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  1. #1

    Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Can a few of you shed some light on these guitars? There one for sale locally and I'm thinking of pulling the plug. Tone, playability, neck shape and cost comments would be appreciated. The one for sale is a Block Neck.
    Game on!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I had a 2014 335 Rich Robinson VOS very nice guitar these guitars have a small neck profile .
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  3. #3

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I wish they had a profile shot of all the neck shapes they use and how they compare to others? I do not care for small necks, that would be a deal breaker for me.
    Game on!

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    If you do not like small necks you will not like any 60's RI , my 2015 ES 345 has a small neck every one I've played in the 60's RI . You need a 59 RI .
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I have a '16 "63" ES-335 reissue. The neck has a very distinctive taper to it, unlike most Gibson electrics I've played. The neck is quite shallow at the first fret but by the 12th it's a handful, similar to my '59 ES-335 reissue. It's actually one of my favorite Gibson neck shapes, although, to be sure, I'm not nearly as fussy about neck shape/size as a lot of you people here seem to be.

    Check the setup closely. I've seen a number of these that have the strings poorly centered over the fret board, with the high E much closer to the edge of the board than the low E. Mine tends to be that way, and someday I will probably replace the nut to correct it.

    I love the MHS humbuckers in my guitar. It's one of the rare Gibson guitars I haven't been temped to change anything, not pickups, pots, caps or anything. Okay, I'll confess, I changed the knobs for some more "vintage accurate" reflector cap knobs, and put on a shorter pickguard bracket, which fit the guitar better, but that's just me.
    My guitar style is "islands of competence in a sea of mediocrity."

  6. #6
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Gary View Post
    Check the setup closely. I've seen a number of these that have the strings poorly centered over the fret board, with the high E much closer to the edge of the board than the low E. Mine tends to be that way, and someday I will probably replace the nut to correct it.
    This, i have had a terrible experience with Wildwood specs one (yes, i was shocked).

    Poor craftmanship (glue leaks in f - holes), poor and sloppy binding work, too high neck angle (how is yours?) and poorly centered strings with wrongly cut nut. The guitar was hardly playable and this was my last Memphis one forever, i was really extremely dissapointed. Otherwise the tone was nice...
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2018 Gibson Les Paul Custom 1957 Historic
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    This, i have had a terrible experience with Wildwood specs one (yes, i was shocked).

    Poor craftmanship (glue leaks in f - holes), poor and sloppy binding work, too high neck angle (how is yours?) and poorly centered strings with wrongly cut nut. The guitar was hardly playable and this was my last Memphis one forever, i was really extremely dissapointed. Otherwise the tone was nice...

    The other stuff ain't cool but glue in the cavity is as Gibson as the name on the headstock.

  8. #8
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    The other stuff ain't cool but glue in the cavity is as Gibson as the name on the headstock.
    Hm, never seen so much glue in infamous 70s Norlins than on current Memphis series.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2018 Gibson Les Paul Custom 1957 Historic
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    Hm, never seen so much glue in infamous 70s Norlins than on current Memphis series.


    They built so few arch & flattops in that era they probably figured wiping the glue off was standard protocol, suckers!

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    Hm, never seen so much glue in infamous 70s Norlins than on current Memphis series.
    I have owned two Memphis ES guitars & have played several , I yet to see this cascading glue in F holes or any glue .
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member The Shifter's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I own 3 of the Memphis '63 335s. I love the necks on all of them, and I do not like small necks.

    Never seen the excess glue either.

    These are two of the best sounding/playing guitars that I own.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    ^ Ditto ! Im not a slim neck guy but my 64 ES is a joy to play and the sound is killer !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  13. #13
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    I have owned two Memphis ES guitars & have played several , I yet to see this cascading glue in F holes or any glue .
    Enjoy



    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2018 Gibson Les Paul Custom 1957 Historic
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  14. #14
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    That's a lot of glue! My '16 58 or Freddie King have no glue in that area. That's a lot of glue!

