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Thread: GRAIL 335

  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    GRAIL 335

    Ok well I haven't posted in a while but I thought this one would be fun

    a few years back I got on this quest to get one of the 2013 1959 TDNs they did in Memphis with these, well, quite honestly, kind of mythical blister tops. There was a video from NAMM 2013, I read about them (hide glue, spruce bracing, a special bit of wood they had squirreled away to make these guitars) but to be honest I didn't find any-- except this one that had been posted two years ago from a fella in Canada. Actually a very nice fella! HI Frank if you are reading. He had it priced a little high for my tastes and I bid a year and a half ago and then a few weeks back he contacted me and we made a deal for closer to what I wanted to pay. We had to deal with some weirdness at the border but it finally got thru. and....

    In the best sense its even better looking in person than it was in the pictures but more than that its AN INCREDIBLE GUITAR! All pup settings it just sounds great. bridge has great attack and growl, neck blooms. Theres a warmth.. theres mid range punch, theres high end. It seems to cover the tonal spectrum. Neck (I haven't measured) but I'd guess its a little over 0.9 at 1st fret. a nice full profile.... 58/59 maybe?

    I"m head over heels in love!

    Is an OMG guitar.

    To me, I guess if I had to have a type this is my type. I just think its perfection (with the imperfections)

    Wabi-sabi !







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  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335



    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  3. #3

    Re: GRAIL 335

    Gorgeous! You are a lucky shopper....

  4. #4

    Re: GRAIL 335

    Congrats! Super unique.

  5. #5
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    What makes it look blistered? It is very interesting looking.

  6. #6

    Re: GRAIL 335

    Game on!

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Very nice Peter looks killer . is this a keeper ?
    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 !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by zoommutt View Post
    What makes it look blistered? It is very interesting looking.
    It is a type of maple figure, like flame or birds eye.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
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  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by zoommutt View Post
    What makes it look blistered? It is very interesting looking.
    them dang woodpeckers

  10. #10

    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    ...I guess if I had to have a type this is my type...

    http://
    Indeed, gentlemen prefer blondes!


  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member viper007's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335




  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Very nice Peter looks killer . is this a keeper ?
    I honestly think it really is!

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by zoommutt View Post
    What makes it look blistered? It is very interesting looking.
    thank you everyone!

    Tom you would certainly be able to thumbs up or thumbs down this but some of the original 59's had these blister tops right?

    Zoomutt here is probably the source of my obsession is this video. Its my Zapruder film!

    when I saw those blisters I was like DAMN! That was a few years back.

    I just don't think there are many of these go go around

    the fella who sold it to me said Vic Dapra picked out the wood for this one-- Vic if you are there---- thanks!

    I have always loved birdseye and 3D tops... and this part where you see him take the TDN off the rack, and he talks about how they did short run and might not have enough wood... well it kind of put these in grail status for me

    I just think they are so beautiful -- I think a blond 335 is just perfection !

    I love the big pic guard too. looks right to me.

    the crazy thing is the guitar is just incredible too.

    I measured the 1st fret today-- right at 0.9 -- feels chunky but comfortable to me.


  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Shocktop99's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Damn, what a beauty!!! Must be a dream to play!!!
    1979 Wine Red Gibson Les Paul Custom
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    "When you plug it in... when it gets electric, its just a complete different world."

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  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by zoommutt View Post
    What makes it look blistered? It is very interesting looking.
    A certain kind of wasp stings the bark to lay eggs. I had them at my last house in Kansas. The nest kind of bubbles out and looks nasty. Actually, that is what my Ren's Good Eye which is a no-binding 58 replica is made of but it is much more subtle. I got mine from Wildwoods. They had one much more like Pellman's at the time as well.

    Excellent machine there Sir!




  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Badass! I had no idea about the blister thing, in terms of being coveted, I had an older LP Classic for a bit which had some blister to it and I never gave it a thought yet it was a great guitar. Sounds like a beefy but comfy neck. I recently got a Freddie King and that thing has the biggest damn Gibson neck I've ever felt, bigger than '58 reissues, any R7 I've played, and anything I've held from the 50's. Thanks for the detailed info!

  17. #17
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    There was a period during Nov/Dec '58 when quite a few of the blonde tops were blister maple. One particular batch of maple ply was used across quite a few blondes in the same FON. Indeed, you could map specific groups of blisters from one guitar to another. I had consecutive serial blonde 58's, three FON positions apart, and the tops were undeniably from the same log of maple.
    Last edited by F-Hole; 04-07-19 at 12:22 AM.
    The artist formerly known as "A-hole".



  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member ourmaninthenorth's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    What a fascinating guitar Peter, eye popping Mate.
    Shakespeare walks into a pub, the Landlord says "get out, you're Bard"

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    For some reason the rest of the grain on these becomes much more 3d as well. Even in the non-blistered areas. It has a certain 'plushness' which is not captured in photos as well. If you look at Peter's back shot up near the edges of the horns you see it. I am sure it is all over it. Very rich grain.


