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Seeking ES335 Clone - Washburn or Ibanez?

Robsocal
April 14th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Well, I love my Tele second to none, but I am looking to add an ES335 clone as my second electric in order to open up some other sonic possibilities. I've been getting into playing some classic rock, blues and a little jazzy-styled stuff. I've heard that the Washburn HB series (HB30 and HB35) is really nice for the money. I've also discovered that the Ibanez Artcore series (specifically the AS73 and AS83 models) are a good bang for the buck.

These guitars are in the $300-500 range, and are often rated higher than Gibsons and Epihones on the various review sites. However, I value the input on this site above the others, so I'm reaching out here.

Do any of you have any opinions on which way to go, as between Washburn and Ibanez? Your input is greatly appreciated, and always respected.

Thanks!

Tom S
April 14th, 2007, 05:56 PM
They are both very good 335-style guitars. I had an HB35S some years ago. I thought it was terrific. Having played it back to back with the Gibson, I couldn't find a single sensible reason to buy the Gibson. I played an Artcore at the time, too, and I thought it was a very nice guitar. I got a better deal on the Washburn on ebay, though. I did not regret owning it at all.

It has a nice, throaty sound and is also great for controlled feedback maneuvers.

Here's a crappy clip:

[/URL][URL="http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tspellman/Guitars/Washburn.mp3"]Washburn HB35S (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tspellman/Guitars/Washburn.mp3)
(http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tspellman/Guitars/Washburn.mp3)

Robsocal
April 14th, 2007, 06:11 PM
They are both very good 335-style guitars. I had an HB35S some years ago. I thought it was terrific. Having played it back to back with the Gibson, I couldn't find a single sensible reason to buy the Gibson. I played an Artcore at the time, too, and I thought it was a very nice guitar. I got a better deal on the Washburn on ebay, though. I did not regret owning it at all.

It has a nice, throaty sound and is also great for controlled feedback maneuvers.

Here's a crappy clip:

[/URL][URL="http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tspellman/Guitars/Washburn.mp3"]Washburn HB35S (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tspellman/Guitars/Washburn.mp3)
(http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tspellman/Guitars/Washburn.mp3)

Thanks for your opinion Tom. That sounds encouraging. Also, thanks for the cool clip (not crappy at all!).

I hope to try out both. The price is fairly close, especially when you consider the price range. I mean, you can get one of the two, and a great amp, for way less than the Gibson. Suprisingly, I haven't seen many rave reviews for the Gibsons. I'm mainly interested in tone, so this sounds like I'm moving in the right direction.

tele12
April 14th, 2007, 06:37 PM
Right now Guitar Center (and Musiciansfriend) has the Epiphone Dot Studio in Worn Brown on sale for $199. For that price it leaves a lot of money available for pickup changes. (which I think any of the guitars you mentioned really would benefit from)

tele12
April 14th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Also if you are willing to spend a few hundred more you can get a used Gibson ES-135 for about $800. That guitar while not being exactly like a 335 (thicker body, sort of a cross between a 175 and a 335) sounds much better than the Washburns or Ibanezes.

Daddydex
April 14th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I love my Ibanez AS 80. Artstar series. If you don't mind used this could be a good option. These usually go for about 250 on Egay.

Dan

tlsmack
April 14th, 2007, 07:07 PM
In the $300 to $500 range, you can't beat Ibanez artcores. I have an AF75 which I chose over several more expensive guitars. I don't know much about Washburn semi-hollows, but I think of Ibanez when I think of affordable, quality hollow and semi- hollow guitars.

dibber124
April 14th, 2007, 07:16 PM
I just sold off my Gibson 335 dot so am pretty familiar with these. A customer of mine has a epi dot studio that plays every bit as good as my old Gibson, all he did was replace the pickups with Duncan's and do a DIY fret dress. Very low action, killer tone and about 500.00 into it. Also very light guitar.Do not know if this is a fluke, but he really lucked out on this deal.

CharlieO
April 14th, 2007, 08:18 PM
I've probably said it a dozen times before on the TDPRI, but I'll say it again: Buy an Ibanez Artstar, not an Artcore or a Washburn. The Artstars from the late 90's were made in Korea, apparently by Samick, and they're excellent quality instruments. In my opinion, they're superior to the Artcores and the Washburn. The big plus with the Artstars is that they have the fabulous Super 58 pickups, which are the same pickups as used in the JSM100 John Scofield model. Believe me, you won't want to change these pickups.

I have a '95 AS-80, with the headstock that looks like the current JSM100. I like that headstock better than the larger one on the newer Artstars, but you might like the large one.

