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356 Koa

Desertdawg

Active member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Messages
2,055
Well, I guess that I'm one of the "old farts" and like gold as a result!

Groover...you have it spot on. I'll post you a clip of some "old fart" gold harware archtop 356 sounds if I can find a hosting service.


:lol
 

C-4

Active member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,722
gb_356_cs30284_top.jpg

I'm another one that loves these guitars.
This one is a CS356F-59 from Wildwood. I had a Wildwood limited version as well and a cherry red one but the blonde one was so much better sounding that I dumped the other two.
Recently I picked up a cherry CS 336 with a neck 30 thousandths over from a limited run, again done by Wildwood. The serial number is only four digits away from my 356 and it appears they were both made on the same day.
I have put my R9 Cloud9 away for now and strictly take out and use the CS336 and CS 356.

After all the Custom Shop Gibsons I have had over 50 years, these two are up there with the best of them. Clayville's description of the tone is exactly what my CS 356 sounds like. My CS 336 is a tad woodier sounding all the way around and closer to a 335.

I've had koa guitars and while they are really beautiful, I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to "F" hole Gibsons.

The CS 336/356's are the best guitars I have played and certainly the most versatile for me.

You should hear these things through a Diezel Herbert and Einstein!
 

Rumbling_Groover

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
1,089
Dawg, I'll host your clip if you want. I should really get round to recording some of my own.
 

Stevedenver

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2001
Messages
2,560
i think each color metal has its place

i think the gold compliments the koa beautifully -gold is yellow, not unlike the hue of the wood-

my spotlight special, a natural colored lp, and my rosewood top custom , both have gold hardware to compliment the wood colors-and IMHO it looks great-

everything noted about the gold faults is accurate-still looks cool when its worn

other metals, while more traditional and popular in most electrics, are colder to my eye and do not always compliment the natural wood as well-

to each his own-and no i dont like anything other than nickle on a burst-but did have a burst with gold hardware for a short time - i could take it or leave it-gold is a bit flashy -on an otherwise subtle guitar sometimes its can be a nice accent-or make a guitar unique- i have gold schallers on my old d-28- i put them on because i preferred scahllers to grovers, and i liked the softness of gold against the headstock veneer -
 

clayville

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
5,730
Man... I think I misunderstood your original post, Dawg. I took it as more of a "should I buy one?" question instead of "I got mine, what's the matter with the rest of ya'll?" sort of thing.:jim

Nice playing and a sweet woody tone there.

I don't really understand why these don't exactly seem to be flying off the shelves (or sitting on more than a few of them in the first place). I fear that will have something to do with them ever achieving Classic status. They're certainly "spendy", which is a barrier for establishing a 'new' design like this too. But for me, for now, it's at least two guitars in one -- I don't "need" a humbuckered historic LP quite like I did before I got my 356, and I have no remaining GAS for a 335 either.



All I need is some P-90s!:salude
 

LeftyLP

New member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
183
Man, I love these guitars! I've been keeping my eyes open for lefty 356's. Does anyone have any leads? Can anyone provide the approx. going rate? Saw a righty at Sam Ash (of all places) for $3800. Seemed kinda high.

B
 

Desertdawg

Active member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Messages
2,055
Hah Groover, didn't know you'd be as slick as that!

Clay, you didn't mis-understand. I only had the guitar for two days waiting on a friend to pick it up on his way through. I really liked the guitar...hence the question. I agree with your sentiments too

Oh, and Groover....it was plugged direct through my Fender Vibro-King to one of those little portable recorders.

:wah
 

LeftyLP

New member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
183
Check this out guys. I've been on the hunt and found this lefty CS-356 in an very unlikely place. I only had a few minutes to play with it, but it sounded really sweet. I kind of dig the trans black finish, but the binding was very yellowed for some reason. Do you think it was made that way or has it tarnished/aged? Any comments?
B

Gibson356_1.jpg

Gibson356_2.jpg
 

mmcquain

New member
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
2,646
Man, I love these guitars! I've been keeping my eyes open for lefty 356's...Saw a righty at Sam Ash (of all places) for $3800. Seemed kinda high.

For a regular 356 (right handed) that seems high unless it is a special top like the Koa. My honeyburst I got off the 'Bay for around $3K. At the time I got it I was talking to Wildwood about a new one in Vintage Burst in the same price range.
 

Desertdawg

Active member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Messages
2,055
For a righty...our man in San Diego will sell you a koa for that! For a lefty, I dunno. Do you usually get that kind of premium?

Oh, the binding is tinted to match the finish. Sometimes yellower than on others.
 

clayville

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
5,730
Check this out guys. I've been on the hunt and found this lefty CS-356 in an very unlikely place. I only had a few minutes to play with it, but it sounded really sweet. I kind of dig the trans black finish, but the binding was very yellowed for some reason. Do you think it was made that way or has it tarnished/aged? Any comments?
B


As far as I can tell, lefties are very hard to find in the 356. Chances are strong that almost all you'll find were custom ordered -- which would also point to the rare trans black color. I'm very biased, but I say snap it up... could take many more months to find another in any color, and longer to get one made for you.

On the yellowish binding... its hard to say what if anything it might mean. Binding not scraped of varnish when manufactured? On purpose to make the gold hardware look right perhaps? Sitting on a stand at a heavy smokers house for a few years?

As mentioned... these aren't cheap, so if you aren't happy, then pass. But if it sounds and feels great to you, then that's a pretty unique example.

FWIW... have a look at the yellowing on this 1955 Custom in the member classifieds
http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=118278
 
Last edited:

roysessions

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
34
Just got a used 356 with a Koa top today....wasnt really in the market for one, but my god! The sound is amazing and so articulate...i own lots of 335's modern and vintage as well as custom shop LP's and this thing just sings.....
 

C-4

Active member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,722
Just how poular is the 356? Is it a classic design or one of those that "falls between two stools." (i.e. not a 335, not a Les Paul)

I must admit the Koa model is a cut above the others I've tried with a sound of a real archtop. How come this option is not in the Gibson catalogue?

:photos

http://render2.snapfish.com/render2/is=Yup6aQQ|=up6=zqH:xxqUD7qRUrKxzX7BHpUUKxgXPo0?87KR6xqpxQQooxJnnxnaPxv8uOc5xQQQoeoe0nGanJqpfVtB?*KUp7BHSHqqy7XH6gXPo0|Rup6lQQ|/of=50,590,442

:rolleyes:
I've had 5 CS-356's, including most with a 59 neck carve, a 336, and 2 339's.
The CS-356's and 336 I had, being solid wood, had a closer sound to a full archtop then the 339, but at the volume I had to play at in our band, the entire guitar would howl uncontrollable and vibrate like crazy.

Hope you enjoy your guitar. :)
 

crashbelt

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Messages
68
CS356s are great guitars. I happily gigged my sunburst for a while and only sold it when I went 100% vintage.
 
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