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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    Got my first ES-175, a 1991 model. Fabulous tone, but I have a few dumb questions for the ES-175 experts.

    When I play it acoustically and plugged in, it has a compressed sound to it. This is most pronounced when playing it acoustically. By "compressed" I mean if I pick hard it doesn't respond louder like I would expect, it sounds like it is limited by a compressor. The relative volume doesn't change much.

    I have several archtops now, including some 1930s acoustics, a '61 Gibson ES-125TD, an Epiphone Joe Pass and a Loar, and I don't experience the same thing with them (at least not to this degree). In my journey looking for the perfect jazz archtop I've played some Heritage guitars, a Fender D'Aquisto and others...again, I didn't experience the extent of the compression I experience on the ES-175.

    I'm used to being able to "dig in" when I want to change the dynamics, and I'm used to having the guitar respond.

    I've had it a few days and I'm learning how to play it...it seems like it needs a really soft touch and completely different playing style than I'm used to. Using a soft touch I get a nice range of dynamics through the amp. It's just...different.

    It has the 3-piece maple neck, maple body, ebony fingerboard and TOM bridge. (It's actually an ES-775, so same body/neck as a 175 with gold hardware, neck pickup moved to the end of the fretboard and more bling.)

    So the range of dumb questions for the group here include:
    1). Is this compression that I'm experiencing typical of an ES-175 compared to other archtops?
    2). Do you ES-175 players use a significantly different picking/playing style on an ES-175 than you would on other archtops, or even semi-hollow or solid body guitars? Do you not "dig in" like you would on other instruments?

    Thanks in advance for your sage wisdom and advice. I've learned so much on this forum and appreciate the contributions so many of you have made to it.

    -Jon

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  3. #2

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    I can imagine a compressed sound going through an amp having something to do with the electronics but I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean if it seems compressed even when playing acoustically. If the guitar sounds just kind of dead acoustically then I'd check that it is properly set up (you got this instrument recently right?) and everything is happy and good with the bridge etc. If is already good then maybe it's just a matter of experimenting with different brands and gauges of strings until you find what the guitar wants the most. In fact I'd start with trying different picks if you haven't already. Picks have such a profound affect on tone and feel and they are so often seemingly overlooked as a variable when people seek to change the sound of a guitar.
    Good luck! This sounds like a great guitar. I hope you find a way to love it.

  4. #3

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    The ES-175 is not an acoustic guitar, it's an electric. Most simply don't sound good acoustically. There are exceptions, but they're the proverbial exception to the rule. They are designed and made to be played amplified. The relatively heavy laminated body and two pickups help to prevent feedback, but that does not allow much acoustic sound. What the OP describes seems typical for an ES-175.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gggguitar
    If the guitar sounds just kind of dead acoustically then I'd check that it is properly set up (you got this instrument recently right?) and everything is happy and good with the bridge etc. If is already good then maybe it's just a matter of experimenting with different brands and gauges of strings until you find what the guitar wants the most.
    Thanks for the feedback gggg...I wouldn't say it sounds dead acoustically, it just doesn't respond when I "dig in" like I would expect it to. Explaining a sound with words is difficult, but to me, when I pick hard it sounds compressed or "squished." If I had a dB meter I suspect the output volume for a medium attack and a hard attack would be similar...it doesn't get as loud as other guitars. It's as if she says, "Nope, this is as loud as I'm going to get." Through an amp, it has the "thump" you'd expect from an ES-175, but I get the best tone if I turn up the volume: I soften my technique so for normal volume I'm picking lighter than I would on other guitars, and for louder volume I'm picking what is "normal" for me. Hopefully that helps.

    It is set up...it was in pretty good shape when I got it but I spent about 5 hours setting it up (I've been setting up and restoring my own guitars for several decades).

    I should have mentioned in my original post I use T-I 13 flatwounds. I use those on my electric archtops (except 12s on my '61 ES-125TD).

    Quote Originally Posted by gggguitar
    In fact I'd start with trying different picks if you haven't already. Picks have such a profound affect on tone and feel and they are so often seemingly overlooked as a variable when people seek to change the sound of a guitar.
    I try different picks all the time. Mostly I use either a Blue Chip STP100, or picks I make from an antique, socially unacceptable shell material. But in this case I'm making a direct comparison from this guitar to all my other guitars, using the same strings, same picks, same technique, and so on.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonh
    It has the 3-piece maple neck, maple body, ebony fingerboard and TOM bridge. (It's actually an ES-775, so same body/neck as a 175 with gold hardware, neck pickup moved to the end of the fretboard and more bling.)
    Just a note of clarification.....traditionally, ES-175s have a mahogany neck with a rosewood board.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    The ES-175 is not an acoustic guitar, it's an electric. Most simply don't sound good acoustically.
    Thanks for the reply...yeah, I get that...I just sometimes practice scales or specific licks on my electric archtops unamplified when I'm trying to stay quiet.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    What the OP describes seems typical for an ES-175.
    Awesome. Thanks, good to know.

