2018 Gibson ES-330. Any thoughts?

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AvalonAndyAvalonAndy Frets: 265
The retail price of these has recently made them moderately more accessible to me.  I've always wanted a hollow/semi-hollow Gibson and the 330 and 345TD were on the shortlist.  I haven't got a P90 or Humbucker guitar but I feel my HB needs could be met with a SG standard, which is easier on the wallet than a 345, though of course very different animals.  I was interested in a Bigsbyfied 61 VOS 330 model, but it's more expensive again and not entirely necessary as I have the whammy on the Marr Jag.

Anyway, any thoughts on these guitars?  Any thoughts on this specific 2018 model or the 2018 range in general?

My style is rather airy which I get from my JM Jag which has sparkly trebles and a deep humbuckery sound from the series pickup position.  I feel the 330 would give me a nice 'woody' tone (sorry, I hate that expression too but is rather succinct), and a nice mid-frequency range, perfect for filling out recordings with power chords.

Any thoughts most welcome.  Cheers
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    Following this with interest. I’m currently aching for a red one having played a couple of vintage ones recently. 

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9000
    A 330 would be good GAS, as would an SG. A Bigsby would spoil either. Nowt wrong with 335s; IMO the extra tone switch on the 345 is redundant if you've got good tone-shaping features on your recording equipment.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 544
    edited June 13
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  • BasherBasher Frets: 721
    I'd love a 330. I have a 2015 345 and I like that too. Different animals, as you say. 

    However, I'm one of those dreadfully shallow people who likes certain colours/finishes on guitars and I can't stand the 2018 "Sunset Burst", specifically the red band in it. I'm guessing it looks better in the flesh than in photographs but I'd much prefer a traditional burst, natural or cherry finish.

    I also don't really like flamed maple on ES guitars. I was close to buying a natural ES330 a couple of years ago but didn't like the figured wood.

    It's a real pity as the 2018 has a plain top and comes in a nice price if you like the finish. It is also available in red but they seem to be about £600 more. 




     
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    Basher said:
    I'd love a 330. I have a 2015 345 and I like that too. Different animals, as you say. 

    However, I'm one of those dreadfully shallow people who likes certain colours/finishes on guitars and I can't stand the 2018 "Sunset Burst", specifically the red band in it. I'm guessing it looks better in the flesh than in photographs but I'd much prefer a traditional burst, natural or cherry finish.

    I also don't really like flamed maple on ES guitars. I was close to buying a natural ES330 a couple of years ago but didn't like the figured wood.

    It's a real pity as the 2018 has a plain top and comes in a nice price if you like the finish. It is also available in red but they seem to be about £600 more. 

     
    Agreed. 


    The sunset burst burst looks better in real life than pictures but still nowhere as good as the old 3-tone bursts they’re trying to copy. 

    Un-figured red or natural all the way. The current red ones are the VOS finish which should be much nicer than the shiny stuff on the sunset bursts. 
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  • BucketBucket Frets: 7607
    Couldn't you get a proper vintage one for the same price as a new VOS? I'd play some of those if you can.
    - "I'm going to write a very stiff letter. A VERY stiff letter. On cardboard."
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    Bucket said:
    Couldn't you get a proper vintage one for the same price as a new VOS? I'd play some of those if you can.
    Sometimes. But a lot of them have horrible skinny necks, and lower frets. 

    I tried 2 in Nashville - both were *righteously* good guitars. What stopped me buying was partly the shipping/flying thing, and partly that they both would have needed a re-fret to make me really happy, which I have no way of reliably obtaining while in the UAE. 

    I'm yet to try a VOS one but hope to have a go either in the UK in the summer or in Japan in October.
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5788
    If you want those real hard grinding P90 tones then better off with an LP Jr or SG jr

    If you want those laconic 330 P90 bluesy vibes then an Epi Casino will do you...

    Hell, for the price of a Gibson 330 you can have both!
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • AlexOAlexO Frets: 197
    That Olive Drab Green is super cool. 

    Love my 2012 330. Said it before on similar threads. Really nice guitars to play due to the shorter scale. Depending on how you play, feedback can be a issue.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    57Deluxe said:
    If you want those real hard grinding P90 tones then better off with an LP Jr or SG jr

    If you want those laconic 330 P90 bluesy vibes then an Epi Casino will do you...

    Hell, for the price of a Gibson 330 you can have both!
    Honestly, I've never played a Casino that is as good as the 330s I've had my hands on. The nitro finish is a big contributor to with that. I'm quite sure a vintage Casino would be just as good, but they're usually even more money. 

