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  1. #1

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    I had a dream... i was playing an old Es 330 and it was so nice. So i tried one from 1967 2 weeks ago in a vintage shop and i really loved it... thé sound, thé weigth, thé design...everything ... unfortunately it was already booked and i cried. Thé price in paris for that guitar is 4200 euros ( my bank cries..)
    Now i am still hunting and i have a contact for a 1960 model for a lower price !
    Dot instead of inlays, shorter neck, maybe also a diffèrent neck design...
    Prices on reverb for a es 330TD SB 1960 are between 4000 and 10 000 euros so it is crazy !!! Thé one i am looking for is to sell for 3800 euros ( no mods). Is it a correct price for you or it is too low to be fair ?
    What are the main points to check on a vintage guitar ? For that model maybe ?
    Does someone Already compared a 1959-1961 model with on older one with longer neck ? Pro and cons ?
    Last question for es330 users, what is your favorite amp to play clean jazz or with a bit of OD ? I havé currently a vibroluxe Clone and a DV mark LJ.
    Thanks for your help
    Julien



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  3. #2

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    In general the short-neck (16th fret body joint) are much more sought after and usually command higher prices. Dot-necks command higher prices than block-necks. (That's why the VOS is a reissue of the '59 dot-neck.)

    So a 1960 for 'only' €3800 is either a great bargain or a dog :-D.

    The VOS and RI models command asking prices of €2700-2900 in the used market over here in the Netherlands, but I don see them go for those prices. New I see them advertised for around €3000-3200 but the supply and choice is very thin.

  4. #3

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    Definitely the 16th fret joint, I agree. It’s a different guitar otherwise IMHO. Also the pickups not being new, high output, but I feel that’s with any guitar.

    I play with a Tweed Deluxe, big fan. Also big fan with a PRRI. I think it’s hard to go wrong

    If you want to be able to buy the guitar and pay the rent you can consider a more recent model (I’m happy with my 2018) or even a recent MIJ Casino Elitist, you may be positively surprised.

  5. #4

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    All of the 330 guitars are GREAT. However, the short-neck ones are the best! There is nothing wrong with the block-neck, metal covered P90 examples. They just don't look like Grant Green's guitar. The short-neck ones get THAT sound, however. And what a sound it is.

    The weight, feel, and total vibe of those instruments is just perfect.

    Good luck in your quest.

  6. #5

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    I have seen Epiphone Casinos, the '61 ReIssue model (just like a vintage ES330 w. 16th fret neck join and Gibson USA p90's and electronics for sale used, on Reverb. There were some from Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, north of France. Buy one! They are great re-issues with great tone woods and necks.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    However, the short-neck ones are the best!
    That seems to be the consensus here, but why? Why not the longer neck?


    Gibson ES-330 Dream-es-330-jpg

  8. #7

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    I like the long-neck ES-330, too, but the "short-neck" variety places the frets exactly where they are when you play a Gibson archtop of, say, the ES-175 variety.

    As a long-time owner of an ES-335 I can attest to the minor irritation of having the neck displaced approximately 2-3 frets leftward in your playing field. The feeling is sort of like sitting at a piano too far to the right. You, then, have to consciously think about where the notes are. You get used to it, but the ES-172/125/150/330(short-neck), etc., just feel "right." Everything is balanced and the notes just fall under your fingers.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I like the long-neck ES-330, too, but the "short-neck" variety places the frets exactly where they are when you play a Gibson archtop of, say, the ES-175 variety.

    As a long-time owner of an ES-335 I can attest to the minor irritation of having the neck displaced approximately 2-3 frets leftward in your playing field. The feeling is sort of like sitting at a piano too far to the right. You, then, have to consciously think about where the notes are. You get used to it, but the ES-172/125/150/330(short-neck), etc., just feel "right." Everything is balanced and the notes just fall under your fingers.
    Don’t you think the tone is different as well?

  10. #9

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    The tone _should_ be different with the different neck joint. However, what I always noticed was the smoother playability of the short neck 330.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    The tone _should_ be different with the different neck joint. However, what I always noticed was the smoother playability of the short neck 330.
    I don't know what you mean by smoother playability exactly, but in theory the long neck should have a smoother (looser?) feel because the bridge being shifted towards the shoulders allows for more 'afterlength' of the strings after the bridge. But there are other factors of course and it's just that: theory. I do think the shortnecks are a bit better balanced as in you don't have to reach so far for the lower notes.

