The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

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Larry Mal
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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:38 am

If I had known this was going to be another internet Gibson screed, I probably would not have bothered.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:42 am

335-alike was always my guitar of choice as a youngster obsessed with The (Revolver-era) Beatles but not well-enough informed to tell the difference between a Casino and a 335.

I guess I should aspire to the real thing at this point, but I shared Larry's disdain for the Peerless Casino I bought which just didn't thrill my ears or hands as much as the Danelectro DC I was accustomed to at the time, and I sold it on to a friend in fairly short order at that point when no-one could have foreseen the hyper-inflation MIK Epiphones would undergo soon afterwards.

I know what you mean about the allure of the correct name on the headstock, though. I have two pretty nice MIJ lawsuit 335s, one of which I will eventually modify with at least one P90, but still think holding 'the real thing' might somehow be more fulfilling. Equal parts crazy and perfectly sensible. As I don't have a 330-type per se, that would be the obvious choice for me now that Kalamazoo Casinos have gone stratospheric, but I think like the OP I'll be a long time swithering over it.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by seenoevil II » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:44 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:38 am
If I had known this was going to be another internet Gibson screed, I probably would not have bothered.
What did you think it was going to be?

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:57 am

Beats me. I guess I had thought that we might discuss the actual differences between the instruments, which is not inconsiderable.

For instance, like I say, I owned an Epiphone Casino and now an ES-330. The differences are huge, and like I pointed out, they are structural. The very laminate of the construction is fundamentally different.

The Casino is 5-ply laminate and the ES-330 is 3-ply. What is the exact difference? Well, it can be imagined that the Casino uses cheaper woods. I can't prove that, but since I owned two, I can tell you that the ES-330 has a wonderful acoustic sound to it, it's no dreadnaught, but the sound is there. The Epiphone Casino didn't, it didn't really make much acoustic sound at all, and what there was sounded tinny and bad. It's cheaper laminate slathered with thick paint sprayed on with little care.

So, the differences aren't just in marketing. It is a fundamentally differently constructed guitar from the ground up. It only looks the same.

Similarly, the ES-135 had some cheaper components to it, I seem to remember that there was something like a balsa wood block in the center or something. I'll have to get back to you on that, but I almost bought one, I like them, and as I researched it I realized that it was slightly cheaper in construction compared to the classics.

So, these are things that I know, and that I've learned. I am very experienced with this stuff and there was a time when I thought we might weave that into a discussion here, but I see now that it's just an axe to grind about how expensive Gibson is and it's all marketing and while I know that neither is really true, I have learned that if someone really wants to believe that then they are always going to.

For some reason they prefer that.

But I didn't know that this thread was going to be that, or I would have skipped it like I do all the other ones on Gear Page and shit where they are perennial and as dull as dirt.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:04 pm

Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Nevets » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:14 pm

seenoevil II wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:21 pm
Not that anyone was too invested in this topic, but off the top of my dome:
As I'm struggling with my own GAS at the moment I have really enjoyed the discussion. I find it funny that so many responses are essentially "buy it!"

I know that I'm eventually going to have the object of my desires, it's just a matter of when and what in my collection do I give up. Or do I just add another guitar I don't "need"?

My wife is working on her Psychology thesis on hoarding at the moment, so I spend a lot of time thinking about, and discussing with her, why it is I get so fixated on wanting to have something I really don't need. I joke with her that she has a huge potential client base of middle aged guys with piles of guitars and music gear.

Anyway thanks for the interesting discussion. I'd say don't get the 335. Or maybe rent one for a month.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by seenoevil II » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:34 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:04 pm
K, seeya

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by seenoevil II » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:54 pm

Nevets wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:14 pm
seenoevil II wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:21 pm
Not that anyone was too invested in this topic, but off the top of my dome:
As I'm struggling with my own GAS at the moment I have really enjoyed the discussion. I find it funny that so many responses are essentially "buy it!"

I know that I'm eventually going to have the object of my desires, it's just a matter of when and what in my collection do I give up. Or do I just add another guitar I don't "need"?

My wife is working on her Psychology thesis on hoarding at the moment, so I spend a lot of time thinking about, and discussing with her, why it is I get so fixated on wanting to have something I really don't need. I joke with her that she has a huge potential client base of middle aged guys with piles of guitars and music gear.

Anyway thanks for the interesting discussion. I'd say don't get the 335. Or maybe rent one for a month.
It can really get pathological can't it. I know that this is a stretch, but it's a well known symptom of Autistic Spectrum Disorder to develop a keen and encyclopedic knowledge of a specific topic. I doubt it's that. Most people who wind up with a collection of guitars are hobbyists and not musicians by trade. So, once the utility of the choice is removed, you're left with a lot of fascinating motivations.

Self expression, symbolism, conforming or flouting cultural associations, aesthetic preferences, status indicators, rewarding oneself, the thrill of horse trading, it goes on and on.

Guitars might be the most culturally, economically, musically(?) complicated instruments in history.

I think this is a important statement from a clinical point of view, but I don't want to be as fixated with gear as I am.

