Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 38 of 38
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hi folks, I'm a newcomer here. I have just purchased my first really great jazz guitar - a 1958 ES-125 I found on Reverb. Just picked it up today and am very pleased with it. I will try to post a photo (never done this before).
    The guitar had a set of super heavy strings on it, which may have been intended for a dreadnought. Anyway, I immediately lowered the action and put on a set of D'Addario Chromes (11-50) which had been intended for my old Esquire, but fit the purpose. They sound so much better! Very responsive to input - vibrato and light bending.
    My questions: do any of you use a strap with your archtop and if so have you had to install a strap button - I hate to drill a hole in this pristine guitar. I usually play seated but once in a while like to get up and walk around while playing. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.
    When I played the guitar through my tweed Deluxe it sounded pretty 'rock and roll' and was on the edge of feedback most of the time, which annoyed me. But when I plugged into my lowly Fishman MinLoudbox the sound warmed up and was quite clean. Something about how most jazz guitarists prefer solid-state amps I suppose?
    Also, what are your string choices for ES-125 (full body. 1 P90)? Are 11 - 50's too light? (I was using 12-50 half-rounds on my Sebring L-5)
    Last question: the guitar came with a modern case which was made for a flat-top guitar and much too long for the instrument. I would love to find an original case. What case would this guitar originally been sold with? Do you know any source for finding vintage cases such as would fit this guitar?
    Thanks for any help and suggestions...this site seems to be an amazing resource and I am very impressed with all you do!

    I'll try to figure out how to load a photo of the guitar. (Not the most tech-savvy person here!)

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations on a great new instrument, and play it in good health!

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Congratulations on a great new instrument, and play it in good health!
    Thanks, citizenK. I would like to believe playing guitar keeps you healthy!

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    1958 Gibson ES-125 - Some questions-04a63c6b-2f7d-468b-96be-e9403d204a87-jpg

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Beautiful.

    I'd be tempted to go at least .012s on there.

    I happen to like that early electric jazz on the edge of breakup sound thru a tube amp, but solid state amps are great for clean sounds. So I say play it through whatever makes you happy.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    "play it through whatever makes you happy. "
    Good advice, Mr Beaumont...
    I've got to learn how to keep it under control...
    And I think I will try a set of .12's next go-round.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Hey, can anyone tell me how to rotate my photo to vertical?

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Stunning!

    Congrats!

    ENJOY!

    1958 Gibson ES-125 - Some questions-04a63c6b-2f7d-468b-96be-e9403d204a87-jpg

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    "Stunning!
    Congrats!
    ENJOY!"

    Thanks, Greco! I am enjoying!
    (How did you do that?!

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mmdavis
    How did you do that?!
    I downloaded your pic, opened it in "Preview" on my Mac, rotated it using the "rotation" tool/symbol, saved it and reposted it.

    The invoice is in the mail. I accept VISA and American Express.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Ha...very funny! But, yes, thank you for that.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Put a strap on it like Wes or Grant Green did, at the headstock.


  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I’d try out different strings and see what sounds best. My old Gibson likes a slightly different setup than me haha.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations! That's a tone monster right there. Have fun figuring out what strings, pick, etc your new guitar likes.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Welcome to the forum. Looks like a dream rig, both guitar and amp! Enjoy it! As said above, i wouldn't drill a button, but just use a rope belt extension on the headstock for occasional use. This guitar with P90s is the perfect jazz sound for me! (At least one version of it )

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Thanks everybody for your comments and suggestions.
    Cosmic gumbo - I remember back in the '60's all us folkies would tie their strap to the peghead. I got our my old J-50 and sure enough there it was - my original tie-to-headstock guitar strap. Problem solved.
    Hey, and there's a fine old Gibson case as well. J50 goes in the modern case; ES-125 goes nicely in the old J-50 case. Another problem solved!