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    Enjoy



    The sloppy glue does not surprise me , why would someone buy a guitar with these issues this is what I find puzzling ?
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    The sloppy glue does not surprise me , why would someone buy a guitar with these issues this is what I find puzzling ?
    Glue visible though a F hole an issue? Seriously? Makes it sound terrible? Falls apart? Fine if there is too little and you don't see it?
    Sorry, I can't go along with that.
    "I am the kind of guy that only buys 100 watt heads just to play at home. I feel like if an amp can't kill a heard of cattle 100 yards away what is the point of owning it."

  17. #17
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    The sloppy glue does not surprise me , why would someone buy a guitar with these issues this is what I find puzzling ?
    Internet buy, then i was shocked when it was delivered to me.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2018 Gibson Les Paul Custom 1957 Historic
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  18. #18
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by wmachine View Post
    Glue visible though a F hole an issue? Seriously? Makes it sound terrible? Falls apart? Fine if there is too little and you don't see it?
    Sorry, I can't go along with that.
    In fact, the glue was the smallest problem on this guitar. The guitar had many serious construction flaws, for example check the botched string spacing. The guitar was very hard to play and the sloppy construction was worse than on cheap Asian fakes in fact...

    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2018 Gibson Les Paul Custom 1957 Historic
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member 1jamman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I bought 3 Memphis 3X5's and all are very nice guitars . 1 (the '59 RI)has ~ glue showing ,plus take into account how "zoomed in" that picture is . But ,I always thought to myself...at least You could see they did use Hide Glue . LOL!!!! Just joking ,each of us has our own prospective on such things . The Nut and saddles are a complete other story .Those should be have been replaced by Gibson with properly cut 1's .

    OP, Like any Gibson (or any guitar ,imo) , inspecting it and trying it out is the only way to know .
    ask the seller for measurements of the neck . Some can do this for you ,some can't . Asking costs $0.00

    Different 60's RI models have somewhat different neck shapes . A '64 RI Model should have a fatter neck then a '61 RI in general . closer to a '59 ,which is why many like those over the early 60's guitars.

    IIRC correctly the '61-'62 originals had the thinnest necks. Which got pencil thin and flat during the course of the year . So it can differ widely .. IIRC '63;s started getting fatter because of demands from customers? . And shapes can differ also .

    Looking for a Fat neck " The '58's and '59's are where I be looking . Also some runs of Block necks ,60's ("Ri type") have fatter necks . I have seen them at WW , but they are not listed as RI's .So some specs are a bit different .

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I do remember this guitar it was a Memphis mess , this guitar should have never been shipped .
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    In fact, the glue was the smallest problem on this guitar. The guitar had many serious construction flaws, for example check the botched string spacing. The guitar was very hard to play and the sloppy construction was worse than on cheap Asian fakes in fact...
    Well that's obviously much more than a glue issue, if there is such a thing. Sorry you got stuck with a bad one. Just for the record, what year/model year is it?
    Misaligned strings have a number of causes, I've seen more that one that was off location notch in a saddle, others fixed by a new nut. But it can be worse than that, too. And that is not debatably a quality problem.
    One would think string alignment should be really easy thing to check in inspection, but in process inspection, and certainly final inspection.
    "I am the kind of guy that only buys 100 watt heads just to play at home. I feel like if an amp can't kill a heard of cattle 100 yards away what is the point of owning it."

  22. #22
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by wmachine View Post
    Just for the record, what year/model year is it?
    Late 2015 63 ES335 Wildwood specs. The guitar was really a total mess, i was in shock how could it pass the perhaps non-existing quality control and even met Wildwood specs... Most probably wrong set neck.

    And the neck was set with too high angle too, look at the height of the bridge, really historically accurate

    So i would be really beware to buy anything from Memphis online and unseen.

