuckers and 5 ply top really kills off the acoustic properties of this guitar, but when played through an amp it is great. If it was any more lively acoustically, it would be unplayable due to feedback issues, like my 63 Guild Starfire. I do not feel the 175's acoustic properties are actually usable for performing unplugged, but they are an indication of how good the guitar will sound plugged in. Mine was purchased from Greg at Shadetree Music in Laguna Niguel, and he used to set up every new instrument prior to putting on the wall for sale, so it plays like butter. The Gibson "flatwire" ground flat wound 11s sucked, I replaced them with Thomastiks. That alone made a BIG difference, so it is worth considering when evaluating any guitar....it could just need new or different strings.

    I understand the Bozeman plant made my guitar and at the time they were short of maple for the back and sides and used mahogany instead, It is a bit warmer in tone than an all blonde maple ES 175 my buddy owns. Greentone, mine has no volute, but it would be nice if it did, just sayin'.

    There are always dogs and exceptional guitars of any given model, in any given year. It gets down to the wood and materials used, fit and finish, and as we know, wood is not consistent because it was once a living thing. With all instruments, there is bound to be some inconsistencies and Gibson also made many little changes, like my guitar having the mahogany. So it is hard to say if there are "good" or "bad" years; certainly there are some that have issues, but you need to play them to find them.

    All that said, I always say if the guitar is older than you are, it is a good thing, as oldies are goodies if they have survived. BTW, ES 175 prices are steadily increasing. Mine was $1350 new with HSC in 1989.

    Jay
    Last edited by jaymen; 07-13-2019 at 09:56 PM.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymen View Post
    I have a 1989 ES 175D, Tobacco sunburst, mahogany back sides and neck. The two humbuckers and 5 ply top really kills off the acoustic properties of this guitar, but when played through an amp it is great. If it was any more lively acoustically, it would be unplayable due to feedback issues, like my 63 Guild Starfire. I do not feel the 175's acoustic properties are actually usable for performing unplugged, but they are an indication of how good the guitar will sound plugged in. Mine was purchased from Greg at Shadetree Music in Laguna Niguel, and he used to set up every new instrument prior to putting on the wall for sale, so it plays like butter. The Gibson "flatwire" ground flat wound 11s sucked, I replaced them with Thomastiks. That alone made a BIG difference, so it is worth considering when evaluating any guitar....it could just need new or different strings.

    I understand the Bozeman plant made my guitar and at the time they were short of maple for the back and sides and used mahogany instead, It is a bit warmer in tone than an all blonde maple ES 175 my buddy owns. Greentone, mine has no volute, but it would be nice if it did, just sayin'.

    There are always dogs and exceptional guitars of any given model, in any given year. It gets down to the wood and materials used, fit and finish, and as we know, wood is not consistent because it was once a living thing. With all instruments, there is bound to be some inconsistencies and Gibson also made many little changes, like my guitar having the mahogany. So it is hard to say if there are "good" or "bad" years; certainly there are some that have issues, but you need to play them to find them.

    All that said, I always say if the guitar is older than you are, it is a good thing, as oldies are goodies if they have survived. BTW, ES 175 prices are steadily increasing. Mine was $1350 new with HSC in 1989.

    Jay
    If you want a hollow body to have no acoustic properties, then, you really want a solid body guitar.

    There is a common thread of belief that has ruined the hollow body market. Now hollow bodies are built with tops and backs so thick, they have the acoustic properties of a cigar box fitted with rubber bands.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymen View Post
    I have a 1989 ES 175D, Tobacco sunburst, mahogany back sides and neck. The two humbuckers and 5 ply top really kills off the acoustic properties of this guitar, but when played through an amp it is great. If it was any more lively acoustically, it would be unplayable due to feedback issues, like my 63 Guild Starfire. I do not feel the 175's acoustic properties are actually usable for performing unplugged, but they are an indication of how good the guitar will sound plugged in. Mine was purchased from Greg at Shadetree Music in Laguna Niguel, and he used to set up every new instrument prior to putting on the wall for sale, so it plays like butter. The Gibson "flatwire" ground flat wound 11s sucked, I replaced them with Thomastiks. That alone made a BIG difference, so it is worth considering when evaluating any guitar....it could just need new or different strings.

