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  1. #1

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    A bunch of people were curious why I sold that Slaman. I actually wasn't planning to replace it with anything when I sold it. But somehow I independently decided it was time to finally have an ES 150 when I saw one on gbase. I couldn't help but immediately transcribing and playing one of my favorite oscar moore solos to record on it.




    Totally unrelated transaction the the Slaman but I was able to compare in my head a bit.

    The playability of the Slaman is quite a bit easier than the ES 150. Mine fortunately doesn't have a massive V neck but it's stil a V and my hand just isn't used to the shape. Over time I bet I'll adjust. It's slimmer than the mid-30s Vs I've played, which is nice. The Slaman has a perfect slight V shape but it was modeled more on 50s Gibson neck profiles (which were their best IMO). The fretboard radius on the Slaman, however, is not 12" as most people associate with Gibson. I think it was something like 9.5" or 10", which felt awesome. My favorite neck ever, I think.

    Acoustically, the ES 150 is louder although the Slaman is lighter. The ES 150 has more bass to the sound acoustically than the Slaman. It also has more headroom. I have been playing this one with a heavy pick and slightly higher action than I had on the Slaman because the blend of acoustic and electric sounds so freaking good with this guitar.

    Electrically, I was surprised at how bright the original cc pickup is. I've played a few originals and I first though that there was something wrong with this one. After adjusting the pickup height and playing with the amp settings I'm happy with it. Even though the 80 year old tone knobs is completely useless. I didn't expect it to be brighter than the Slaman. But the original CC has a really cool snarl that I couldn't get with the Slaman pickup. The new owner of the Slaman has remedied that by putting in an original CC pickup. Now THAT's probably the best of both worlds, but I don't worry enough to look back. I'm very pleased that he is so happy with it.
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 02-24-2021 at 02:59 PM.

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  3. #2

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    there's a bunch of CC copies these days which is nice but nothing beats an original, hum and all.

  4. #3

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    Nice playing! Great tone. Those original ES-150s have wonderful clarity. A special guitar with a special pickup. What amp are you playing through? Congratulations on getting the real deal!

  5. #4

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    Congrats! You now own the holy grail guitar for classic bebop sound and it shows in your clip. I changed both tone and volume pots when I got mine. If you roll off the treble and then you open gently your mic' there's a sweet spot at roughly 1/4 of the tone course. This is the Jimmy Raney/René Thomas sweet spot.

  6. #5
    Thanks. DA Fan, the amp is my Elektra 185, which is a modern EH 185 clone. I had it modded to use a vintage field coil speaker.

    Fred, thank you! I actually was planning to replace the pots, and I'm glad I'm not alone.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Thanks. DA Fan, the amp is my Elektra 185, which is a modern EH 185 clone. I had it modded to use a vintage field coil speaker.

    Fred, thank you! I actually was planning to replace the pots, and I'm glad I'm not alone.
    I'm just tingling with excitement for you. That's truly a Quest worthy guitar, and I'm celebrating that somewhere out there in the world, such an instrument was just waiting for the right person to pick it up. I hope there are a few more hiding out there, waiting...

  8. #7

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    Nice sound--congrats!

  9. #8

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    Hey Omph,

    Congratulations - sounds like the real deal!

    I think you had an 1940 L50 which had a reproduction CC pickup added which you had on sale here and on Reverb a while back. Just wondering how you thought that compared to the ES-150?

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Iced Tea
    Hey Omph,

    Congratulations - sounds like the real deal!

    I think you had an 1940 L50 which had a reproduction CC pickup added which you had on sale here and on Reverb a while back. Just wondering how you thought that compared to the ES-150?

    If I were on a budget and looking for the best ES 150 clone on the market, there would be no better option. It sounded and felt just like an ES 150. Moreso than the Slaman, but I preferred the Slaman for the playability and aesthetics. The only difference bw that one and the ES 150 is that the pickup has a fully charged magnet, which is louder and a bit "harsher", but at least that one had a functioning tone knob so it was much easier to get to the sweet spot compared to an ES 150 with the ancient pots and harness. But to answer your question, a converted L-50 is the next best thing to a real es 150.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    If I were on a budget and looking for the best ES 150 clone on the market, there would be no better option. It sounded and felt just like an ES 150. Moreso than the Slaman, but I preferred the Slaman for the playability and aesthetics. The only difference bw that one and the ES 150 is that the pickup has a fully charged magnet, which is louder and a bit "harsher", but at least that one had a functioning tone knob so it was much easier to get to the sweet spot compared to an ES 150 with the ancient pots and harness. But to answer your question, a converted L-50 is the next best thing to a real es 150.
    Thanks for your reply, I actually have a 1938 L-50 that’s had one of the UK made CC pickups fitted. It has an arched back. I have played a couple of ES-150s before, one was a 1936 and sounded great, and the other was a bit later, and the frets were shot to pieces but both had that kind of alive feeling. My L-50 is very similar, it’s a very responsive guitar, you can dig in and get a honking horn like tone or a sweet mellow sound depending on the pick attack. The CC pickup that’s installed has the straight blade so I have D’addario Half Rounds installed for better balance across the strings as they are made of steel and have a higher magnetic output but they are quite bright. I have used Martin Retro Monels which I really liked, they had a more mellow sound but the E and B were too loud compared to the lower strings. It was fine at home but it was noticeable when I played in a live setting with a band, when the wound strings would get lost in the mix with the other sounds.

