Lefty gibson es-333

Gibson ES 333

Lefty gibson es-333

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Gibson ES-333 Lefty
Cool find earlier last week while browsing the site of a “sort of” local store (~450 km away). A few emails and couple of days later and here it is. My first semi-hollow and a real beauty, plays great too.

Take a look under the hood. The previous owner at the least added pick-up covers and, if you are lucky, you may find upgraded pick-ups. The ES-333 stock version does not include Pick-up covers so some degree of mod has been done. Wonderful guitar. Use it in great health…

Very cool, congrats! I really like my 333, they’re very nice guitars.
One day you pick up the guitar & you feel like a great master, & the next day you feel like a fool. It’s because we’re different every day, but the guitar is always the same…beautiful. -Tommy Emmanuel

Take a look under the hood. The previous owner at the least added pick-up covers and, if you are lucky, you may find upgraded pick-ups. The ES-333 stock version does not include Pick-up covers so some degree of mod has been done. Wonderful guitar. Use it in great health…

Very cool, congrats! I really like my 333, they’re very nice guitars.
One day you pick up the guitar & you feel like a great master, & the next day you feel like a fool. It’s because we’re different every day, but the guitar is always the same…beautiful. -Tommy Emmanuel

Awesome! I love 333s!
They should do away with those stupid satin models and bring back the 333.
2009 Gibson Les Paul Studio Silverburst (Nashville)
1991 Gibson ES-335 Studio (Nashville)
2001 Gibson ES-135 LE (Memphis)
2011 Gibson ES-330L (Memphis)
1996 Fender Telecaster 50th Anniv Custom (MIJ)
2007 Fender Jaguar HH (MIJ)
197? Sekova Dove (MIJ)
1996 Washburn D-11 (Chicago)
2012 Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 (China)
2007 Epiphone Thunderbird (Korea)

There is a dealer in San Diego, Centre City Music, that really takes care of the left handed players. From around 2002-2006 he (Saul) had an impressive selection of lefties; always 10-20 guitars in stock. During that time period, I purchased two Flying Vs, a LP DC faded, a ES-333, and a SG VOS from CCM. However, for the past several years his selection has gone own considerably. I can’t even purchase an SG faded LH as Gibson let the inventory deplete down to zero. 7 months and waiting now. Oh well, better look for a used one.

This past month I visited another left handed Gibson dealer in Houston, Southpaw guitars. He had about 10 new Gibson Historics, but only 2-3 Gibson USA LH models. He stated about three years ago, “Gibson cut production on all left handed models since they were in the bottom third of revenue generation. They failed to realize that we bought $100,000 of lefties each year from them. Now there simply isn’t any lefty product to buy.”

Bottom line, make more lefties! Even if it’s just a STD production guitar ala the Explorer. Oh, Gibson also lost a sale when the Angus SG was not avail in lefthand. I see it as lost sales all around from the neglected lefthand market.
I agree with this completely, I would love see more models available left handed and I would love to have more left handed guitars available to me, even if it’s just two or three.

I wanted to order a lefty ’58 reissue back in 2007 at Long and McQuade, they told me that Gibson wasn’t making anymore left handed until 2008(something like that, my memory is a little fuzzy). I ended up searching online for a few months and ended up buying one off of eBay. I lucked out and got a great guitar, but I would have preferred to have gone to the store and tried a couple out first.

Well, as far as Gibson goes…I think you can still get a Traditional and a Studio off of one site (ZZ sounds if I’m not mistaken). Musicians Friend still carries the SG, the ES-335 and some Custom Shop offerings (R variants, Customs…high end stuff.) Guitar Center had a deal going for a while with a ’56 Goldtop with P-90 pickups in a lefty model.