    I understand the Bozeman plant made my guitar and at the time they were short of maple for the back and sides and used mahogany instead, It is a bit warmer in tone than an all blonde maple ES 175 my buddy owns. Greentone, mine has no volute, but it would be nice if it did, just sayin'.

    There are always dogs and exceptional guitars of any given model, in any given year. It gets down to the wood and materials used, fit and finish, and as we know, wood is not consistent because it was once a living thing. With all instruments, there is bound to be some inconsistencies and Gibson also made many little changes, like my guitar having the mahogany. So it is hard to say if there are "good" or "bad" years; certainly there are some that have issues, but you need to play them to find them.

    All that said, I always say if the guitar is older than you are, it is a good thing, as oldies are goodies if they have survived. BTW, ES 175 prices are steadily increasing. Mine was $1350 new with HSC in 1989.

    Jay
    Hey Jay,

    I'm thinking about going to look at a 1988 ES-175. What's the neck profile like on your 1989? Have you ever measured the thickness at the first fret? Any info would be helpful before I decide whether or not to take a long drive to check it out.

    Thanks much....Skip B.
    I never practice my guitar — from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat. - Wes Montgomery
    Gibson ES-335 | Gibson ES-175 | Ibanez LGB-30 | Fender Telecaster | Martin HD-28V

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by raskew View Post
    If you want a hollow body to have no acoustic properties, then, you really want a solid body guitar...
    Semi-hollows as well.

    There are two conditions which render a hollow-body Jazz box ineffective.

    One is cutting holes into a carved top to mount pickups, rather than floating pickups off the pickguard or attached to the neck with a bracket.

    Two is laminated tops.

    Additionally, I never understood why people who play top-quality carved archtops would not use a microphone in conjunction with a floating pickup so that they could also capture the response from the carved top.

    I purchased an FA-71 (laminated top) about 15 years ago and I like it but I don't really see the need for it, and since there's no market for it, and therefore no hope of ever getting anything close to my purchase price out of it, I guess I keep it around for aesthetic reasons and quiet living room sessions with my amp turned on low (because it will start howling with any appreciable volume dialed in).

  7. #56

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    I'm away right now, but will be able to measure my ES 175 neck later today for you.

    I'm not so sure about the hollow body acoustic tone thing when it comes to electro-magnetic pick-ups, as they only respond to the strings.
    It seems a shame to have a solid carved spruce top hacked up with holes, two heavy humbuckers, 4 control pots and a switch....that has to really hurt the acoustic tone. I think it is more of a carry-over from the days before amplification, and at first they just put pick-ups on acoustic archtops.

    A good thing to consider is an ES 335.....it has a decidedly different sound than a solid body Les Paul, and is also different than the full hollow body ES series sound as well.

    I guess my point is that with higher levels of amplification, a really resonant carved top guitar like a Johnny Smith, would have feedback issues. The ES 175 with it's thicker laminated maple top is less resonant, and gives a little more sustain due to that...it's a compromise between cost and the ability to play several different styles at different volume levels. I had an early Guild Starfire, thin line body, but fully hollow (No block in the middle, fully floating Melita bridge) and it would feed back like crazy even at lower volume levels.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymen View Post
    I'm away right now, but will be able to measure my ES 175 neck later today for you.

    I'm not so sure about the hollow body acoustic tone thing when it comes to electro-magnetic pick-ups, as they only respond to the strings.
    It seems a shame to have a solid carved spruce top hacked up with holes, two heavy humbuckers, 4 control pots and a switch....that has to really hurt the acoustic tone. I think it is more of a carry-over from the days before amplification, and at first they just put pick-ups on acoustic archtops.

