Gibson ES 137 Classic or Custom?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sharkey, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Anyone here have any experience with one of these? I have been thinking about picking one of these up but thought I would see what you guys like or dislike about them. I play blues along with classic and modern rock.(Think Warren Haynes & Dickey Betts too Foofighters and Tonic) Do you think the Custom is worth the exta coin over the Classic? All thoughts and advice welcome!!:dude
     
  2. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Thanks Tele Man.Anyone elese got anything too add:D
     
  3. moggio

    moggio Member

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    I picked up a 137 Custom a few months ago. I find the Vari-tone switch adds quite a bit to the guitars versatility. I am running it through a Germino Masonette or a Trinity sIII 18 watt. I play mainly in the Blues/ Rock camp. The guitar has a strong 335 vibe to it. The Vari-tone, along with the 57 Classic Humbuckers really offers a wide array of tones. I find myself using the Vari-Tone much more than I ever thought I would. It is the only guitar I own that is remaining stock. Sounds great just the way it is.
     
  4. Marty Horne

    Marty Horne Guest

    I would get the Custom because in addition to the versatility of the Varitone, it has an ebony fingerboard which is my favorite fingerboard wood.
     
  5. SFK

    SFK Member

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    Call me shallow but I think the Customs look cooler!

    I'd love to have a CAR one.
     
  6. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Neither. Get a HR Fusion
     
  7. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Moggio,I bet that 137 through that Germino really sounded good.I have been itchin for one of Greg's amps also.

    SFK, I hear ya on the looks factor. Thats one classy lookin Getar.

    Anyone know the average weight of one of these?

    Jzucker, Enlighten me on the HR fusion with a link :D

    Thanks Guys:dude
     
  8. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Thank you Mr. Zucker. Very nice axe indeed. Tell me more:D Would this be well suited for blues as well as classic and modern rock. Sorry for all the ?'s but I have absolutely no experience with hollow body's. Inspiration is the reason for my quest!!!
     
  9. moggio

    moggio Member

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    I can't give you an exact weight, but I will say that it is nowhere near as heavy as a Les Paul. It does have the "feel" of a LP but not the weight and leans more toward a 335 tonewise. Very comfortable for long sessions or gigs.

    Yes, it sounds killer through the Masonette (my #1 amp). Great edge of feedback tones. The 57 Classic Humbuckers fit this guitar very well. I had intended to change them out with a set of WCR Goodwoods but the guitar sounds fine and I decided to leave it alone.

    I believe the HR model is a true hollowbody (no center block). This may give you some unwanted feedback at higher volumes based on the styles of music you play mentioned above. For a classic rock/blues vibe the 137 or 137 Custom may be a better choice. I find the Custom to be incredibly versitile, able to cover everything from clean Jazz to Blues to Classic Rock tones easily depending on the amp used.
     
  10. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Great info here Moggio,
    I will most likely be useing my Tophat Emplexador with this if I end up taking the plunge.

    I love my LP for lead work but just can't seem too get a rythm tone im pleased with. I haven't tryed switching pups or the pots yet and considerd this Guitar as an option

    Thanks, Sharkey
     
  11. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Yes to all the above. It's a step up in quality from the 135/137 guitars and you can find them on ebay for $1200.
     
  12. moggio

    moggio Member

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    I too am normally a LP player. I picked up the 137 Custom to satisfy an itch for a 335 style guitar. I think you would be pretty happy with the Custom for your purposes. I feel I got a lot more than I bargained for with this purchase. I leave my amp set the same as I do with the LP. With the Vari-Tone on 1, great lead tones or Classic Rock style rhythms - flip it to 2 or 3 and nice cleaner rhythm or bluesy lead tones sorta BB Kingish. I think the Vari-Tone reduces the output of the pickups (not really sure how it works but love the results). It is possible to get a strong single coil vibe too. Between the Vari-Tone and the volume control, a wide pallate of tones is available.
    I should add that the factory set up was total crap. I had my tech set it up and it plays like a dream.

    Hope this helps with the never ending decision process!
     
  13. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Moggio, Thank you so much for your insight. Sounds as though you and I think alike. I have problems switching back and forth with my Strat and LP (as far as amp settings). Sounds like this could be my answer if I can only convince my wife too let me purchase yet another Guitar:dude I also considered switching pups too some WCR's but maybe there would be no need:D If you had too guess on weight how much would you think?
     
  14. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Not to hijack this very informative thread, but anyone have any opinions on the similar Gibsons (not sure of designations) with P-90s...same questions...versatility, quality, etc.
     
  15. Marty Horne

    Marty Horne Guest

    Jack has a good point about the HR Fusion. I've played 2 or 3 and they are great guitars. What stood out most for me was the necks shape was so comfortable; I felt at home on it as soon as I picked it up. I agree that if you find a good deal on a used one, jump on it.
     
  16. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Thanks Marty, Is there no feedback problems with these at higher volumes?
     
  17. moggio

    moggio Member

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    Just guessing here, but I am guessing about 7 1/2 lbs? I was mistaken on the HR III. It does have a solid center block. I perfer the Stop Bar Tailpiece myself. Not really sure how the "Finger" tailpiece effects tone. I noticed an HR for sale here (JZucker) in the emporium. Nice guitar and the price is fair.

    I love the WCR Fillmores in my LP. Great pickup for leads and hard rock rhythm work. They sing through a Marshall style amp! The 57 Classics (stock on the 137 Custom) fit the guitar just perfect. Very "classic" tone. Great for "edge of feedback" type stuff. I have SRs in my Strat, (sound great) but when changing from the LP to the Strat the amp setting change drastically. This is not the case with the 137 to the LP. Same settings but the Vari-tone provides a much wider range of tones than the volume control on the LP.

    I am up to five guitars now. If I purchase another, I may find myself without testicles. The spouse just doesn't quite understand GAS!
     
  18. Sharkey

    Sharkey Member

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    Moggio,Great minds think alike. I love my SR's in my strat also but as you know it's not very convenient 4 switching between it and an LP in a gig setting with a single ended amp. :D Were your Fillmores a dramatic improvement over the stock LP pups. On my Lp its either muddy on the rythm or to brittle in the lead position when trying for rythm tones. I may try some WCR's and RS wiring kit before taking the plunge but I sure have some bad GAS for that 137 Custom. The weight factor alone is worth givin it a try
     
  19. moggio

    moggio Member

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    Truthfully, I don't even remember what the stock pickups were in the LP Custom. I remember changing them to a SD 59 neck and a JB bridge right after getting it. I liked the Duncans a lot and they were in for many years. I went with the Fillmores mainly to get a specific sound (Allman Bros at the Fillmore) and the WCRs delivered it in spades. I read that Greg Germino was using them at the time and that was a good enough reference for me. I find the Fillmore/LP combo incredible for singing lead tones. They do clean up well with the volume control. I don't think that you can go wrong with any of the WCR pickups. The guy knows his stuff!

    Good luck in your quest! For me, the next purchase is either a Germino Club 40 or a 65 Amps London. Decisions, Decisions...
     

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