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  1. #1

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    After all this love for the Tal Farlow it is time to compare it with the "original" Tal Farlow, the Gibson ES 350.

    Recorded through a Mambo 10 jazz amp. All EQ totally flat, both on the guitars and the amp. Same settings on the amp.

    DB

    Last edited by Dutchbopper; 11-29-2020 at 10:13 AM.

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  3. #2

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    They actually sound quite similar to my ears .. I like the 350 better, but that is probably cause P90s just sound fuller/warmer in a context like this.

    Also I'm guessing you didn't touch the amp setting, but pushing it ever so slightly more with the Tal would probably make it slightly fuller/warmer as well.


    But end of the day my thoughts are that they're surprisingly close in character .. it's kinda a potato potata thing ... How do they compare in the drivers seat?

  4. #3

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    Great playing as always. They sound amazingly similar to my ears. Considering that they have such a difference in years / mileage and P90 vs. humbucker it's quite astonishing...

  5. #4

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    Ok now i want a pickup thats a p90 for the first 3 strings and a humbucker for the bass strings.
    I prefered the tal altough it was clipping a bit if i really had to choose one but that p90 sounds so sweet in the upper register.

  6. #5

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    Hmm... I would be hard pressed to hear the difference in a blind fold test.....

    Kind of makes you wondering why one would need both guitars....
    (Don't tell my wife I said this, or I would need to sell 75% of my guitars......... )

    Both sound equally great!

  7. #6

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    I could find little difference possibly a bit more edgy to Tal on the bright side. The 350 possible a bit rounder in tone but we are spitting atoms at this point. Super playing and sound.

  8. #7

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    1st off excellent job. It takes a lot to do something like this and you should be commended for it.

    Sound wise, I can’t find an appreciable difference between the 2 guitars. Blind folded, I would have insisted it was the same guitar straight through.

    There is no way for me to be certain, but to my EYES, you look more comfortable playing the Tal. Maybe it’s just my imagination.

    In any case, great job DB.

    Joe D

  9. #8

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    Both are pure ear candy. Tone Heaven for sure. Thanks Dick !

  10. #9

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    You have a beautiful touch, which makes the comparison fun to listen to - I was surprised by how similar the guitars sounded. Both sound great.

  11. #10

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    Through headphones I hear a little more projection and clarity from the 350, a little more thunk from the Tal.

    Both spectacular. I would be thrilled to own either.

    (Though I would rather just have a little of DB's playing skills!)

    Thanks for the video!

  12. #11

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    DB, I played your video back through my Bose speaker system
    the two guitars sounded similar, on several hearings I detected
    slightly more brightness from the TF , and lyrical ,nevertheless
    the 350 with P90's has a great Jazz tone quality compounded
    by its 46 extra years of having been used, your playing as ever,
    exemplary,
    Last edited by silverfoxx; 11-28-2020 at 04:01 PM.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    DB, I played your video back through my Bose speaker system
    the two guitars sounded similar, on several hearings I detected
    slightly more brightness from the TF , and lyrical ,nevertheless
    the 350 with P90's has a great Jazz tone quality compounded
    by its 46 extra years of having been used, your playing as ever,
    exemplary,
    Thanks for listening so closely Fox, indeed, playing it on good speakers is the only way to fully apperciate the sounds. I never play back on computer or iPad or iPhone speakers. I agree with your assessment.

    DB


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  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    Through headphones I hear a little more projection and clarity from the 350, a little more thunk from the Tal.

    Both spectacular. I would be thrilled to own either.

    (Though I would rather just have a little of DB's playing skills!)

    Thanks for the video!
    Thanks for listening Flat.


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  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    They actually sound quite similar to my ears .. I like the 350 better, but that is probably cause P90s just sound fuller/warmer in a context like this.

    Also I'm guessing you didn't touch the amp setting, but pushing it ever so slightly more with the Tal would probably make it slightly fuller/warmer as well.


    But end of the day my thoughts are that they're surprisingly close in character .. it's kinda a potato potata thing ... How do they compare in the drivers seat?
    Yeah the amp settings are the same. Same strings and pick too. The 350 is a way more resonant guitar than the Tal. It is of a much lighter build and has a better acoustic sound. I recorded it unamped even and it sounded fine.

    I like the vintage vibe of the 350. The Tal is a heavier guitar but still sounds great. Gibson did a very good job as you can hear.

    So far I have only used the 350 at home and not in my trio. It is a dream guitar.