    A good thing to consider is an ES 335.....it has a decidedly different sound than a solid body Les Paul, and is also different than the full hollow body ES series sound as well.

    I guess my point is that with higher levels of amplification, a really resonant carved top guitar like a Johnny Smith, would have feedback issues. The ES 175 with it's thicker laminated maple top is less resonant, and gives a little more sustain due to that...it's a compromise between cost and the ability to play several different styles at different volume levels. I had an early Guild Starfire, thin line body, but fully hollow (No block in the middle, fully floating Melita bridge) and it would feed back like crazy even at lower volume levels.
    You seem to be contradicting with yourself many times in this post.

  9. #58

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    There are differences in the electric tone and response of thinly carved, thickly carved and laminated archtops. Among laminated archtops there are differences in electric tone in lightly build ones and heavily build ones. There are differences in electric tone between archtops with 2 mounted pickups, single mounted pickup and floating pickup. It's not just strings that's pickups amplify. The way the resonating body feedbacks to strings is detected by pickups.
    Why do you think even the body depth changes the electric tone???
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-14-2019 at 11:46 AM.

  10. #59

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    You don't get my point: all archtops are essentially based on an acoustic instrument, but once amplified, the acoustic properties become less significant and can in certain instances they can become a problem (feed back)

    So they are all a compromise between acoustics and amplified tones, hence the huge variety of body sizes, shapes and types of wood.

    I play my 1954 L-50 when I want to enjoy the full acoustic properties of an archtop, and record it using a microphone.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by geogio View Post
    There are two conditions which render a hollow-body Jazz box ineffective.
    One is cutting holes into a carved top to mount pickups, rather than floating pickups off the pickguard or attached to the neck with a bracket.
    Agreed. The L5 is a very ineffective model. What on earth were they thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by geogio View Post
    Two is laminated tops.
    Agreed, the ES 175 is very ineffective too. Actually the entire ES series isjust that.

    The only way to play a hollow body effectively is like it was done in the 1920s.



    DB

  12. #61

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    There is a reason for the popularity of different types of hollow and semi hollow body guitars. Mainly we all like to model the sounds or tones of our heroes on records. And we associate these instruments with a certain style of music we grew up with.

    ES-175 was the go to guitar of many popular records in the 1950's It was designed for those players and mainly what is called Mainstream Jazz. It was practical since music was becoming increasingly electrified.

    ES-335 is commonly associated with B.B.King and Chuck Berry in the early 1960s and associated with both electric Blues and early Rock and Roll. Eric Clapton probably also had big influence for the later Rock and Blues crowd as well .

    L-5CES,Johnny Smith, Byrdlands, were always associated as the top shelf instruments Gibson produced. Depending on floater or built in pickup design also had influence on their thickness of tops,etc.
    Wes Montgomery even played a sharp cutaway L-5CES with laminate sides and back to reduce feedback.

    All of these guitars are Great instruments in the hands of a serious player. There are n o wrong choices,just personal preference.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymen View Post
    I'm away right now, but will be able to measure my ES 175 neck later today for you.

    ....
    Thanks "Jaymen",

    I would really appreciate that. After decades of playing 335s and 175s, the ones I tend to hang onto and play all the time are not too thin at the first fret (meaning, less than .810) but not more than about .825, and have some shoulders rather than a slim taper. I remember playing an 1987 years ago that felt like that, but don't know if that's typical for that period in Gibson's history.