    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2018 Gibson Les Paul Custom 1957 Historic
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Prog I do see your points on this guitar , the bridge hight is a issue one I could not over look, the spacing with the strings is unacceptable . Your point of Memphis purchase online is justified . After receiving this guitar !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  24. #24

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Like AA000475, I also own a 2015 '64 RI VOS spec ES 345, with none of the quality control issues brought up in previous posts (construction, glue squeeze out, neck shape/angle, bridge height, or string spacing) and I am extremely pleased with the instrument and the MHS pickups. It compares quite favorably to several examples of authentic "Golden Era" 3xx models I have owned in my playing career. My opinion on the '63 RI 335 is that the neck profile is fairly unique compared to the typical modern " '60's slim taper" neck profile that is fairly standard on the Memphis "core" ES models, and is actually fairly historically accurate....it starts relatively slender at the first fret in depth (but not as thin as the '61 RI, with a nice width at the nut) but has a more aggressive taper up to the neck joint (gets fuller, faster). The neck shoulders are also slightly fuller and rolled into the binding more. It is a very comfortable feeling neck to my hands...YMMV, because this is a very subjective thing to each individual player. Also, despite modern CNC manufacturing techniques, each Gibson neck still has quite a lot of hand shaping and fitting, so no two necks are totally identical. I would not purchase ANY guitar sight unseen, without a right of refusal negotiated into the sale, to be certain you are comfortable with the neck shape and playability. If you have the opportunity to play it in person, take your most comfortable playing guitar with you, and directly compare the neck profiles and playability. As with any mass produced product, you can always find a poorly constructed example, compared to the typical average better quality of the majority of production.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Red deluxe made one point buying sight un seen , many of these issues hands on would give failing marks .

    the high tune o matic would be a deal breaker hanging on the wall , wrong depth of neck pocket neck tenon to high from floor of pocket wrong angle . I really could go on & on definitely A memphis TURD .

    I also really like MHS pickups Compared to Nashville .


    Disclaimer , if your offended due to my SUBJECTIVE OPINION calls your guitar a TURD relax have a coke !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  26. #26
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I've got a 16 63ri 335. Really nice guitar none of the aforementioned issues, great player. The MHS pickups where great but I did eventually swap them out for a set of OX4's I thought the neck pickup was stellar but as I got to know the guitar better I found the bridge pickup weedy and mute'd in comparison with not much definition in the top end so hence the change. As far as neck's go it's not a "slim" neck in the sense that it's got some depth to it but it's by no means a chunky neck, I don't like small necks either and I really get on with it FWIW.

    When I was looking to buy mine I tried out 10 or 15 different RI 335 and 345's and they all varied wildly, I never played a lemon in terms of play ability but they do vary wildly in sound as you might expect, some I thought sounded great others less soo. However I wouldn't say that any of them where "bad" just not what I was looking for. So that being said if your buying sight unseen on a guitar like this I think your rolling the dice a little!

  27. #27

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Red deluxe made one point buying sight un seen , many of these issues hands on would give failing marks .

    the high tune o matic would be a deal breaker hanging on the wall , wrong depth of neck pocket neck tenon to high from floor of pocket wrong angle . I really could go on & on definitely A memphis TURD .

    I also really like MHS pickups Compared to Nashville .


    Disclaimer , if your offended due to my SUBJECTIVE OPINION calls your guitar a TURD relax have a coke !
    It really surprises me in this day of CNC manufacturing that there is still variability in neck angle and depth among guitars of the same model. The neck pockets and tenons should be completely CNC'ed. There should be no hand work on these at all. Every one should be perfect. Anything less should be unacceptable today. Maybe the new ownership will get these things sorted out.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by GotTheSilver View Post
    It really surprises me in this day of CNC manufacturing that there is still variability in neck angle and depth among guitars of the same model. The neck pockets and tenons should be completely CNC'ed. There should be no hand work on these at all. Every one should be perfect. Anything less should be unacceptable today. Maybe the new ownership will get these things sorted out.
    No offense meant, but I think you should watch one of the Memphis tour videos and get a better understanding of how they are really made. Everyone throws out "CNC" machining with little understanding of how it relates to a guitar being made. There are tolerances for fits (neck to body), and the fitting is done by hand. So there are no "exact" dimensions. There is nothing locking it in either.
    So while the CNC machining helps, it does not determine the quality of the fit. I think people's understanding of the process needs fixed more than the process does.
    "I am the kind of guy that only buys 100 watt heads just to play at home. I feel like if an amp can't kill a heard of cattle 100 yards away what is the point of owning it."

