About the ES-335 . . . .

archetype

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My 1970, deserving of a refret and a change back to Gibson Deluxe tuners. It has the so-called narrow nut and I have no problem switching back and forth between my wider necks and this one. The Gibson T-Top pickups, in this one, go from sweet to growly with picking dynamics.

 
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Ronzo

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I love my Teles. I love my Strats. I like my LP copy, especially since I rewired it to ‘59 Burst period specs. I really like my Epi Dot 335, and I like my Chinese S101 335 copy that I equipped with a Bigsby B7 and a roller bridge.

If you have the means, 335 types are a great addition to the stable.
 
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Ronzo

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Man, looking at the prices on the Gibsons . . . . Yikes. Can they be so much better than an Epi?
Not to me.

I have not the means to buy the Gibson models. I bought my Epi Dot when money was tight. A masterful setup by Mitch Kopt of Full Circle Music in Fort Lauderdale turned it from good to excellent. I do my own setups, but Mitch’s fretwork was pure magic.

Today’s Epiphone line has improved to the point where the point of diminishing returns puts Gibson’s version out of reach. JMO. Try them for yourself.
 
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MoHump

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I own an AO 50s tele and a Gibson es-335 satin. They’re my only two electrics and the only ones I think I need- you can cover almost everything with those two. I’m keeping both of them until I can’t play anymore- I love them both that much.

- no, it’s not a shock going from one to the other. The body of the 335 can be weird when sitting, but not enough to be bothersome.

- the shorter scale of the Gibson is nice to me. It’s not awkward at all to go from one to the other, but it’s noticeable.

- don’t expect the 335 to sound or feel like a full hollowbody. To me, it’s basically a les Paul with some additional chirp and overtones- but enough chirp and overtones to get some very convincing jazz tones out of it. Crank the gain and the Paul snarl is there- it can rock too. The 335 is extremely versatile.

- I think the two guitars are outstanding complements to each other- the differences overlap really well. The tele has clangy single coil sounds, while the 335 has PAF sweetness and aggression.

- I hear the current epiphone 335s are outstanding guitars for relatively low cost. Not a lot of risk if you want to put up $450 to try one out and see if it’s for you.

good luck! You’re going to love them.
Been down that road before. Bought an Epi Sheraton that wasn't to badly used. Guess I wasn't ready for that kind of sound yet. Ten years later I needed a jazz style guitar and drove almost 200 miles to the closest store that carried them. My intent was to buy a Gibson 335. Well, Karma? stuck its foot in that process. I saw the one that looked right, and played around with it. Couldn't get it in tune no matter how I tried; turned me off. Looked around the corner at a couple other Gibson and saw this ES-339. Gorgeous looking thing in evening sunburst just like its big brother that hated me. Same pickups and electronics, But what a nice playing and sounding guirtar. Turns out that the 339 is slightly smaller than the 335 and works better for those that switch between a Fender and a Gibson. You should look at those as well, they may prove a better fit for what you're looking for. No, I sold it recently to friend that fell in love with it the first time he saw it. What do I have now? An ES-275 Memphis Deluxe in the same color.
 

Whitebeard

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I’ve always thought they were beautiful things. I tend to think of BB and Lucille whenever those numbers, 3-3-5, come up. And I’ve never held one.

I think that I want one. It has been on my mind for probably 20, maybe even 30 years. Of course, I need to go play one, I know. I’m almost afraid to, wondering whether it will feel strange or disappointing to this long-time Fender guy.

I know some Tele men here have, or have had, a 335. What do you think of them? Is it a shock to go from the Tele to the 335? Should I just let the dream be a dream?

They're great guitars though I have a difficult time with laminated guitar bodies. It's what I've always disliked about Gretsch hollow bodies too. To me laminated is just a nice way to say plywood. That said, those laminated Gibson & Gretsch guitars have been played by great guitarists and produced great sound for close to 75 years.
 

wavytech

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First pro guitar after my plywood pawncaster was a used 72 Gibson ES335 dot going for what seemed like a pittance in the local music store. I really wanted an LP but could only afford the 335 for $175. Was later told it was bought new for someone's son who never learned guitar. Played it in a supper club up on the hill and loved the controlled feedback through the burstbuckers at stage volume. Later I would marvel at the guitar players in a school band playing LPs only to be told that they admired the Gibson growl I was getting through the 335 (think beano Clapton).

Fast forward to today and I have bought and sold the LP (never bonded) but picked up a Gibson Memphis 335 that is everything my first 335 was but better built.
 

Telekarster

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but I do have that icky poly finish and canoe paddle headstock.:rolleyes::lol:

This was the very thing that pushed me over the edge to build my own. I wanted to control those aspects and go 59 vintage as much as I could. I really, really considered those Epi's and Firefly's but, in the end, I just couldn't get over these points. I wanted my 335 to be what I wanted it to be, but yeah... the pre-made's are good guitars from what I've read about em and if the OP doesn't care about these points, I don't think he could go wrong with em... especially at their price points IMO.
 