  8. #7

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    I think I know what you mean. When you dig harder it does get a bit louder but also thinner. Tone changes a lot between normal picking (my normal is not heavy) and hard picking, losing it's fatness as it gets louder. That happens with my ES 175 as well (2013). I also have a Byrdland, both acoustically and amplified Byrdland retains its tone across its dynamic range better.

    Some amps do that too. IMO, Fender Deluxe Reveb's compress the same way when you dig in. It's not a bad thing for me. Part of the character of some amps and guitars. I think ES 335's compress too.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by customxke
    Just a note of clarification.....traditionally, ES-175s have a mahogany neck with a rosewood board.
    Yeah, that is true of many ES-175s. The ES-775 has the three-piece maple neck, plywood maple sides and back like the '91-and-newer ES-175s, and an ebony fretboard instead of rosewood.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I think I know what you mean. When you dig harder it does get a bit louder but also thinner. Tone changes a lot between normal picking (my normal is even and smooth) and hard picking, losing it's fatness as it gets louder.

    YES! Tal, that's it, that's the description I'm looking for! It gets "thinner!"

  11. #10

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    Yep that's the nature of the beast. At least the modern ones.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by customxke
    Just a note of clarification.....traditionally, ES-175s have a mahogany neck with a rosewood board.
    They did use a 3-piece laminated maple neck from 1976-1981. Mahogany bodies ran from 1983-1990. There were some overlaps in components and years as Gibson used up surplus parts. Still it's hard to figure a Mahogany body and laminated neck from 1991. But there are stranger things out there, I imagine.

  13. #12

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    Jon,

    My experience with the 775 is that it is a heavier build than a 175 and while all 175s made past say 1970 are somewhat dead acoustically, the 775 is an extremely dead guitar in that respect. If you had a 59 reissue, it would behave more like your vintage Gibson electric archtop.

    Electric archtops with carved bodies react different than electric archtops with laminated bodies (and both are a different beast altogether from an acoustic archtop). Each reacts differently to different picking styles. IMO, an electric archtop, particularly of the 175 variety is at it's best when set up with super low action and played with a soft touch. That is where the magic occurs.

    It is all a matter of taste, but I prefer the more lightly built 175's to the heavier built ones and While I think the 775 is a cool idea, I never played one that floated my boat. I hope yours works out for you.

    Hope that helps....

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Jon,

    My experience with the 775 is that it is a heavier build than a 175 and while all 175s made past say 1970 are somewhat dead acoustically, the 775 is an extremely dead guitar in that respect. If you had a 59 reissue, it would behave more like your vintage Gibson electric archtop.
    >CLIP<
    ...at it's best when set up with super low action and played with a soft touch. That is where the magic occurs.
    >CLIP<
    Hope that helps....
    Swinger, thanks, that is all extremely helpful.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    The ES-175 is not an acoustic guitar, it's an electric. Most simply don't sound good acoustically. There are exceptions, but they're the proverbial exception to the rule. They are designed and made to be played amplified. The relatively heavy laminated body and two pickups help to prevent feedback, but that does not allow much acoustic sound. What the OP describes seems typical for an ES-175.
    +1.

    That said, if the action is too low, the strings choke when they hit the fretboard - no room for a decent amplitude. The OP could raise the action a bit and see if that helps. Me, I don't like a too low action as it narrows the dynamic range of the guitar.

  16. #15

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    One of the reasons so many jazz players are drawn to the mighty ES-175 is its 'thunk'. It's almost like the builders intended it to sound a bit dead acoustically. Plugged in it turns into another animal, but still has a bit of that muted or compressed sound. That's what a 175 does best. The amazing Joe Pass made that his signature sound.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    They did use a 3-piece laminated maple neck from 1976-1981. Mahogany bodies ran from 1983-1990. There were some overlaps in components and years as Gibson used up surplus parts. Still it's hard to figure a Mahogany body and laminated neck from 1991. But there are stranger things out there, I imagine.
    I read all the time that the mahogany 175s were made from 1983 - 1990 yes. Still, my mahogany 175 is dated october 1982. It has the Tim Shaw pups too, which I really like.

