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  1. #1

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    Reading gear threads for many years the ES 175 seems to be a model that is perceived as "inconsistent" by many, meaning that they are simply not all that good, whatever era they are from.I do not have this experience myself but that is what I have read over the years many times. You need to get a "good" one. Same for a number of other models too by the way.

    I have never ever read about a "bad" re-issue Tal Farlow though. How come they are so consistent and so much appreciated by their owners (myself included). It's kind of striking how many positive reviews and love declarations this model gets.

    DB

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the 175 has typically been a mass produced/main production line guitar, while the Tal reissue has always been a low production custom shop model. The materials used for the Tal have also never changed, while the 175 has had significant changes in the woods over the years. I don’t think that the different woods make a “good” one or a “bad” one, but they could certainly cause differing opinions on the quality.

  4. #3

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    I agree: Because Crimson.

    Funny thing is I would never have considered a Tal if it weren’t for this forum. I had no idea just how good they are. Easily the best value in the Custom shop lineup. Mine is flawless in construction and sounds glorious. It’s one of those guitars that puts a smile on your face whenever you play it.

    Roli

  5. #4

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    yeah drive up the prices some more..
    Can't find one for a reasonable price anymore and they hardly come up for sale.
    Still can't believe I missed this one:
    Gibson Tal Farlow 1993 Tobacco Burst (played by Tal, | Reverb

  6. #5

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    I was under the impression that Gibson in general and 175 in particular had a bad period in the 70’s Norlin era and it took a while to get rid of those bugs... but since, say, the 90’s I haven’t heard bad stuff about Gibson quality, except the occasional clunker with robotuners and stuff, and the usual finish issues.

  7. #6

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    omg! that’s my TF in that reverb ad, listed by the kid who bought it from me on eBay!
    Also all my lesson notes and some Tal memorabilia I sent him. Nice kid.
    Geez he got 2400 for it, I bought it in 93 for 1200.

    Waltf thanks for the link, I’ve always wondered what happened to it. I studied/hung with Tal for nearly ten years. What a wonderful human being. Played pretty good guitar too))) I will have to look for that letter I wrote, three laptops ago so no idea if I have it still. I’m curious what I said. The buyer was a high school student and really dug Tal, so I collected a bunch of lesson materials, along with some interviews and articles Tal had given me and sent them along. I am going to try to reach out I would love to hear him play!

    Before I saw this I was going to post to say no, the TF reissue materials did change. As you can see in the pix the early 90’s TF did not have the pretty tops and such. They were actually kind of plain. I had heard from a Gibson rep that in the move the Heritage people got the wood, so Nashville was behind in wood quality for a few years. My 89 L5 shows it, it’s a sad example of flame compared to later years. Granted the woods got better but so did the price. That particular guitar had a baseball bat neck. So since I learned to play thumb over from Tal with my short fingers I just couldn’t handle the neck.

    How many guitars do we have, me and all you ? (Me, 7) Tal played one (1) guitar, from the 60’s, the ‘#2 prototype’ (#1 was stolen at I believe Miami airport? Forgive me it’s been a few years))) Interesting that Tal’s regular guitar was different from the production model in a significant way. There was no scroll, and the pup switch was up where the scroll would be with an inlay. circle around it. Tal would play harmonic solos a lot (you can see it on the All Strings video) and when doing so would switch to the middle both pup position cause that gave a much stronger harmonic would. (Utube search on Tal and Misty I’ve seen the All Strings version there.). Thus he did not like the production model as the switch is buried by the volume controls and is nigh impossible to hit mid solo and not miss a beat. Oh Gibson.
    Other difference you might find interesting is it had a third pickup. There was a DeArmond floating pup right behind the neck pup. (You can see it in the video) Tal wired it out through a stereo jack to a Boss Octave pedal. That let him play bass lines while his bassist Gary Mazzaroppi would take a solo. They gigged locally and in NYC together for many years. Gary like Tal a great person. Ah the Sunday brunches at the Sea Girt Inn.
    OK one more little known interesting thing. He had conjured up a stool to play on. It had a slanted board for his foot, which contained a volume pedal as well as the switch for the octave pedal. Tal used a delay pedal live rather than reverb, I think it was in there somewhere too. It also had an attachment for his Walter Woods amp such that he could reach it whilst seated playing. And of course a nice soft seat). At that time he used a Bose 901 speaker.
    So as you can see Tal loved to tinker with electronics and since I had an amateur radio license (he wished he had one))) and I had been an electronics technician we spent half the lesson on music and half as mad electronic scientists. I think like most big pro musicians he appreciated talking about non musical things.
    I did play #2 but it was very hard to play as the fretboard had worn down between the frets almost like those scooped fret shredder guitars of the 80’s. It was home to him but whoa threw me off.

