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Anyone Test the 2014 Memphis 345's ?

1jamman

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Feb 28, 2013
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Hi Guys , I'm focused in on getting a 2014 Memphis '59 345 soon and would lke to hear from those who have played 1 . None are in my neck of the Woods and would have to buy on the net . Not ideal , but I'm itching for a Blond Big time . :teeth

Also , i read on a couple of sellers sites these MAY be Hide glued Bodies. Similar to the 2013/14 ,'59 335's' Memphis put out . Anyone know about this ??? What i read was Both Neck and Body are Hide Glued .
Thanks ,
 

Progrocker111

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Dec 10, 2003
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Im interested in these Memphis 59 and 64 ES345s too. Not too many of them here though.
 

Steve Craw

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I understand a new offering is in the works; an ES-345 with a Vibrola...Stunning!!!
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
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Here's my report from August 2014 (post #55 in the above linked thread):


I tried a sunburst '59 reissue 345 a few days ago. Here is my report: (NB - all comparisons are made with respect to my own original sunburst 1959 ES345)

I had about 30 minutes with the instrument. I played it through one of the modern Fender Blues/Deluxe/Something amps.

Looks: It looks great with a few subtle shortcomings. The ears aren't quite true Mickey Mouse ears - but very close - to my eyes. The color has more brown and tan than what you might see on an actual 1959. I could not detect any of the "purple" one expects, but I didn't get to see it in the sun. I thought the pickup surrounds were too short as too much of the sides of the bridge pickup was exposed, but this could be a function of the neck angle (see below). The inlays on the neck were OK.

Build quality: Outstanding from what I could see. (Gibson is making some really great instruments these days!) It was very neat and tidy. Everything was clean and smooth. The long guard had a nice wide bevel. The wireless tune-o-matic looked pretty good too. It was light! However, the neck angle seems steep and the bridge was way up high.

Tone quality: I didn't get it loud enough to really tell, but it sounded healthy - but somehow sluggish. It sounds like the usual 3x5 with humbuckers...but what I didn't like about it was that it lacked quirkiness. It was a bit sterile and heavy. This is surprising especially with the bridge (proper wireless ABR1) as high as it was. One would expect a very lively tone with the strings having such a sharp break angle over the bridge. I'm not saying the tone was dead, it just wasn't as lively as I expected. This could be due to 'guitar store strings' and being displayed out of its case. Moreover, it was not out of phase in the middle position! (This is one of my favourite parts of the 345!)

Varitone: It works exactly the way it should. (The Varitone can be useful!! Everyone should try it out and explore the possibilities!)

Playability: The frets were great and exactly what you'd expect. The size of the neck is HUGE and not my cup of meat. It is not like any late 50's neck I have ever experienced. It's even much bigger than the "first-rack" 345s from 1959 which already have big necks. It was a reissue "square D" baseball bat of a neck that got even bigger in the upper frets.

Summary: From far away you can't tell the difference. At arms length they still look pretty good, but you can distinguish a reissue from an original. Up close and personal, the similarities end. The reissue is much different than the original. If you like big necks (other brothers can't deny) then this has the possibility of being a great guitar.

If you have any questions or think I missed something let me know.
 
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1jamman

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Feb 28, 2013
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Thanks Guys , Great write up brandtkronholm ,very hepful . I'm hoping to find 1 with a neck that's not Huge . As a Gibson Slim taper neck Lover, Those baseball bat necks are just a little to big for me .
No Blond '64 345's .

Finding 1 with a 1st fret # about .870-890 or so , And Blond . It may be time to place a special order for 1 . Again:hmm

I know they are not Vintage , but If they are on the level of the 2013 Memphis '59 335, I bought last year . It might be worth getting . Mine is a steller guitar . Imo , Memphis is making some truely great guitars right now . Get while the getting is good :spabout
 

GotTheSilver

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Apr 14, 2007
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2,433
I have played one of the '64 Reissue 345s. Really beautiful guitar, but to be honest, it sounded dead. I A/B'ed it against a Rich Robinson signature 335 and the RR sounded much better. The next day, I brought in my 2005 '63 Reissue 335 to A/B against the RR, because I was thinking about buying the RR. My '63 Reissue sounded better than the RR. Now, it may come down to personal preference between the '63 Reissue 335 and the RR, but the 345 not in the league of either of these two instruments tone wise.

Of course, this is one experience with one guitar. Take it for what it's worth.
 

Melodyman

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Aug 11, 2012
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The originals had the wood on the tops curved/raised to fit much higher than the reissues have which allowed the pickups to sit lower into the body flush with the thin neck mount and with the middle sized pickup mount for the bridge giving the guitars a more woody sound we associate with the old 335.. Since they dont do this anymore (not sure why but wish they would) the pickups stick way up out of the body cavity which gives them a more Les Paul type of sound with less influence from body resonance..
 

1jamman

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Feb 28, 2013
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Agree , It's very difficult to shop until you find 1 that right for you and that's made the way you like . Even more so , when buying over the net .
I was able to try a RR and it's wasn't anything I'd buy . The action off the nut so High, anyone would think it needed work . It just felt off all the way around . It's still unsold and on sale at a reduced price . Also it's RED and it would have to be something really special fo me to buy another RED guitar .


I thought part of the reason the pickups and bridge are raised off the top on many of these newer guitars is because of the neck angle (how it's set in the body) . I'm no builder or expert ,but that's what I've gatherd over the years .
Agree, If i could try and play a Vintage piece before buying and could sell a few of the 1's i have now , I'd try and buy Vintage . I've learned that Vintage guitars should be tried before buying.

Still ,some of the guitars coming out of Gibson today are fine guitars and should be considered . My Memphis 2013 '59 335 is just top notch . Great neck carve and plays like a dream and sounds pretty darn good , Stock . Which is why I'd consider another .
 

Melodyman

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Aug 11, 2012
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Some 335s have the neck angle joint exaggerated while others seem to be flush with the body.. However, if you are able to compare the vintage ones with the newer ones, you can see there is an area under the neck PU where the wood is not arched as high now as it was originally.. Its almost concave looking instead of arched shaped.Thus having to screw the PU way up higher than vintage ones...In addition, this feature angled the neck PU forward slightly as well which tilted the screw side bobbin down and set the other one closer to the strings...probably gave it a bit more treble as a result..Wish I knew why they stopped making them like that in favor of the modern method..
When they announced the Clapton Crossroads reissue they made a video about how meticulously they had measured his original and how it was an exact copy down to the minutest detail.. I called the Custom shop and asked them if they were indeed shaping the tops like the vintage ones.. Their cryptic answer was "We are making them as close to the originals as possible using modern day construction techniques"... Thats all he would say..so obviously they made the call to not duplicate this feature intentionally.. but why?
 

1jamman

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Feb 28, 2013
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Good stuff, Thanks, Melodyman. I need to look more closely and at a few more Originals .

For anyone who's interested , I got conformation , through my Dealer (Thanks Curt at the HOG) , Yesterday that Yes, Both the neck and Body on these 2014 Memphis 345's are made Hide Glued . So I'm In:nocd . Do Blonds have more Fun ? . I'm gonna find out :rofl

Does that mean it a better guitar ? Not really , but It is closer in spec to the Originals (from my understanding) and If this is close to the Memphis 335 I bought last year , It should be a fine guitar . NGD soon :wow
 
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