Gibson ES-165 Plus
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Gibson ES-165 Plus
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MGR/ex-pro jazzer 10/08/2005

Gibson ES-165 Plus : MGR/ex-pro jazzer's user review

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I play jazz mostly, but R&B and blues are right up there, too. Used to play for a living, but got tired of living hand to mouth.

Jeff Hale Music, via ebay; $1800

Just a great guitar. The neck is very playable - like buttah - and the body dimensions just feel so right. Plus it screams 'jazz guitar' from its association with Herb Ellis and Joe Pass [the 175 is the same box with an extra pup]. The sound is round and full and dry - classic jazz tone. Mine came with a Benedetto pup; I have no idea what the stock Gibbie pups are like. My comparison is a D'Angelico NYL-2 resissue: the 165 is its match and at just over 1/2 the price. But basically,it sounds great and plays great. The fact that it looks great is a mere bonus. I was looking for a 175, but those prices are ridiculous - a similar vintage 175 is twice what I paid, and it's the same box with an extraneous pup.

It tends to feed back at volume, which you'd expect from the body shape and size,so it wouldn't really work for blues or R&B.

Construction, finish, and build quality are all first clsass. Gibson has a reputation for iffy quality control, but they nailed it on this one. As with any expensive guitar, try before you buy. Buying from a reputabe dealer like Jeff Hale takes a lot of the risk out of things.

Superb jazz guitar. I'm surprised by how much it knocks me out with its tone and playability.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com