    Best,
    Skip
    I never practice my guitar — from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat. - Wes Montgomery
    Gibson ES-335 | Gibson ES-175 | Ibanez LGB-30 | Fender Telecaster | Martin HD-28V

  14. #63

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    Anything that significantly interferes with the vibration of the back and top causes injury to the acoustic contributions to the character of the amplified sound. I believe that the thickness of those components contribute the greater damage.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by raskew View Post
    Anything that significantly interferes with the vibration of the back and top causes injury to the acoustic contributions to the character of the amplified sound. I believe that the thickness of those components contribute the greater damage.
    Yes those "injuries" are inflicted by design. The "damage" has a purpose. Because ES guitars are electric guitars (Electric Spanish). L5's have been electric guitars at least since the 60's.
    You know what's even more "damaging", it's center block. And trust me, people who design these guitars understand these trivial acoustic relationships.

  16. #65

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    Hollowness and semi-hollowness in electric guitars do not stem from lack of understanding of acoustics. Those designs manipulate the electric sound in a way that's pleasing to many jazz musicians.
    Sorry if this is coming off as a bit condescending it's because I don't know how to state these simple facts without sounding as such but that's not my intention. It just sounds like you're trolling the thread.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Yes those "injuries" are inflicted by design. The "damage" has a purpose. Because ES guitars are electric guitars (Electric Spanish). L5's have been electric guitars at least since the 60's.
    You know what's even more "damaging", it's center block. And trust me, people who design these guitars understand these trivial acoustic relationships.
    My point is that I do not hold modern guitar makers in the same high regard as you, principally because the newer hollow bodies are designed more to suppress feedback than to produce the rich complex sound I have come to expect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by raskew View Post
    My point is that I do not hold modern guitar makers in the same high regard as you, principally because the newer hollow bodies are designed more to suppress feedback than to produce the rich complex sound I have come to expect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Lage Lund, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Peter Bernstein, Pacquale Grasso etc. All these players grew up during modern times where solid bodies reigned supreme. They could easily be playing solids as it's not unusual to see jazz played on solids anymore. Why do you think they are playing hollows?
    Hollow electrics to me sound richer and more complex then treble heavy solids. But aside from that rich and complex isn't everybodies preference. Some find that overtone rich sound with lots of sustain get in the way of their playing, they prefer simple fundamental oriented sound. They want what they play to take the center stage, not the instrument.
    European pianos typically have a drier, simpler sound then American pianos which have richer and more complex sound for example.
    When I play jazz I prefer simple, if I'm playing cowboy chords on a dreadnought to comp a singer, then it's different. That could use more complexity

  19. #68

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    That is so true,
    at least of my archtops. The thinner they are, the thicker the tops, the less acoustical output they have, but the sustain seems to increase accordingly. So yeah, I agree that the body has a definite affect on what the pickups output, you get overtones from the body and even some cancellation due to the phase relationship between the sonic waves. Body depth surely comes into play as well. Over all, the strings themselves create the greatest output as they move the most. One would like to think that a graduated solid top would move more than laminated plywood.
    This then begs to ask the question: with a floating JS style pickup, would there be much less acoustical tone from the pick-up due to it not moving with the top of the guitar? I always thought the floating pickup concept was to not damp the top of guitar to improve it's acoustics and at the same time reduce the influence of the top on the sonic output of the pick-up. Sort of a way to get the best un-plugged sound, and a more pure amplified sound...but I could be off base here.

    For me, I like the floating pick-up because it makes the guitar a dual purpose instrument: it can be played un-plugged, or amplified and sounds very good, but different either way.

    My ES 175 is 1- 11/16 inches wide at the 1st fret. Measuring the thickness of the neck at the first fret is all but impossible with the strings on, as you cannot get a caliper under the strings. I tried my best using a straight edge under the strings to project the measurement and found the neck to be approximately 3/4" thick at the 1st fret. This measurement is from the back of the neck to the highest point on the fingerboard (center) and does not take the fret height into account.

    I am not an expert by any measure, just a guy who loves playing guitar and all the different nuances each type of guitar has. Over the years, I have gravitated to archtops, they just seemed special and classier to me, and have a connection to the violin family of instruments. In so doing, I discovered they have a very unique sound, unlike a flat top. Because acoustic archtops are rare, I have had to learn to work on them myself, which has broadened my appreciation of this unique type of guitar.
    Last edited by jaymen; 07-14-2019 at 04:02 PM.

