block inlays

Now it’s time to play “VoV?”

What’s VoV?  It means “VOS or Vintage” and it’s the exciting new TV game show that’s sweeping the nation. Kind of like “Numberwang”.  

The object is to look at a photograph of a guitar and using your guitar-looking skills, determine if the instrument is a real vintage guitar or a cleverly deceptive reproduction (aka “VOS”).

First up:  This lovely Gibson ES-335.  

The evidence:  

Hmm, let’s see.  It might be Mid-60s?  With the block inlays, pre-1968 style knobs and nylon saddles.  

So what do you say?  VOS or Vintage?

2015 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Review 

Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆
Price: around £1, 300 / $2, 004 

I recently became a new owner of a Gibson Les Paul, something I had been anticipating for a long while. The Les Paul in question is a 2015 Les Paul Deluxe, part of the Les Paul 100th anniversary collection.
The guitar is beautiful to say the least. I got my hands on the beautiful wine red finish model, which has always been a favourite Les Paul finish of mine. The initial experience of holding it alludes to its power, it felt heavy and undeniably well made. Up to this point I had been more of a Fender player, and holding the wide Gibson neck took a little bit of getting used to, but once I did it began to feel comfortable and natural.
The guitar is abundant with little unique details. Along with the classic favourites such as the block pearl inlays, the 2015 LP Deluxe has many little bits and bobs making it unusual and special. Firstly, the ‘Les Paul’ logo on the headstock is different to the script on a classic Les Paul, on the 2015 LP it looks as though Les Paul himself has come up and signed the headstock, preceding the ‘100’ at the end of the signature, which obviously hints to the 100 years of Lester William ‘Les Paul’ Polsfuss. The back of the headstock features a discreet hologram of Les Paul waving, to ensure the authenticity of the instrument. Above said hologram is the Gibson G Force automatic tuner, the details of which I will get to later. To add to the importance of this anniversary model, the 2015 LP Deluxe comes snug in its own gold coloured hard case.

The 2015 Les Paul Deluxe isn’t all bells and whistles however, it does pack a punch when plugged into an amplifier.
The sustain on this Les Paul is definitely the best I’ve experienced with my other guitars, it is easy to control and does last for a long time! The pickups (New LP Mini Humbuckers) really do live up to the name and give one hell of a performance. There is virtually no hum from the pickups, and they handle distortion extremely well, with that wholesome tone to match. The beauty of this instrument is in its versatility. The 2015 Les Paul Deluxe can sound like you’re rocking out Glastonbury or noodling around in a small blues bar. What I really love is that, even without chorus, the Les Paul sounds like you’re playing in a church, it brings its own atmosphere.

Lastly, the Gibson G Force. I was a little bit apprehensive about this gadget at first…a guitar that tunes itself! Whatever next?! However, it is actually really useful. If you are someone like me, who is incessantly lazy and finds tuning up a real chore, then this is really helpful. All you need to do is turn the G Force on and strum, the machine heads will spin (which is really fun to watch and I still find rather exciting) and tune the guitar, the G Force will only turn off when the instrument is tuned. You can also set the G Force to different tunings, whatever your heart desires.

So, go forth and try this lil beauty out. You will not be disappointed.  


My buddy Sean Pinchin showed up for his gig in Toronto this weekend with a GORGEOUS new Gibson Custom Shop ES-330 VOS.  He usual plays a 1932 National Triolian, so this was quite different for him.

I am partial to 330s because I love P-90s, and, more importantly, because I love light guitars.  Unlike the 335, the 330 is fully holow - there’s no “center block” of wood in a 330.  The center block was Gibson’s innovation (on top of their inventing the thinline to begin with!), to stop the uncontrollable feedback that would happen when people began amplifying archtops in the 1930s right though to the invention of the solid body electric guitar (for which several people including Paul Bigsby, Leo Fender and Les Paul, share the credit).  The Gibson Thinlines (ES-330, 335, 345, 355) came out in 1959 - and they started out with dot markers on the fretboard, changing to block inlays around 1963.  So if you see a vintage ES thinline line with dot markers, you know it is one of the earliest Gibson’s Thinlines.  Another thing to look for is the over-sized pickguard on the very earliest 335s.  Gibson was not sure if the line would succeed so they didn’t want to retool for nothing if the line failed to sell. So on the very earliest 335s they borrowed an existing pickguard from another model…but it was WAY too big.  If you ever see a 335 with a pickguard that reaches back past the bridge, it’s probably a ‘59 or a '60 and is therefore worth a f*cking fortune!  :D

Anyhoo:  Sean’s new 330 VOS looked and sounded stunning.