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  1. #1
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    NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    NGD: 2016 Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345 Sixties Cherry VOS.

    Really nice, chunky neck (profile feels similar to my 2017 LP Std '54 GT and is a perfect fit for my hands) and I love the cherry finish, which is brighter than most of the historic Memphis ES's I have seen in recent years (reminds me of my old '70 335, which had faded almost to a watermelon red).

    The guitar has good resonance and sustain. The pickups are maybe missing a little high end - probably because of the Varitone, but nothing I can't fix with an EQ adjustment on my amp. I might swap the MHS at some point.

    This is my first 345, so I am still trying to get used to the Varitone, which is wired for stereo on this model (but not out of phase in the middle position of the pickup switch).

    Overall impression is positive - I am a chronic guitar flipper, but I think this one will stick around for a while.











  2. #2

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Gorgeous! Congrats!

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Beautiful 345, really like the Memphis 345 - 355 great guitars !
    He was a sonic disaster, thinking hours of practice would make up for stock pickups, poorly carved top and The wrong glue !

  4. #4
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Thanks, fellas!

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Very nice.
    Renderit, You have an interesting perspective and your posts aren't boring...
    Ren, all in all, I'm giving you a C- today's posts...
    Most of what you write with regards to my posts is cryptic nonsensical gibberish like this. I would prefer if you actually added something to the conversation but hey, I haven't walked in your shoes. So being as nice as possible: I look at your posts as if I was dealing with an eccentric cousin who comes to visit unannounced.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Good ****ing job man. If it's half as boomy as the other 345 Memphis guitars I've picked up you've got a sure winner.

  7. #7

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    She is a beauty!! The neck profiles on all of the Freddie King signature models are very consistent. I have played 5 or 6 of them (fortunate to live in Memphis and have ties with factory there) and the profiles are shaped as near as identical as is possible. Very, very good guitars. As far as the MHS pickups, by the nature of the way they are produced, there is a certain amount of variation in output and tone (just like an original PAF), but overall, I like them a lot, especially because they are unpotted, again like the originals. If I had any constructive criticisim of them, it is that some individual MHS pickups seem to have a midrange bump, at the expense of a little top end, but the majority that I have played were well balanced, tone wise. Enjoy that new 345. PS: the number 1 position on the modern Varitone is a true bypass and should not color the tone.

  8. #8
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by reddeluxe View Post
    She is a beauty!! The neck profiles on all of the Freddie King signature models are very consistent. I have played 5 or 6 of them (fortunate to live in Memphis and have ties with factory there) and the profiles are shaped as near as identical as is possible. Very, very good guitars. As far as the MHS pickups, by the nature of the way they are produced, there is a certain amount of variation in output and tone (just like an original PAF), but overall, I like them a lot, especially because they are unpotted, again like the originals. If I had any constructive criticisim of them, it is that some individual MHS pickups seem to have a midrange bump, at the expense of a little top end, but the majority that I have played were well balanced, tone wise. Enjoy that new 345. PS: the number 1 position on the modern Varitone is a true bypass and should not color the tone.
    Yeah, I have noticed some variation in the MHSs.

    This is my 4th Memphis guitar with MHSs; the first three (two 63RI 335s and one 58RI 335) had more high end than this one (a couple of them had a little too much high end!), which definitely has the mid-range bump and mellow high end that you mention.

    I have a set of Wizz PAF clones that I might put in this guitar at some point - going to wait a while, though, until I really get to know the guitar well.

  9. #9
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    Good ****ing job man. If it's half as boomy as the other 345 Memphis guitars I've picked up you've got a sure winner.
    Thanks! The guitar definitely has a full bodied tone.

    It felt a little plinky when I first brought it home, but I replaced the stock bridge with a Faber ABR (and also added Faber spacers on the tailpiece, which needed to be raised up a bit to clear the back of the bridge) and the plinkiness disappeared and sustain greatly increased.

    I just love the neck on this!

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Steve Rose's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    nice guitar. congrats!
    I'm also a chronic guitar flipper.
    steverosephotos.com
    Instagram: @steve_rose
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  11. #11
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    What number is your Freddie King?

  12. #12
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by zoommutt View Post
    What number is your Freddie King?
    132/200.

  13. #13

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Wow, what a beautiful guitar! The 'not out of phase inthe middle position' seems a bit odd though, to me Freddie's Shelter years tone is absolutely that out of phase sound in the middle position with the bridge pickup rolled back a little to allow some of the in-phase neck pickup frequencies to creep in - but maybe that was the '74 355 on those records...
    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    NGD: 2016 Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345 Sixties Cherry VOS.

    Really nice, chunky neck (profile feels similar to my 2017 LP Std '54 GT and is a perfect fit for my hands) and I love the cherry finish, which is brighter than most of the historic Memphis ES's I have seen in recent years (reminds me of my old '70 335, which had faded almost to a watermelon red).