    OK sorry for running off but I was so excited to see my old guitar and stuff I thought I’d share. What a gift those times were.

    dave the ‘Tal student from New Jersey’
    my 15 minutes of jazz guitar fame on Reverb!

  8. #7

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    Why are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-84d6aeec-0fcb-4747-a7c6-5691ad4290e7-jpgWhy are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-197fb26a-1929-496c-8e55-86ce00e9f87b-jpgWhy are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-6d535ed2-6278-48c1-a69b-8d31dd36b74f-jpgWhy are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-3cec4c87-cd0e-4645-b2ae-e4a5513dc2d7-jpgWhy are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-42be4b1d-63bf-4336-9c2b-931610a83a52-jpgWhy are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-05d20a97-87f0-45b3-b7db-062d4c5b883e-jpgGibson certainly picks out the best looking wood for the TF. The Tal used to be the same price as a 175. The best bang for buck archtop period. People caught on and the prices went up. The Crimson shop was very consistent. Don't know about now though.
    Last edited by vinnyv1k; 07-20-2020 at 06:51 PM.

  9. #8

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    Gibson takes are bad rap at times but I own two Gibsons from the Hutch era 2001 and 2005. These guitars are set up and made immaculate as they come. I think Gibson from about 1990-2008 was doing very good work top of the line. When Gibson gets is all correct they are as good as anyone and of course you still have the Gibson name. In the 2 archtop guitar makers I was around they all said every guitar they ever made had some flaw or something not exact. It was something like "no one plays the perfect round of golf." Nothing would be that someone could probably point out the flaw but the makers knew what it was and of course if it was something inconsistent with quality it would not cut the final take. I also agree the Tal was such a limited guitar they had to go back to the original recipe and check probably for each batch. Recipes can change over time if you don''t go back to the original specs.

    Once I remember someone order a 7 string guitar from Bill Barker and he had already started the peghead and neck, and the guy changed his mind. He wanted 6 string. So Bill made the headstock a bit different on that guitar to get it back to a 6 string neck. If I remember correct the neck itself was not a problem getting going from 7 to 6 strings, buy the extra peghead space had to be cut off at some angle.

  10. #9

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    What a post jazzkritter. Thank you for sharing!

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by waltf
    What a post jazzkritter. Thank you for sharing!
    +1 Posts like that make this forum very worth looking at.

  12. #11

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    Gibson's carved instruments had a lot of "spec drift" over the years, mainly in terms of the plate thickness. Gibson's plywood guitars, like the ES-175, went through many changes (many of which have been documented here, especially in terms of the composition and thickness of the plywood). I think these changes account for variability in feel as well as sound.

    My understanding is that the specs for the TF didn't change over the years, other than the use of flamier top wood veneers, which has no effect on the feel or sound of plywood guitars. I'll bet that Gibson ran the pressed plywood plates very few times, in enough quantity to cover most of its production, leading to more consistency in terms of materials. It's a well-decorated but pretty simple 17" plywood box, made in limited quantities, with very few variables to account for, probably built by many of the same workers over the years, which suggests a strong tendency to consistency to me. As well, the ES-350 on which it is based is a good design.

    My guess is that the main variable for the TF over time is neck thickness.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 07-20-2020 at 08:27 PM.

  13. #12

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    Obviously this is such a loved model, but I seem to mainly hear players playing solos/single lines and not as much chord melody. Obviously DB posted Darn That Dream which was great and rapid. Not sure I've heard that many warm, slower ballads being played on one. Does the Tal model lend itself more to Bop and hot playing?

