I've used them in the past, although I've never owned one. 15-20 years ago, Gilson's set the bar for quality and build as far as I know. WAY heavier built and thought out than the "throw-away" Stones we used. But, twice the money also. They moved the manufacturing down South about 15 years ago, and have been gobbled up by a much bigger company now, so I'd be doubtful that their quality is as good as it used to be.It was Jomama that had used a Gilson.
Never even heard of Essicks