Telekarster

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Well heck... since everyone else is sharing pics of their 335's out here on this thread, I guess I'll post a pic of the one I just built here too ;) I'm very proud of her, and man does she SING!
IMG_1458.JPG
 

Happy Enchilada

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If you're handy with tools and can solder, you can save yourself a TON of $$$ with a Firefly. I have had one for a few years now, and it's great. Swapped out pots, switch, jack, pickups, and tuners, and now it sounds and plays amazing.

Out of the box, it cost $138 delivered and the fit and finish of the wood parts - including fretwork - was outstanding. Replacing the electronics was a good move. I put the Seymour Duncan "Vintage Blues" set in (most expensive upgrade), and it sings and roars, etc.

So with the guitar, parts, and a Crossrock HSC, I have around $500 invested. But Fireflies come and go on Amazon, so you need to check daily. I'm guessing there's a container full of 'em sitting on a boat in Long Beach harbor. They make a 338 style (what I have) which is actually more comfortable to play and sounds just like the one with the larger Mickey Mouse ears.

Other posters have recommended the Grote 335 copy, which is similarly priced and more available.
 

Tich

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I’ve always thought they were beautiful things. I tend to think of BB and Lucille whenever those numbers, 3-3-5, come up. And I’ve never held one.

I think that I want one. It has been on my mind for probably 20, maybe even 30 years. Of course, I need to go play one, I know. I’m almost afraid to, wondering whether it will feel strange or disappointing to this long-time Fender guy.

I know some Tele men here have, or have had, a 335. What do you think of them? Is it a shock to go from the Tele to the 335? Should I just let the dream be a dream?

I played Fenders for years, Teles and Strats, most of which I modified. I felt like I was hitting a wall in terms of my playing, and I found a used 1961 335 for $350. Mind you, this was 1970. My playing almost immediately went to another level. Forget what people say about them being too big - I am 5'6" on a good day, and weighed 128lbs back then. When I quit playing professional in around 1985 I sold it for $1250. Such a deal. it would be worth about $25,000 now.
 

brashboy

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- I hear the current epiphone 335s are outstanding guitars for relatively low cost. Not a lot of risk if you want to put up $450 to try one out and see if it’s for you.

good luck! You’re going to love them.
If you're talking about the new "Inspired by Gibson" Epi 335s, I agree totally. The ones I've played are noticeably better than the Epi 335 Pro and a huge step up from the regular Epi 335 Dot (which is not a bad guitar), in tone and build quality. I think playability is better, too, but all three play very well.

I have a Wolf 355-clone and a Squier CV mahogany tele, which cover just about any base imaginable. I also have a Zemaitis pearl (the cheaper one) that covers LP bases, but don't play it much.
 

ChicknPickn

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Not to me.

I have not the means to buy the Gibson models. I bought my Epi Dot when money was tight. A masterful setup by Mitch Kopt of Full Circle Music in Fort Lauderdale turned it from good to excellent. I do my own setups, but Mitch’s fretwork was pure magic.

Today’s Epiphone line has improved to the point where the point of diminishing returns puts Gibson’s version out of reach. JMO. Try them for yourself.

I’ve come to believe that Epiphone is one of those “too good to last” values. Their quality keeps getting better while the prices remain reasonable. Competition, maybe?
 

jayyj

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I only bought this ES-355TD-SV because it was a super deal...the deal of the century. I found it at a garage sale ( yard sale) It belonged to a Chinese fellow from Hong Kong. It's a 1980 version. The pickguard disintegrated and the finish under that area is checked and cracked. All the metal parts show some corrosion. I have only used it a few times live. I had it adjusted etc by my luthier. It plays great and has a great sound for blues. I will add a pickguard soon. I hate the look of a guitar without a pickguard. It came with the Gibson case. View attachment 917694

I love these last few 355s - they're really cool and unique guitars and I'm convinced the maple neck on these instruments contributes to a slightly different tone to the mahogany version. I have two 355s, a '79 and a '65, and I love them both. My '79 has a replaced pickguard, which I made myself (I love making bound pickguards), and note the weird no baritone and jacks on the rim layout which was unique to a batch in '79. It had a TP6 when I got it, but in 1995 it was a cheap used guitar so I slapped the Bigsby on there.



No surprise the one on the right had to go - no Bigsby:lol:

Yeah, you got me! I tried, with the Duesenberg thing, but it wasn't the same...
 

brashboy

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Yes, go out and try several. I've played a few that were just "ok".

My wife convinced me to buy one after thinking about it for 20 years and the one that I found was absolutely worth it.
I have a great one, too. Now I'm thinking to order an EART E355 and put real filtertrons in it.
 




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