    Forgive in advance my ignorance

  14. #13

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    That’s a really interesting question. That 93 I mentioned above had a huge thick neck and I dunno, I find C/M not easy on thick necks.
    No idea what the new ones are like. Please don’t tell me they’re thin and wonderful cause the GAS will come on fast.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    That’s a really interesting question. That 93 I mentioned above had a huge thick neck and I dunno, I find C/M not easy on thick necks.
    No idea what the new ones are like. Please don’t tell me they’re thin and wonderful cause the GAS will come on fast.
    Sorry, but the neck on my 98' is fantastic. And I know what a thick neck is because I have a 1947 ES 300 too ...

    DB

  16. #15

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    Hmmm. Acquisition planning starts now.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    omg!

    Before I saw this I was going to post to say no, the TF reissue materials did change. As you can see in the pix the early 90’s TF did not have the pretty tops and such. They were actually kind of plain.
    They weren’t all made with plain woods. This ‘93 was my personal guitar for a few years. I could never find a better playing guitar. It sounded great, but it wasn’t quite the right tone for me. The pics don’t do the flame justice.



  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Obviously this is such a loved model, but I seem to mainly hear players playing solos/single lines and not as much chord melody. Obviously DB posted Darn That Dream which was great and rapid. Not sure I've heard that many warm, slower ballads being played on one. Does the Tal model lend itself more to Bop and hot playing?

    Forgive in advance my ignorance
    You should check out Andy Brown. His solo pieces (as well as his single lines) are played on a TF. Wonderful tone (quite dark and electric, as opposed to, say, Martin Taylor, that goes for a brighter, more acoustic sound)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Obviously this is such a loved model, but I seem to mainly hear players playing solos/single lines and not as much chord melody. Obviously DB posted Darn That Dream which was great and rapid. Not sure I've heard that many warm, slower ballads being played on one. Does the Tal model lend itself more to Bop and hot playing?

    Forgive in advance my ignorance
    It is not ignorance at all, if you have not had an opportunity perhaps to see or play one. My own is a Crimson Custom in Viceroy Brown ( a misnomer IMO as
    it is more like a muted flamed Cherry Sunburst. ( it is my third model) It certainly does lend itself to Bop playing as you can see from DB 's Blog posts here.
    It is also eminently suitable for Chordal playing, and stands up well against an L5CES. But you really need to see and play one to appreciate its qualities
    as you may know it was designed and developed from the original Gibson ES350 played by Tal Farlow.

    kind regards Silverfoxx

  20. #19

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    Hi Rythem Man
    Your 93 is beautiful. In fact all the ones you all have are.

    And thank you to all who liked my post!

    Next one I get will be pretty

    jk

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Gibson takes are bad rap at times >>SNIP<<.
    Agreed, they're the brand players love to hate.

    With so many Gibson survivors from the 40's and 50's around, let's see how the clones stand up to 70 years of transportation, playing, and sitting stuffed in cases.

  22. #21

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    DM,
    Vinny told me the best sound I ever achieved was when I recorded with a Tal. I've been told I only really play chord melody in the form of Sleeping pills.

    Quite frankly, they do everything right.
    Sorry Guys.. But here's a couple of oldies but goodies..




    I should be ashamed of myself..
    JD


    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Obviously this is such a loved model, but I seem to mainly hear players playing solos/single lines and not as much chord melody. Obviously DB posted Darn That Dream which was great and rapid. Not sure I've heard that many warm, slower ballads being played on one. Does the Tal model lend itself more to Bop and hot playing?

    Forgive in advance my ignorance

  23. #22

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    ^
    I'm gonna agree w/ vinny on this one.

  24. #23

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    Joe ,
    You know that Vinny and I usually agree on the best Gibsons ,you
    could do a lot worse than a Tal Farlow, the videos speak volumes .
    Hate to say it but I did recommend one to you ..... !!


    Best 007

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    DM,
    V
    Sorry Guys.. But here's a couple of oldies but goodies..