    DB

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    I read all the time that the mahogany 175s were made from 1983 - 1990 yes. Still, my mahogany 175 is dated october 1982. It has the Tim Shaw pups too, which I really like.

    DB
    Yes that's why I made the caveat about surplus parts. The "break" years are always soft. Gibson would do unpredictable things with components sometimes.

  19. #18
    Thanks everyone for your input.

    FYI, just to clarify, this guitar has no mahogany. It's a '91 ES-775 with a three-piece maple neck, and plywood maple sides and back like the '91-and-newer ES-175s allegedly have.

  20. #19

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    Oldane is right, it's possible the action is just a hair too low. I set mine very low and pick rather softly, so it's not an issue for me, but it does sound a little choked if I hit it hard, so I don't. If you pick vigorously, you need to have the action higher so the strings don't touch the frets above where they're actually fretted. Get it low enough and there is fret buzz, but just high enough to not get an actual buzz you'll get thin tone, almost but not quite buzz. The first thing I would try is raising the saddle just a little. Ideal action is a very personal preference.

  21. #20

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    Congratulations on your fine new guitar. Many informative replies above. Got any pics? Asking for a fiend;-).

  22. #21

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    Every guitar has its own personality and will have its own relationship with you. That's the reason to have more than one!

  23. #22

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    What kind of fiend are you asking for, Citizen? A guitar fiend, dope fiend, or some other kind?

  24. #23

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    Hi, I've just returned to the forum after many years away. I owned and gigged with an ES-175 for many years. The "compression" effect you describe is real and largely due to the heavily built nature of the guitar. as you strum harder, the additional energy does not result in any meaningful vibration to the top and bracing.
    Fwiw.
    This thick heavy system is largely responsible for the classic dark amplified tone of the instrument, although stifled acoustically.
    Good luck.

  25. #24

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    Hi Jon,
    I have a couple of the VOS 175s that are pretty Accoustic sounding guitars but I would tend to agree with a significantly different picking style for these guitars. They seem to sound best with a light playing style particularly in the higher frets. As other people mentioned digging in only makes the notes fall off and sound thin. Also picked ahead of the pickup is important though over the top might be more accurate on yours. I tended to attribute it to the short scale, producing little tension on the strings. Your impressions are on the mark, that said Imo it’s worth the effort. As with any guitar it takes time to learn how it responds best. Have fun good post.
    Quote Originally Posted by jonh
    Hi all,

    So the range of dumb questions for the group here include:
    1). Is this compression that I'm experiencing typical of an ES-175 compared to other archtops?
    2). Do you ES-175 players use a significantly different picking/playing style on an ES-175 than you would on other archtops, or even semi-hollow or solid body guitars? Do you not "dig in" like you would on other instruments?

    Thanks in advance for your sage wisdom and advice. I've learned so much on this forum and appreciate the contributions so many of you have made to it.

    -Jon

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Congratulations on your fine new guitar. Many informative replies above. Got any pics? Asking for a fiend;-).
    Hey, Citizen, tell your friend/fiend that I do have a pic! Thanks for asking.
    Dumb Questions on Playing a Gibson ES-175-es-775-jpg

  27. #26

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    I can only add one or two things to what other people said. If the pickups are too high you might also lose some dynamics in the amplified sound.
    Using a washer between the pickups screws and the top reliefs some weight from the top giving you more dynamics and liveness, i saw it on a youtube video by a famous jazz guitar teacher, and i can confirm it to be true.
    By the way, Gibson guys knows what and why they do things: if it has a thick top is to give you a fat amplified sound.
    Good luck and congratulation! Beautiful guitar.

    Enviado desde mi LG-H870 mediante Tapatalk

  28. #27

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    Raise the action ....

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    Raise the action ....
    Hi all, I wanted to reply to Pungu since a few of you have questioned the string height. I get the same results with my bridge where it is, when I tested it high as well as "ridiculously high."

    I appreciate the suggestions, though.

    When I set this guitar up I wanted to get the action lower, even though it was set to Gibson specs. I'm aware of how strings can be too low and contact frets when played hard. I ran into this with a 1930s Slingerland archtop that I restored. I had to do a neck reset, straighten the neck and replace the fretboard. It didn't have a truss rod so I had to mill grooves in the neck for a couple of carbon fiber rods. It plays pretty well now, but it was major surgery.