    Here is a problem I have encountered, mainly when using the tube amp. Often when I am playing a melody on the treble strings, the bass strings will start to vibrate and then feed back on their own. I can't mute them with my RH and still play the way I do. I have seen some folks use a sort of string-damper which I guess is for this very problem. However, I also like to use the open strings in my arrangements. How anyone else encountered this problem? Suggestions? (I know, I know...turn down the amp)

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Regarding your tube amp, try turning the amp up to where you like, and turning the volume on the guitar down.
    Maybe even way way down.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    On the question of feedback, try sitting to the right of the amp, not directly in front, but with the amp just under and behind the neck. See if that helps.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Put your butt between the amp and guitar. Maybe an EQ pedal to notch out the frequency that’s feeding back.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Re: amp feedback. I tried your suggestions and it made a big difference - thanks! I think cutting the guitar volume by about half made the biggest difference, but sitting with the amp to the left and behind me certainly seems to keep the guitar body calmer. (And maybe my butt being there helped also!).

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Wow I am jealous! Kind of like my old Godin Kingpin but LEGIT!

    I probably wouldn't drill a hole in it for a strap pin unless I gigged with this guitar regularly standing up, which I don't do, so not an issue. I personally dislike the strap going to the headstock, because it rubs my fretting arm and really bugs me.

    I have DA Jazz Light flat 11s on one of my archies. My Gibson ES-135 gets TI Swing flat 12s--supposedly less tension than other 12s. I don't care for or see the need for higher gauge strings, but as always YMMV.

    Those are both great amps. The Fishman does offer a cleaner sound and would be more practical for gigging (I have an Artist), but they both have their strong suits.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 02-23-2020 at 11:10 PM.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Beautiful guitar!

    Back when it was new, Gibson might have put on 13s, or close. But, that doesn't mean you have to.

    People used that strap around the headstock thingie. You can see pictures of Wes with one. It might look like it would damage the guitar to have it hanging that way, but, apparently, it doesn't. I recall, btw, that Gibson gave a lifetime guarantee on the neck back when they made that guitar.

    I wouldn't drill into a vintage instrument.

    Good thing that it fed back. That proves it's working properly.

    Those guitars fed back! You will find all kinds of information on how to tame it. Doug's Plugs, various kinds of tape, blowing up ordinary party balloons inside the guitar, amp positioning (have the neck pointing at the amp, so the sound pressure doesn't hit the face of the guitar, or something), string damper (like George Van Eps invented and Herb Ellis, among others, used), and finger damping (who needs the additional task?). Of these, I think Doug's Plugs get the most positive reviews and don't require anything irreversible.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    I don't feel any compunctions about installing strap buttons and would do it if it were my guitar. I always play with a strap. I doubt adding buttons makes any difference in the guitar's resale value. It's done all the time, and people don't see it as a blemish.

    I've been using my similar-ish Godin Kingpin as something of a testbed for strings. I currently have Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing (flatwounds) 12's. I had D'Addario Chrome 12's before that, and a bunch of different roundwounds before the Chromes, both 12s and 13s. My verdict is - I dunno. There are tradeoffs, but they all work, and sound almost the same through an amp. I've settled on flats because rounds have too much finger squeak for me, but like aspects of both the TI and the Chromes.

    Amps? If you like your Fishman use it.

    Case - I'm pretty sure the original case was a bottom of the line chipboard case, though it might have been a Lifton hard case. I can't recommend anything on that front, as I strictly use gig bags.

    John

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    Regarding your tube amp, try turning the amp up to where you like, and turning the volume on the guitar down.
    Maybe even way way down.
    This is exactly what I was going to say, Turn the volume on the guitar off then turn the amp up until it gets hissy, then back it down to where the noise floor is not obtrusive. Now slowly raise the volume on your beautiful new guitar; you may very well end up with the knob set to 2 or 3. Another thing, how long is your cable? If f you’re using a ten foot cable, get a 20 foot and sit farther away from the amp.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Congrats!

    Yeah, you've got to lower the guitar volume. Also readjust the pickup pole screws to match the revised setup and your technique.

