ES-330T?

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by RickC, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    I've never seen a discussion of these. Does anyone love em?

    I had one exactly like the one below, a long time ago. Bought it wicked cheap, and was kinda excited to get a "dot ES". Never loved it and sold it wicked cheap. Now looking back I kinda wish I hadn't.

    What say TGP on these?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    Those, like the single P-90 225's sound great acoustically and are light, and good for rhythm and even slide work IMHO.
    But the position of the single middle pickup is too limiting, for me at least. Some great tones can be had, but if I had to choose a single PUP guitar it'd be the bridge position. YMMV and all that…
     
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  3. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I had one for awhile let it go when a TDC showed up.
     
  4. Super Reverb Swell

    Super Reverb Swell Supporting Member

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    I had one of these and let it go for a Gibson SG. I liked it a lot, but it had some sympathetic feedback when I played any "A" note at a high volume and fell into a category of too clean to own for me. I'd love to get it back (it's currently at Norm's for 3x I bought it for), but I think in reality I'd rather a beat up one... Given the right candidate, I'd shamelessly mod it to 3 pickups.
     
  5. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Member

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    My two cents . . . I've never owned one but at the price, I think that I would find the single pickup in that location too limiting. There are other, more versatile, guitars that I would put ahead of this one.
     
  6. Highnumbers

    Highnumbers Member

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    Exactly right. IMO, the pickup 'sweet spot' on an ES-330 is the bridge and neck position - putting the pickup smack in the middle isn't helping anybody.

    These are bargains though, if you want a '59-'64 era ES model at a rock bottom price, these are a great option if you like the tone in that pickup position. Perhaps it's good for jazz style guitar?
     
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  7. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    Just close your eyes and adjust the knobs on your amp.
     
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  8. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    The cool thing about the middle position on these as opposed to the more usual neck only is that the pickup sita right where I naturally have my picking hand and gets in the way, solo I adjust to one side of the other and remember how much difference pick placement makes to tone. On a 330T (or 225T, which is what I actually own) where I'd usually be on the neck pickup I pick up over the neck, and where I'd usually be on the bridge pickup I pick near the bridge, and suddenly there's nearly as much variation as there would have been with a pickup switch!

    Having said that, when they were easily available for $2.5k, they were a bargain, but asking prices have rocketed in the last few years and if I wanted to spend $4k on a golden era ES I'd much rather have a double pickup ES225.

    I've always been really curious to pick up a wrecked 330T and convert it into a poor man's ES5 with three P90s - that'd be ace! I once saw one with an added bridge pickup that would have been an ideal candidate, so if something like that came up at the right price I might be tempted.
     
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  9. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never played one, but I do like the middle pickup on a Strat best. Might or might not on a 330 but if I was looking for a vintage 330 I'd be interested in trying one.

    I don't think you're going to find one for "wicked cheap" any more, but relatively speaking less that a TD.

    The single pickup version of the Es-225 also had the middle position pickup placement.
     
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  10. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    Too me that is just stupid money.. those are 2k guitars TOPS.
    At the asking prices today you can get a CS TDC with the 19 fret join.
     
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  11. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    That's the better buy, really - they can still be found cheap and they're quality guitars.
     
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  12. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    The Memphis '59 VOS 330 is a great guitar that they were making around 2014 and thereabouts, I have a natural one. Haven't looked into it but I think you can typically find them for under three grand.
     
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  13. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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    I once knew a guy that got a 59 ES 330 T and put two more pickups on it and it was kinda cool like a ES 5

    I’m in the camp of an ES 330 TD or I’ll pass..
     
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  14. JimR56

    JimR56 Member

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    Never owned one of these, but I bought a 1960 TD in 1984 for $200. Clean example, with a clean case. I sold it about a year later for $450. Pure genius. Anyway, for a single pickup, I would need it to be at the neck. I'm sure you can get a decent sound out of that middle position, but every time I played it, I'd be wishing that the damn pickup was at the neck.

    The only advantage the middle position would have for me is that I wouldn't have to worry about hitting the pickup cover with my pick.

    Coincidentally, I just came across this (related) video the other day (for what it's worth)...
     
  15. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a MINT condition '61 ES-330T. It was Cherry and absolutely beautiful. I often play with both pickups on so I figured it might be cool to have a single pickup located in the middle. WRONG, I did not care for the sound. Also, I had an issue with the location of the pickup and where I pick. I tried, tried and tried to bond with the guitar, but to no avail. After a couple/few years, I sold it (at a slight loss of a couple hundred bucks).
     
  16. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, three dog-ear P-90's in a row would be interesting. Just add one of these

    https://www.freewayswitch.com/products/
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  17. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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  18. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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  19. saltbird

    saltbird Member

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    At least with strats, middle pickups are super useful because they can still twang but also sound warm enough to get fat cleans. They effectively take some of the good attributes of neck pickups along with some of the good things about bridge pickups, while imparting a bit of their own character too. As @Jayyj mentioned, you can get even more out of them (or really any pickup) by simply adjusting where you're picking the strings relative to itself.

    I've never tried one like this but if it sounds like how I imagine it would, and if I had to have a single pickup guitar, I'd probably get it with the pickup in the middle.
     
  20. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I have an old 2 pickup 330, have had it since the early 70s. They had one of these one pickup ones come in at the music store I worked in for a while, I was really excited to try it out. Did not like it at all. Not dark enough like the neck on mine, for jazz or jazzy blues. Didn't bite like the bridge on mine for rock and blues. Just weird position for a single pickup.
    Might make an ok rhythm guitar but for me, I'd pass.
     

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