    So, when I was setting up this ES-775 I was trying to figure out if the strings really were in contact with the frets, even though it didn't seem like that was the problem. I did some testing (several times, out of frustration) and ruled that out. But thanks for your suggestions, glad to have the input. Lots of wisdom on this forum.

    -Jon

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    What kind of fiend are you asking for, Citizen? A guitar fiend, dope fiend, or some other kind?
    Most definitely a Guitar Fiend.

  31. #30

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    This discussion about the acoustic sound of an ES-175 reminds me... Wasn't Joe Pass' first Virtuoso album recorded acoustically using an unplugged ES-175?

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by archtopeddy
    This discussion about the acoustic sound of an ES-175 reminds me... Wasn't Joe Pass' first Virtuoso album recorded acoustically using an unplugged ES-175?
    Yes, except for one tune. The story goes that the guitar was actually plugged with the intention of recording a mix of the amplified and acoustic sound. But somehow the technician missed it and only got the acoustic part on tape. But who knows, maybe that story is just ..... a story.

    Frankly, I don't like the acoustic sound of Joe's 175 on that record as little as I like the acoustic tone of my own 1961 175. I use to compare it with the sound of a monkey farting in a tin can.

  33. #32

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    Odd idea maybe:

    The best sound I ever heard from a 175 was Jim Hall's. He had a Guild pickup on it, which may have been a single coil.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Odd idea maybe:

    The best sound I ever heard from a 175 was Jim Hall's. He had a Guild pickup on it, which may have been a single coil.
    pretty sure it was a humbucker, but certainly a warm, fat beautiful sound both live and recorded. I heard that guitar many times live, even had a chat with him (he often borrowed an amp from me when he came to Boston) about the new ebony fingerboard Jimmy D put on it for him. He used fairly light strings and a light touch with the pick to get that sound. Liquid, hardly any attack noticeable, like he drew the sound out of the guitar-amp combination.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldane
    Yes, except for one tune. The story goes that the guitar was actually plugged with the intention of recording a mix of the amplified and acoustic sound. But somehow the technician missed it and only got the acoustic part on tape. But who knows, maybe that story is just ..... a story.

    Frankly, I don't like the acoustic sound of Joe's 175 on that record as little as I like the acoustic tone of my own 1961 175. I use to compare it with the sound of a monkey farting in a tin can.
    I don't like the tone on that record either. The only track I can listen to is 'Here's That Rainy Day', which sounds so different from the rest of the album. If only the rest of the tracks had the same sound. I always thought it amazing that it was even released. Did Joe know about the problem? Could he not have gone in next day or whenever and recorded it all again with the amp problem sorted. They would have been different versions but equally valuable. Better still, had they done this, why not release both versions and let the public decide? I realise that's not how record companies operated in those days. Nowadays, some enterprising company would do a limited edition heavy vinyl edition for $50-60.

  36. #35

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    A beautiful guitar! Do you know how much it was played? A few years ago I bought a NOS Martin CF-1 archtop. It had been hanging in a shop for 10 years. I purchased it on line and when it arrived the unplugged tone was tight with almost no dynamics. But I knew this was an acoustic guitar, and like a flat top would open up. And did it ever. The more I played her the better she sounded.

    And BTW, I love the unplugged sound of my ES-175 VOS.
    Last edited by Betz; 07-04-2020 at 12:07 PM. Reason: add some notes

  37. #36

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    there was a thread here some time ago on the tone of Joe Pass' Virtuoso album. A few of us actually did experiments with mic'ing the ES175 and running a direct line to record, and the results came quite close to what you hear on Virtuoso. I've personally never had a problem with the sound on that recording, and actually like it because it's not your stereotypical acoustic sound. It sparkles and snaps, growls and speaks. It's not my favorite, but somehow it fits the way Joe was playing on that album, IMO.

  38. #37

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    The Virtuoso record was made on Pablo records. Norman Granz, the owner of Pablo wanted everything to be one take, warts and all on that label's releases. The concept was to capture pure jazz improvisation. I have all of Joe Pass's work on that label, and while much of it is far from perfect (mistakes can be heard and the tone sometimes is less than stellar), it is all wonderful.

    Joe's tone on "For Django" or "Intercontinental", IMO is as good as jazz guitar tone gets. It is a very "electric" tone, played on a 1962 Gibson ES-175D with flatwounds. I own three Gibson Es-175D guitars, each strung with flatwounds. Joe's early tone is the sound that I am always trying to achieve. If only I had his fingers and skill set.....