  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member 1jamman's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Nice score , Beautiful guitar . I too also saw the video when It 1st hit the Net . I went wild ... to get 1 (Thanks Curt ) . I love a VN finish 3X5 ....

    I wanted the VN finish but I found it "to over the top" for my liking the blister tops that I found . So I got it in the Sunburst finish with not as much Blister to it . Man these 335's, Imo, as been 1 of the best runs to come along in years ... There is a reason they do not come up often ....
    The neck is perfect for me ,for a fatter necked guitar . .870 @ the 1st....
    Agree , imo , it's a great guitar ...

    side note :
    If you recall , At that time Gibson moved some it's CS builders over to Memphis (to do all the 335 builds at Memphis) and they did these builds . IIRC a '13 should make it 1 of them ... The COA should tell you or checking into the serial # will do it ...

    Play that beauty and hold on to it , I doubt you'll find a better "new" 335 .ever .

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    A certain kind of wasp stings the bark to lay eggs. I had them at my last house in Kansas. The nest kind of bubbles out and looks nasty. Actually, that is what my Ren's Good Eye which is a no-binding 58 replica is made of but it is much more subtle. I got mine from Wildwoods. They had one much more like Pellman's at the time as well.

    Excellent machine there Sir!


    I've seen your Good Eye Sir! She is a beaut!

    Whats the neck profile like? Have you geeked out enough to check the width at the 1st and 12th? I would imagine its similar to mine--

    I honestly sometimes think these guitars are the most versatile guitars. You can do so much with them-- I think maybe e a 335 and a Tele-- if stranded on a desert island! And of course the 335 alone if pressed because there might not be electricity on the island

    I love it-- yours has a lot of nice blister on it

    I just freakin love wood with crazy odd grain patterns. maybe because it reflects what's happening in my head !

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by F-Hole View Post
    There was a period during Nov/Dec '58 when quite a few of the blonde tops were blister maple. One particular batch of maple ply was used across quite a few blondes in the same FON. Indeed, you could map specific groups of blisters from one guitar to another. I had consecutive serial blonde 58's, three FON positions apart, and the tops were undeniably from the same log of maple.
    now that is badass !!

    I think I actually just got chills reading that


  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    Badass! I had no idea about the blister thing, in terms of being coveted, I had an older LP Classic for a bit which had some blister to it and I never gave it a thought yet it was a great guitar. Sounds like a beefy but comfy neck. I recently got a Freddie King and that thing has the biggest damn Gibson neck I've ever felt, bigger than '58 reissues, any R7 I've played, and anything I've held from the 50's. Thanks for the detailed info!
    shit man. I don't know if anybody else covets it-- but I DO!

    did you post pics of your freddie? I'll look for the thread. I want to see it! I bet it is a tone monster

    there was a sandwich shop in Philly that had these crazy sandwiches that were like dagwood. might still be there. But they had a picture of a sandwich with all the pastrami piled high and it said under it "more meat, less bread"

    I recently have been really wondering if its a more neck, more tone kind of thing

    Mr. Banker (matt hughes) and I have been talking about that too and he seems to think so.

    I had to decide on which Yaron I wanted to keep and though I liked the neck on one better (it was like .88 at 1st fret... which I love) the one with the beefier neck (closer to .9) just has so much more oomph it made the other sound a little thin in comparison.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by ourmaninthenorth View Post
    What a fascinating guitar Peter, eye popping Mate.
    thank you sir

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    For some reason the rest of the grain on these becomes much more 3d as well. Even in the non-blistered areas. It has a certain 'plushness' which is not captured in photos as well. If you look at Peter's back shot up near the edges of the horns you see it. I am sure it is all over it. Very rich grain.
    100 percent

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by 1jamman View Post
    Nice score , Beautiful guitar . I too also saw the video when It 1st hit the Net . I went wild ... to get 1 (Thanks Curt ) . I love a VN finish 3X5 ....

    I wanted the VN finish but I found it "to over the top" for my liking the blister tops that I found . So I got it in the Sunburst finish with not as much Blister to it . Man these 335's, Imo, as been 1 of the best runs to come along in years ... There is a reason they do not come up often ....
    The neck is perfect for me ,for a fatter necked guitar . .870 @ the 1st....
    Agree , imo , it's a great guitar ...

    side note :
    If you recall , At that time Gibson moved some it's CS builders over to Memphis (to do all the 335 builds at Memphis) and they did these builds . IIRC a '13 should make it 1 of them ... The COA should tell you or checking into the serial # will do it ...