  12. #11

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    Little Jay, you just nailed it. You don't have to reach to grab the notes.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I like the long-neck ES-330, too, but the "short-neck" variety places the frets exactly where they are when you play a Gibson archtop of, say, the ES-175 variety.

    As a long-time owner of an ES-335 I can attest to the minor irritation of having the neck displaced approximately 2-3 frets leftward in your playing field. The feeling is sort of like sitting at a piano too far to the right. You, then, have to consciously think about where the notes are. You get used to it, but the ES-172/125/150/330(short-neck), etc., just feel "right." Everything is balanced and the notes just fall under your fingers.
    I see, I thought you meant it was all about the sound. I agree that the shorter neck feels better.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I see, I thought you meant it was all about the sound. I agree that the shorter neck feels better.
    The feel is different but my preference earlier came from tone as well. The problem with that is that I’ve never tested two identical guitars just with the joint difference.

  15. #14

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    I have an ES-390 which I guess has a long neck and a short body. I am good.

  16. #15

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    Thanks all, it is really existing to read you. I have sold my gb10 last Friday to get thé cash and buy that guitar ( should happen in the followings days) and i am wondering now which kind of string I will use. I don t know what was the grant green ‘s choice but I am thinking about thomastik 11-47 flat because I want to keep that mellow tone for traditional jazz.
    What are you recommandations ?
    As I want also use it with small overdrive for chorus is it the best choice ?

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zheul
    I had a dream... i was playing an old Es 330 and it was so nice. So i tried one from 1967 2 weeks ago in a vintage shop and i really loved it... thé sound, thé weigth, thé design...everything ... unfortunately it was already booked and i cried. Thé price in paris for that guitar is 4200 euros ( my bank cries..)
    Now i am still hunting and i have a contact for a 1960 model for a lower price !
    Dot instead of inlays, shorter neck, maybe also a diffèrent neck design...
    Prices on reverb for a es 330TD SB 1960 are between 4000 and 10 000 euros so it is crazy !!! Thé one i am looking for is to sell for 3800 euros ( no mods). Is it a correct price for you or it is too low to be fair ?
    What are the main points to check on a vintage guitar ? For that model maybe ?
    Does someone Already compared a 1959-1961 model with on older one with longer neck ? Pro and cons ?
    Last question for es330 users, what is your favorite amp to play clean jazz or with a bit of OD ? I havé currently a vibroluxe Clone and a DV mark LJ.
    Thanks for your help
    Julien



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    I love to play my friends es330, but 10k, now that is a lot of money

  18. #17

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    Here we are ! I have just get my 1960 Gibson es-330 and I am so in love!! Pictures and comments will follow !


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  19. #18

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    Congratulations on the purchase! But...... pics or it didn’t happen! ;-)

  20. #19

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    I don't get the dislike of the 330L or preference for the shorter neck. It (the 330L) has the same neck join as a 335 and I have yet to read a complaint about "reach" on a 335. For that matter, the standard 330 has the same neck join as a Les Paul and I have read some players complain the LP feels cramped. Maybe it's the weight difference between the 335 and 330L that makes the 335 neck join less noticeable?

  21. #20

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    Gibson ES-330 Dream-es-330-front-1-jpgGibson ES-330 Dream-es-330-frontjpg-jpg

  22. #21

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    Zheul, I am jealous!Congratulations! Beautiful guitar, Grant Green vibes! Enjoy it in good health!

  23. #22

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    Thanks Little Jay,
    Thé guitar sounds so good. Especialy thé neck p90 which is really powerfull! I can play with thé tone to cover really différent kind of sounds from classic jazzy vibes or more percussive, roots / funky style.
    Thé bridge pick up has less « woaw effect » but I am at the beginning of the story and need more time for exploration...a bit of overdrive maybe...
    What is also funny is that I am so anthousiastic about the pure sound that I am thinking about selling most part of my pedals has they change the sound for something different from the perfection... Honey Moon !