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    The Virtuoso record was made on Pablo records. Norman Granz, the owner of Pablo wanted everything to be one take, warts and all on that label's releases. The concept was to capture pure jazz improvisation. I have all of Joe Pass's work on that label, and while much of it is far from perfect (mistakes can be heard and the tone sometimes is less than stellar), it is all wonderful.

    Joe's tone on "For Django" or "Intercontinental", IMO is as good as jazz guitar tone gets. It is a very "electric" tone, played on a 1962 Gibson ES-175D with flatwounds. I own three Gibson Es-175D guitars, each strung with flatwounds. Joe's early tone is the sound that I am always trying to achieve. If only I had his fingers and skill set.....
    "Joy Spring" (live recording) and "Simplicity" are equally good in the 175 sound department. I think Joe pretty much set the standard for the archetypal 175 jazz guitar sound on those early records. Maybe even for the genre as a whole.

    DB

  40. #39

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    Here is a shot you might not have expected. Gene Bertoncini playing a blonde Gibson ES775! Taken Jun 1, 2004 at a workshop.

    Dumb Questions on Playing a Gibson ES-175-genebertoncini-es775-1-jpg

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    The Virtuoso record was made on Pablo records. Norman Granz, the owner of Pablo wanted everything to be one take, warts and all on that label's releases. The concept was to capture pure jazz improvisation. I have all of Joe Pass's work on that label, and while much of it is far from perfect (mistakes can be heard and the tone sometimes is less than stellar), it is all wonderful.

    Joe's tone on "For Django" or "Intercontinental", IMO is as good as jazz guitar tone gets. It is a very "electric" tone, played on a 1962 Gibson ES-175D with flatwounds. I own three Gibson Es-175D guitars, each strung with flatwounds. Joe's early tone is the sound that I am always trying to achieve. If only I had his fingers and skill set.....
    Thank you for the info on Virtuoso. You also might be the perfect person for a question as you own 3 ES-175’s! I have had my 2016 VOS about 6 months now and find new things I like every time I play her. She has a remarkable 10th to 15th fret sweet spot. I have also started lusting after an early 90’s ebony ES-165. My rational side is saying it is too close to the 175 I already have. Are each of yours unique, able to do certain things exceptionally well?

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betz
    Thank you for the info on Virtuoso. You also might be the perfect person for a question as you own 3 ES-175’s! I have had my 2016 VOS about 6 months now and find new things I like every time I play her. She has a remarkable 10th to 15th fret sweet spot. I have also started lusting after an early 90’s ebony ES-165. My rational side is saying it is too close to the 175 I already have. Are each of yours unique, able to do certain things exceptionally well?
    All three of my 175's are different in feel and sound.

    My 2017 VOS 59 is the lightest and most acoustic.

    My 2017 Figured is the heaviest and most electric.

    My 1997 is in between those two.

    While they are all different, they are not as different as my carved electric archtops or my carved acoustic archtops. That said, I do believe a two pickup 59 reissue and a 90's one pickup 165 would be different enough in both tone and feel to easily justify owning both. Hope that helps.....

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    My experience with the 775 is that it is a heavier build than a 175 and while all 175s made past say 1970 are somewhat dead acoustically, the 775 is an extremely dead guitar in that respect.
    Swinger, this got me thinking. There's obviously a lot of weight variation and the 775 I have to admit is a bit of a pig. Anyone care to share the thickness of your 175 tops? If you have a caliper, check your top at the f-holes and post the thickness and year. Inquiring minds want to know.

    My '91 ES-775 is about 1/4" or .25", my Epi Joe Pass (Peerless, 2003) is about 7/32" or .220", and my '61 ES-125TD is about 5/32" or .160"

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    All three of my 175's are different in feel and sound.

    My 2017 VOS 59 is the lightest and most acoustic.

    My 2017 Figured is the heaviest and most electric.

    My 1997 is in between those two.

    While they are all different, they are not as different as my carved electric archtops or my carved acoustic archtops. That said, I do believe a two pickup 59 reissue and a 90's one pickup 165 would be different enough in both tone and feel to easily justify owning both. Hope that helps.....
    It does. I really like how you were able to to express that by comparing the acoustic to electric balance. So the 90s 165 is going to be a different beast than the 2016 175 VOS. And I really dig that Gibson black finish . . .

    Thank you!