You could take a flyer on either one of these on eBay and not regret it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-AS-80-ARTSTAR-Semi-Hollowbody-1994-Maple-SWEET_W0QQitemZ270109554507QQihZ017QQcategoryZ3304 3QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem



http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-Artstar-AS-80-Electric-Guitar-Gibson-335-Copy_W0QQitemZ200099173544QQihZ010QQcategoryZ33043 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

The $599 Buy It Now price is ridiculous for the natural one. You should be able to buy either one for less than $400.

CharlieO
April 14th, 2007, 08:23 PM
I love my Ibanez AS 80. Artstar series. If you don't mind used this could be a good option. These usually go for about 250 on Egay.

Dan

I don't think he'll find many AS-80's at $250. I wouldn't want to get his hopes up, and have him miss a good one for $300-$400. I paid $325 for a mint AS-80 with TKL deluxe hardshell case 5 or 6 years ago.

drb1346
April 14th, 2007, 08:52 PM
I had, and still do, a Washburn ES335 copy. I've kept it because it's a very good guitar and complements my Tele very well. Washburn is a good brand of guitar, not the best, but very good and reliable.

TG
April 14th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Dunno if you can get 'em over there...but a while back I chose a Tokai 335 copy in preference to the actual Gibsons that were in the surrounding shops (Denmark Street in London). It was cheap but it was nicer to play than any of them.

Heather Anne Peel
April 14th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Epiphone Dot/Dot Studio. I love mine!

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f137/SexyHeather2006/HPIM0313.jpg

studio1087
April 14th, 2007, 10:53 PM
I've owned an Epi Sheraton and an Epi Riveara (jazz guitars). They were both great. The DOT's are great guitars. A DOT is the Epi version of a 355. Buy the DOT.

I like the fact that Gibson owns the factory that all the Epi's come out of and the factory is dedicated to Epi-only production. Ibanez stuff is jobbed out to a few facilities.

I have an Epi Bisquit Resonator and it's really nice. I've also owned an Epi 12 string.

If you want an affordable Gibson; buy Epi.

Catweazle
April 15th, 2007, 04:24 AM
I have a Washburn HB35S and decided on buying a Washie after having tried all the other comparable guitars, including an old Ibanez. The quality of finish on the Washie left all the others standing, except for the Ibanez (pretty much the same as Washburn), which I would have bought, had the seller not put a stupidly high price on it (nor was he willing to discuss it).

CodeBlue
April 15th, 2007, 09:58 AM
Has anybody tried a Michael Kelley Duece Pheonix?
I haven't seen one in a store but all the other MK's I've tried were top notch for very reasonable prices.

Robsocal
April 15th, 2007, 12:57 PM
Thanks to all of you for your sage advice. Seems like a clean split of opinion, and a few, good, outside, choices. Also, what I seem to be hearing is that, considering the price, there's no really good reason to only stick with Gibson when looking for a 335.

I'm going to try a few out over the next few days, and will take the plunge when one of them speaks to me.

Mid Life Crisis
April 15th, 2007, 01:33 PM
I've got the Washburn HB-35, bought it about 18 years ago, Made In Japan. Really nice guitar, nice neck with a low action. I'm thinking of installing some new pickups in it though, maybe some Gibson '57s or a cheaper alternative.

PapaBeef
April 15th, 2007, 03:34 PM
Please allow me to add to the confusion by recommending that you check out the Hamer Echotones.
I grabbed one a few years ago w/ hardshell case for around $325. And anyone who's played it agrees it blows away most of the Gibsons under 2 G's.
There are a few different models out there.
Mine has the Duncan Design humbuckers, which are not half bad.
I also like that it has the jack on the bottom edge where it's out of the way & you don't have to use an angled plug for it.

klasaine
April 15th, 2007, 05:20 PM
My Ibanez artist from '79 was the only "335" I could afford at the time (in '79 from Valley Arts in studio city, ca). It's still better than any real 335 you can get other than an actual late 50's or 60's gibson, or possibly a new custom shop version - both huge money.

Daddydex
April 15th, 2007, 05:24 PM
I don't think he'll find many AS-80's at $250. I wouldn't want to get his hopes up, and have him miss a good one for $300-$400. I paid $325 for a mint AS-80 with TKL deluxe hardshell case 5 or 6 years ago.