    DB


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  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I could find little difference possibly a bit more edgy to Tal on the bright side. The 350 possible a bit rounder in tone but we are spitting atoms at this point. Super playing and sound.
    Agreed Mark. I find it amazing that they sound so close. Overall I think the 350 is a bit warmer and rounder in tone but there is a quality in its sound that is very well captured by the Tal Farlow. I have always said that I find the Tal the best signature model ever and that is because you actually hear the man if you play it in a certain way, so with the right touch.

    DB


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  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Both are pure ear candy. Tone Heaven for sure. Thanks Dick !
    Thanks for listening Vinny. Gibson really did a great job on the Farlow, getting so close to the “original” Tal Farlow, the 350.

    DB


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  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    1st off excellent job. It takes a lot to do something like this and you should be commended for it.

    Sound wise, I can’t find an appreciable difference between the 2 guitars. Blind folded, I would have insisted it was the same guitar straight through.

    There is no way for me to be certain, but to my EYES, you look more comfortable playing the Tal. Maybe it’s just my imagination.

    In any case, great job DB.

    Joe D
    Thanks for listening and commenting Joe. I find it amazing myself that they sound so close. It has probably something to do with me playing them too. I tend to sound the same on different guitars. Still, this recording does not lie. There really is a direct link beteween these guitars. The 350 is the nicest guitar I own. I could not think of a better sounding guitar myself. But you know why that is, I am strictly a thunker.

    DB


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  19. #18

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    Both sound great, to me they sound very similar in the upper register but on the low notes the Tal has a kind of ‘woody’ sound that I like.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Hmm... I would be hard pressed to hear the difference in a blind fold test.....

    Kind of makes you wondering why one would need both guitars....
    (Don't tell my wife I said this, or I would need to sell 75% of my guitars......... )

    Both sound equally great!
    Thanks. Agreed on the sound. Why both guitars? Look at at this way. In the bank your money does not do anything. Interest is at a dramatic low and will stay low for a long time to come. If you have the wrong bank, they will charge you for saving actually. At the moment a Gibson is actually a better investment over the years. That is of course if you buy a REALLY nice one. The value of my Tal has doubled since I bought it 15 years ago. That's 100% interest in 15 years.

    I am neither a collector nor an investor but owning a few guitars like this seems like a better idea than saving ROI wise.

    DB

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Thanks. Agreed on the sound. Why both guitars? Look at at this way. In the bank your money does not do anything. Interest is at a dramatic low and will stay low for a long time to come. If you have the wrong bank, they will charge you for saving actually. At the moment a Gibson is actually a better investment over the years. That is of course if you buy a REALLY nice one. The value of my Tal has doubled since I bought it 15 years ago. That's 100% interest in 15 years.

    I am neither a collector nor an investor but owning a few guitars like this seems like a better idea than saving ROI wise.

    DB
    No need to justify yourself at all! I hope I didn’t sound like you needed to.... I totally get it. Besides, even though they might sound very similar (mind you: in your hands, with your equipment - I sound very much the same on all my guitars) - the percieved difference by you is all the justification you need.

    You have a valid point though, with the current interest rates it is much more lucrative to put your money into something that gains value over time (and even better into something that you can enjoy playing 1952 Gibson ES 350 versus 1998 Gibson Tal Farlow). And the market is going rather crazy right now - any Gibson labelled ‘vintage’ is gaining value like crazy, at least in the minds of a lot of people. There is an ES-125 on Marktplaats they ask €3500 for! (So my 125 gained 350% in value in 5 years time? That’s even more than my house, hahaha!)

    I still have a weak spot for player grade guitars though, they speak more to me. But they are less suited as investment.

    At the moment I am very surprised how similar I can make my €200 chinese ES-330 kit sound like my 1950 ES-125 (although they both have P90s of course). I should do a similar comparison video!

  22. #21

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    I prefer the 350 by a little. The Tal sounds slightly compressed in comparison, but it's very difficult to tell the difference. I think the 350 has a subtly greater dynamic range, a little more open, probably because of the P90. I once was a confirmed humbucker fan, but over time I've come to prefer the single-coil sound, although it's still very close. Anyway, great playing on both guitars, and great tone on both. I'll take either off your hands if you're desperate to get rid of one. But I suspect that has about the same likelihood as the sun coming up in the west tomorrow.

  23. #22

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    The first time through, I scroll down and read the comments while listening to the playing so as not to be "listening with my eyes." I wasn't sure when you were switching guitars except for being able to hear the overlap, but I didn't know which was which. This of course was limited to some extent by using my iPad and listening with earbuds.

