It just got delivered! A new Gibson ES-335 in Purple Sparkle. I wanted to do an unboxing video but I just got too excited. Patience is a virtue, Rock’n’Roll isn’t… I could not wait to grab the purple beast and tame it.
I’ll post a full review and demo in the next days. Still working on my recording and video editing skills but I give it a try. stay tuned and subscribe to my Youtube channel. I am planning to start a series on collectible guitars and amps. Nothing fancy, just gear-head stuff we all love. Stay tuned… and rock on!
When it comes to guitars there such a thing as seller’s remorse ? Yes there is. Over the past 25 years I acquired many guitars and basses. I sold many of them for various reasons. Sometimes to finance another purchase and sometimes because I was just “stupid” me.
Few times I suffer from seller’s remorse when I see the value of a particular guitar/amp going up, way up. Most times I regret because I got emotionally attached to a particular instrument but my chronic disease called G.A.S. made me do it. Addicted people don’t think reasonably.
On the other hand I was lucky to purchase rare and vintage stuff at almost no cost. A bargain if the seller is desperate to part with his/her gear or in most cases is not aware of the actual value. I had a lucky buy every now and then… Anyway, here are some of my remorses and lucky strikes:
(If I mention any value it is including VAT – 21%)
The Gibson Guitars…
The Gibson ES-335 Natural. I am hunting all corners of the world for this one. I want it back! This ES has the most crazy birdseye top, -back and -sides I have ever seen. It is an “ordinary” 335 from the Memphis factory but the looks are so great. Every picture I took couldn’t capture the beauty of the guitar. It would vary from a white pale color to dark maple. Whoever has it…I want it back. (Sold it at the time for €2500/$2880)
In 2009 I got a couple of Gibson SG Zoot Suits. When hurricane Katrina flooded the Gibson facilities the production of this guitar came to an early ending. These guitars are made of different coloured layers of wood, pressed together and then the guitar is routed out. As far as I know it is the only SG in perfect balance. No neck dive on these rockers. Later on I acquired a pristine “Rainbow” and a “Blue/Red” on Ebay. (I sold these for €850/$980)
Big remorse over the Gibson ES-335 Chris Cornell in Satin Black. In 2013 I bought both the black and the olive drab version of these superb guitars. Shop price at the time was €2200/$2500 (including 21% VAT). After Chris Cornell passed away these instruments tripled in value (or more). In 2019 Gibson did a reissue but only in Olive Green (shop price €3500). Sold the black one for €2500/$2800. I did a review on the 2013 and 2019 Cornells: here
A decade ago I traded a Fender Stratocaster for a vintage Marshall Super Lead (SLP) from 1969. Until 1973 all Marshall amps were hand wired. This one was in excellent condition. The standby switch was replaced in the seventies, just loaded it up with NOS tubes and the beast roars again. Got a free tinnitus with it! Loud as hell. The same period I got a Marshall Silver Jubilee(1987) and a Jubilee (1989) amp head for peanuts. Loud is more cheap! I got all the crunch I need …forever.
Marshall 1987x-pw. The signature amp of the Father of Mod: Paul Weller. A very limited number (about 70 amps) were produced and the profits went to charity. I reviewed this one earlier. Picked it up in the UK for under €1000/$1150.
Coup de Fender!
Fender Telecaster Custom Shop 1998 (1 of 20). These Tele’s were dealer select for Sam Ash Music. The store chain is long out of business. There were only twenty made, each in a different color. I got number one in a purple finish. The neck is made of quilted maple and it has a pearloid pickguard. I keep it in close range as my go to guitar. Bought it second hand for €900/$980. A steal!
Found a Fender Pro Junior (made in US – 1992) at a flea market. Works perfect, only 50 euros.