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  24. #23

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    Gibson ES-330 Dream-2013-06-29-252-copia-jpg

  25. #24

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    This is a perfect match, Gibson 330TD and Fender pro reverb; drums too is some old goodies. they sound fantastic together and you don't need anything else thru the guitar and the amp; I bought in the '84 and the amp little bit late. If you find one try and buy it that's for the life. Good picking George

  26. #25

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    You guys got me more and more convinced I 'need' an ES-330.....

    (Although my '77 Framus Caravelle comes pretty close:



    ;-)


    Enjoy your 330s and let them inspire you!

  27. #26

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    Thé Combination of Es330 with my vibrolux clone is so perfect .. but know I have to admit that I am a little bit disappointed with my dv mark LJ . I didn’t find the right setting.
    In the past , with my gb 10 both amp were easily compatible but now , with round string, feeling is very different from fender s one to dv mark.
    To much noisy trebles with LJ,
    I use the LT for repetition and fender for concert I can join by car ...
    I may go back to flat strings...


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  28. #27

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    For me it’s flatwound strings only....

    But don’t be afraid to turn trebles down on your DV LJ! I notice a lot of guitarists feel it’s ‘wrong’ to turn down the trebles all the way, because somehow it’s counterintuitive.... but if it sounds better, hey why not? And while you’re at it: try turning the mids up all the way and see how you like that!

  29. #28

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    Thanks for the tip little Jay, it is much more better. I have also put the LJ on the ground with a small angle and it sounds great. I am now considering a real tool as the standback ampstand to also tilt my vibrolux and improve the sound.
    I will see as the last step a strings change with flat gauge.
    Thanks


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  30. #29

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    Beautiful guitars...you got me GASsing again...

    (Not that I need any help...I am naturally GASsy...)

    My BIL has a 1965 or so 335TD (with Bigsby) that he is selling on consignment--was at Willie's Guitars, now I think at Lavonne's in the Twin Cities area. He was asking ~$10,000 or so but it has been on sale for over a year. He is not in a hurry to sell. He bought the guitar when he was in high school and has kept it all these years in pristine condition. A real collector's guitar.

    As an aside I know not everyone wants a Grant Green tone, but I assume he was using high-gauge flatwounds? Anyone know?

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zheul
    Thanks for the tip little Jay, it is much more better. I have also put the LJ on the ground with a small angle and it sounds great. I am now considering a real tool as the standback ampstand to also tilt my vibrolux and improve the sound.
    I will see as the last step a strings change with flat gauge.
    Thanks
    No amp stand needed, I make my own tilt back legs:


  32. #31

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    Beautiful guitar! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    No amp stand needed, I make my own tilt back legs:

    Tilting is good but in my experience over 50% of the stages are built so that the amp on the floor makes the room hum excessively. At least here in Finland, small clubs, festivals etc, they are everywhere.

    With a cheap stand You get the tilt and enough rise that Your bassist, mixer and audience thank.

    330 looks good!

  34. #33

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    I have a Reissue '59 330 and I prefer the shorter neck just for comfort. On a 335 or similar the first frets are a bit far away. The downside is that playing above the 17th fret feels very uncomfortable. But honestly a guitar doesn't sound good up there anyway.
    I've been going back and forth between flatwounds and roundwounds for some time since I got the guitar this spring. Love the brightness of the roundwounds but also the punchier tones of the flats – so these stay for now. I'm in a funky organ trio so the more punch, the better IMHO. We play the vintage Grant Green stuff as well as the more modern songs from Soulive and the New Mastersounds et al.
    Funny enough I also have a GB10 which I also love (so I'm in hollowbody heaven). Made me a believer that body depth does indeed make a difference. How do you think the 330 and the GB compare? Decadent, luxurious questions ....

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zheul
    I don t know what was the grant green ‘s choice but I am thinking about thomastik 11-47 flat because I want to keep that mellow tone for traditional jazz.
    What are you recommandations ?
    As I want also use it with small overdrive for chorus is it the best choice ?
    I read somewhere that Grant green used a flatwound .014 set. Just try google to find out more. My 330 has D'Addario Chromes .012 for now. Feels very comfortable at home, with the band I thought I could use even bigger strings – tone is perfect but I could use a little stiffer feel to dig in even more. I'll try it when changing strings in a year or so ....

