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I’m very lucky with the job I do – I’m sure many customers would love to earn a living, selling such desirable instruments, similar to those that pass through my hands on a regular basis- I see it as more of a hobby than an actual job – Yet despite handling so many vintage, Custom Shop, boutique, Historic Replica models etc, from time to time, I still come across a guitar, that has something more about it, that somehow grabs me  – For sure the guitars aesthetic appeal comes into play, as does the tonal character – But how it feels and plays are the key factors that would inspire me to own such a guitar – Maybe this Gibson Historic Collection ES345 suits the style of music I like to play and listen to – That blend of 50’s swing, jazz, blues, jump jive, rock ‘n’ roll – As such I play with far less gain than many players – There is certainly something special about this used ES345, that suits me and my playing – So in no particular order let me update you with a host of details regarding this used 1998 ES345 from the Nashville Custom Shop in Tennessee :- 

Feel/Playability :- As I commented earlier, I have a big soft spot for this ES345, based on how it feels and plays – Maybe hard to portray with a few chosen adjectives why it feels so special – After all, we’ll all have different opinions as to what constitutes that plays right and feels right factor – But I find this ES345 is effortless and so comfortable to play – You can dig in and milk every ounce of emotion out of those big blues bends – Yet for fancy licks and tricks, as well as melodic complex chord passages, this 345 is so comfortable to play – Some guitars can be a fight or a challenge to play and what I might tag as ‘not user friendly’ – The neck has a medium depth C profile – So not vintage, late 50’s era chunky – Yet not modern waif like – Re-strung with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and set-up with an easy action that responds to a light touch

Tonal character :- Some players may look at such a Gibson Guitar, that is spec’d with a pair of Classic 57 pick-ups, then wish, without playing it, that it was spec’d with something more boutique, with regards to the many PAF replicas that are on the market place today – Yet I feel the guitar should be played and listened to before you get to that stage – As an overview this ES345 is somehow educated and polite – I don’t mean boring and/or bland – As it delivers so much warmth, soul and emotion – Maybe it is more Steely Dan, Larry Carlton, Carpenters and less Clapton Cream – As you’ll find the mids are clear and transparent with less gritty, moody, fat mids – Again I don’t mean thin/weedy, just that the guitar has so much articulation – For many, the plus point with this ES345 is that it has been factory wired for a regular mono output – As such both pick-ups, as per 99,9% of guitars out there, just require you to use one lead and one amp – A ES345 stereo was spec’d to work with a Stereo jack play at one end, which then splits into a Y lead, with two mono plags at each end, which in turn feeds two different amps – As such one amp for the neck pick up and one amp for the bridge pick-up – As such few players will ever utilise such an option – Likewise many players will ignore the 6 position Varitone switch and leave it on position #1 which is effectively the ‘by-pass mode’ – Use it as required – If you are not sure what a Varitone switch is, then simply imagine a wah pedal – But instead of a smooth sweep along the travel of the pedal, think of it as 6 pre-set switches that replicate the length of the travel of the wah – So a number of filtered tones – Personally a ‘gadget’ that I would ignore – So just utilise the 3 way switch and 4 pots in the usual manner

The clean tone is loaded with warmth and character, so will suit and funk rhythm based player, as well as those into cool jazz/blues – Some guitars have such a bland clean tone that you just don’t go there – This ES345 is just loaded with soul and emotion and as I suggested earlier you can imagine playing such a guitar in a classy combo playing a few Carpenter style songs – Add some gain on the amp – Be more subtle, so as to add just enough and this is probably the 345 at its best – You can roll back the guitar’s volume pots for a cleaner voice, yet at 10 you’ll find just enough gain to add character – Add more gain, on the amp, as required, for more of a Larry Carlton, Robben Ford voice – Here, you’ll find the neck pick-up is so soft and succulent, whilst the bridge pick-up has a nice hint of a good Nocaster with a fat melodic twang – Add more gain to move into the land of Gary Moore etc for traditional rock/blues styles – I don’t think many would buy such a guitar for hi-gain Metallica styles of playing – Not so much the 345 can’t deliver the goods, just that it maybe doesn’t show the guitar at its best – Overall it is a guitar that is loaded with soul and emotion

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Call: 01335 345777 or email: mark@guitars4you.co.uk. Please note that showrooms visits are strictly by appointment only.

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.