* Good as it Gets? Rusty Anderson Pilot Run Gibson Memphis ES-335 *

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by sgt_steiner, Jun 24, 2017.

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  1. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    Hello my fellow Gibson lovers -- Now that Henry at Gibson has fired the incredible team of Rick Gembar, Pat Foley and Edwin Wilson, it appears the "Second Golden Age of Gibson" has come to an abrupt close.

    The guitars they crafted and managed to push through between 2014 and 2017 will become harder to find moving forward as Henry is a known vintage spec/historically accurate hater who plans on rolling back these advances and going cheaper. Moving forward, rumors are that Henry's considering making the vintage/Historic-type reissues a "Custom Build" only purchase -- essentially a Gibson rip-off of Paul Reed Smith's Private Stock program. Of course, this will allow him to charge more, as a 30% uptick is expected in Custom Build prices.

    None of this is confirmed as official yet -- so please don't bother flaming the bejesus out of me and beheading the messenger --
    but if it does happen, it will all become public by NAMM next year.

    (You can read more about Henry cleaning house at Gibson on lespaulforum.)

    Which brings me to this outstanding Rusty Anderson Pilot Run ES-335, signed, hand-selected woods, etc. and one of only twenty-five made.

    [​IMG]

    Already owning a Warren Haynes 335 (which is my favorite newer Gibson production model ever) and believing the 2014-2017 Memphis builds will remain better quality than the next wave of whatever the old man cooks up, I boldly stepped forward to grab the WH's sister guitar -- the Rusty Anderson 335.

    Reviews everywhere are pretty much 100% positive about these gems, and I talked to a bunch of RA owners via PM to get their takes as well. I got nothing but the green-light from ALL of them. And when she arrived, everything they shared with me was more than confirmed. This is as fine a newer Gibson as I've ever played.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The build quality is absurdly good, amazing really. Played acoustically, the instrument resonates like the best of semi-hollows, and the finish and craftsmanship are literally eye-popping. The neck is a legit vintage '59 profile -- not some behemoth R9-style baseball-bat abomination. How do I know? I own a vintage '59 345 and side by side they are uncannily similar. I heard that Rusty insisted on this profile for his signature run, and I thank God he did. I don't even LIKE bigger necks, but I find this one both workable and comfortable.

    The MHS pickups are good, if not mind-blowing. But as gripes go, that's a pretty high-class problem to have IMHO. There are so many fantastic winders these days, that finding the perfect fit for this guitar is almost half the fun. Currently considering Ron Ellis LRP's which I expect to put this beauty way over the top.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Hey, end of the day, I may turn out to be wrong, but I firmly believe the 2014-2017 Gibson Memphis stuff will begin going up in price after the 2018's and beyond come out. Hell, it may take five years, but the word will get out (it always does) and these wonderful "Second Golden Age" guitars will become increasingly sought-after -- especially if Henry goes for a Custom Build program.

    Know the crazy thing? The Warren Haynes and Rusty Anderson's are ridiculously underpriced in today's glacial market IMHO.

    Anyway, you heard it here first :) If you're on the fence about one of the these guitars, seriously consider pulling the trigger. I've played four of them and currently own two and I'm not sure I've enjoyed any new guitar purchase more. Truly outstanding guitars from a fantastic -- if far too short -- Memphis run.

    BIG SHOUT OUT to my buddy Tokyo Nick (Nikku) for making this happen. Cheers my friend!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    gmann, westmike, Chops and 21 others like this.
  2. kwaping

    kwaping Guitar payer

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    Congrats on your new guitar! I'm a huge fan of Rusty Anderson, the person.
     
  3. mrfett

    mrfett Supporting Member

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    Nice guitars, congrats!
     
  4. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    @kwaping - He's cool and his guitars are great, too ;)
     
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  5. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    Beautiful guitar! Congratulations!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  6. nikku

    nikku Member

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    Glad it got there OK and that you approve! I personally thought it was a great 335 and would be very happy to have it myself. Blonde with a bit of flame is my favourite! I didn't even mind the MHS pickups but there again I haven't compared directly with something better!
     
  7. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Sounds like Henry & Co. are in serious trouble.
     
  8. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    FWIW - The new 2017 LP Standards are even closer to the originals than last years.
     
  9. grumphh

    grumphh Member

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    And next year they'll be even closer?

    OMG! I can hardly wait till 2053, when they will finally have gotten it right. :bounce
     
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  10. MR.K

    MR.K Member

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    I have a blonde 2016 '58 335. Every time I play this guitar I feel that it's as "good as it gets". Like you I thought it could sound better with different pickups. After trying several different winders a set of Wolfetone Dr Vintage sound great.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
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  11. EL34

    EL34 Silver Supporting Member

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    Beautiful guitars! I completely agree, the Memphis guitars from the last few years are phenomenal. As good as vintage, after a pickup upgrade, imo.
     
  12. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    Beautiful guitar. Can you tell me more about the neck? I like the big necks of the R8s, but mostly for the shoulder rather than the depth; I prefer a more D shape. Is this more in the C territory?
     
  13. BrownDog

    BrownDog Member

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    Agree. My Memphis-made Rich Robinson is amazing on all counts! I'm thinking you need 3, not 2!

    With tone and oneness, Mike
     
  14. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    @Rotten - Perhaps @nikku can chime in here, but it's a very accurate '59 profile. Nothing like the often-absurd R9's -- big, but well shaped and comfortable. So... smaller than an R9, with a fair (average?) amount of shoulder and not crazy deep. I prefer the thinner WH '60's neck carve which is dead on for some real '61's I've played, but I find this workable. In short, you should have enough shoulder for your liking and probably find the RA neck smaller than the '58.
     
  15. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    I believe there's another RA 335 up on digimart.net right now...
     
  16. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    Beautiful guitars. I personally would have preferred if they had left the mahogany on the neck natural rather then tinted red, but that's just me.
     
  17. Pete Faragher

    Pete Faragher Gold Supporting Member

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    Congrats....these are a great run of guitars. I've had two of the RA's and loved them. I've had the Haynes also and while the build quality is absolutely on par with the RA, I actually prefer the tone of the Haynes. Very different from each other but both sound great.
    Another one that is in the same league is the Freddie King 345. I just got one of them and it is KILLER !!!
    Yup this well may be the second golden age as you say.
     
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  18. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    I would very much like a RA. So tasty.
     
  19. BoringPostcards

    BoringPostcards Member

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    Nicest 335 I've seen in a very long time. Good score!
     
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  20. stratplexi

    stratplexi Member

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    I looked at that site this morning. It was in Japanese. Is it legit? How do you buy from the site? Anyway I can set it for English? I saw some tasty ES-330s...

    Thanks
     

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