My personal dream would be to have a guitar that fulfills my needs as a musician, and then to play that guitar and never think about guitars again. But it's just not that simple, is it.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by postchrist » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:02 pm

i enjoyed this write-up. i’ll preface this by saying that i personally can’t stand most newer gibsons, and only care for a handful of the older models, so take all this with a heaping spoonful of salt.

having worked in instrument sales at one point for quite a while, i can say with absolute certainty that gibson’s quality and quality control are both generally bad these days(obviously, this within the scope of my own opinion, i know not everyone feels this way). this also isn’t to speak for older versions of gibson, where i tend to agree with op - gibson of today is not at all gibson of the 60s, 70s, 80s, whatever. they have their license to produce copies of classic instruments and twist the designs around as they please. heritage, while they’ve got the wrong name on the headstock, come way closer to mimicking the gibsons of yesteryear, imo.

straying off topic, but quality - kinda rough, and particularly within the context of their price point and the facade of being the top dog in the guitar world. i’ve held and played more gibsons than i could care to and so many of them leave the box with finish flaws, i’ve cut myself on the fret ends, string splay issues, necks bent out of shape from the factory... it blows my mind that they’re still in business sometimes... but, it’s for all the reasons you describe. and then, to be fair, they do make some really nice instruments every now and then, but at pretty outrageous price points. the arguments that the amount of work/money/whatever going into these instruments justifies the cost... it’s all bullshit, anyone that buys a new gibson is paying for some very large and entirely unnecessary profit margins.

i think a lot of it too - the vast majority of people that came in for gibsons were older(old, even), and there lies the reason they’re still kicking. my guess, most of their money comes from managing to market unattainability, “only a gibson..”, celebrity appeal, and status(both cultural status AND monetary/class status, i would argue - in the same way that you don’t necessarily have to be rich to buy a single pair of gucci boots or a bmw, and a lot of poor people, myself included, occasionally fall prey to the desire to not be seen as such..), etc., to teenagers, over many many years. because teenagers end up 30, 40, 50 years old, with money to spare and an unfulfilled dream of owning a gibson guitar.

all that said, i like my own gibsons quite a bit, just wouldn’t really even think of paying market rate for one i hadn’t played yet, and probably wouldnt buy one made this century. i feel lucky enough to have mostly escaped the emotional draw to chase the “real thing” or holy grails with instruments in general... but it did take spending a year surrounded by unrestricted access to the entire modern instrument market to do that, so i get it.
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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:02 am

Yeah, John Hall gets a rough ride for jealously guarding his trademark, but he's also doing the guitar world a big favour by jealously guarding his company's quality control standards while he's about it. If only he'd entertain the widening of the 12-string neck as a standard that needs to be revisited!

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Nevets » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:44 am

seenoevil II wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:54 pm

Self expression, symbolism, conforming or flouting cultural associations, aesthetic preferences, status indicators, rewarding oneself, the thrill of horse trading, it goes on and on.
Another one that's getting under my skin lately is the desire to make up for the "one that got away". That great guitar you never should have sold, or that amazing deal you let slip through your fingers. You're right, the list of motivations, and for me anyway, subsequent justifications, just goes on and on.

I'm with you too on not wanting to be so fixated on gear. I like guitars but I don't want to have a huge collection. I don't want "guitar collector/hoarder" to be any part of my identity. I would love to be one of those guys who is happy with just one guitar (like Doug Martsch - his one guitar isn't even particularly cool!)

But while I'd like to have just one instrument that satisfied me, I question that too. What really is the harm in having a Jazzmaster and a Strat? Where does the line get drawn? I watched a bunch of those Five Watt World videos on gear minimalism and "what do you really need?", but I'm not sure I buy into his ideas. It seems to me to just be GAS of a different sort. The quest for that "one" guitar or piece of gear that's going to allow you to sell off all the stuff clogging your closets. I'm guilty of thinking this way too.
Last edited by Nevets on Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by mbene085 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:06 am

seenoevil II wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:54 pm
My personal dream would be to have a guitar that fulfills my needs as a musician, and then to play that guitar and never think about guitars again. But it's just not that simple, is it.
Well, that's because it has nothing to do with what's in your hands and everything to do with what's between your ears.

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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Surfysonic » Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:55 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:04 pm
Correct, the ES-135 has a center block of cheaper balsa and not mahogany.

It's a cheaper made guitar.
The build quality of the ES-135 as always been reflected in price as compared to an ES-335. Still, it's a fantastic guitar for the price. At least to me, anyway. 8)
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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Larry Mal » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:09 pm

Surfysonic wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:55 am
Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:04 pm
Correct, the ES-135 has a center block of cheaper balsa and not mahogany.

It's a cheaper made guitar.
The build quality of the ES-135 as always been reflected in price as compared to an ES-335. Still, it's a fantastic guitar for the price. At least to me, anyway. 8)
I think it's a great guitar. I would buy one. It's clearly Gibson attempting to get an ES instrument out at a cheaper price, I think that's a good thing, I think they nailed it.

For anyone who says that Gibson is just marketing and the name, show me the ES-335 equivalent that costs less. You'll have to figure in the difference between American labor and Chinese, so if you want to talk Eastman or some bullshit then do the math to make the labor costs the same. You'll pretty quickly find that Gibson actually uses their economy of scale to make the instruments pretty reasonably priced.

And no, your Epiphone isn't going to be the same, because those are made cheaper and use foreign labor.

But I get it. I've been down this road here before, Mr no evil seems to kind of seem to ask for advice about stuff and then it turns into some kind of soapbox about how things are too expensive these days and dadgum it if it ain't all just a bunch of humbug.
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Re: The Psychology of GASing for a Gibson (es-335)

Post by Nevets » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:22 pm

What advice was he asking for?

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