Gibson Memphis ES-390

Gibson welcomes the new ES-390, a compact thinline-sized hollow body electric guitar built at their Memphis facility.

Gibson Memphis ES-390

This guitar mixes traditional and modern archtop-electric design to reproduce the fat sound of hollow body guitars, while having a smaller and more ergonomic body shape.

The Gibson ES series are all derived from the iconic ES-335 design. Variations on the original 335 design have become separate guitar models, all of which are now being crafted at Gibson's Memphis, Tennessee facility. The ES 390 is the latest of these variations, following traditional design principles while injecting some modern elements.

To start with, the new ES-390 follows the shape and size of the semi-hollow electric Gibson ES-339, which is about 15% smaller than the 335. The difference however is that this guitar has a hollow body, which gives you a classic sounding and retro looking guitar with modern comfort and playability.

Following traditional formula for building ES style guitars, the body is made from laminated maple and feature f-holes. The neck is made from solid mahogany, topped with a dark rosewood fingerboard with block inlays. The neck has a modern thin profile that makes gives it a modern fast playing feel. Both the body and neck are bound to highlight the shape and give the guitar its vintage look.

To work with the guitar's hollow body, Gibson equipped the ES390 with a pair of Mini-humbucker pickups. These pickups feature Alnico II magnets and wound with 42 AWG wire in accordance to the ones used on the original full-sized PAF humbuckers. These pickups are described to produce the almost the same tones as vintage PAFs, but with improved brightness and clarity. Basic controls are built into the body, with each pickup having independent volume and tone knobs, as well as a 3-way Switchcraft brand pickup selector.

Handling the strings are TonePros tuners with butterscotch keystone buttons at the headstock and Gibson's Tune-o-matic bridge with trapeze tailpiece on the body. All the hardware are nickel plated in line with the guitar's vintage look, and the black top-hat knobs all feature silver inserts. Other features include a tradiitonal bell shaped truss-rod cover and a five-play pickguard.

Luthier Mike Voltz from Gibson Memphis describes the sound as having an airy, resonant voice due to the hollow body, with the tonal clarity provided for by the mini-humbuckers. He summarized the guitar as having "a beautiful balance of acoustic tone, and electric versatility".

The Gibson Memphis ES-390 is currently retailing for $3299. You can find out more about the guitar by visiting Gibson.

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