    Play that beauty and hold on to it , I doubt you'll find a better "new" 335 .ever .
    1 Jamman-

    The warrantee pamphlet thing says 5/23/13 for completion date and the COA is signed by David Winters so I do think it fits the bill

    oh! IIRC (if I remember correctly)

    yes I do believe this is one of those guitars

    think that run back in 2013 was probably pretty great-- for the reasons you mentioned

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    shit man. I don't know if anybody else covets it-- but I DO!

    did you post pics of your freddie? I'll look for the thread. I want to see it! I bet it is a tone monster

    there was a sandwich shop in Philly that had these crazy sandwiches that were like dagwood. might still be there. But they had a picture of a sandwich with all the pastrami piled high and it said under it "more meat, less bread"

    I recently have been really wondering if its a more neck, more tone kind of thing

    Mr. Banker (matt hughes) and I have been talking about that too and he seems to think so.

    I had to decide on which Yaron I wanted to keep and though I liked the neck on one better (it was like .88 at 1st fret... which I love) the one with the beefier neck (closer to .9) just has so much more oomph it made the other sound a little thin in comparison.

    Makes me remember the real old days....when your Subway "Sandwich Artist" used eyeball how much meat ya got!

    I dunno, the neck thing, probably or definitely is a factor. But I like guitars that sound a bit thinner, or thicker, or louder, or more subtle too! I haven't posted the Freddie yet, I'll have to get some pics up.

  28. #28

    Re: GRAIL 335

    That is a beauty!!!


    I love my 2018 '59 RI. It is VOS and VSB but it is just plain sublime to play.

    I am glad yours is giving you such joy!

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    Makes me remember the real old days....when your Subway "Sandwich Artist" used eyeball how much meat ya got!

    I dunno, the neck thing, probably or definitely is a factor. But I like guitars that sound a bit thinner, or thicker, or louder, or more subtle too! I haven't posted the Freddie yet, I'll have to get some pics up.
    ha totally....thats the problem.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    That is a beauty!!!


    I love my 2018 '59 RI. It is VOS and VSB but it is just plain sublime to play.

    I am glad yours is giving you such joy!
    thank you MDUBYA

    Yea I love it

    As Marie Kondo would say, it Sparks Joy


  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Do you have a preference of the three you own the Rusty or haynes or blister ?
    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 !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post

    Whats the neck profile like? Have you geeked out enough to check the width at the 1st and 12th? I would imagine its similar to mine--
    I have not measured any of my necks, but plan to do so.

    Mine is huge but rounded like a 59 on steroids.

    My R4 is just a flat out log, but this (and my
    Lemon-Burst 335) are a handful as well.

    Just more 'shaped'.



  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member corpse's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    now that is badass !!

    I think I actually just got chills reading that

    That’s called a piss-shiver. Go change.

  34. #34
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Beautiful!
    A smile relieves a heart that grieves.

  35. #35
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Peter , I absolutely love it . Such unique Bridseye figuring and I bet she sounds as good as she looks ? How are the pickups ? Are they the MHS Custombuckers or just 57's or Custombuckers ?My compliments ! She is beautiful !

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    A bit of a blister on one of my R8's[IMG][/IMG]
    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 !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    Peter , I absolutely love it . Such unique Bridseye figuring and I bet she sounds as good as she looks ? How are the pickups ? Are they the MHS Custombuckers or just 57's or Custombuckers ?My compliments ! She is beautiful !
    Thanks El Gringo

    It sounds incredible. it sounds better than it looks, and plays as good. neck is a great chunky 59-- It really is just an insane instrument. It is so inspiring, extremely hard to put down.

    Just was playing it through my Carr Mercury V and to be honest with those two things you pretty much have everything you need. its all there. I feel like it makes me a better player (of course that is not hard... ha ha)

    I'm pretty sure the 2013s had Custom Buckers in there. I think the MHS came a little later and are on the more modern TDN models (someone can check me here)-- someone can check me on that if wrong.

    They are GREAT-- every position, cranked all the way up as well as volume down and tone down. you can get everything you want. From super aggressive bridge tones to Blue sky neck tones-- but there is a midrange woody quality and its so bloomy and softer in attack than a les paul (maybe? maybe I imagine that). Nothing harsh.

    something so fun about that edge of feedback thing that you get w a semi hollow too. its hot!

    All I can say is if any of you are thinking about a TDN (or any 335) I would search high and low for some of these ones that were built in 2013... crazy

    I have been lucky enough to have some luthier built guitars (my banker, Gil yaron, Whitfill, Ronin) and this guitar is right up there with how good it is... not your run of the mill stuff

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member corpse's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    With your seraglio that is saying something. Very glad you have found (yet another) great guitar.

  39. #39

    Re: GRAIL 335

    Looks great!! My first time seeing one!! Thanks for sharing!

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: GRAIL 335

    Quote Originally Posted by corpse View Post
    With your seraglio that is saying something. Very glad you have found (yet another) great guitar.
    Great word. I had to look it up.

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