ES-345 variatone - where to find replacement?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by tildeslash, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    Yes - I have an ES-345 that used to have a variatone.
    I like to replace it but having a hard time finding one.
    Help.
     
  2. 6stringjazz

    6stringjazz Supporting Member

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    I ordered one directly from Gibson a long time ago. Not sure if they will do that now, but it's worth a try. FWIW, I think they sound better without them. I could never find a practical use for all those thinner sounding settings, and that choke coil creates a weird sounding midrange hump, like using a 100 ft. cable.
     
  3. shuie

    shuie Member

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    Smart man. Outside of a resell, that device is worth nothing, IMO, and it adds significant weight to the guitar. Check ebay if you want a used one. How old is the guitar?
     
  4. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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  5. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Member

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    Does the guitar still have the big inductance coil in it? If not, your gonna need more than just the rotary switch and caps... make sure that you get everything you need to make it work.

    Torres Engineering has a Varitone kit, but their rotary switch is junk and the coil they give you is tiny...

    Just an opinon: I do NOT think that installing anything short of the full-on, official Gibson circuit and parts is gonna do anything good for the value of the axe - and that would be the ONLY reason to install one! Sonically, IMHO - and I'm not alone here - they pretty much suck.
     
  6. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    I think Varitones belong in junk drawers, not guitars.

    That said.....if you really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, want one, PM me. I just yanked one out of a '73 345 and it's in my junk drawer.
     
  7. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Member

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    If you know someon who has the very first version of Craig Anderton's book "Electronics Projects for Musicians", he had the circuit in there.

    IIRC, he used one side of a common transformer, 5 caps, and the switch.
     
  8. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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  9. guitardr

    guitardr Silver Supporting Member

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    Gibson still uses them. Contact the company.
     
  10. CDaughtry

    CDaughtry Member

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    I absolutely agree with you. Best mod you can EVER make to a 345 is to yank that thing out of it.:RoCkIn
     
  11. jetlag

    jetlag Member

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    I think having a phase reversal switch for one of the pickups is much more useful than the varitone. You can then blend the pups to dial in exactly the sound you want. Not exactly a varitone circuit in sound, but really, IMO much better and much more useful.
     
  12. Memorex

    Memorex Member

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    I used to have an ES-345 stereo. I didn't like the fact that there was no way to switch the Varitone completely out of circuit, but I came up with a simple fix. I put in a mini-toggle to lift the ground on the inductor, and BAM. It was gone, and all the 335 tone came right back.
     
  13. Dylan61

    Dylan61 Member

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    Thats sounds interesting, how can you do that?
     
  14. Robal

    Robal Supporting Member

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    Assuming you got this, what are your impressions of the Stellar Tone?
     
  15. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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  16. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    It's cool but I also have on order the THD quintet. I want to a/b and see which is better. Supposedly the THD is like a varitone where the Stellartone is a roll off.

    Once I get it and it's installed - I will report back.
     
  17. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed. My old 1960 sounds much better for the lack of it. It now belongs to a close friend, and one would be hard-put to find a better balanced set of original PAFs....a joy to play even with the usual "hot spots" on the fretboard. 4th best (according to my log) 335 family member I have ever experienced. It is incredible. Better after yanking the parts.

    I still own the original 1960 rotary switch (but not the knob or badge) and associated caps. Let me know if you are in need, I can...most probably... dig it up. As I recall all of the caps are intact, in-place, and undisturbed. You need that choke coil, however! I yanked that out around 1980 and the choke coil went missing. (edit...now I remember leaving the choke coil in the guitar, where it still resides...with a dummy pot to park the knob on, and badge under)
     

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