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  1. #1

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    spotted this on reverb. Never seen this before, i like it!
    Gibson [Vintage] ES-175 Custom Sunburst w/Varitone Stereo | Reverb

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I'll bet that served the original buyer well. Fun!

  4. #3

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    This stirs my blood. Stereo Varitone in an ES-175? I'd take it in a heartbeat, if I'd just won the lottery. Seventeen large? I've paid less for new cars. [Sigh.]

    Somebody, somewhere, is going to get a remarkable instrument. Something tells me the only reason those pups haven't been parted out already is the insanely complicated wiring required by the Varitone. I once had to have the stereo output jack on my mid-sixties ES-345 replaced. I had it done at a store that I had done a lot of business with over the years. When I asked the owner how much I could pay him for the work, he responded, "It's on the house - there's not enough money in the world for that." Needless to say, I did a lot more business with them after that!

  5. #4

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    Anyone have any info on Billy Warner, for whom the guitar was made? A Google search, though colorful, was not very helpful.

  6. #5

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    That's a pretty stiff upcharge for a varitone switch and stereo output. I've never heard of Billy Warner, and a plastic plate with his name on it isn't worth that much extra, either.

  7. #6

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    There’s a player name of Billy Warner in Oz, a few you tubes of him. Considering the seller is Japan, who knows?
    Maybe our .au members can help?

  8. #7

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    that's the first 175 I've seen w/a Varitone.
    the super high price is likely also a result of it being a Japanese listing [though it does claim to have pafs which of course adds a premium]
    as far as names being added to a guitar's cosmetics it's a detraction for me in most instances, though a nicely engraved truss rod cover doesn't bother me. this one looks like it has a Kessel insert attached to the t.p. w/BW's name instead.

  9. #8

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    Not sure the point of it nowadays. Back then it was suppose to be get Modern Rock type sounds probably. But it definitely is unique for sure.
    I've seen them on Byrdlands as well!

  10. #9

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    Varitones are I admit, an acquired taste. Setting them up for dual amps takes a good deal of effort and care.
    The result, however, is absolutely glorious.
    My es345 will not be sold in my lifetime.

  11. #10

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    I have rarely used the stereo feature because of the hassle to set it up, but it can be fun. There is no downside to having that option.

    The Varitone really has no serious downside. A friend of mine who plays chord solo uses the neck pickup on setting 3.

  12. #11

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    varitone gives more tonal variations within fingers reach...what's not to like?

    many a kingly tone has come from guitars equipped with one

    here's good overview (from gibson!), before you think you've made up your mind

    Vary Your Tone With The Varitone Switch!

    cheers

  13. #12

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    In my experience the downside to the Varitone (esp. combined with the stereo wiring) is weight. It made my ES-345 feel a lot heavier than a comparable 335, which is the main reason I no longer have it. I never found much use for most of the treblier positions on the Varitone either, I have to admit.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    the super high price is likely also a result of it being a Japanese listing [though it does claim to have pafs which of course adds a premium]
    Precisely.

    1) Since it's a Japanese listing there's about a 50% chance that the advertiser actually has the guitar in hand; and
    2) The pics of the covers look some chrome-ish for a '62 PAF (which should have nickel).

    But as they say, "GFAO -- Go Find Another One!"
    Last edited by Sam Sherry; 02-28-2021 at 06:09 PM.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9
    In my experience the downside to the Varitone (esp. combined with the stereo wiring) is weight. It made my ES-345 feel a lot heavier than a comparable 335, which is the main reason I no longer have it. I never found much use for most of the treblier positions on the Varitone either, I have to admit.
    No question that the mass of wiring and the selector switch add weight to an already hefty instrument. As far as usefulness, as a working musician playing in dance bands in the eighties with my first master-volume amp (Music Man 112 RD), I found the Varitone extremely useful as a tool for shaping my tone in various ways to accomodate the wide range of tones on the hits of the day, particularly the overdriven tones. With a bit of gain, the perceived volume loss was negated. I was running the stereo output through a mono adapter, so between the three-way switch and the six-position selector, I had eighteen default tones to work with, even before touching the volume and tone knobs. It wasn't simply a matter of tone-matching for me as it was avoiding listener fatigue. Mix it up, I say.

    Post-script: My ES-345 was supplanted as my #1 only upon the acquisition of my first PRS Custom 24, with its 5-way pup selector and sweet switch* and much less weight.

    *Blessed, blessed sweet switch!** And locking tuners!


    ** PRS should put it in a box. I'd buy two!

  16. #15

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    As mentioned above the stereo option takes diddling but it's Soooo worth it!

    The varitone really shines when you have a volume pedal to make up for volume loss as you turn the dial. I'd really like to hear and play a 175 setup like that. Funny about the varitone, every one of the three I've played side by side had different effect on the output volume. One had nearly zero, and a volume pedal wasn't a necessity, while one was very drastic dropping the volume.