About the ES-335 . . . .

Ronzo

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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?
I think so. I bought an Epiphone Antique Korina Flying V Special Run from AMS during the pandemic. Waited 10 weeks for it. It was perfect out of the box - set up just to my taste, pickups sound great, cosmetically unblemished. Big improvement over my Dot’s initial quality:
11ACF3A6-D91F-4B0F-8862-E37DE28D0519.jpeg
 

Telekarster

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I think so. I bought an Epiphone Antique Korina Flying V Special Run from AMS during the pandemic. Waited 10 weeks for it. It was perfect out of the box - set up just to my taste, pickups sound great, cosmetically unblemished. Big improvement over my Dot’s initial quality:

Love it! Man that thing looks like it's really well put together! They even got the brass V right! Perfect!
 

ChicknPickn

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I think so. I bought an Epiphone Antique Korina Flying V Special Run from AMS during the pandemic. Waited 10 weeks for it. It was perfect out of the box - set up just to my taste, pickups sound great, cosmetically unblemished. Big improvement over my Dot’s initial quality:
View attachment 917832

Dang. I’ve long fancied those natural finish V’s as well.
 

Mr Swisher

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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?

You still take a chance, as with a lot of brands. I'd been digging an "Inspired by" 335, ordered online, and when it arrived the fingerboard was a disgrace. Multiple frets lifting, many others in need of a level. I sent it back and the shops luthier said he couldn't save it.

I do know of people who've picked up good ones, and I was gutted I lucked out.

It'll be interesting to see how the overall quailty of Epiphones and the like fairs - if demand at that price point remains high - post-pandemic hoopla.
 

brashboy

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Unfortunately for you Gibson raised the price of the 335 a fairly substantial $300 in October. I don't know much about the Epiphone versions but every time I see those pictures of cargo ships sitting in the sea I think that there probably are supply issues with those these days.
Nah, no seeming shortage of Epi guitars. Gibson can raise the price of its guitars all it wants, not gonna affect me, ever.
 

ChicknPickn

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You still take a chance, as with a lot of brands. I'd been digging an "Inspired by" 335, ordered online, and when it arrived the fingerboard was a disgrace. Multiple frets lifting, many others in need of a level. I sent it back and the shops luthier said he couldn't save it.

I do know of people who've picked up good ones, and I was gutted I lucked out.

It'll be interesting to see how the overall quailty of Epiphones and the like fairs - if demand at that price point remains high - post-pandemic hoopla.

The $500 to $1000 US budget range offers so much it’s silly. And creates terrible GAS.
 

thejackofhearts

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If you have a local GC available, be sure to check out some Ibanez and Epiphone equivalents. Also most GC's are now featuring the recent Lary Carlton H7 that is built by Sire.
During my last visit there I played one for about an hour (or until the 4th sales guy came over and asked if I needed something. Lol) and I was really impressed with the feel, the build and the sound played through a fender Princeton '68 reissue.
Those Larry Carlton Sire ES guitars are no joke. The build is solid and the sound is pretty good. Much, MUCH better than the Epiphone or Ibanez 335 styled guitars.
 

thejackofhearts

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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.
I suppose the thing is that if you ever look to sell that off, you'll never get back, what you put in. And to me its not worth it. I've been down that road once and never again. Now if you're learning how to repair stuff then that's a different story. But I still wouldn't "upgrade" a sub 500.00 guitar.
 

howardlo

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I suppose the thing is that if you ever look to sell that off, you'll never get back, what you put in. And to me its not worth it. I've been down that road once and never again. Now if you're learning how to repair stuff then that's a different story. But I still wouldn't "upgrade" a sub 500.00 guitar.

Actually works out great for those of us that buy guitars to play and keep instead of to sell. Been playing since 1957 and have sold exactly two guitars both over 50 years ago.

On the other hand I have given away 10 guitars and three amps in the past month, all but two to two of my sons and a grandson. One went to a teenage boy who lost his father a couple years ago and who has some serious health problems of his own and wanted to learn to play.
 

ArdeliasTele

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The Beatles and many others have shown what a Casino can do.
Oh, I'm aware.

It's just that in my head, a Casino (or any full hollow) had a very narrow niche. I'm always surprised by the range of tones I can get out of it, and especially how much gain it'll take.
 

Dik Ellis

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The only semi hollow guitar I have ever owned was a Ric 360. But I have always felt you could bend notes easier on a Gibson. Not a knock on Fenders, as they make up the majority of my collection. You certainly should go out and try some 335's. The wait is over.
 

ArdeliasTele

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Actually works out great for those of us that buy guitars to play and keep instead of to sell. Been playing since 1957 and have sold exactly two guitars both over 50 years ago.

This. They're instruments to be played, used, and loved, not investments.

If people are into the whole resale thing, cool, but I've never once caught myself wondering how much I might be able to sell a guitar for in 10 years. I buy them based on how they fit...how they sound, feel, and look, based on what I can afford to pay at the time I'm looking.

If that leaves me with a $500 guitar that fits, but that I'd never be able to sell for more than peanuts, or a $1500 guitar that also fits that I could probably resell for the whole $1500....I'm buying the $500 guitar. Because I'll probably never sell either, and I can do a lot with an extra grand.
 

Ronzo

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This. They're instruments to be played, used, and loved, not investments.

If people are into the whole resale thing, cool, but I've never once caught myself wondering how much I might be able to sell a guitar for in 10 years. I buy them based on how they fit...how they sound, feel, and look, based on what I can afford to pay at the time I'm looking.

If that leaves me with a $500 guitar that fits, but that I'd never be able to sell for more than peanuts, or a $1500 guitar that also fits that I could probably resell for the whole $1500....I'm buying the $500 guitar. Because I'll probably never sell either, and I can do a lot with an extra grand.
Exactly.

IME, most of the upcharge for many higher-priced electric guitars is due to the handwork at the final assembly and finishing stages. I trust myself to understand the geometry of a good setup, and I have soldered and replaced defective or under-spec components for most of my life from adolescence. I draw the line at most fretwork, except for remediating fret sprout and rolling fretboard edges. There are a few instances where I would be in over my head, but I have trusted techs to perform that work and will do so to make the instrument what I want it to be.

My son-in-law bought his dream guitar this year: a USA PRS Custom 24. I just had an opportunity to play it last week. The fretwork is impeccable, as is the finish work. For what he paid, it should be.

But I got to play Johnny Guitarseed to my 15 year old granddaughter by giving her an inexpensive Rogue electric. I also set it up for her, with her watching and listening as I explained what I did. Her Dad and I split the cost of a Fender Champion 20 as her first amp. He has a Katana 50. He was amazed at how decent it sounds, and and how easily it plays. She’s first chair violist in her All-County High School orchestra. She plays acoustic guitar and ukulele as well. It was time.
 




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