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Going dotty

June 1, 2010

If you saw the title and thought this was going to be a post about Men’s clothing with dots on them then I’m afraid you’re probably going to be disappointed.

What I am going to talk about is the one thing I’m absolutely obsessed with – vintage American guitars. I’m a proper guitar nerd and have been since I was about 16, although it’s only in the last 10 years that I’ve actually been able to afford them (and even then it’s not like we’re not talking £200k 1959 Gibson Les Paul’s). The collections up to about 16 now, with 10 of those being corkers.

There’s just something really rather special about old guitars – the way they feel, the way they look and most importantly of all, the way they sound. They’re works of art in their own right and I probably sit and look at them as much as I play them. But they are for playing and they all get used, whether it’s just for practice, in the recording studio or gigs (although I tend to use a new Telecaster for gigs now, or my 70’s Les Paul).

The problem with vintage guitars though is that you’re never really done. You think you’ve got to the point where you’ve got everything you need and then one day you’re innocently in Vintage & Rare, having a quick look and before you know it you’re going: “right, I know I shouldn’t but I have to have this, is Mastercard ok?” That’s what happened with this beauty. I got her (all guitars are female, like cars and boats) in early January, I went to have a quick look down Denmark Street just to see what was around, not to buy anything and came back with this.

Ain’t she a beaut? She’s a 1961 Gibson ES-330TDC and she’s amazing. As soon as I plugged her in that was it, she had to be mine. The fact I already had one (a sunburst 1964 model) didn’t make a difference, I’d missed out on two dot necks over the last couple of  years and I wasn’t going to let one as good as this go, it’s got tone to die for.

The dot fret board featured on Gibson’s ES-330 from 1959-1962 before being replaced with a pearl blocks (in early ’62) and as such these are more desirable than later models – they also have the more sought after ‘Mickey Mouse ears’ (which are a nicer more rounded shape than later models) and the early spec P90’s with the purple enamel wire and not the orange poly stuff that came in around ’62-’63, hence the incredible sound this thing makes. There’s loads of play wear on the back of the neck with a few spots right through to the wood – testament to the fact that she’s been played loads because she’s so good.

One thing’s for sure, I won’t be getting rid of this one in a hurry. If you fancy something yourselves, have a look at some of the great stuff on offer here: Vintage & Rare Guitars.

One Comment leave one →
  1. james spencer permalink
    June 1, 2010 7:25 pm

    Probably sounds as good as it looks and it looks gorgeous, nice buy

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