    And the Gibson version has less "baggage" (Beatles, Weller etc), which is always a good thing imo.
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 1214
    A 330 would be good GAS, as would an SG. A Bigsby would spoil either. Nowt wrong with 335s; IMO the extra tone switch on the 345 is redundant if you've got good tone-shaping features on your recording equipment.
    Disagree on that. I have one of the drab green 345 reissues (which is wonderful). I think one of the factors in that is the extra weight from both the Bigsby and the Varitone circuit. Gives it so much more balls than others that don't have it. 

    Was very tempted myself by a 330 - GuitarGuitar had a great deal on a Bigsby-fitted one - but the elephant in the room is the feedback. Playing through my Vox AC15, the 345 needs taming sometimes - the 330 would be crackers...
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • benmurray85benmurray85 Frets: 1025
    I bought one in feb when they were at full price. I noticed the other week they’d dropped them slightly. 

    My thoughts on mine? I love it. It’s now my main gigging guitar and I swear I’ve never had so many compliments on my guitar sound. The pickups are superb. 
    It will feedback so you have to be able to ride that and understand that if you’re a pub band and you’re stood right on top of your amp there’s gonna be howls. On larger stages I have zero problem, even at volume.

    Fit & finish is good, very good. There’s a couple of slightly dodgy areas around the F holes, I only noticed these this week tbf. But other than that there’s no other faults that I’ve noticed. 

    The neck was very dry when I got it. I applied some lemon oil which brought it up nicely and it’s come out of last weeks gig dry again. Mines taken some real battle scars already but I’m very heavy handed and really go at stuff so that’s not a comment on the durability. 

    But I guess if I lost this tomorow and had the cash I’d buy another at full price the same day. They are lovely and if you can afford it I’d go for it. 
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9000
    Hattigol said:
    A 330 would be good GAS, as would an SG. A Bigsby would spoil either. Nowt wrong with 335s; IMO the extra tone switch on the 345 is redundant if you've got good tone-shaping features on your recording equipment.
    Disagree on that. I have one of the drab green 345 reissues (which is wonderful). I think one of the factors in that is the extra weight from both the Bigsby and the Varitone circuit. Gives it so much more balls than others that don't have it. 

    Was very tempted myself by a 330 - GuitarGuitar had a great deal on a Bigsby-fitted one - but the elephant in the room is the feedback. Playing through my Vox AC15, the 345 needs taming sometimes - the 330 would be crackers...
    You shouldn't get feedback from the semi unless you're using silly amounts of gain (didn't El Clappo use a 335 in front of stacks in Cream?), but yes you're likely to get it with even moderate amounts of gain with the 330, which is entirely hollow (guess why the 335 centre-block was invented?).

    I have a real 335 as well as two other semis which are direct descendents of that design. Can't think of any tonal deficit in any of them, let alone any which could be fixed by the addition of a Bigsby. The extra weight of the varitone circuit is negligible.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 1816
    Phil_aka_Pip said:
    The extra weight of the varitone circuit is negligible.
    I'll bet the choke weighs more than a Bigsby B7
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  • ESchapESchap Frets: 1411
    Phil_aka_Pip said:
    The extra weight of the varitone circuit is negligible.
    I'll bet the choke weighs more than a Bigsby B7

    10oz on the originals (one choke per pickup). I think it will be half that or less on modern Varitone, as they are mono.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15719
    57Deluxe said:
    If you want those real hard grinding P90 tones then better off with an LP Jr or SG jr

    If you want those laconic 330 P90 bluesy vibes then an Epi Casino will do you...

    Hell, for the price of a Gibson 330 you can have both!
    Honestly, I've never played a Casino that is as good as the 330s I've had my hands on. The nitro finish is a big contributor to with that. I'm quite sure a vintage Casino would be just as good, but they're usually even more money. 

    And the Gibson version has less "baggage" (Beatles, Weller etc), which is always a good thing imo.
    Elitist Casino is every bit as good. Nitro finish. US hardware. Japanese crafting. Very very nice and in some ways better than the usual Gibson fare.
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 1214
    Hattigol said:
    A 330 would be good GAS, as would an SG. A Bigsby would spoil either. Nowt wrong with 335s; IMO the extra tone switch on the 345 is redundant if you've got good tone-shaping features on your recording equipment.
    Disagree on that. I have one of the drab green 345 reissues (which is wonderful). I think one of the factors in that is the extra weight from both the Bigsby and the Varitone circuit. Gives it so much more balls than others that don't have it. 