    The guitar has good resonance and sustain. The pickups are maybe missing a little high end - probably because of the Varitone, but nothing I can't fix with an EQ adjustment on my amp. I might swap the MHS at some point.

    This is my first 345, so I am still trying to get used to the Varitone, which is wired for stereo on this model (but not out of phase in the middle position of the pickup switch).

    Overall impression is positive - I am a chronic guitar flipper, but I think this one will stick around for a while.











  14. #14
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    That is a really nice guitar

  15. #15
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr335 View Post
    Wow, what a beautiful guitar! The 'not out of phase inthe middle position' seems a bit odd though, to me Freddie's Shelter years tone is absolutely that out of phase sound in the middle position with the bridge pickup rolled back a little to allow some of the in-phase neck pickup frequencies to creep in - but maybe that was the '74 355 on those records...
    I think I read somewhere that Gibson chose not to wire this run OOP, even though that's how Freddie's was wired.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    I keep coming back here to look at your Freddie King , such a killer looking signature! I've never been a fan of Memphis signatures the 335 variations . The ES 345 , 355 have IMO just a push further with fit and finish I really like the binding and inlay craftsmanship. Enjoy your beautiful new 345 .
    He was a sonic disaster, thinking hours of practice would make up for stock pickups, poorly carved top and The wrong glue !

  17. #17
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    132/200.
    I have 28.I got it from Dave's Guitar Shop. It is a much louder guitar acoustically than my 2016 58 ES. Have fun with it.

  18. #18
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by zoommutt View Post
    I have 28.I got it from Dave's Guitar Shop. It is a much louder guitar acoustically than my 2016 58 ES. Have fun with it.
    Cool - I got mine from GC Hollywood. I think once I replaced the stock bridge and put on some NYXL strings, it did get a bit louder. Don't know if it's louder than my old 58RI ES335 (sold it a while back), but the tone does feel a bit fuller than what I recall from the 58RI.

  19. #19
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    I keep coming back here to look at your Freddie King , such a killer looking signature! I've never been a fan of Memphis signatures the 335 variations . The ES 345 , 355 have IMO just a push further with fit and finish I really like the binding and inlay craftsmanship. Enjoy your beautiful new 345 .
    Thanks! If you are a fan of chunky necks, I can highly recommend these Freddie Kings. Mine almost veers into R8 territory - but it's super comfortable for me.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    I'd replace those MHS things with a set of Throbak Pre-T-301's! I have a set in my late 2014 `63 ES-335TDC and it sounds like a real early Sixties ES-3XX. I've played enough early sixties to know over the last 50 years.
    I wish Memphis had come out with this model in 2014...

  21. #21
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    I'd replace those MHS things with a set of Throbak Pre-T-301's! I have a set in my late 2014 `63 ES-335TDC and it sounds like a real early Sixties ES-3XX. I've played enough early sixties to know over the last 50 years.
    I wish Memphis had come out with this model in 2014...
    I'm seriously considering swapping the pups. These particular MHSs sound OK to me, but are definitely missing a little something on the top end. I have a set of Wizz PAFs that I can throw in it eventually.

  22. #22

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Congrats @indravayu I am about to pull the trigger !

  23. #23
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by Theorocks View Post
    Congrats @indravayu I am about to pull the trigger !
    Thanks! I think this very well might be the best Gibson I have purchased in the past 20 years - I am incredibly happy with it.

    I initially didn't love the pickups, but after tweaking my normal amp settings for it, I am more than satisfied with them right now. Maybe some day I will experiment with a boutique set, but the stock MHSs do sound excellent.

    The chunky neck on this guitar is just a perfect fit for me.

  24. #24

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    Thanks! I think this very well might be the best Gibson I have purchased in the past 20 years - I am incredibly happy with it.

    I initially didn't love the pickups, but after tweaking my normal amp settings for it, I am more than satisfied with them right now. Maybe some day I will experiment with a boutique set, but the stock MHSs do sound excellent.

    The chunky neck on this guitar is just a perfect fit for me.
    Good to hear....I'm glad the necks are chunky I love my R8 for that reason ...going tomorrow to try/buy a couple I cant wait

  25. #25
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by Theorocks View Post
    Good to hear....I'm glad the necks are chunky I love my R8 for that reason ...going tomorrow to try/buy a couple I cant wait
    Good luck - hope you score a killer one!

  26. #26

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    Good luck - hope you score a killer one!
    Thanks what do you use for strap locks ?

  27. #27
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by Theorocks View Post
    Thanks what do you use for strap locks ?
    Rubber tips from Grolsch beer bottle flip tops. Haven't used hardware strap locks in over 10 years.

  28. #28

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Just scored 145 ...love it beautiful neck fit and finish ....now im just trying to figure out how going to run the stereo aspect of it ...
    Last edited by Theorocks; 10-07-17 at 05:17 AM.

