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The Gibson Memphis ES-275


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Nice review Phil. Having just built a jazz guitar I'm pretty interesting in them right now. I'm going to take a small exception with terminology however, the L-5 (Lloyd Loar era) was a true archtop with a carved top. Most people in lutherie circles consider an archtop to be primarily an acoustic instrument - they are optimized for their acoustic sound. They may have pickup(s) added but a great deal of effort is made so that the they float above the soundboard.

 

Most (but not all) of Gibson's "electric spanish" guitars have laminated tops with pickups somehow mounted to the top and to some sort of internal structure. They are designed to be played plugged in. They might have an acoustic sound, but it is not optimized. In my opinion these should be called hollow body (which you did), but you also called it an archtop. Picking nits, maybe, but I also know how much work goes into carving a true archtop and why they cost much more than this puppy.

 

Otherwise, that looks like a pretty nice guitar, reasonably price for a domestic example and not much different from the one I just built (which I'm totally loving).

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Actually I have. Eastman offers carved spruce tops for around the 2500 street price. The Peerless Imperial, around the 2200 mark. Heritage, around the 3500 mark.

http://guitarsnjazz.com/products/archtop-guitars/page/2/?filter_guitar-composition=221

Heritage is American, the others, true, Asian. But honestly, I don't think it matters that much anymore in quality at that price point. True, the Gibson will probably increase in value over the years, but how important is that to the average player of a solid top archtop?

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I think it looks great. I'm not sold on the Richlite for that money. I would love to try one.

 

It wasn't easy for me to fess up about the Richlite, but no joke - it really did fool me for a couple of weeks. :0 My eyes aren't the greatest anymore, but until I looked close and noticed there was no grain to it, I had no idea it wasn't ebony. It sure feels like it has an ebony board on it.

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I agree. I had a Gibson with Richlite. IIRC it was a reissue Les Paul Junior double cut. The guitar played and sounded great. I think street was about $800 on those. For $4000 I just kind of want real wood, even if it doesn't matter.

 

That being said, the guitar you reviewed looked gorgeous.

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So...............Gibson Inc. Isn't possessed of a vacuum?

Forgive my cynicism....Just sayin'...For 4K+?

 

 

Yeah, for $4k, I'd expect the case to be free of debris too... which is why I mentioned it in the review. Apparently it's an issue that happened to more people than just me, and when I mentioned it to them, they said they were already aware of it and had put steps in place to make sure it didn't happen again... but it DID happen with the review unit, so I felt obligated to mention it, even though it took me all of five minutes to correct the problem.

 

FWIW, when Mitch Gallagher from Sweetwater (who is mentioned in the review) read it, he emailed me to let me know that there was no wood debris in the case for the ES-275 Figured that he purchased.

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I saw/played a 'preview' ES275 at NAMM in Jan 2016. Loved it and right away went to my local guitar center to order it. They weren't taking orders at that point, so I got in the queue... and when they called me back, I ordered one in late February 2016. I have never ordered a guitar site-unseen, but I chanced it. It arrived in late March, (yes, with shavings in the case).. and I love it. Loved the narrower neck, and as noted in other posts it is extremely versatile. Cranked up it will get nasty, back off the volume and it sweetens up. I have a 1950 ES175 (SN A6007 made in Oct 1950), a 1973 L5-S, and a 2008 ES359.

 

Here is my question... I know mine is one of the early ones produced, but how early in the production run? SN# is 10786742.. which means it was made on March 19th, 2016. As if understand the SN's this might be #742. or else #42 in batch #7. But who knows how many in the preceding batches?

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Edited by jazzstan83
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Here is my question... I know mine is one of the early ones produced, but how early in the production run? SN# is 10786742.. which means it was made on March 19th, 2016. As if understand the SN's this might be #742. or else #42 in batch #7. But who knows how many in the preceding batches?

 

 

I really don't have an answer for you, but I'll bet if you called or emailed Gibson they'd be able to help. :)

 

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I Bought one a few weeks ago, in sunburst.

 

So far, I'm really digging it. comfy comfy comfy

 

Mine came in very well set up, and it plays like a dream.

 

I think they should have done a purple liner, or ever the hot pink liner on the case. Just my 2 cents, for what it's work.

 

 

fetch?id=31961638&d=1492529724

 

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