    I should be ashamed of myself..
    JD
    are you kidding?? no shame!...may not have the production values or camera editing you achieve on your current vids..but the heart and soul is there...always was. always will be

    bravo Joe D



    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 07-21-2020 at 08:43 PM. Reason: clarity-

  26. #25

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    I was really interested when Gibson first announced the reissue TF because all the originals I’d found had the skinny mid-sixties neck. The first reissue I bought was red, very pretty, nice wood, well made, sounded fine, but I hated the neck. Unlike any other guitar I’d owned (and at that time I’d owned what could be considered a plethora or even two of them) it seemed to feel much fatter on the rear bass side than on the treble side. Playing it for more than a few minutes caused acute pain in my thumb. I returned it and got a sunburst one instead. That one was about the same. I gave up on them at that point but in ’95 a dealer I knew came up with a blonde with gold hardware that I had to take a look at. I wound up buying it—although I still didn’t like the neck, it wasn’t as pain-inducing as the first two. I don’t remember how much I played it but when we moved four years later I downsized my collection and my last TF was gone.

    Don't seem to have a photo of the red one. Here's the sunburst:

    Why are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-tf-front-jpg

    This is a dealer photo of the blonde & gold one:

    Why are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-tal-farlow-blonde-gold001-jpg

    This was a Switchmaster from the same year--it had a great neck. If the blonde Tal had a neck like that I would have loved it.

    Why are Gibson Tal Farlow Reissues so Consistently Good?-front-jpg

    Danny W.

  27. #26

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    If anyone is interested, I am selling my near mint Tal at an extremely aggressive price. Please don't PM me here.

    Gibson Tal Farlow - Excellent Condition Jim Hutchinson | eBay

  28. #27

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    Confirming It’s already sold?

  29. #28

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  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by djelley
    If anyone is interested, I am selling my near mint Tal at an extremely aggressive price. Please don't PM me here.

    Gibson Tal Farlow - Excellent Condition Jim Hutchinson | eBay
    Ouch!
    I woulda pulled the trigger had I seen this an hour earlier..
    Ugh!

  31. #30

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    As far as neck profiles on mine (2014 / 2018) they are a perfect medium profile identical to the neck on my L5 Wes. Crimson seemed to be very consistent. Like I said, don't know about now after bankruptcy.
    Last edited by vinnyv1k; 07-22-2020 at 06:52 PM.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    Joe ,
    You know that Vinny and I usually agree on the best Gibsons, you could do a lot worse than a Tal Farlow, the videos speak volumes.
    Hate to say it but I did recommend one to you ..... !!
    Best 007
    007, I know you did. After I get my L5 who knows, I might breakup with a guitar I own now and replace it with a Tal. I would love to have another Tal. But not more than the L5.
    JD

  33. #32

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    Good stuff JD, i hope that you can soon acquire an L5, and a companion TF alongside it.
    The dynamic duo.





    007

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by djelley
    If anyone is interested, I am selling my near mint Tal at an extremely aggressive price. Please don't PM me here.

    Gibson Tal Farlow - Excellent Condition Jim Hutchinson | eBay
    Wow that must have been the best deal on a Tal I have ever seen.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    As far as neck profiles on mine (2014 / 2018) they are a perfect medium profile identical to the neck on my L5 Wes. Crimson seemed to be very consistent. Like I said, don't know about now after bankruptcy.
    Same on my 1998. The neck is kind of like L5 ...

    DB

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    DM,
    Vinny told me the best sound I ever achieved was when I recorded with a Tal. I've been told I only really play chord melody in the form of Sleeping pills.

    Quite frankly, they do everything right.
    Sorry Guys.. But here's a couple of oldies but goodies..




    I should be ashamed of myself..
    JD
    Very nice going there Joe! Get yourself another Tal!

    DB

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    DM,
    Vinny told me the best sound I ever achieved was when I recorded with a Tal. I've been told I only really play chord melody in the form of Sleeping pills.

    Quite frankly, they do everything right.
    Sorry Guys.. But here's a couple of oldies but goodies..




    I should be ashamed of myself..
    JD
    Joe, how could I forget! I believe I've watched all of your videos and for some reason my brain cramped about your videos of you and the Tal! Duh!
    Between you and Andy Brown (as someone mentiined) that is plenty proof of a Tals sound for Chord Melody!