I admit I haven't looked for about a year. I admire them so much I was considering having a backup. But lets not squabble over 50 bucks.

http://cgi.ebay.com/IBANEZ-ARTSTAR-AS80-ELECTRIC-GUITAR_W0QQitemZ320099966265QQihZ011QQcategoryZ330 43QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

CharlieO
April 15th, 2007, 05:40 PM
I admit I haven't looked for about a year. I admire them so much I was considering having a backup. But lets not squabble over 50 bucks.

http://cgi.ebay.com/IBANEZ-ARTSTAR-AS80-ELECTRIC-GUITAR_W0QQitemZ320099966265QQihZ011QQcategoryZ330 43QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

That was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, in my opinion the pickup change probably was not an improvement.

Daddydex
April 15th, 2007, 06:34 PM
That was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, in my opinion the pickup change probably was not an improvement.

No, I agree. I would not change a thing on mine. I see a lot of people here that change out pickups as soon as they get a new guitar. I think if you live with one of these artstars for a while, you would not give that another thought.

Dan

Kurt
April 15th, 2007, 07:22 PM
Look at the EPIs - this are some of the nicest guitars I've played, including the Gibsons. You will need to change the PUPs, IMHO, but with the relatively low price, hopefully you could afford to.

chef0069
April 16th, 2007, 01:12 PM
I picked up a nice pumpkin colored AS50 back in jan for 230 bananas. But it has a bolt on neck, which brings the price down a bit. I love the guitar, put d'addario 11's on her, and she jams!!! Korea made, now they come from china, I believe.

hekawi
April 16th, 2007, 02:21 PM
i have one of these:
http://www.peavey.com/products/browse.cfm/action/drill/cat/261/JazzFusionSeries.cfm

super nice guitar, and i got a real bargain on it

Sarge
April 17th, 2007, 07:22 AM
I was hoping you'd mention the Epi Studio Dot....I got my eye on one.

Robsocal...You might want to check out the Karrea line...I had a 335 clone that was exceptional for the $200 gently used price..3D flame and chevroned on the sides, gold hardware and a very good tone.

Robsocal
April 17th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Armed with your collective suggestions, I went to GC and Sam Ash yesterday, in Hollywood, CA, to compare Ibanez and Washburn 335 clones. I tried a used Washburn HB35S and an Ibanez Artcore AS73. I played them through a Fender Deluxe (great amp!). Both guitars had a good sound and feel, but I'd give the edge in both categories to the Washburn. More importantly, the Washburn's Grover tuners kept it in tune pretty well. The Ibanez kept going out of tune, sometimes in a big way. I have heard some negative comments about the Artcore tuners. Also, aesthetically, the Washburn was nicely appointed.

On a humorous note, GC convinced me to try the Epi Dot. The model they gave me seeemd to be missing the input jack (there was a small, round, hole in the body). When I shook the guitar, I heard the jack rolling around in the body. I shot the guy a sarcastic look and handed it back to him, and said good bye. Nice work GC.

I think I am set on a Washburn. I still want to try the HB30 (more basic model), but the HB35 was a nice guitar for the money. What I re-learned was how much I really don't enjoy dealing with the sales force at GC.

Thanks for all of your help. I'm still really stuck on my Tele -- very simple in design, and it sounds so good. I am looking forward to the sweet and biting tones of a new 335'ish guitar to complement it though.

Jelly
April 17th, 2007, 02:39 PM
I used to own a Washburn solidbody - was a very well made quality instrument and reasonably priced. There wasn't anything I could complain about.

neocaster
April 17th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Thanks to this thread, I poked my head into a George's Music near my new office (I like George's. I bought my first Fender from them because I only wanted Sage Green Metallic and the big guys didn't want to try to get one for me. Not sure George's would have either, but thay had one on their shelf) I picked up an Ibanez Artcore AM73, it has an undersized body. It looked, sounded, and felt great. My next will either be this, or an Epi DOT, but only if I can find one in Arctic White.

mudshark
April 17th, 2007, 04:54 PM
I've probably said it a dozen times before on the TDPRI, but I'll say it again: Buy an Ibanez Artstar, not an Artcore or a Washburn. The Artstars from the late 90's were made in Korea, apparently by Samick, and they're excellent quality instruments. In my opinion, they're superior to the Artcores and the Washburn. The big plus with the Artstars is that they have the fabulous Super 58 pickups, which are the same pickups as used in the JSM100 John Scofield model. Believe me, you won't want to change these pickups.

I have a '95 AS-80, with the headstock that looks like the current JSM100. I like that headstock better than the larger one on the newer Artstars, but you might like the large one.