  36. #35

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    Well, differences between GB10 and 330...
    Unfortunately I had to sell my ibanez to buy the Gibson but what I can say:
    1. The weight :The GB10 was too heavy for me and after 1h30 of playing my back hurts me. Now with the 330 it is crazy light and I feel more « free »
    2. Thé acoustic sound: it is very strange but the unplugged 330 sounds much more warmer and fuller that the GB10 which sound a little bit « metallic «
    3. The neck: 2 different worlds. I love both
    3. The pick up: again two different worlds but I think the 330 is more versatile and allows to cover classic jazz and modern one with overdrive. I never really found a nice overdrive sound with the GB10. And I love the p90... there are crazy pick ups, much more alive that the ones on the GB10, more fat, less clean
    4. Psychology : every time I had to present the GB10 I added : ok it is a great guitar but I am not a fan of Benson... with my 330 nothing to add
    5.psychology 2. : the 330 is from 1960 and the GB10 from 2012. It is difficult for me to estimate the vintage impact on the sound if there is one, but my relation ship with my Gibson is so different , because it’s older than me and I have to respect « her »...
    6. The look: I love both but I prefer now the roots look of the 330, kind of true Guitar without artefact ...
    Julien



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    Last edited by Zheul; 12-15-2019 at 05:25 PM.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    Tilting is good but in my experience over 50% of the stages are built so that the amp on the floor makes the room hum excessively. At least here in Finland, small clubs, festivals etc, they are everywhere.

    With a cheap stand You get the tilt and enough rise that Your bassist, mixer and audience thank.
    Interesting! I never noticed a difference in noise because of putting it on the floor. Wiring directly under the stage perhaps?

    Inspite of my tilt-back legs I much more often put my amp on a stool or chair though, especially when standing up. The tilt backs I use more when playing seated.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Interesting! I never noticed a difference in noise because of putting it on the floor. Wiring directly under the stage perhaps?
    Inspite of my tilt-back legs I much more often put my amp on a stool or chair though, especially when standing up. The tilt backs I use more when playing seated.
    Hmm... interesting is The Word!

    I do not mean buzz but hum. The humming bass sound that doesn't decrease although You turn the bass knob to zero. The hum that makes Your bassist irritated ("You're coming to my territory!").

    Surprising many stages – at least here in Finland – are build so that this happens. I have suffered from this even in the stages of respected music festivals.

    I do not know what are the reasons to this phenomena but in any case I am glad if the acoustics of the stage structures seems to be better in Netherland!

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    Hmm... interesting is The Word!

    I do not mean buzz but hum. The humming bass sound that doesn't decrease although You turn the bass knob to zero. The hum that makes Your bassist irritated ("You're coming to my territory!").

    Surprising many stages – at least here in Finland – are build so that this happens. I have suffered from this even in the stages of respected music festivals.

    I do not know what are the reasons to this phenomena but in any case I am glad if the acoustics of the stage structures seems to be better in Netherland!
    Ah, don’t you mean low frequency resonance of the stage and perhaps even the housing of the amp itself? When you put an amp on the floor that can really enhance indeed. (But it’s not electrical but mechanical.)

    (We are derailing the thread a little I’m afraid....)

  40. #39
    I'm still quite a noob in jazz, but I bought an Eastman T64 half a year ago for my Beatles tribute band. I didn't really like the MIC Casino, didn't really find a Casino Elitist and when I played the Eastman and a Gibson ES330 side to side, I actually preferred the sound and feel of the Eastman. The varnish finish is incredibly thin and does work for this type of guitar. Only downside is the relic thing they did. I think that's equally stupid as buying a new jeans with holes in it, but I guess you can't always get what you want...

  41. #40

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    The ES-330 was the first Gibson guitar I ever owned. Bought it used in 1969 for $165 and sold it a couple of years later for $165. At the time it was considered a no-frills, lower-end Gibson, nothing special. And that's sort of how I remember that guitar : it was alright but it wasn't anything special. Having owned one, I would never pay the prices that are being talked about here. I don't think the guitar is worth it. At least, the one I had wasn't. There must be a lot of perceived value in nostalgia.

