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Gibson ES-295 Scotty Moore guitar

deejayen

Member
Messages
769
I’ve tended to play Teles and Strats, but always loved the gold paintjob with cream P90s! The guitars are expensive though (around £5k or £6k here in the UK). Apparently only 81 have been made, although according to the Gibson website there’s also a slightly cheaper 1952 ES-295 reissue which looks similar apart from the bridge.

What’s the build quality and playability of these Gibsons like?

Are they overpriced and so likely to plummet in value in the short term?

Does anyone else (including ‘small luthiers’) make anything similar/nicer?
 

kracdown

Custom User Title
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,978
I’ve tended to play Teles and Strats, but always loved the gold paintjob with cream P90s! The guitars are expensive though (around £5k or £6k here in the UK). Apparently only 81 have been made, although according to the Gibson website there’s also a slightly cheaper 1952 ES-295 reissue which looks similar apart from the bridge. What’s the build quality and playability of these Gibsons like? Are they overpriced and so likely to plummet in value in the short term? Does anyone else (including ‘small luthiers’) make anything similar/nicer?
They're super nice IMO. pricey, but awesome. I dig the slightly cheaper ES-295. Incredible build quality.
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,716
They are nice. There are also Epi copies floating around but they are hard to find. I would spend some time with a hollow body before you spend big money buying one. They are very different than solid bodies. You may or may not like them.
 

DiPa

Constant GAS
Messages
15,780
Gibson ES295 Re-issue is absoutley phenomenol and great to play.
Not sure if they make them anymore.
I had one with a Bigsby and sold it (now have regretted that).
You can play a lot of music types on this guitar and sound great.
 
Messages
6,841
Definitely play them first. Great guitars, both the Moore and 295, but their sound and overall feel is very different. The good thing is that you're already used to the output of single coils, so you won't be losing anything by going to P90s.
 

ando

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
311
i have a '92 ES-295 reissue & it's a great guitar....you can cover lots of ground stylistically with it & the P-90s are really warm & fat...sounds good with either roundwounds or flatwounds for jazzier stuff...charlie baty plays a similar one, really well...gibson stopped making the reissues quite some time ago, so being out of production it would seem that they would hold their value well...i bought it because it played & sounded exceptional & the build quality on mine is great, too..
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
769
Thanks very much!


I’ve heard a few demos on the internet, and they sound fantastic. However, they’re all played by great guitarists, which obviously helps. They sound great on various styles from finger-picking stuff through to over-driven blues. They seem to be really ‘alive’ with a lot of character, and nice balance between bass and treble.

I wasn’t really thinking about buying a new guitar (especially not one this expensive), but those demos have got me thinking!


I’m trying to find out the differences between the Scotty Moore model and the ’52 model. The first is a limited edition, signed by Scotty Moore, and with a different bridge. Is that the sum of the differences, or is there a lot more to justify the price difference?

Also, would playing pedal-steel like bends result in intonation problems? I’m thinking of bends where two or more strings are played, and where bending one or more strings can cause the others to change pitch. I’ve had that on a Strat where bending a string can cause the tail-piece to lift if the tension is too low. I’m not sure how robust the two different ES-295 bridges are – do they float?

I suppose if looking for this style of guitar for country and rockabilly I’d have to consider a Gretsch as well. Are some Grestch models similar to the ES-295, or are they completely different in tone? I did try out some original Gretsch guitars a few years ago, but can’t remember much about them other than they were a bit quirky.
 

Joe L

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,386
I picked up a mint 1998 Epi ES 295 about 6 years ago on Ebay. Per the Manager in Sam Ash, he identified desThis one being made in Japan. I upgraded the tuners and installed a roller bridge and a bone nut. What a great player .... Feels and sounds great. I have no complaints with the stock Epi P -90s. The prie of the guitar and upgrades add up to about $800.
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
769
I remember the Epi ES-295 getting good reviews at the time - it's pity they don't still make them (as far as I know...) I've never seen a second hand one either.
 
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5,399
In the 1950s when Scotty Moore acquired his ES-295 I reckon some of them other Memphis guitar pickers probably said to Scotty, "Looks like you got one of them there fancy Gibsons".
 

rastus

Member
Messages
1,531
I just sold a 54 295 that was a house guitar at Ardent studios in Memphis for decades. It was used a bunch on Big Star albums. A client of mine has one that was used for many years by Rockabilly great Sonny Burgess. I have played and examined S otty's original it is quite clean and well preserved. I find the early 295's are the ones I like best. For what Gibson charges for these new repro guitars ( which are very nice,btw) I am pretty sure you could find an original 50s one, probably for about the same money. Surprisingly, I have seen many of these in the UK, as many great purist rockabilly cats are from there.
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
769
Thanks, Rastus. I was wondering what an original would cost. I had a quick search for one online, but I don't really know where to start looking.

Anyway, as some others suggested, I really need to get my hands on one to see if I like them.
 

karma1

Member
Messages
1,121
I don't know how they compare to the Gibson version, but my Epiphone ES-295 is pretty sweet. This is from 1996, I believe, and was told that this was the first year of this reissue run and was made in Japan just before Epi moved production to Korea. I was also told that these had actual Gibson P90's and Bigsby tremelos rather than Epi parts on the later models. The previous owner added a roller bridge and did extensive fretwork on it, and it is a great-playing guitar. I bought it used about 5 years ago for $600 including hard shell case.


 




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