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    Late 2015 63 ES335 Wildwood specs. The guitar was really a total mess, i was in shock how could it pass the perhaps non-existing quality control and even met Wildwood specs... Most probably wrong set neck.

    And the neck was set with too high angle too, look at the height of the bridge, really historically accurate

    So i would be really beware to buy anything from Memphis online and unseen.

    That's terrible.

    Never would have made it out the door on my watch.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I believe Gotthesilver is a Gibson base customer & one who takes note of neck set when selecting a Gibson guitar this is one of many things that will define his choice when buying . We all know he can play the crap out of these fine guitars , so take note to his view point I DO .

    As for as Gotthesilvers statement how & why ? Disclaimer , This is my subjective OPINION relax have a COKE !

    When many of your base customers are buying on line not playing checking for craftsmanship Really whet is your check list online most likely weight , wood grain , color and the famous statement pick me out a good one !

    Prog's Memphis ES guitar makes my point they boxed up the turd and tried to get rid of it online .

    I do realize many do not have availability when buying so online is the option .

    Has Gibsons QC gone lax ? I think they build great guitars !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Gibson does build great guitars when the line is functional but due to daily quote pressure from the top when **** goes bad they push things out the door that never should have been.


    My 2016 Firebird was a great guitar, I also took it back the afternoon I bought it so the tech at the store could put a nut on the truss bolt



    They were pretty shocked and it was a PITA to screw on because the rod end was painted over. That should really never happen considering the multiple levels of inspection the guitar is supposed​ to get.

  32. #32

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    My final 2 cents on current factory Memphis ES build quality and overall QC is this. If you are not aware, it takes the average production line piece about two weeks from start to finished guitar, ready to be packed and shipped. There are quality control steps all along the way of this manufacturing process. I believe the average overall build quality is extremely close to the "Golden Era" models that we all compare them to and crave. I feel sure that the overall grade of the woods and other build materials is not quite of the quality that was generally available during the "Golden Era", because it no longer obtainable in our current environment, at any kind of reasonable cost. And I believe the craftsmanship and attention of the employees is equal, too, when they are ALLOWED to do their jobs. But there are other issues that have nothing to do whatsoever with the physical process of building the guitars at play. Forced production output has sometimes reached 70 guitars per day, in the past. Despite automation, CNC equipment, etc., an inordinate amount of hand work is required on every instrument, from the least expensive to the most costly. When workers are tasked with performing work in a fraction of the time they normally would expend, because of bad decisions from ownership/management to push instruments into the retail supply pipeline to generate more cash flow, and when the most senior skilled and experienced employees are laid off or fired, as cost cutting, to be replaced by less expensive, but also less experienced workers, something is going to sometimes slip. It is also bad for general company morale, and personal pride of work. Also the original Kalamazoo production totals were much smaller, even at the height of the guitar boom of the mid/late Sixties, compared to today's production output. And that output from Kalamazoo was accomplished by a highly skilled, experienced, stable workforce. Not making excuses for poor workmanship or build quality, just showing the reality of the two different eras. Having lived through the "Golden Age" of Gibson 3xx guitars, I can certainly attest that there were substandard guitars built back then, too, but the percentage was much smaller, due to more time and effort spent on each individual instrument. We were all looking for "a good one" back then, as now. As with any mass produced product, there are going to be exceptional, average, and worse quality examples. I hope the new owners/management will support and let the workforce consistently turn out the high quality and value work they are capable of.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    I agree with Reddeluxe well said !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    In late 2014 I bought a `63 block inlay ES-335TDC. Mine has none of the glue issues or neck angle issue. It's splitting hairs close to all the original ES-335's I've played that were made between `62-`65. I've played alot of them over the last 52 years.
    Glue.. well at least it's hide glue, but still sloppy vs. what I've seen. You could probably chip it out if it really bothers you.
    I was happy that I waited until Gibson used the right Truss Rod, Hide Glue , center block and cedar rim linings.