  12. #11

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    Congrats, a truely special instrument. Nice sound and great playing.

  13. #12

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    Really nice playing, old friend! I've listened to it three times. Very nice!

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Really nice playing, old friend! I've listened to it three times. Very nice!
    Very kind of you Rob, thank you! I miss your archtop playing but have thorougly loved watching/listening to your recent videos.

  15. #14

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    with a real vintage cc pickup or one of the current cc uk versions, the tone can be better dialed in by adjusting the 3 screws on the body...as the 2 large bar magnets extend beneath them...for less treble string side volume, carefully lower that magnet a tad...with it's screw and the lone back screw




    cheers

  16. #15

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    Congrats Juan, May she inspire your playing for many years to come!

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    with a real vintage cc pickup or one of the current cc uk versions, the tone can be better dialed in by adjusting the 3 screws on the body...as the 2 large bar magnets extend beneath them...for less treble string side volume, carefully lower that magnet a tad...with it's screw and the lone back screw




    cheers
    Exactly what I did! Cheers.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    with a real vintage cc pickup or one of the current cc uk versions, the tone can be better dialed in by adjusting the 3 screws on the body...as the 2 large bar magnets extend beneath them...for less treble string side volume, carefully lower that magnet a tad...with it's screw and the lone back screw




    cheers
    Not to derail this thread, but that seems like such a Rube Goldberg way to adjust the pickup. I can see how it works but...why didn’t they mount it on the surface, or mount it like modern humbuckers?

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Not to derail this thread, but that seems like such a Rube Goldberg way to adjust the pickup. I can see how it works but...why didn’t they mount it on the surface, or mount it like modern humbuckers?
    These pickups are heavy and the mass is asymmetrically distributed. Hanging it this way makes the load of the pickup more uniformly distributed across the top. The middle screw goes right through the center of the X braces. I think it's good structural engineering, far from a rube goldberg machine.


    Btw nea, that's a photo of a CC Pickups replica, not a real Gibson
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 02-25-2021 at 08:32 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos


    Btw nea, that's a photo of a CC Pickups replica, not a real Gibson
    well, i was really addressing iced tea ^, who was having trouble with his cc uk pickup being evenly balanced!...same principle applies though for the true vintage...as you well know! hah

    as for why a pickup like that??..that's late 1930's tech...the cobalt magnets were low gauss...why they needed that giant size! also with magnets that size the amount of string interaction is over a much larger area..which contributes greatly to it's tone...modern humbucker style pickups were well into the future!

    all the current "cc styled" pups without suspended magnets like that, are really not true cc's at all...in design or tone


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 02-25-2021 at 09:58 PM.

  21. #20

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    ps- if you want true rube goldberg pup design look no further than the dearmond dynasonic...used real magnet polepieces but with an elaborate spring and screw elevator system which allowed the magnets to be moved closer or further to strings...again another individual sounding pup...all that metalwork contributes to its great tone




    they were so cool that gibson got seth lover to basically rip the design off for their (now classic) alnico v staple pups!

    cheers

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    ps- if you want true rube goldberg pup design look no further than the dearmond dynasonic...used real magnet polepieces but with an elaborate spring and screw elevator system which allowed the magnets to be moved closer or further to strings...again another individual sounding pup...all that metalwork contributes to its great tone




    they were so cool that gibson got seth lover to basically rip the design off for their (now classic) alnico v staple pups!

    cheers
    All industrial design is basically a way to solve a problem as efficiently as possible with the tools they had at the time. Engineers in the 20’s-30’s-40’s were no dummies. Heck I live in a 90-year old house...I deal with pre-war technology on a daily basis.

    (To derail even further...back then they ASSUMED basements gonna leak, so they sloped the floors and put drains in the lowest part. Guess what some brilliant person—not me LOL—did when they remodeled the basement a couple of decades ago? If you guess filled in the drains and put flooring over it, you would be correct. All subsequent owners have spent much $$$ trying to deal with water issues in the basement.)

    My first thought with a simple pickup would be to mount it on the surface, but now I see it makes sense. Hard to retrofit though!
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 02-26-2021 at 11:27 AM.

  23. #22

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    That is a truly special instrument! I've only had experience with one original CC pickup - in a Roy Smeck Recording King that a friend had restored. All I can say is, those massive magnets yield a wonderfully complex and pleasing tone - BUT - to say they are heavy is a wild understatement. That Smeck made my LP custom and my ES-345 with Varitone seem like ukeleles in comparison. Fortunately, you are young and can handle it.

    Congratulations, and play it in good health!
    Last edited by citizenk74; 02-26-2021 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Spelling