I still assert Gibson’s got the same problem a lot of manufacturers do…if they make multiple left models available for sale in retail outlets, the outlets themselves are going to look at the inventory and ask how long it will take to move the models. Now, on your Explorers…I can agree they probably would move because nothing’s been available for a long time. But if they went out of their way to make all of these left handed models and no one bought them…well…

(OK, even I’m mindful that some models like the Epiphone Iommi G-400 and the Gibson equivalent aren’t even available in a left handed configuration anymore…even though Tony IS left handed. I still remember when Musicians Friend and Guitar Center offered up a fire sale to dump them.)

On a personal note…I suppose I could eventually start scraping and saving for an SG or an ES-335, but truth be told I can find them cheaper on used outlets because the prices are cheap; Why is this? Because they DON’T move. I know of guys who have been trying to sell their guitars for the better part of a year with no buyers…despite cheap prices. (Hell, I’m tempted to take a drive this week and buy a mint condition SG for 750 dollars even though I don’t need one…I’m already up to 16 guitars.) In the past year I’ve seen the rare Epi Casino go up for sale locally, the SG, and other models. I bought my 1980 Les Paul Custom used. That seller ended up parting with 2 other Les Pauls he owned (Iced Tea Standards) for 1300 dollars USD. And at the time when I bought that…I almost pulled the trigger on a Custom Shop ES-335 that the guy ordered with a Peter Green mod that was in mint condition…and for sale for 1900 dollars. No offense, but if they’re selling them at those prices I don’t think the demand is there.

So…honestly? I suspect if you contacted Gibson’s custom shop…they might make one for you at the right price. 2 cents.

PS: It’s not lost on me that manufacturers like PRS or Rickenbacker haven’t made lefty models in a long time…and most manufacturers that do offer lefties…there aren’t a lot of choices. That’s the price we paid when we took the red pill when we started playing.

It all just makes me feel fortunate that even though I am a lefty, I naturally picked up the guitar as a righty. My son is also a lefty who plays right handed. Like myself, he never even looked at a left handed guitar.

S Berrian,
Yes, if you want a LP there are plenty of choices-they are the most common left handed Gibson.. I myself am not a big fan of the LP, although I do have an Epi LP Elitist.

And no, Gibson will not make a left handed explorer. Not even thru their custom shop. Centre City Music inquired as well and Gibson stated that they would not make any. There’s even on online petition/website for the lefthand Explorer.

As far as reselling them, yes you will take a hit if you try to sell it locally. Your friends are not using their heads or are not trying hard to sell their guitars They are not taking advantage of eBay and GBase to sell their guitars. The Casino will probably go for over $1,000 if it was on eBay. They SG would probably go for around $900-$1000. I’ve also seen left handed flying vs go for $1,700+. It’s all about whether or not it is still avail in left hand. I actually think a lot of the lefthand guitars hold or appreciate their value better than the righties.

Well, I’m not gonna complain if they don’t wanna hassle with an outfit like Fleabay. That just saves me money.

Either way…Well, what can I say here? I guess for you it’s not just a case of stocking left handed models, but a specific left handed model. (So we’re really not talking about lefties ingeneral, but specifically the left handed Explorer.) I guess my take on that is simply “Well, at least Gibson does offer a few left handed models because a lot of major manufacturers don’t.” Granted…personally…I wouldn’t mind seeing a left handed ES-339 but I’m not going to lose sleep or per se beg for one because at the end of the day…Well, I do have a couple of Les Pauls, I have an Epi Sheraton II I’ve modified that sounds nice…I could get an ES-335. I have enough guitars to play around with and gig with…even if I don’t have what I deem to be a really awesome hybrid model.

I think when it came right down to it if I plugged one in and played it for an audience…I don’t think they’d really notice much of a difference anyway. BTW…Good luck with the Explorer. But it sounds like another outfit is willing to make one for you.

Bottom line: Gibson doesn’t think the sales numbers are worth the effort.

Yet, Hamer and Dean both make left handed versions of the Explorer. BTW, I’ve owned a Hamer Korina Vector (58 Flying V) for about five years now and it’s a fine guitar. Just another example of a guitar Gibson didn’t want to build in lefthand

S Berrian,
I just want a little more variety. That’s all. The Explorer hasn’t been made in ages and another run is due. So that’s the one I think should be at the top of the list. After that, well how about an SG with a Maestro in lefthand? Something with P90S like the SG Classic? How about a LP Jr USA? A melody maker? Etc etc. Just make one run of them and let the dealers who cater to the left hand market grab them up.