  42. #41

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    Ahhhh... nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

  43. #42

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    As previously advised, i havé roll up thé midds and roll down bass and trebble on my LJ and thé sound is great now with my es 330 and round strings.
    Unfortunately yesterday nigth when i have pushed the volume to 1 o’clock the amp produced some bad overdrive and i had to reduce thé midd to go back to a clean sound and it was not as good.
    The neck p90 is really punchy but i would like to know if my amp has an issue or if i need a more powerfull amp to keep that clean punchy sound to a higher level.
    Thanks


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  44. #43

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    I always wondered why G didn't make a fancier version of the 330. Similar to the 335->355 variation. Of course there was the Crest, but that's the opposite extreme.

  45. #44

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    Wow, interesting. I didn't realize I was in the minority on the long neck 330!!

  46. #45

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    Hi all,

    Playability of long vs short necks have been discussed extensively so far and I understand the point of the smoother feel of the short neck. I've had an Aria Pro II ta30 for a long time, which was a cheap (but very good!) Japanese copy of the Gibby ES330 short neck. It was the fastest neck I've ever played.

    I've sold this guitar a few years ago, to buy an Ibanez Jsm100 ( a great great guitar by the way). I now appreciate the much better acces to upper notes, and have get used to the longer neck. Yes, when I switch from my archtop to the Ibby, I have to reach a bit farther on the left to grab the low notes, but that's OK: this Ibby is easier to play than any archtop I had the opportunity to play.

    Now, tonewise, I'm still a bit puzzled on how a 330L vs 330 short neck compare to one another. Some seem to prefer the short neck, but why? Is there something in the short neck version that's not, or worse, in the long neck version, tonewise? Electrically or acoustically? Or in the reactivity to the picking dynamics?

    I wish you all a happy swinging 2020 year .
    Last edited by fabyoda; 01-10-2020 at 09:59 AM.

  47. #46

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    Check out Eastman's take.

    Gibson ES-330 Dream-eastmant64-jpg

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zheul
    Well, differences between GB10 and 330...
    Unfortunately I had to sell my ibanez to buy the Gibson but what I can say:
    1. The weight :The GB10 was too heavy for me and after 1h30 of playing my back hurts me. Now with the 330 it is crazy light and I feel more « free »
    2. Thé acoustic sound: it is very strange but the unplugged 330 sounds much more warmer and fuller that the GB10 which sound a little bit « metallic «
    3. The neck: 2 different worlds. I love both
    3. The pick up: again two different worlds but I think the 330 is more versatile and allows to cover classic jazz and modern one with overdrive. I never really found a nice overdrive sound with the GB10. And I love the p90... there are crazy pick ups, much more alive that the ones on the GB10, more fat, less clean
    4. Psychology : every time I had to present the GB10 I added : ok it is a great guitar but I am not a fan of Benson... with my 330 nothing to add
    5.psychology 2. : the 330 is from 1960 and the GB10 from 2012. It is difficult for me to estimate the vintage impact on the sound if there is one, but my relation ship with my Gibson is so different , because it’s older than me and I have to respect « her »...
    6. The look: I love both but I prefer now the roots look of the 330, kind of true Guitar without artefact ...
    Julien



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    The difference you feel is accurate. I actually like the weight of the GB – it feels solid to me. The 330 is very light and comfortable to play, sometimes it feels like no guitar at all. To me the GB is my "modern" jazz guitar, with a brighter and more acoustic tone than the very midrangy 330 – which sounds very much like late 50s / early 60s jazz recordings – think Grant Green and Kenny Burrell. As a sidenote I always dime the volume a little bit on the guitar, to me that sounds much more jazzy than cranked. The GB also seems less picky about amps – so far it sounds good whatever I plugged it into. The bling-bling is something I'm not sure I like – but the tone makes up for this. I'm happy that I can keep both. Enjoy your 330!

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zheul
    The neck p90 is really punchy but i would like to know if my amp has an issue or if i need a more powerfull amp to keep that clean punchy sound to a higher level.
    Try to dial the guitar's volume control back to 8.