  20. #69

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    Actually looking to buy a 175, this thread is of the highest interest for me and should be declared "essential 175 thread".
    I've tried a lot of 175 but only two of them were "extraordinary good": one from the sixties with an acoustic sounding that evocates the bells of Notre Dame de Paris but with a very skinny unplayable neck... the other one is a fifties honey blonde with one P90, it's marvelous but it belongs to a friend of mine and as he says "that's the only one I won't never get rid".
    All the "new" models I've tried (1959 vos and classic Memphis) were of minor interest.
    Sorry for my poor english.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo View Post
    Actually looking to buy a 175, this thread is of the highest interest for me and should be declared "essential 175 thread".
    I've tried a lot of 175 but only two of them were "extraordinary good": one from the sixties with an acoustic sounding that evocates the bells of Notre Dame de Paris but with a very skinny unplayable neck... the other one is a fifties honey blonde with one P90, it's marvelous but it belongs to a friend of mine and as he says "that's the only one I won't never get rid".
    All the "new" models I've tried (1959 vos and classic Memphis) were of minor interest.
    Sorry for my poor english.
    That's strange. I have had a 1990's ES175 which was wonderful. I currently have a VOS 1959 ES175 and 2 of the more recent "figured" ES175s. IN addition, I have the Epiphone Premium ES175 and an older Epiphone Zephyr Regent Reissue which is basically an ES165/Herb Ellis model but with a mahogany body.

    All of these guitars are very fine instruments. All sound really excellent, play well. All are somewhat different. The VOS1959 probably has the most distinctive sound. But none is "of minor interest." All are excellent instruments for any jazz player looking for the Herb Ellis/Joe Pass/Jim Hall sort of sound. Even the Epiphones punch above their weight and are outstanding instruments.

    I think we sometimes over-romanticize "old" instruments. If I had to sell one of my ES 16" archtops, I'd be at a loss which one I'd be willing to give up.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  22. #71

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    I should have said "of minor relative interest", I don't deny those are decent guitars but not in the same league of the two that I was overwhelmed (!?) by.
    There is a lot of good guitars but the truly remarkables (with the urge of selling all the organs you got in double to buy it asap) are not so common to me. I remember a specific Telecaster, a 125, two 175 and an L5 in 30 years of bad playing.
    A lot of people are very lucky to have "excellent one of a kind instruments", it's very uncommon to me...

    Btw, I had this day 3 mails from european sellers of 175. It could have been the same: "I assure you it is one of the best es-175 we had in stock, it's sounding like a dream, etc..." Funny.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo View Post
    I should have said "of minor relative interest", I don't deny those are decent guitars but not in the same league of the two that I was overwhelmed (!?) by.
    There is a lot of good guitars but the truly remarkables (with the urge of selling all the organs you got in double to buy it asap) are not so common to me. I remember a specific Telecaster, a 125, two 175 and an L5 in 30 years of bad playing.
    A lot of people are very lucky to have "excellent one of a kind instruments", it's very uncommon to me...

    Btw, I had this day 3 mails from european sellers of 175. It could have been the same: "I assure you it is one of the best es-175 we had in stock, it's sounding like a dream, etc..." Funny.
    You actually don't know if mine are "not in the same league." Over about 50 years of playing, I've played some very nice old ones, and a range of recent ones. There are some really old dogs, and some splendid newer ones. Most people who have played one of the more recent ES175s that I've talked to are very impressed with them. They aren't just "decent" but outstanding. Different, yes, that's arguable. But "different" doesn't mean better or worse, except in the perception of the observer. But if you have it set in your mind that only the old ones are outstanding, there is no persuading you because it's like an input filter. The decision is made before you even see it.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo View Post
    I should have said "of minor relative interest", I don't deny those are decent guitars but not in the same league of the two that I was overwhelmed (!?) by.
    There is a lot of good guitars but the truly remarkables (with the urge of selling all the organs you got in double to buy it asap) are not so common to me. I remember a specific Telecaster, a 125, two 175 and an L5 in 30 years of bad playing.
    A lot of people are very lucky to have "excellent one of a kind instruments", it's very uncommon to me...