I’m pretty sure the es-339 has been made in lefthand. I believe I saw one when I was at Southpaw guitars last month. I just glanced at it, didn’t play it as I prefer the fullsize 335 myself.

Nah, that wasn’t an ES-339. I know of a few manufacturers that do make comparable models.

As someone who deals with this stuff just like you do…I have this perception of the major manufacturers like Gibson….they offer some choices. To me, that’s fine. It’s better than nothing at all. In store you’re not going to have a lot of choices anyway. (Most stores might offer a limited selection of lefties…at best.) Either way you’re going to be shopping online. Where I live there isn’t a specialty shop like Southpaw guitars.

For guitars that are…beyond that…last year I started using a local custom shop which built 2 guitars for me. I really like them a lot. I have another guitar that is currently being commissioned by a world class luthier who just happens to live a few hours away from me.

I guess this is the point I came to as a lefty, and take it for what it is: Sure, they don’t offer up everything under the sun. I try to empathize with both points of it since a company like Gibson isn’t a Direct sale company. Any time they sell a guitar it goes through an outlet which in turn has to carry the inventory, and even today lefties are nice to have as stocked items, but they’re not a necessity. I can’t think of any music store that has ever gone out of business because they didn’t have the 1 or 2 token lefties sitting on their walls. (which are atypically Epiphones, Squires, lower end models anyway.)

My solution wasn’t to beg anyone to make something they didn’t want to make…I simply went and found people who did want to make guitars for me, took a chance on them, and was very satisfied as it’s more of a direct, personal business transaction with the guitars built specifically to my tastes (and within the reasons of legality…the 2 custom guitars I own now do not closely resemble anything made by any major manufacturer.) This sort of goes beyond buying a normal guitar as it’s a direct relationship with the builder/luthier.

Truth be told I’m sort of at a point where I’m more of a custom shop buyer with the occasional consideration towards a mass produced model anyway. But that’s me.

Question: Let’s say Gibson made the left handed Explorer and it was available tomorrow. Would you run out and buy it immediately or would you weigh it against the other models you mentioned before making a decision on a purchase? (Just bein’ honest about this…)

I have never understood why the number of left handed guitarist seems to be out of whack with the number of left handers per capita?

I don’t know if it’s the fact that left handed guitars are a lot rarer than left handed people and therefore the lefties just learn to play right handed?

Or is there some other answer–I find this strange because left handed people seem to be more creative as a lot–hmmm

Oh I don’t know….didn’t you ever have that “sit down and talk” with someone who first taught you and they STRONGLY encouraged you to play righty? I went through that many times before the dude threw up his hands and cried uncle!

A lot of left handers pick up a right handed guitar naturally. Their better hand goes on the fingerboard, which in my mind makes sense. Mark Knopfler and Glen Campbell are the first two lefties who play right that come to mind. There are many more. When I started playing, I didn’t even think about it, I just picked up a guitar. It happened to be a right handed model. My left handed son has never tried a lefty guitar either.

There are a few left handed pedal steels out there. Very few, good luck finding them. Most steel players just adapt.

Why are there no left handed pianos?

S Berrian,
Yes, if Henry said they are going to make it, I would call Centre City tomorrow and place my order.

Many lefties do learn righty. However, many of them have very imprecise picking since that is where most of hand dexterity is required-the picking hand. I jammed with a guy several weeks ago who was a lefty who played righty and he had the typical picking issues. He couldn’t pick fast and clean. He also had some slight timing issues. Likewise, he blamed it on being a lefty playing righty which I can completely understand.

My picking hand was very strong from the beginning and I could pick & play faster and cleaner than my right handed friends. Playing right handed was totally backwards and incredibly ackward to me.

