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Old April 14th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Seeking ES335 Clone - Washburn or Ibanez?

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!

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Old April 14th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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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:

Washburn HB35S
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Old April 14th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
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:

Washburn HB35S
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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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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)
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Old April 14th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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.

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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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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-ART...QQcmdZViewItem



http://cgi.ebay.com/Ibanez-Artstar-A...QQcmdZViewItem

The $599 Buy It Now price is ridiculous for the natural one. You should be able to buy either one for less than $400.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddydex View Post
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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Epiphone Dot/Dot Studio. I love mine!

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Old April 14th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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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).
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Old April 15th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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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.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 05:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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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.
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