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Mick's Gibson ES-345 [In Defence Of The Varitone & Stereo Output]

Published 26 Jan 2024

Mick’s found an incredibly special old guitar… but can he manage to leave it alone and NOT mod it?

Welcome to the show. Yeah yeah yeah… I know, another show about my gear. Dan does want to do some stuff on his board and guitars but he’s been a bit snowed under as 2024 kicked off and hasn’t quite got there yet. So it’s me again!
Hopefully this show will function as more than just a rather spawny, ‘Oooh, look at my new guitar!’ video, and instead shed some light on one of Gibson’s less-loved features of the 20th century: the Stereo Varitone electronics package that dates all the way back to 1959 as the ES-345 and 355 hit the market (although officially launched the previous year).
So what is it, what does it do, and will I keep it un-modded?
Let’s find out…

Enjoy the episode!

I also just want to say a very special thank you to Adrian Thorpe (Thorpy), Dan Coggins and Rob Francis, without whom this guitar would not be in my possession. I am eternally grateful because I feel like I’ll be playing this one as long as I keep playing!

Oh, and please visit That Pedal Shop

Pedals & Stuff used in this show

• ThorpyFX Warthog
UK & Europe:

• Kinglsey Juggler

• Caroline Guitar Company Megabyte
UK & Europe:

• Jam Pedals Harmonious Monk MkII
UK & Europe:

• Universal Audio Evermore
UK & Europe:

Interesting bits & go-to sections
0:00 Intro playing
2:00 Why are we making this video?
2:40 Origins of the Gibson ES-345
5:45 Stereo & out of phase?
9:55 Separate pickups, separate amp channels
11:40 Mid position in and out of phase
13:25 Varitone demo
16:20 Interaction of the volume controls
22:14 And with a bit of Thorpy Warthog
23:10 ES-345 and ES-335 Comparison 1
26:00 Leave it stereo, or make mono?
27:46 ES-345 and ES-335 Comparison 2
33:00 Closing thoughts and tones
38:25 Upcoming from Dan…

Guitars in today’s show
1965 Gibson ES-345 Stereo
Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 - Mick’s video here:

Amps in today’s show
Two Rock Classic Reverb Signature 100/50 & 112 cab with EVM12L speaker
Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb with stock speaker
UK & Europe;

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