  45. #44

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    I may be wrong, but isn't the OP talking about the fabled and much revered "thunks" that wins the approval of 175 players and listeners?

  46. #45

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    Don't forget Jim Hall. There's a whole library of early ES-175 JH records with the classic thunk sound.

  47. #46

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    I think the thunk of ES 175 and what OP is talking about are two different things.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonh
    Hi all,

    Got my first ES-175, a 1991 model. Fabulous tone, but I have a few dumb questions for the ES-175 experts.

    When I play it acoustically and plugged in, it has a compressed sound to it. This is most pronounced when playing it acoustically. By "compressed" I mean if I pick hard it doesn't respond louder like I would expect, it sounds like it is limited by a compressor. The relative volume doesn't change much.

    I have several archtops now, including some 1930s acoustics, a '61 Gibson ES-125TD, an Epiphone Joe Pass and a Loar, and I don't experience the same thing with them (at least not to this degree). In my journey looking for the perfect jazz archtop I've played some Heritage guitars, a Fender D'Aquisto and others...again, I didn't experience the extent of the compression I experience on the ES-175.

    I'm used to being able to "dig in" when I want to change the dynamics, and I'm used to having the guitar respond.

    I've had it a few days and I'm learning how to play it...it seems like it needs a really soft touch and completely different playing style than I'm used to. Using a soft touch I get a nice range of dynamics through the amp. It's just...different.

    It has the 3-piece maple neck, maple body, ebony fingerboard and TOM bridge. (It's actually an ES-775, so same body/neck as a 175 with gold hardware, neck pickup moved to the end of the fretboard and more bling.)

    So the range of dumb questions for the group here include:
    1). Is this compression that I'm experiencing typical of an ES-175 compared to other archtops?
    2). Do you ES-175 players use a significantly different picking/playing style on an ES-175 than you would on other archtops, or even semi-hollow or solid body guitars? Do you not "dig in" like you would on other instruments?

    Thanks in advance for your sage wisdom and advice. I've learned so much on this forum and appreciate the contributions so many of you have made to it.

    -Jon
    Hi Jon

    Congrats on your NGD - enjoy it in good health

    I have two 175s and am very familiar with what you describe...the sound getting thinner when you dig in

    I think that the suggestions to raise the action and lower the pick up are sound

    I also think that some of this depends on pick ups. In my 175 with P90s - no issue; in my other with Classic 57s...big issue

    what I’ve found useful to play at the sweet spot between the neck pup and the neck. It also pays to play around with volume. Following the advice of other forum members (esp. Lawsonstone), I now turn my amp up and turn the guitar volume down (sometimes as low as 5). That helps a lot

    hope this is useful

    apologies if it’s all a bit obvious

    best

    david

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonh
    Swinger, this got me thinking. There's obviously a lot of weight variation and the 775 I have to admit is a bit of a pig. Anyone care to share the thickness of your 175 tops? If you have a caliper, check your top at the f-holes and post the thickness and year. Inquiring minds want to know.

    My '91 ES-775 is about 1/4" or .25", my Epi Joe Pass (Peerless, 2003) is about 7/32" or .220", and my '61 ES-125TD is about 5/32" or .160"
    I don’t know if this helps but here is the numbers of the tops of my three current f-hole guitars:
    ES-175 VOS 1959 (2012) 4,95 mm – 2,6 kg
    ES-175 VOS 1954 (2015) 5,83 mm – 3,06 kg
    and for comparison:
    ES-275 (P90s) 5,23 mm.

    The difference in feel goes with the numbers: 1954 feels ’deader’ than 1959. ES275 has less depth so the feel is different, less vibrant.

    Of course one must consider also that VOS 1959 is 1 pickup model so the top vibrates a bit more freely.

    I have always thought that the OP’s question is about every archtop. That has been a hard school for my heavy right hand. But enjoyable school!
    Last edited by Herbie; 07-07-2020 at 06:04 AM.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonh
    Hey, Citizen, tell your friend/fiend that I do have a pic! Thanks for asking.
    Dumb Questions on Playing a Gibson ES-175-es-775-jpg
    Killer guitar jonh! Killer guitar!

  51. #50

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    Also pick is an important factor for the compression. Some picks just make ES 175's (and other guitars) sound compressed even when picked lightly, others give you more "headroom".

    For example, Dunlop Jazztone picks sound more compressed to me. The regular red Jazz III's sound more open. Although out of the package, the unbevelled edges have molding marks that can make it sound thin. Some sandpaper and polishing work clears that nicely.