  29. #29

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    I'm guessing something like this would work if I want to leave guitar stock and go mono ...thoughts ?
    https://www.americanloopers.com/prod...nal-split-obel

  30. #30

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    I was informed by american loopers these would be better ...just sharing, doesn't seem to be a lot of info on the net going from stereo guitar es345 to mono without modding guitar
    https://www.americanloopers.com/prod...o-signal-split

  31. #31
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    I use a LiveWire ABY box, running in reverse (run a mono instrument cable from the central in/out jack to amp/pedal board, the A & B jacks receive the two ends of the stereo Y cable from the guitar).

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampli...tar-footswitch
    Last edited by indravayu; 10-07-17 at 01:19 PM.

  32. #32

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    I just bought one of these online after playing one in-store. I joined this forum just so I could be in on this thread. The necks on these are amazing. I initially bought the 1964 reissue one from 2014, but returned it the same day because I didn't like the slim neck. Anyway, just wondering about doing the mod to mono. How big of a deal is that?

  33. #33

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by smbeatty View Post
    I just bought one of these online after playing one in-store. I joined this forum just so I could be in on this thread. The necks on these are amazing. I initially bought the 1964 reissue one from 2014, but returned it the same day because I didn't like the slim neck. Anyway, just wondering about doing the mod to mono. How big of a deal is that?
    Congrats on your Freddie 345 ..what number is it ? mine is 145/200 I'm personally leaving it stock for now and using this https://www.americanloopers.com/prod...o-signal-split easy and you don't need to mess with electronics and you still have the stereo option to play with

  34. #34
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    It's your guitar, smbeatty, and you can certainly do as you like (I would take it to a tech to convert to mono - might be a little complicated), but would recommend keeping it stock stereo and using an ABY box, like Theorocks and I are doing.

  35. #35

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Cool, thanks for the input. I知 really excited to get to know the guitar. I値l make a final decision once I have some time to play on the actual one I get. I知 most definitely going to be using it live, so the mono mod just kind of makes sense for me as it値l just be less hassle in the long run. I知 also considering getting a push-pull pot for an out of phase middle position option. Basically, I bought this guitar because I loved the feel and sound, not because it was a Freddie King model, even though I am a fan. I知 not sure which number I知 getting, as the dealer has a few of them. I just picked the wood grain pattern I liked the most. I値l give more updates when I can. Thanks guys!

  36. #36
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by smbeatty View Post
    Cool, thanks for the input. I知 really excited to get to know the guitar. I値l make a final decision once I have some time to play on the actual one I get. I知 most definitely going to be using it live, so the mono mod just kind of makes sense for me as it値l just be less hassle in the long run. I知 also considering getting a push-pull pot for an out of phase middle position option. Basically, I bought this guitar because I loved the feel and sound, not because it was a Freddie King model, even though I am a fan. I知 not sure which number I知 getting, as the dealer has a few of them. I just picked the wood grain pattern I liked the most. I値l give more updates when I can. Thanks guys!
    I am not an expert on wiring, but I think you will have to mod the pickups (flip magnet or convert 2 conductor wires to 4 conductor) or replace them in order to do an out of phase mod.

    Definitely give an ABY box a try - you get used to it in no time at all. Other than the fact that there is a volume boost in the middle position, it basically operates the same as a Gibson with mono wiring.

    As a bonus, if you have two amps (or an amp with two differently-voiced channels), you can do some interesting things with the stereo output.

  37. #37

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    So I got #168. It is incredible. I mean, don't-ever-want-to-put-it-down incredible. It even smells good! I guess that's the lacquer or the case. This is the best, most comfortable neck I've ever played. Couldn't be happier. If anyone who reads this is on the fence about getting one of these, if you can find a good deal - pull the trigger. This one was $3100 after some negotiating.

    https://ibb.co/fE4yOw

    https://ibb.co/c1LcGG
    Last edited by smbeatty; 10-11-17 at 06:13 PM.

  38. #38
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by smbeatty View Post
    So I got #168. It is incredible. I mean, don't-ever-want-to-put-it-down incredible. It even smells good! I guess that's the lacquer. This is the best, most comfortable neck I've ever played. Couldn't be happier. If anyone who reads this is on the fence about getting one of these, if you can find a good deal - pull the trigger. This one was $3100 after some negotiating.

    https://ibb.co/fE4yOw

    https://ibb.co/c1LcGG
    Congrats! $3100??? Is yours used? I paid way more for mine!

  39. #39

    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    Congrats! $3100??? Is yours used? I paid way more for mine!
    Nope, brand new. Bought from the guy below...he said he has a few and I guess he's trying to unload them.

    https://kcvintageguitars.com/product...s-neck-335-355

  40. #40
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    Re: NGD: Gibson Memphis Freddie King 1960 ES-345

    Quote Originally Posted by smbeatty View Post
    Nope, brand new. Bought from the guy below...he said he has a few and I guess he's trying to unload them.

    https://kcvintageguitars.com/product...s-neck-335-355
    That's crazy - almost $1,000 lower than what most stores are currently selling these for.

    I would guess they are either not an official dealer, or have dropped their official dealer status?

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