    P-90 into a Tweed Deluxe is a golden combination imo. The best clean jazz tone I can get within the output limits of the amp. I can still get moderatly loud before amp breaks up.
    Good luck

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Hey, it's amazing how turning the volume pot way down cleans up the sound! As a previous electric guitarist I was used to having all my controls on ten (!). This makes way more sense.
    I am digging the guitar strap. I made a cord loop at the top end so I can loop it over the peghead. It stays out of the way of my fretting hand, and is easy to remove when I don't need it.
    I am going to experiment with heavier string tension. I'd like a little more 'meat' on my 1st and 2nd strings. I may try those TI .12's that everyone raves about (in spite of the price).
    Thanks again for all your suggestions. I am absolutely in love with this guitar and am finding it hard to put down. As a classical guitarist/mandolinist, I find I can easily switch back and forth between fingerstyle and pick. Both styles have their advantage. But I like fingerstyle when I want to have a simultaneous bass line going on with the melody. In case anyone's interested, here are the tunes that I'm currently woodshedding:
    Angel Eyes Cm
    At Last Bb
    Blue Bossa Cm
    Bossa Dorado Dm (Schmitt)
    Corcovado Am (Jobim)
    Crazy C (W. Nelson)
    Darn that Dream G Heusen
    Days of Wine and Roses F (Mancini)
    Desafinado F (Jobim)
    Dindi Eb (Jobim)
    God Bless the Child Eb (Billie Holiday)
    It Don’t Mean a Thing Gm (Ellington)
    Like Someone in Love C (Heusen)
    Misty Eb (Garner)
    Moonlight in Vermont Eb
    My One and Only Love C
    On the Street where You Live Bb
    One Note Samba - Bb (Jobim)
    Satin Doll C (Ellington)
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow C (Arlen)
    Souline D (Ferret)
    Snow Turning to Rain C. (Davis)
    Softly as a Morning Sunrise (Cm
    Valse Chinois Em (valse musette)

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    TI's are great for many guitars.
    I also like to swap out a 12 & 16 top string (heavier) while keeping the bottom end lighter.
    BTW I like that on flat tops too.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Turning down the pole-pieces on the bass-side of the pickup keeps my ES-125 from feedbacking, give it a try. It's just a few turns with a screwdriver (I used the end of a teaspoon while performing in a bar ;-).

    Congratz with the purchase! Enjoy it! An ES-125 is all the guitar you need, even if you play more than jazz!
    (Although I like my ES-335 for those other gigs).

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    I also like to swap out a 12 & 16 top string (heavier) while keeping the bottom end lighter.
    -thats a good idea. The lighter bass strings sound clearer and less boomy.

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Turning down the pole-pieces on the bass-side of the pickup keeps my ES-125 from feedbacking, give it a try.
    -thanks for the tip, Little Jay. I’ve got my bass-side pole pieces bottomed out now.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    TI's are great for many guitars.
    I also like to swap out a 12 & 16 top string (heavier) while keeping the bottom end lighter.
    BTW I like that on flat tops too.
    I always say, if they made a "Jeff Matz" signature string set, it'd be heavy top light bottom. Which was my nickname in high school.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    For an original case contact Joe at Archtop.com. He occasionally has old cases, and can certainly advise on suitable alternatives.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Congrats! It should be a great guitar. Am I the only one who uses TI Swing 13’s on the 125? Years ago I tried it all and settled on those on this guitar. I have other archtops with12’s and 11’s, but here I prefer 13.

    And, definitely set the volume low when playing jazz. I often have it as low as 3-4 and love that sound. 9-10 is for that wild blues.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I always say, if they made a "Jeff Matz" signature string set, it'd be heavy top light bottom. Which was my nickname in high school.
    Could have been worse! Imagine the person whose signature set is 5 Pre-Dulled Ultra-Rounds (1 string symbolically missing)

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    You could also try nickel bronze strings. The bottom strings conduct a bit but not as much as steels, producing a natural bass roll off

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    I normally use Thomastik 12's, but I get too much bass for my liking even with lowered pickup and amp bass on 1.
    So I ordered D'addiario Chrome 10's. Nice thing is, the B string is 14 in that set. I use 14 and 16-7 for high E and B. So I can use the B string for high E an just need to get a 16 (or 17). I'm hoping that would improve the bass situation.
    Although with P90's that might not be an issue.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-27-2020 at 05:40 PM.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonni
    ....... Am I the only one who uses TI Swing 13’s on the 125? ...........
    I've got a '49 ES-150 and TI 13s are my go-to on that guitar. I suppose that could be related to the longer scale length, but TI 12s were definitely a distant second-place when I tried them.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I always say, if they made a "Jeff Matz" signature string set, it'd be heavy top light bottom. Which was my nickname in high school.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that ...

    John