Remorse: LAG Keziah Jones signature. Made in France, solid body guitar with nylon strings and a piezo pickup. very well suited for jazz or rhythmic chops. Well… it is gone. Sold it for €750/$870…
… to be the owner of a Duesenberg Starplayer TV – Ice Pearl. Picked it up brand new for €2000/$2300 including VAT. Also known as the Ron Wood guitar. Superior German quality and playability. The Duesenberg Trem system is way more stable than a Bigsby. Semi-hollow goodness and whoever wants it shall have to take it from my cold dead hands. I never part with this one. Actual store price is over €4000/$4625.
The list does not come to an end… But if you have an ES-335 in birdseye maple I’ll be on your doorstep soon!
I found this guitar on a shelf, I almost forgot about . The ES-335 is an exact replica of the 1961 model Warren Haynes used with the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and Gov’t Mule. Built in 2013 by Gibson Memphis and recreated into every detail. It has the period correct Mickey Mouse cutaways and a 60’s rounded neck. The laminated top and back show a nice “Cathedral” pattern and the pickups are Burstbuckers 1 & 2. This is number 38 from a limited run of 500. I never saw the on the Gibson website, … so here it is for you to enjoy!
In 2013 I was the lucky owner of three Gibson Chris Cornell signature guitars. Two Olive Drabs and the black one. I sold the black one and till this day I regret it. I sold it cheap, When Chris Cornell passed away prices went up and nowadays these guitars are much sought after. I love these guitars and I love the Lollar pickups!
Last year Gibson announced to reissue a limited run of 250 guitars and since then I have been watching out for this rerun. Finally, last week, I could get my hands on a new ES-335 Cornell! Kudos to Omega Music (Mons), Belgiums second largest music store, great service and excellent coffee! As soon as I heard they had one in store I was on my way. In the past they sold me two guitars from the 2013 run and since then I visit them on a regular basis. I prefer the local brick-and-mortar store above the German box-movers. Try before you buy and support your local business!
The Gibson ES-335 has everything to be a horrible guitar: a crazy neck angle and a Bigsby. Everything to guarantee an out of tune guitar. But the ES-335 also has some kind of magic. It just feels great, looks great and plugged into a valve amplifier it roars at you when you hit that open E chord. The magic is in the pickups! The Lollartron pickups sound like a bell and yet they have the right amount of power to cover every style. The Cornell ES-335 is my “go-to” guitar. My main instrument since 2013 and now I have some spares. Oh lucky me!
Is there a difference between the 2013 and the 2019?
There is no difference in sound between the 2013 and 2019. Gibson now uses MTC-Plus controls to tame the pickups. I still have to figure out what these controls are but to my ear it sounds pretty identical to the “old” ES-335. The guitars look and sound identical there are just a few minor differences between the first limited run and the second limited run of 250 guitars each.
In 2013 I bought the black ES for €2200,- and the olive drab ES for €2500,-. At that time you could get them at the bargain booth in any music store. Guitar players are very conservative people. They don’t like it when something new is introduced. Only when a renowned artist starts using something new the sales will follow. Design and looks are of major importance in the guitar business. If it is not sunburst, ebony or any traditional color it might be risky business. In 2013 I could get a good deal on those matte finish guitars. It changed when Chris Cornell passed away and the prices on the second hand market rocketed. The new 2019 model is about €1000,- more expensive. I also was informed Gibson will donate part of the proceeds to the Chris Cornell Foundation.
The peghead inlay has changed from the traditional “frog” to the Chris Cornell logo or signature. A quarter sawn mahogany C-shaped neck remained. The fretboard is dark rosewood with pearloid dot inlays. The 2013 guitar I own has a much darker rosewood compared to the reissue, In fact the rosewood on the new guitars is more grained and not so “dark” at all. The 2019 hardcase comes without the “shroud”, the cloth to cover your guitar. I wish Gibson would bring it back. It adds something “sacred” to the instrument.
Most noticeable difference is the neck heel. The 2019 version has a smaller neck heel joint compared to the first run. It doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t seem to affect the tone. Is it something in the manufacturing process? I have no idea. Both the new version and the original one have the same neck heel only the 2013 guitar has a slightly larger neck joint.
For you gearheads out there I shot a short video with the Cornell guitars. Enjoy and leave a comment. Keep Rockin’!