You could take a flyer on either one of these on eBay and not regret it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-AS-80-ARTSTAR-Semi-Hollowbody-1994-Maple-SWEET_W0QQitemZ270109554507QQihZ017QQcategoryZ3304 3QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem



http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-Artstar-AS-80-Electric-Guitar-Gibson-335-Copy_W0QQitemZ200099173544QQihZ010QQcategoryZ33043 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

The $599 Buy It Now price is ridiculous for the natural one. You should be able to buy either one for less than $400.

+1...the Artstars are great.

Robsocal
April 17th, 2007, 05:00 PM
Thanks to this thread, I poked my head into a George's Music near my new office (I like George's. I bought my first Fender from them because I only wanted Sage Green Metallic and the big guys didn't want to try to get one for me. Not sure George's would have either, but thay had one on their shelf) I picked up an Ibanez Artcore AM73, it has an undersized body. It looked, sounded, and felt great. My next will either be this, or an Epi DOT, but only if I can find one in Arctic White.

Hi Neocaster. I'm glad this thread inspired you. I liked the AM73, but the tuners seemed to be a bit of a problem. Does your AM73 stay in tune well? It could have been the strings on the one I tried.

Enjoy it. You sure saved a lot of $, and you have that 335 sound/feel.

JohnK24
April 17th, 2007, 10:06 PM
Here's a killer deal on a very nice Epi Dot 335 with "block inlays" (so much for the "Dot") and flame maple top.

My Vintage Sunburst gets delivered tomorrow, looking forward to this guitar !

http://images.music123.com/products/original/Epiphone/353099.jpg

$299 w/free shipping from music123.com

http://www.music123.com/Product/Product.aspx?sku=353099

neocaster
April 18th, 2007, 03:37 AM
Rob,
I didn't buy it (yet), just played it in the store. The tuners didn't feel super, but I played for 30 minutes and it held fast, with the factory strings. I'm not averse to swapping out the machines, though. If it pushes a $329 guitar up another $60, so be it. I don't know how long this thing had thefactory strings on it. They were about 1/2 dead, but properly strung and everything rang out right on down the neck. This was a nice surprise past the 12th, where the frets were almost bigger than the spaces between them. It was just fun.
http://images.misupply.com/products/original/Ibanez/AM73TBR.jpg

Robsocal
April 18th, 2007, 04:26 PM
Rob,
I didn't buy it (yet), just played it in the store. The tuners didn't feel super, but I played for 30 minutes and it held fast, with the factory strings. I'm not averse to swapping out the machines, though. If it pushes a $329 guitar up another $60, so be it. I don't know how long this thing had thefactory strings on it. They were about 1/2 dead, but properly strung and everything rang out right on down the neck. This was a nice surprise past the 12th, where the frets were almost bigger than the spaces between them. It was just fun.
http://images.misupply.com/products/original/Ibanez/AM73TBR.jpg

Hi Neocaster,

I don't think you'd be doing wrong by getting it, and switching out the tuners. They are nice looking, and it's a hell of a deal for the cash, especially compared to the Gibbys. I really think the Ibanezes and Washburns sound comparable, and maybe even a little hotter in a away. Rock on!

stoneyzoni
April 20th, 2007, 03:42 PM
I'm saving some $$ to buy this one from JR Beck $299 with a lisenced Bigsby. I bought one of their LP customs ($199)and it knocked my sox off. Great piece. Made in Korea supposedly beside the Epiphones.
http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n306/stoneyzoni/guitars/JR335.jpg

hekawi
April 20th, 2007, 04:01 PM
I'm saving some $$ to buy this one from JR Beck $299 with a lisenced Bigsby. I bought one of their LP customs ($199)and it knocked my sox off. Great piece. Made in Korea supposedly beside the Epiphones.
http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n306/stoneyzoni/guitars/JR335.jpg

looks nice. where can i get some more info on the jr beck guitars? tried a search but came up empty for a company web site.

spankdplank
April 20th, 2007, 04:22 PM
I have a 2 or 3 year old Michael Kelly Deuce Phoenix (Korean) that is fantastic. Flame maple, block inlays, grover tuners, gold hardware and a hardshell case, including shipping was $333 on Ebay. I thought I was going to want to change the pickups, but they sound great with a nice "bloom" to the notes and they are definitely a keeper. This may be hard to believe, but I like the guitar and the pickups better than my 1980 Japan made Ibanez ES-175 clone, which people now pay crazy money for. I would definitely put a Michael Kelly in the running.

stoneyzoni
April 20th, 2007, 04:43 PM
hekawi, Try this link for the JR Beck 335, down in the body there is a contact number. Ask for Lance Bledsoe, he's the owner/pres. (I think) They are setting up a web site called Gimmeaguiter.com but it's not up yet. This is the LP copy that I got. I hope the link comes up, it did for me.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&sspagename=ADME%3AL%3ARTQ%3AUS%3A1&viewitem=&item=120053848438

studio1087
April 20th, 2007, 05:45 PM
Look at this.....

http://www.music123.com/Epiphone-Dot-Super-Exclusive-Semi-Hollowbody-Electric-Guitar-i353100.music

They call it a big block Dot. It's a Dot with the full blocks on the fretboard like a 355 has. $300. It was limited run for music 123.