    One of the two instruments had just a little brighter "ping" on the attack of the notes; then I watched the clip again so that I could see which guitar was which. Gibson really engineered the TF to sound like the ES-350, presumably with Tal's input. Even the difference between the P90 and humbucker pickups is pretty minimal; I think the difference in sound that I was hearing was the wooden bridge saddle versus the TOM.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    The first time through, I scroll down and read the comments while listening to the playing so as not to be "listening with my eyes." I wasn't sure when you were switching guitars except for being able to hear the overlap, but I didn't know which was which. This of course was limited to some extent by using my iPad and listening with earbuds.

    One of the two instruments had just a little brighter "ping" on the attack of the notes; then I watched the clip again so that I could see which guitar was which. Gibson really engineered the TF to sound like the ES-350, presumably with Tal's input. Even the difference between the P90 and humbucker pickups is pretty minimal; I think the difference in sound that I was hearing was the wooden bridge saddle versus the TOM.
    Good points. I think the TOM bridge on the Tal must have something to do with the slightly - and only that - brighter sound of the Tal. I'd love to hear a Tal with a wooden bridge. The difference would probably even be smaller.

    DB

  25. #24

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    I think one thing that makes these guitars sound so very similar is, of course, Dick is the guy playing both of them. I am not someone who constantly harps on "tone is in the hands" but still, we know accomplished players tend to be able to bring their own distinct tone out of almost any instrument, given at least adequate instruments (not cigar box guitars). The quality of the playing in this video is outstanding, and so the full quality of each instrument comes out as well, but both are also fully under the control of the musician. That being the case, the slight differences we do hear are pretty significant.

    I have often wondered about the difference between TOM and wooden bridges on guitars, but every time I've experimented with my own guitars, I've just not heard that big a difference. Since I really grate on poor intonation, I tend to gravitate toward the TOM bridges.

    This is a great side-by-side and another chance to hear some really nice bebop playing from one of our own!

  26. #25

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    My 175 came with a wooden bridge, but I found it a bit ‘muddy’ sounding so I replaced it with a tuneomatic one. Also I wanted the precision of tuning, the wooden bridge never seemed to be quite right in that regard.

  27. #26

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    Wooden on mine. Maybe I should try a TOM. I figured the wooden one it came with would give me a more acoustic-ish response, but if Lawson says there’s not much difference it would be quite nice to be in tune.

  28. #27

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    Dick I think you may need to change your Dutchbopper nickname to Thunkmaster. Your old handle of Mr.Bebopguitar was very fitting also.
    Carrying the Tal torch forward is a beautiful thing. Tal lives on.

  29. #28

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    I put a tuneomatic with nylon saddles on my 330 kit guitar. Best of both worlds: intonation accuracy and wood-like response and tone!
    Last edited by Little Jay; 11-29-2020 at 02:07 PM.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Wooden on mine. Maybe I should try a TOM. I figured the wooden one it came with would give me a more acoustic-ish response, but if Lawson says there’s not much difference it would be quite nice to be in tune.
    If you do go the TOM route, spring for a set of nylon saddle to retain that bit of mellowness. My ES-345 came with those, and I kept them on for tonal reasons until I finally wore them out with my bending excesses (I was young and strong and mule-headed. I am now neither young, nor strong).

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Dick I think you may need to change your Dutchbopper nickname to Thunkmaster. Your old handle of Mr.Bebopguitar was very fitting also.
    Carrying the Tal torch forward is a beautiful thing. Tal lives on.
    Thunkmaster ... love it! Good nickname. I could sign of with TM here.

    DB


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  32. #31

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    Nice job indeed !
    In blind mode, could not discriminate the 350 from the Farlow. I never thought they could sound so close!

  33. #32
    For those interested, I turned the vid into a Blog entry here.

    DB

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Yeah the amp settings are the same. Same strings and pick too. The 350 is a way more resonant guitar than the Tal. It is of a much lighter build and has a better acoustic sound. I recorded it unamped even and it sounded fine.

    I like the vintage vibe of the 350. The Tal is a heavier guitar but still sounds great. Gibson did a very good job as you can hear.

    So far I have only used the 350 at home and not in my trio. It is a dream guitar.

    DB


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    Do you think the 350 might feedback more at stage volume?

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Do you think the 350 might feedback more at stage volume?
    No, I don't think so ... But I must admit I never tried it. It's just that I never had any feedback problems with any archtop in 25 years ...

    DB