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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member 57Strat777's Avatar
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    NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Howdy guys - I've been looking for a ES-335 for about a year. About 2 months ago a guy had a 59 reissue 335 on Craigslist and I offered him a J200 in trade. He was very interested in the trade until he came to my house to do the swap and plugged his 335 into my Friedman amp. He ended up playing his 335 thru the Friedman for about 30 minutes and forgot about my J200. He then passed on the trade. So the search continued.

    The other day I found this 335 and ended up buying it. It's a VOS 63 Wildwood spec 2015 Memphis. I am glad the first trade didn't work out because this natural finish and the dark neck is awesome. Also I really like the 63 neck taper. It is about .82 at the first fret but swells to a generous .98 at the 12th fret. it is surprisingly comfortable to play. MHS low wind PUs are sweet sounding too.

    This guitar has nylon saddles. I wanted to ask if you guys think I should swap the saddles out with brass?







  2. #2

    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Nice! Congrats, HNGD and play her in good health!
    Midnight Blues

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member larrykwilliams's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Beautiful! There is something about a Natural 335 that is mesmerizing.

    I have one on the way that should be here on Friday. I already have a Cherry (not figured maple), but Natural just "gets" me.

    The nylon saddles are not something that I like much. A very good friend of mine has a genuine 1961 ES335 that he purchased NEW........yeah, he's a lot older than me. That thing has original PAFs in it!!! But it also has nylon saddles. Comparing it to my 2007 model is not really fair to mine, but his does have a slightly duller sound from the strings because of the saddles.

    If it were me, I would swap the bridge and keep the original in the case for later. However, you may like it just like it is. It really depends on the sound you are going for. The nylon should lean more toward that "jazzy" sound. Nickel plated brass or titanium would be brighter. I play more country and blues on mine, so the brass gives me what I need.

    Have fun. That is an absolutely gorgeous guitar!!!!

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Xpensive Wino's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Nylon vs metal saddles, you ask?


  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member 57Strat777's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Thanks Larry! I think you're right. Probably best to just get a whole new bridge. Then I can easily swap them out if I want. I just ordered a TonePros replacement bridge with brass saddles for the 335. I have one on my R8 and like it pretty good. I like the nylon saddle sound on the 335 and I play rock/blues, but I can't help but wonder what untapped tone lies ahead with brass saddles.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Try them both and see what you like

    I have a few 335s and some have nylon and some have brass. To me, not a huge difference, but the nylon does seem to sound warmer.

    Either way, wonderful looking guitar!
    GuitarMikey

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member ZZ Not's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Fantastic looking guitar, I wouldn't change a damn thing!

    OK, I think you're right, try a whole other bridge and see what you think.
    The best responses we get from an audience are when we do our worst material.
    - Frank Zappa

  8. #8
    Forum Moderator KennyF's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    WOW!!! Really nice! Congrats!
    Stop by and get reacquainted with The all NEW Fender Forum

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Very nice! I like how they aredoing the finishes in Memphis now. Kinda matte but not.


  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Quote Originally Posted by larrykwilliams View Post
    The nylon saddles are not something that I like much. A very good friend of mine has a genuine 1961 ES335 that he purchased NEW........yeah, he's a lot older than me. That thing has original PAFs in it!!! But it also has nylon saddles. Comparing it to my 2007 model is not really fair to mine, but his does have a slightly duller sound from the strings because of the saddles.

    If it were me, I would swap the bridge and keep the original in the case for later. However, you may like it just like it is. It really depends on the sound you are going for. The nylon should lean more toward that "jazzy" sound. Nickel plated brass or titanium would be brighter. I play more country and blues on mine, so the brass gives me what I need.
    This pretty much sums it up re the nylon saddles. If you want it to sound like the originals, then keep the nylon saddles.
    Sure brass and titanium saddles make it brighter, and I've read numerous "complaints" about the nylon saddles being "too dull", and the fix is to swap to metal. But it is not a "problem". If you don't like it, fine. But as illustrated above, the original sound is pretty much nailed. One should not portray it as a problem just because it is something one don't like. Especially when it is correct to the original sound which is very point of a reissue. Gibson is well aware of the differences and preferences, that's why only reissues have nylon saddles. It is not like nylon saddle are a higher cost feature.

    FWIW, for me, the solution was had by getting 2 different models. A 2016 '64 ES-345 TDC VOS Maestro (nylon saddle), which nails the original sounds in spades. And a 2016 ES-335 Premiere Figured Faded Lightburst, which is an unusual model in that it is built essentially to reissue specs but has no "reissue year" associated with it. Has MHS pups, but titanium saddles. Has a fantastic sound, and yes, brighter, but far from brassy.
    They have very different voices, but both are excellent unto themselves.
    That all said, I would expect the 335 to be a little more versatile for varied use. I say expect, because I have not yet put them though a side by side "versatility test".
    Last edited by wmachine; 07-12-18 at 08:19 AM.
    "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."

  11. #11

    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Sweet!

    That is a real beauty.

    My recent '59 RI is so good it almost hurts. I hope you enjoy your '63 RI as much!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Beautiful really love that thang , love my 64 345 Memphis !
    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
    Les Paul Forum Member 57Strat777's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Thank you for the kind words, everyone!

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    That's a beautiful guitar. I just put the original Nylon saddles back on my '65 SG and I'm liking the difference for now. It's knocked the very top end off which this guitar needed. But the difference isn't staggering.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  15. #15

    Re: NGD: Wildwood Spec 1963 Memphis ES-335

    Concur on the two completely different bridge/saddles option. For me (and I make my living by playing music that requires playing a wide range of styles/tones), the titanium saddles on the vintage style ABR-1 give the widest range of tone, depending on the pickups selection, tone control settings on the amp, pick or fingers, etc. Titanium is very dynamic in HOW you play the strings, gives very good sustain, wears very well and gives an extremely clear tone, not simply brighter or greater treble. I feel like it responds quicker to the initial attack of the note. Ironically, since that material did not exist in the vintage "Golden Age" 335's (factory saddles originally started as plated brass, then morphed into the nylon type), you would think the TI saddles would sound quite a bit different, but I find I can get a very authentic, classic 3xx sound, with a minimum of knob tweaking. Having a completely different bridge, pre adjusted, would make swapping them painless, and you could directly compare the tone/playing feel and tailor the guitar to the style music you are playing. But the best of all worlds, for me is simply using the TI saddles. Hint: one of the most versatile players of the 335 in history and a huge musical hero of mine, Larry Carlton, uses TI saddles.

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