Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis Signature
Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis Signature

ES-165 Herb Ellis Signature, Hollow Body/Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitar from Gibson in the ES series.

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manubiou 04/09/2010

Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis Signature : manubiou's user review


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There's not much to add about the features. I would simply emphasize the exceptionally huge sound due to the top being almost completely free. Finish is not Gibson's main strength, but having seen other similar models (the ES-175 reissue), I think it's well-achieved.


I got my ES-65 yesterday morning. So this review captures only my first impressions after one night of playing. The neck is comfortable, but I'll wait until I have finished setting it right to tell you more about it.
The position of the volume control is very unfortunate, it would've been better below the pickguard.


I already have a semi-hollow Ibanez sg-100 I bought in 1982. It has a very jazzy sound, very warm, very "Wes".
The ES-165 "twangs" more, it's more of a folk sound when it's not amplified and without the (awful) original Gibson strings.
I quickly replaced the strings with a set of 13-56 flatwound strings and it makes a huge difference! It still sounds clearly jazzy, but not too smooth, it's clear and has attack and sustain. The balance between bass and treble is amazing.
I use it with a KMD 100w tube amp and, for the time being, I don't miss the tone control. No feedback issues either.
I want to use it onstage to complete my review, but I'm sure I'll enjoy playing with it :-)


Given the price of the ES-175 (both new and secondhand), the ES-165 is an excellent value for money.