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Vintage finds in Chicago

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite guitar shops in the country. It's the one and only Chicago Music Exchange. Wether you're looking for new, used, or vintage gear, this is the place to be!

Here's a little history:

- The ‘ES’ means ‘Electric Spanish. In the 1930s Gibson needed to differentiate designs from their EH (Electric Hawaiian) line of lap steel guitars.

- The ES-335 is a classic. First manufactured in 1958 Gibson design legend Ted McCarty said this. “I came up with the idea of putting a solid block of maple in an acoustic model. It would get some of the same tone as a regular solidbody, plus the instrument's hollow wings would vibrate and we'd get a combination of an electric solidbody and a hollowbody guitar.”

I was lucky enough to spend some time with these two outstanding late 60's Gibson ES-335's.

Both played very well, however I favored the one in my left hand. It's a refinished 1968 Gibson ES-335 in Burgundy Mist. As soon as I plugged it in it came to life. Almost as if taking you back to the Clapton era with Cream at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Switching between the neck and bridge pickups I was pleased to experience an ultra-wide range of tones that would cover just about any musical challenge you could possibly encounter.

Im not a strong Jazz player by any means...but, rolling off the volume and tone on the neck pickup made this guitar really sing. Switching down to the bridge pickup with the knobs dimed, this guitar really came to life! Channeling Clapton, Bonamassa, Grohl, and the likes of Chuck Berry. I could have played this instrument for hours.

In closing, if you're in Chicago and have time to experience these vintage instruments on a first hand basis, make it a point to hit Chicago Music Exchange. The staff at CME is some of the nicest and most knowledgeable people I've ever met! Stay tuned for more posts on Vinyl & Vintage.

Thank you for reading

~ Brian

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