  35. #35

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by wmachine View Post
    No offense meant, but I think you should watch one of the Memphis tour videos and get a better understanding of how they are really made. Everyone throws out "CNC" machining with little understanding of how it relates to a guitar being made. There are tolerances for fits (neck to body), and the fitting is done by hand. So there are no "exact" dimensions. There is nothing locking it in either.
    So while the CNC machining helps, it does not determine the quality of the fit. I think people's understanding of the process needs fixed more than the process does.
    I think I understand a lot more than you give me credit for. I build guitars myself. And even though I probably overstated my position in my quickly written post, I still think you probably did not fully understand my meaning. I have watched Gibson factory tour videos of both Memphis and Nashville (LPs) and have seen them using chisels on the neck tenon to do the final fitting. If a tenon and neck pocket are properly machined, all that should be required to get a great fit is a bit of sanding. Typically, outside of a factory setting, you intentionally make the neck pocket a little bit too snug so that tenon will not fit. Then you lightly sand the tenon until you can fit it into the pocket with some force. A chisel should not be required at all. Take a look at PRS factory tour videos. They have sandpaper in their neck fitting stations, not chisels. (I wasn't really considering the light sanding when I said "no hand work" in my original post. Sorry if that was confusing.)

    I have seen pictures on this forum of 335s with quite a bit of variability in neck depth and angle. Some pictures appear to be 1/8" or more variance in neck depth. In terms of building a guitar, 1/8" is enormous! I don't see any reason that there should be that kind of variability in a neck set, whether done by an independent luthier or on a factory floor.

    Yes, I do think Gibson's process should be changed. I think that Gibson chooses to do some manufacturing processes in an old school way for purposes of tradition and marketing ("hand made"). A lot of people say they want a hand made guitar, then complain about the results of the hand work.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by GotTheSilver View Post
    I think I understand a lot more than you give me credit for. I build guitars myself. And even though I probably overstated my position in my quickly written post, I still think you probably did not fully understand my meaning. I have watched Gibson factory tour videos of both Memphis and Nashville (LPs) and have seen them using chisels on the neck tenon to do the final fitting. If a tenon and neck pocket are properly machined, all that should be required to get a great fit is a bit of sanding. Typically, outside of a factory setting, you intentionally make the neck pocket a little bit too snug so that tenon will not fit. Then you lightly sand the tenon until you can fit it into the pocket with some force. A chisel should not be required at all. Take a look at PRS factory tour videos. They have sandpaper in their neck fitting stations, not chisels. (I wasn't really considering the light sanding when I said "no hand work" in my original post. Sorry if that was confusing.)

    I have seen pictures on this forum of 335s with quite a bit of variability in neck depth and angle. Some pictures appear to be 1/8" or more variance in neck depth. In terms of building a guitar, 1/8" is enormous! I don't see any reason that there should be that kind of variability in a neck set, whether done by an independent luthier or on a factory floor.

    (FWIW, I'd much rather have a nice hand crafted guitar than a perfect one spit out by a CNC machine/robots. But that's just me and the way I see guitars)

    Yes, I do think Gibson's process should be changed. I think that Gibson chooses to do some manufacturing processes in an old school way for purposes of tradition and marketing ("hand made"). A lot of people say they want a hand made guitar, then complain about the results of the hand work.
    Okay, you've seen chisels, but I'm not so sure your conclusions are really representative of what the problem is. Regardless, you really did sell short your understanding in the original post. Bottom line is that CNC age or not, there is still far more hand skills needed to make a quality guitar than CNC machining brings to the process.
    It's a whole 'nuther thing to consider whether the 1/8" gap warrants a process change. Especially where hand work is involved. Since I'm not there, I don't know if "the process is wrong, or the process wasn't followed" to get that result. Definitely change process if that result is typical, but I don't think that is even close to typical. Just seeing of few out of a 1.000 doesn't point to a process change.
    Personally, I see nothing wrong with them being hand made to the degree that they are. They can be hand made and well made. That means skilled labor. To me, *that* is one of Gibson's biggest challenges/priorities.