    Was very tempted myself by a 330 - GuitarGuitar had a great deal on a Bigsby-fitted one - but the elephant in the room is the feedback. Playing through my Vox AC15, the 345 needs taming sometimes - the 330 would be crackers...
    You shouldn't get feedback from the semi unless you're using silly amounts of gain (didn't El Clappo use a 335 in front of stacks in Cream?), but yes you're likely to get it with even moderate amounts of gain with the 330, which is entirely hollow (guess why the 335 centre-block was invented?).

    I have a real 335 as well as two other semis which are direct descendents of that design. Can't think of any tonal deficit in any of them, let alone any which could be fixed by the addition of a Bigsby. The extra weight of the varitone circuit is negligible.
    Thanks for clarifying that my opinion was wrong. Apologies for making a suggestion. 
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    @Bridgehouse the Elitists aren't nitro. Good poly, but still poly. And they don't come in red :P 

    The top-end Lennon model was nitro iirc, but was also the same price as an ES-330.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15719
    @Bridgehouse the Elitists aren't nitro. Good poly, but still poly. And they don't come in red :P 

    The top-end Lennon model was nitro iirc, but was also the same price as an ES-330.
    Bought one for my dad. If it isn’t nitro then the poly on it melts with acetone. Ask me how I know.
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  • edited June 14
    Slightly left field alternative, but how about something like this...

    https://rguitars.co.uk/collections/electric-guitars/products/t64v-gb-inc-100-professional-setup-added-value

    I've heard great things about the build quality of those Eastmans, and the pickups are good quality. Looks stunning to me, and cheaper than a Gibbo. Residual value on the other hand...
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  • BazPBazP Frets: 283
    330s are wonderful things - much better compliment to a Lester than a 335

    Being properly hollow, they feedback fro fun, but controlling that is all part of the experience and it can be controlled and used to mighty effect.

    Oh and they weigh nuffink’ too
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 544
    @Bridgehouse the Elitists aren't nitro. Good poly, but still poly. And they don't come in red :P 

    The top-end Lennon model was nitro iirc, but was also the same price as an ES-330.
    Bought one for my dad. If it isn’t nitro then the poly on it melts with acetone. Ask me how I know.
    How do you know?
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15719
    NelsonP said:
    @Bridgehouse the Elitists aren't nitro. Good poly, but still poly. And they don't come in red :P 

    The top-end Lennon model was nitro iirc, but was also the same price as an ES-330.
    Bought one for my dad. If it isn’t nitro then the poly on it melts with acetone. Ask me how I know.
    How do you know?
    :)
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    @Bridgehouse the Elitists aren't nitro. Good poly, but still poly. And they don't come in red :P 

    The top-end Lennon model was nitro iirc, but was also the same price as an ES-330.
    Bought one for my dad. If it isn’t nitro then the poly on it melts with acetone. Ask me how I know.
    Hmm. Ok. Still not red :P 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15719
    @Bridgehouse the Elitists aren't nitro. Good poly, but still poly. And they don't come in red :P 

    The top-end Lennon model was nitro iirc, but was also the same price as an ES-330.
    Bought one for my dad. If it isn’t nitro then the poly on it melts with acetone. Ask me how I know.
    Hmm. Ok. Still not red :P 
    I do agree their blurb suggests poly tho!!
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  • AvalonAndyAvalonAndy Frets: 265
    Thanks for all the input. It has been very helpful and has probably ruled out the 330 due to the feedback issue. It would be going through a DRRi and an AC15 which, from the suggestions above, would make it impossible to run at mid to high volumes.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    Thanks for all the input. It has been very helpful and has probably ruled out the 330 due to the feedback issue. It would be going through a DRRi and an AC15 which, from the suggestions above, would make it impossible to run at mid to high volumes.
    I wouldn’t discount it till you’ve tried one. Gary Clark Jr had no issues with his Casino and his rig is probably the loudest I’ve ever been stood in front of.

    Personally I’d be *extremely* happy with a 330 plus a couple of pedals and either of those amps.
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  • HattigolHattigol Frets: 1214
    Thanks for all the input. It has been very helpful and has probably ruled out the 330 due to the feedback issue. It would be going through a DRRi and an AC15 which, from the suggestions above, would make it impossible to run at mid to high volumes.
    I wouldn’t discount it till you’ve tried one. Gary Clark Jr had no issues with his Casino and his rig is probably the loudest I’ve ever been stood in front of.
    He does have the distinct advantage over most of us in being able to stand 10 yards away from his amps. 

    Or as he'd put it 'Feedback, schmeedback'.
    "Anybody can play. The note is only 20%. The attitude of the motherf*cker who plays it is  80%" - Miles Davis
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  • AvalonAndyAvalonAndy Frets: 265
    edited October 1
    Balls to it.  Life's too short.  Trigger pulled on a 2018 330.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    Wisdom awarded :)

    What colour?
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