Totally reconfigured for 2014, the ES-390 from Gibson Memphis blends the characteristics of two favorite models—old and new—in a superbly playable guitar with entirely its own voice and vibe. This ingenious redesign follows the form of the seminal ES-330, a fully hollow archtop electric with a thinline body depth like that of the semi-acoustic ES-335. But it’s different from either, the ES-390 takes the cleverly compacted dimensions of the popular ES-339, making it a more comfortable playing proposition for those used to having smaller-proportioned solidbodies in their hands. Best of all, it all comes at an outstanding price for a genuine American-made Gibson electric guitar.
It might be a size conceived in the 21st century, but the ES-390 hangs with the best of vintage Gibson semis for construction and components. The traditional ES body made from laminated maple top, back and sides is jointed to a glued-in neck made from quarter-sawn mahogany with a one-piece rosewood fingerboard sporting small-block inlays. Newly redesigned MHS (Memphis Historic Spec) P-90 pickups, created from intensive examination of the finest original vintage units, nail those beloved hot, thick, raunchy tones with impressive sparkle and clarity. Top-notch hardware—including vintage-style Kluson™ tuners, a TonePros™ Tune-o-matic bridge, and a traditional nickel trapeze tailpiece—lock it all down for optimum resonance and sustain. To cap a sweet build from the skilled luthiers at Gibson Memphis, the ES-390 is finished in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer in a luscious Dark Burst reminiscent of the finest vintage arcthops, with vintage colored binding.