The blocks are very cool.

http://images.music123.com/products/full/Epiphone/353100.jpg

studio1087
April 20th, 2007, 07:06 PM
:rolleyes:

And I see now that someone posted the Muisc 123 big Dot just above my post........ Whoops.

I'll go away now...................

dB
April 20th, 2007, 09:24 PM
Well, since this thread is still goin' I'll chime in. I have a '91 HB35 with SD '59's that I'm very happy with. Good luck in your quest; there are many good choices in inexpensive guitars now.


dB

CharlieO
April 20th, 2007, 09:45 PM
You could take a flyer on either one of these on eBay and not regret it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-AS-80-ARTSTAR-Semi-Hollowbody-1994-Maple-SWEET_W0QQitemZ270109554507QQihZ017QQcategoryZ3304 3QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem



http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-Artstar-AS-80-Electric-Guitar-Gibson-335-Copy_W0QQitemZ200099173544QQihZ010QQcategoryZ33043 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

The $599 Buy It Now price is ridiculous for the natural one. You should be able to buy either one for less than $400.

It's interesting to see how these auctions turned out. The newer sunburst one sold for pretty close to Daddydex's $250 estimate ($264), while the older natural-finished one sold for significantly more than my estimate at $462. The older ones are definitely nicer, and the body shape is more like a 335, so maybe the price difference is justified.

Robsocal
April 21st, 2007, 09:25 PM
I went to GC in Sherman Oaks, CA this afternoon, and I spent about 2 hours with about 10 guitars. My guitar teacher, great guy he is, came with me and we tried out the options. They had no Washburns on hand, and they had only 1 Ibanez Artcore AS73. So, we tried several Epiphone Dots, I fell in love, and I just came home with a cherry red beauty.

My teacher has, and has had, many 335 style guitars, inlcuding a Gibson. We both agreed that the Dot sounded and felt way better than the other ones we tried, including a Gibson Les Paul 1960. It's got a round, full, warm sound, yet it can growl and snarl like a LP. The fit and finish on it is beautiful too. It ended costing me $358, and they threw in an Epiphone Elitist hardhell case for $103. So, out the door for $500 even. I feel like I got a pretty good deal.

Thanks again to all of you for your help.

Dr Fene
April 24th, 2007, 05:17 AM
Check out the Schecter Corsair...lurvly!!

CharlieO
April 24th, 2007, 01:47 PM
So, we tried several Epiphone Dots, I fell in love, and I just came home with a cherry red beauty. .. I feel like I got a pretty good deal.

If you're happy, we're happy. The current Epi Dots seem pretty hard to beat for the money. Enjoy it.

hekawi
April 24th, 2007, 03:02 PM
excellent! enjoy that guitar. post pics!!!

how'd they get you an Elitist hardshell case? i thought those were only available when you bought an Elitist guitar (part of the package)....and otherwise you could only get "regular" epiphone hardshell cases by themselves. how is the Elitist case different?

Robsocal
April 24th, 2007, 06:15 PM
excellent! enjoy that guitar. post pics!!!

how'd they get you an Elitist hardshell case? i thought those were only available when you bought an Elitist guitar (part of the package)....and otherwise you could only get "regular" epiphone hardshell cases by themselves. how is the Elitist case different?

I got an Elitist harshell case solely because they had an extra one laying around that did not have a box. They brought me a "generic" 335 case, and the Elitist case to try. The Elitist case fit the dot like a glove (and it has cool purple interior), and my guitar did not fit the generic case very well. The guy who came with me that day was a longtime customer of the salesperson when he was wth another store a long time ago. He wanted to make the sale, and I told them that if they gave me a great price on the Elitist case, and gave me a deal on the guitar, that I would leave with both. So they did, and I did.

I was happily suprised. I got our of there with a great guitar and an Elitist case for a great price.

I was just working on the lead on Santana's Europa just now. I tried it in the past with my Tele, but the semi-hollow epi dot really nails the sweetness and sustain needed for that number. I love my Tele, but this guitar defintiely opens my possibilities up. Great to have both.