    (FWIW, I'd rather have a less than perfect well hand built guitar than a perfect one spit out by a CNC machine/robot. But that's just me and the way I see guitars)
    "I am the kind of guy that only buys 100 watt heads just to play at home. I feel like if an amp can't kill a heard of cattle 100 yards away what is the point of owning it."

  37. #37

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by wmachine View Post
    Okay, you've seen chisels, but I'm not so sure your conclusions are really representative of what the problem is. Regardless, you really did sell short your understanding in the original post. Bottom line is that CNC age or not, there is still far more hand skills needed to make a quality guitar than CNC machining brings to the process.
    It's a whole 'nuther thing to consider whether the 1/8" gap warrants a process change. Especially where hand work is involved. Since I'm not there, I don't know if "the process is wrong, or the process wasn't followed" to get that result. Definitely change process if that result is typical, but I don't think that is even close to typical. Just seeing of few out of a 1.000 doesn't point to a process change.
    Personally, I see nothing wrong with them being hand made to the degree that they are. They can be hand made and well made. That means skilled labor. To me, *that* is one of Gibson's biggest challenges/priorities.

    (FWIW, I'd rather have a less than perfect well hand built guitar than a perfect one spit out by a CNC machine/robot. But that's just me and the way I see guitars)
    You are correct that neither one of us is there on the factory floor, therefore we cannot know for sure what contributes to quality issues / variability, what should / should not be changed and how prevalent the issues are. All of us on this and other forums are just speculating from afar! What is clear is that we are both united in our love of Gibson guitars! Rock on, brother!

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by GotTheSilver View Post
    You are correct that neither one of us is there on the factory floor, therefore we cannot know for sure what contributes to quality issues / variability, what should / should not be changed and how prevalent the issues are. All of us on this and other forums are just speculating from afar! What is clear is that we are both united in our love of Gibson guitars! Rock on, brother!

    There was a recent former employee who did an "AMA" on the Tele site, basically describing situations where people had to do jobs they weren't yet fully trained for, staffing issues, you don't leave until the quota is reached, that kind of thing. If I can find it I'll link it but that'll be tough. A number of guys working at the Nashville Sam Ash & GC locations went through the Gibson revolving door.

  39. #39

    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    There was a recent former employee who did an "AMA" on the Tele site, basically describing situations where people had to do jobs they weren't yet fully trained for, staffing issues, you don't leave until the quota is reached, that kind of thing. If I can find it I'll link it but that'll be tough. A number of guys working at the Nashville Sam Ash & GC locations went through the Gibson revolving door.
    That would be an interesting read if you can find it.

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Memphis 1963 Reissue ES-335 VOS

    Quote Originally Posted by GotTheSilver View Post
    That would be an interesting read if you can find it.

    I tried every little search keyword and nothing, uhg, I should have bookmarked it. I did get a good quote from a long time poster there who went through the revolving door himself:

    The last of those is important.


    The employee turn-over at Gibson is unbelievable. I may be unique in the TDPri in that I worked for Gibson, but I am not unique in Nashville in the least. You bump into former Gibson employees everywhere you go. The only thing that creates a new employee pool for Gibson is that they are located in Nashville, where it seems like a good idea to every young guitar player moving to town to work there. They do that for a couple of years... then get tired of the whole mess and quit. Meanwhile, there's a list of fresh new Nashville residents to take their place.


    I have never even heard of a company with such low employee morale.


    When I was there, you could not take a vacation day bumped up against a national holiday. So... you could not take off the day before or after 4th of July, or Christmas, or New Years... or Thanksgiving. You could not create a four day weekend for yourself by taking a vacation day on the Friday before Memorial Day.


    Also, depending on production needs, they would occasionally close the plant for a few days here and there from time to time... and charge it against your vacation time. Forced vacation. If you had family plans later in the year, but the plant closing eats up that vacation time... then you can choose not to get paid for one or the other.


    Over and over and over... and you're dealing with stuff like this, just to see Henry in the local news paper opening a new Gibson Cafe somewhere, or doing a ribbon cutting for a new factory in Memphis, or giving guitars away to Steven Seagal.

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