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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

My Epi 339 Pro sounded great until...

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Rob J, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Rob J

    Rob J Tele-Meister

    Feb 14, 2007
    Nor California
    After getting an Epiphone 339 Pro I thought this guitar sounded GREAT! And it does, relatively speaking, but - now I have added an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro and it sounds so much better. After playing the Les Paul for awhile, the 339 sounds really dark. Does anyone else own both or have played both? Do 339s sound darker due to the semi hollow body style or is it just my ears? I've had Gibson 335s in the past and they always sounded dark to me too.

    Up until now I was convinced that my 339 was a guitar that would need no mods but now I'm wondering if different pickups might make it a bit brighter or maybe it just needs some pickup height adjustments? Thoughts? I want to love both of these guitars.
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Have you tried carefully setting pup height? Not sure what the pickups are but I presume both models have similar. The 339 is going to sustain possibly a little less - but it should be somewhat livlier. It may also tend to sound less bright as it's laminate top/bottom) sides whereas the LP is maple cap on mahogany. I had to play quite a few 335s before I found one with aliveness.

    You may definitely need different eqs on your amp. Could also be the schematic - I preferred Nashville wiring and treble bleeds on my 335.
    Matthias and Crawldaddy like this.
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    Embrace the dark, Luke.

    Seriously though, if you don't play a particular guitar for a while it may sound funny when you pick it up again. I've got like 10 guitars now and it happens all the time to me. One thing I've found is that humbuckers will sound like mud to me when I've been playing single coils for a while.

    As far as the differences, there are a lot between a semi-hollow and a solid body. Construction is very different, and that will affect tone. I had a Sheraton for a while and it had a whole different thing going on.
    JayFreddy likes this.
  4. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2010
    The Epi 339 Pro has Alnico Classic PROs. The Epi LP Pro has Probucker 2/3's.
    SolidSteak, teleaddicted and DougM like this.
  5. cabra velha

    cabra velha Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2016
    estados unidos
    I gutted and rewired my Epi 339 first chance I got, so I've never been able to do a fair comparison. PU height on both of these (339 and LP) is a huge tonal factor though. With the right set up 339s sing.
  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Dark as in darker than your single coil strat and tele? Well, yeah, but isn't that the point? Once you have the basic sound though and proper pup height, using your tone knobs, volume knobs and amp EQ will make dramatic differences. I have always used an EQ pedal with my semi-hollow Sheraton II, so that might be a consideration.
  7. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    The Classic Pro pickups are warmer and darker than the Probuckers, which are hotter and brighter. It's like the difference between Gibson Burstbucker 1/2s and Burstbucker Pros.
    teleaddicted likes this.
  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Having had a lead player in a band with a 61 Casino with mini h/bs I think that modern Epiphones are not the best ( to put it mildly).
    I'd rather go without a lot for a Gibson ES330- TD. Looks like a casino, should have chrome covered P-90s and a Casino tailpiece. More importantly it is a hollow tenon neck joint guitar, no through block of maple or whatever, maybe it's that block that makes them sound "dark."
  9. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Meister

    Dec 12, 2006
    Pickup height as well as pole piece height contribute to overall tonality. For darker guitars, I try to lower the pickup as a whole, and then raise each individual pole piece, but not too much. Maybe such that the polepiece on either E string pokes up above the pickup cover by 1mm, and then set the rest to match the fretboard radius.
    KyAnne and Matthias like this.
  10. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Interesting discussion. I have an old ES-335, was able to play this side by side with a really fine MIJ les paul type - with p/us as good in their own way as the ones in the old 335. For me, it's the reverse. The les paul is a stretch, out of my comfort zone. Much as I appreciated that MIJ Les Paul, I wasn't hearing the depth, the tonal "aliveness" I'm used to from the 335. It's a learning curve. Pros and cons to each type. The Les Paul has this dense kind of punch, with a crisp edge. It's hugely popular for very good reason. I go for darker, airier sounds, so no surprise the 335 won out. It's more your taste and performing requirements/context than anything else. There is no one right choice.
    darkwaters and Obsessed like this.
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    First you said it was great, now you don't like it because it doesn't sound like the LP. It's not supposed to sound the same. Embrace the difference. No point in having different guitars if your going to start making all your guitars sound the same as possible.

    If you liked it before, it doesn't need to be fixed unless something went wrong.
    darkwaters and Lucky Day like this.
  12. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2014
    Vancouver, WA
    Different guitars sound DIFFERENT. Not better or worse, objectively. What you've learned is that subjectively you prefer the sound of the LP.
    darkwaters likes this.
  13. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    If you want the 339 to sound more like the LP put the same pickups in the 339 as you have in the LP. If that's what you like, run with it.
  14. blackspider57

    blackspider57 Tele-Meister

    Mar 10, 2017
    Great Falls Montana
    Get the 339 P90 pro for a beautiful tone....
    Pointmonger likes this.
  15. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Use the tone controls on your amp. That's what they're there for.
  16. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Personally, I am not a big LP fan, a bandmate had a LP Trad that was nice, but I'd never trade my 335 1959 Dot for it. The Dot did sound very different, still humbuckery but had a great crunch tone like the guy from Ten Years After on Woodstock. It had far more character then the LP. And it was alive! I could feel it resonate with drums, bass.
  17. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Meister

    Feb 11, 2013
    FWIW, I usually have one pup or the other in single coil mode on my Epi 339, usually the neck, switch in the middle, blend, blend, blend. Roll the bridge up for lead, down for rhythm (or whichever), and don't really have any problem getting what I need. I have a pile of inexpensive guitars and no two sound the same. This is the way I like it. YMMV.
    As I don't know what's under the hood, I pose this suggestion as a question: can the covers be effectively removed on this model? I have not tried this, but perhaps someone else has. The usual result is a brighter, hotter guitar. Might be just what you need.
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