    Btw, I had this day 3 mails from european sellers of 175. It could have been the same: "I assure you it is one of the best es-175 we had in stock, it's sounding like a dream, etc..." Funny.
    Sounds like you prefer the lightly build 50's and early 60's models. Many people do. But many others prefer or at least like just as much the more heavily built later models. Those later models tend to exhibit a bit thicker amplified sound and more sustain but with less acoustic tone.
    If you don't like thin necks then you won't like 60-62 models. Late 50 models have original PAF's, they are very expensive and hard to find. Your best bet is early 50's P90 models. They also tend to be a bit more affordable.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 09-27-2019 at 06:02 PM.

  25. #74

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    Dear Lawson. You misread. Not a question of old or new. I just say that the ones I personaly played from the recent 175 (vos 59 and Memphis) were not so good to my eyes. I don't play your personal guitars that you have the great chance to get so I only talk a personal opinion based only on what I heard, saw and played "personaly". I must have crossed the wrong spécimens and any was "astonishing" or "fabulous".
    I think also that my level in english is so bad that it can betray my thoughts. So many apologies if I've been rude about something.
    Cheers !!

    Ps: we live in a world where everything new is just "hypersuperfabulous"...

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    Sounds like you prefer the lightly build 50's and early 60's models. Many people do. But many others prefer or at least like just as much the more heavily built later models. Those later models tend to exhibit a bit thicker amplified sound with more sustain but less acoustic.
    If you don't like thin neck then you won't like 60-62 models. Late 50 models have original PAF's and they are very expensive and hard to find. Your best bet is early 50's P90 models. They also tend to be a bit more affordable.
    Thank you. That's exactly what I'm looking for (light build, very resonant, one P90) but in France they are rare and not very affordable. I've tried a lot of newer models that are good guitars but not my thing.
    In the other hand, I've tried new 330 and the four I've played were very enjoyable (two were superior) so it's not a question of period or vintage vs actual, it's just finding the feeling and the sound you got in your fingers and ears.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo View Post
    Dear Lawson. You misread. Not a question of old or new. I just say that the ones I personaly played from the recent 175 (vos 59 and Memphis) were not so good to my eyes. I don't play your personal guitars that you have the great chance to get so I only talk a personal opinion based only on what I heard, saw and played "personaly". I must have crossed the wrong spécimens and any was "astonishing" or "fabulous".
    I think also that my level in english is so bad that it can betray my thoughts. So many apologies if I've been rude about something.
    Cheers !!

    Ps: we live in a world where everything new is just "hypersuperfabulous"...
    You haven't been rude at all, and your English is fine. I agree with you that everybody tends toward hyperbole. I respect your basing your opinion on what you've actually played. I probably over-reacted. I weary of hearing people suggest that the best way to play jazz is a 1950's guitar with a Charlie Christian pickup through a 5 watt amp with one giant 65 year old tube glowing in the back. I fear I filtered your remarks through my own impatience with that kind of idealization of old gear.

    The constantly changing construction of the ES175 does probably set up some eras for being more likely to please some players than others. Joe Pass liked the "skinny neck" on his 1963 ES175. Many don't. Some like the lighter construction, others like the heavier. Some prize the acoustic sound coming through, others want the electric. The great thing is that somewhere in the evolution of the ES175 there definitely IS a guitar that will delight anyone looking for it. But as you're doing, one must keep searching!

