Did Gibson ever make a 3 pickup ES?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Buck Woodson, May 12, 2020.

  1. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    I've never seen or heard of one but it seems like they would have.

    I have 3 guitars that are my #1 depending on amp. One is a heavily used natural relic '76 Les Paul with 3 original humbuckers. Another is an ES-345 with varitone switch knob. I'm wondering how a 3 pickup ES-345 would compare. Maybe it would be the ultimate.
     
  2. MR.K

    MR.K Member

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  3. paulbearer

    paulbearer Member

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    [​IMG]
    355 ... also came w Bigsby
     
  4. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    The above are the only two immediate guitars that pop into mind, the ES5 and the 'Black Beauty' 355s from a few years ago.

    For completion's sake there was an ES357 in the 80s that looked like a blonde 355 with no F holes and with three soap bar P90s, although they made less than 10 of them, pretty sure they did an Alvin Lee signature (Lee's original had a Strat pickup in the middle position) and, probably the king of three pickup Gibsons was the late 50s Gibson built Epiphone Emperor which was a collosal high end archtop with three New York single coils. Awesome but rare and expensive!

    It's a relatively common mod to see done to old ES335s, and the couple I've played looked like they were going to be cool but were somehow underwhelming in practice. I get it a bit more with P90s, but three PAFs just seems to lead to a bunch of muddy in-between settings that aren't really very inspiring. The mod that does interest me although I've never played one is modding an ES335T or ES225T into a three pickup guitar - it's an obvious one to do because the middle pickup is already there and the fanclub for single middle position pickup 330s and 225s is pretty small, but I wouldn't want to do one these days. A good deal on one that was already converted would be cool though.
     
  5. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    Is the ES-5 full hollow or semi hollow?
     
  6. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    That'll be full empty. The model went from an ES 5 with P90s to a Switchmaster with PAFs.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    Gorgeous! I once briefly had an ES-330 with humbuckers and the feedback was uncontrollable so I returned it. I wound up getting a 330 with P90s and it still feedsback <sic> but is controllable. I have to wonder if the ES-5 would be the same.
     
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  8. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    Worse.
     
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  9. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    Non Switchmasters with P90s, then Switchmasters with P90s, then Switchmasters with PAFs. Just to be complete about the history!
     
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  10. Danny W.

    Danny W. Member

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    One-off ES-357 ("ES-Mitch"):


    [​IMG]

    Danny W.
     
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  11. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    I've always liked the look of those, but I've only seen one come up for sale - I think Lark St had it first then Olivias Vintage, pretty sure the same guitar though - and it was a lot of money for an 80s Gibson, however rare. Isn't there something like six of them?

    Have you had one?
     
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  12. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Silver Supporting Member

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    I remember Lark St. having one a few years ago.
     
  13. Danny W.

    Danny W. Member

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    Yes, the one in the photo!

    All the other ones made were trimmed like an ES-347. This was the only one trimmed like an ES-355.

    Same guitar. I sold it years ago.

    Edit: see this video to see what the others looked like:



    Danny W.
     
  14. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    Ah, ok! What was it like?
     
  15. Danny W.

    Danny W. Member

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    It was okay, but I didn't love the neck and I'm not much of a p90 fan. Sold it more than 20 years ago, so don't remember more than that.

    Danny W.
     
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  16. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    If that's yours how do you like it? Did they make it in any color other than black?
     
  17. paulbearer

    paulbearer Member

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    Not mine, stock photo. Saw one at Sam Ash awhile back. It was sweet, but neck thinner than I like (like 99% of stock guitars...)
     
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  18. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    Anybody else have experience with the Gibson ES-355 Black Beauty (3 pickup)? It looks like they made them in 2018 and 2019.

    I'd like to find one with a Bigsby but can't find one in the United States with a return policy, just one in France and another in Singapore.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  19. Digidog

    Digidog Member

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    There are limited versions of "black beauty" ES275's and ES339's with three pickups.
     
  20. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Switchmaster was the first thing I thought of. Did it still use the ES-5 designation after it got humbuckers? I've never seen one with humbuckers, then again, I've only seen/played one, lol.

    I remember when Lark St. WAS on Lark St. Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
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