jazz legend Herb Ellis

Gibson Herb Ellis ES-165 Plus Guitar Review

What differentiates this guitar from the Herb Ellis ES-165 electric guitar, are the added controls: 1 volume, 2 tone, 3-way selector switch, the Gold Speed knobs instead of Gold tophat, a pair of ’57 Classic humbucking pickups and special f-hole baffles. This musical instrument comes in 3 finishes: Wine Red, Vintage Sunburst, Light Burst. The rest is as in the ES-165

The Gibson Herb Ellis ES-165 Plus is a jazz guitar that exudes elegance and sophistication, designed in collaboration with the renowned jazz guitarist Herb Ellis. This semi-hollow body guitar is part of Gibson’s ES (Electric Spanish) series, known for its warm and resonant tones, making it a popular choice among jazz players and aficionados.

The ES-165 Plus features a timeless design with a laminated curly maple top, back, and sides, finished in a rich Vintage Sunburst or Natural finish. The body is bound with multi-ply white and black binding, adding a touch of luxury to its appearance. The top is adorned with a classic Gibson “F” hole, contributing to the guitar’s distinct look.

Gibson electric Guitar Image
Gibson Guitar Herb Ellis

The neck of the ES-165 Plus is crafted from high-quality mahogany and has a comfortable slim taper profile, making it easy to play intricate jazz chords and melodic lines. The fingerboard is made of rosewood, known for its smoothness and rich tonal properties, and features classic split parallelogram inlays that enhance its visual appeal.

One of the standout features of the ES-165 Plus is its pair of Gibson CustomBucker pickups, which are specifically designed to replicate the original PAF (Patent Applied For) humbucking pickups from the 1950s. These pickups deliver a warm, smooth, and articulate tone, perfect for jazz and blues playing. The guitar also boasts a versatile control layout with two volume knobs, two tone knobs, and a three-way pickup selector switch, allowing for precise tonal shaping.

The ES-165 Plus is also equipped with high-quality hardware, including a Tune-o-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, providing excellent sustain and intonation. The guitar features Grover Rotomatic tuners, which are renowned for their stability and accuracy in keeping the guitar in tune, even during extended playing sessions.

In terms of playability, the ES-165 Plus is a joy to play, with its comfortable neck profile and smooth fretwork, allowing for effortless string bending and fast runs. The guitar produces a warm and resonant tone with excellent note definition, making it ideal for jazz guitarists who value tone and expressiveness in their playing.

Overall, the Gibson Herb Ellis ES-165 Plus is a top-notch jazz guitar that offers a classic and elegant design, exceptional craftsmanship, and outstanding tone. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz player or someone looking to add a touch of sophistication to your playing, the ES-165 Plus is a reliable and top-performing choice.

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