I think it’s all about how your brain is wired. How much right or left brained (or combination) a person is.

Elliot Easton of the Cars stated that the primary skill in playing guitar lies in your picking hand and I have to agree with him. Your better hand should be picking. (With a piano both hands perform the same physical task, although the right hand gets more of a workout.)

I look at as either you pick righty or you pick lefty. Very few can do both or change. I was a natural lefthand player, so that’s the course I chose. Why fight against nature?

I have to agree. A few times over the years I have attempted to play lefty. It was a dismal failure every time. I am doomed to be a lefty who plays righty.

I had no issue with ordering my Fender from Long and McQuade, they even ordered 3 different ones for me to try out. Their reasoning was even if they don’t sell them in my area there might be someone at another L&M store who comes in asking for one, and all they have to do is ship it to that store. I just don’t understand why the 1958 Reissue I wanted wasn’t even available to me to order, I had to instead go a route I was less comfortable with (online).

As for stock not moving, I see plenty of lefty guitars sell in my area…I actually missed out on a very nice guitar because I was dumb enough not to ask the store to hold it for me, walked in the next afternoon and was told that it sold that morning
Yep, I just bought another left handed Gibson V. It’s a used 2004 model in excellent condition with a nice dark cherry color.

Since Gibson has really cut back on left handed production, I figure I’d grab it. Who knows when Gibson will make another? Plus the bright, Ferrari red of the latest RH ones leaves something to be desired in the color dept.


Maybe some suggestions: I know the left handers are “the Five Percenters” as far as guitar purchases go…but maybe some things could be done.

What if Gibson did something as simple as float out a petition or a a sign up sheet on a specific model with X amount of consumers on the hook to buy ’em if they were made? Or, putting down a small down payment beforehand just to show Gibson that there’s enough interest for a limited run…and they’d sell as soon as they rolled out of the factory?

I feel for folks like you, J…Maybe there is a way to do this…


How about this for an idea?

Once a month, Gibson sends out an email notice specifically to people who have signed up for left handed guitar notifications. (Make it an option when they sign up)…at given intervals they send out a notice that “Hey, we’re considering building this guitar in a left handed model.” If the recipient is interested, they sign up, and put a 100 dollars down as a deposit. (or whatever the cost difference may be between a left and right handed model.) If they get 25 to 50 interested parties (or more), they make the guitars, ship them to the vendor of the recipient’s choice and they finalize payments there. Furthermore, there is a multiple choice section of 4 different color schemes. Based on recipient responses, the color scheme with the most choices gets made.

If Gibson does put out a petition, and they don’t get enough signatures within 30 days, then the recipient either gets a full refund or credit towards a Gibson product at a major online outlet (Gibson’s choice).

Either way…I don’t know how this could be faulted. If there is legitimatly enough interest to do a run of Explorers, and you have people willing to buy them (or make deposits up front)….then what would the answer be?

Wouldn’t it be nice to make guitars that Gibson knew were already sold? (Yes, there is some additional interface with the customer, but look at the reward for that.

In 2003 a bunch of us lefties hounded Gibson on the Gibson USA forum about making the Les Paul Double Cut Faded w/P90s in left hand. Gibson USA acknowledged the demand and actually made the guitar in 2004. I was one of the first people to purchase one and I still have it.

However, their hasn’t been any real Gibson USA product outside the SG Std/Faded and LP Std/Studio from Gibson USA in a long time. I think the last time Gibson made a run of the Flying Vs was back in 2006 and I bought my white V from that run.

Honestly, I’ve pretty much given up on any new lefties from Gibson USA. In another thread inquiring about “left handed guitars” on this CEO forum, Henry basically stated that there wasn’t enough left handed guitar demand. The dealers simply did not want to carry lefties because they didn’t sell. Translation: Gibson USA will not make anything other than what the big box/web store will carry: the SG Std and LP Studio/Std.

That comment pretty much solidified my decision to purchase the used Flying V above. It might be a long, long time before anything “oddball” is made again.


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