    I prefer to keep my opinions of ES175s in the range of a solid instrument that checks the boxes and offers no drama, just good playing and good tone. Now, an L5ces, there I have different expectations!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  28. #77

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    There are guys on this thread (and other 175 threads on this forum) who I consider to be experts concerning ES-175s. Over the past couple of years, they've kept me from buying a few duds and steered me toward ones that played great, but I just couldn't bond with and ended up selling. (Certainly not their fault!) I posted above back in July that I was going to try a 1989 natural finish 175. This was/is the one! I mean The One! I was afraid that the mahogany back and sides (rather than maple) might make it too dark. Not so. It came with the stock patent number pick-ups, which sound fantastic. Just for comparison, I tried a Seth Lover and a 57 Classic in the neck position, but went back to the stock pup. The guitar is light and lively and the neck is perfect for me (.822 at the first fret). I've been gigging weekly with it since July and it seems to know what I want to play before I do. Keep looking and keep playing as many as you can get your hands on. Eventually, one will "speak to you" and that will be it. Good luck!
    I never practice my guitar — from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat. - Wes Montgomery
    Gibson ES-335 | Gibson ES-175 | Ibanez LGB-30 | Fender Telecaster | Martin HD-28V

  29. #78

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    Glad to hear you like the mahogany back and sides,
    others here have made comments about how it has a rich warm tone. I myself compared my mahogany ES 175 to my friends all blond (maple) ES 175 which was of the same vintage and found his to be a bit brighter acoustically. With an amplifier, it was difficult to tell the difference once you adjusted the tone controls.

    One thing I have seen on late 1980s to early 1990s ES 175s is the edge binding on the neck cracks where it goes over the frets. Apparently Gibson used "green" wood for the fingerboards that shrinks with time and then the ends of the frets protrude and crack the edge binding. This is cosmetic but a noticeable flaw.

    The strings have a very noticeable affect on the sound, mine came stock with Gibson Flat wires, and I switched to Tomastik Infelds which were much better tonally.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymen View Post
    Glad to hear you like the mahogany back and sides,
    others here have made comments about how it has a rich warm tone. I myself compared my mahogany ES 175 to my friends all blond (maple) ES 175 which was of the same vintage and found his to be a bit brighter acoustically. With an amplifier, it was difficult to tell the difference once you adjusted the tone controls.

    One thing I have seen on late 1980s to early 1990s ES 175s is the edge binding on the neck cracks where it goes over the frets. Apparently Gibson used "green" wood for the fingerboards that shrinks with time and then the ends of the frets protrude and crack the edge binding. This is cosmetic but a noticeable flaw.

    The strings have a very noticeable affect on the sound, mine came stock with Gibson Flat wires, and I switched to Tomastik Infelds which were much better tonally.
    Concerning the tone of the mahogany, you are exactly right. Whether I'm playing through my Quilter/Raezer's Edge or Fender Princeton (w/ a 12" Emi Cannabis Rex), I tend to run the tone control on the guitar at around 7 and the treble on either amp at around 4. Any other 175 I've played, I've rolled off the top end significantly more.

    You are also right about the binding at each fret cracking. Fortunately, they're just hairline and not much dirt has gotten in there, so it's not very noticeable. At some point I'll get new frets. My luthier will just have to be careful when pulling the old frets.

    I'm using Thomastik flats as well. However, I've dropped down to 11s (easier on the arthritis!), which brightens up the high end a bit.
    I never practice my guitar — from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat. - Wes Montgomery
    Gibson ES-335 | Gibson ES-175 | Ibanez LGB-30 | Fender Telecaster | Martin HD-28V

  31. #80

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    Jammed on weekend with a guy that had an early 70's 175, mine is 2012.

    They are very different:
    His was light, very acoustic sounding, small neck with flat wounds.
    Mine is heavy, a thick woody electric guitar sound and bright bell sound on the e and b strings, fat neck with round wounds.

    His style was also very different and I guess both our styles are shaped by our axes, combined it was a beautiful thing. They complimented each other wonderfully, I wish I recorded it.
    “When you’re creating your own ...., man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”
    Miles Davis