Gibson ES 335 Neck Profile Advice

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Vanzant, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey folks, I’m wondering about the different neck profiles associated with the ES335. Looking around the web I see that the 59 reissues have a larger neck than the 63s. For example, the 59 I am looking at has a neck profile of .90 at the first fret and 1.03 at the 12th fret, and the later 60s style reissues have a neck profile of .87 and .94. There are some variations in these two classes where some 59s also have a profile of .91 and 1.03 and with the 60s style .85 and .97... However, looking at the ES335 Satin it just says Rounded C. I really do prefer the look of the glossy finish, so I’m not sure I’m too interested in the satin, but the rounded C seems more like what I’m used to playing being a fender player (never owned a Gibson which is why I’m searching). Unfortunately I’m unable to play one of these in person to try, so I wanted to see what others say about these profiles and their overall comfort. I understand that Gibson had a fatter neck in the late 50s and moved to a slimmer neck in the 60s. I definitely don’t want a real slim neck, but then again not too sure about a big fat neck either....anyhow, suggestions?
     
  2. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    The 60s slim 335 neck is still not that slim. One of the reasons I almost gave up on buying a 335 is that almost every one had the big D shape, wide and flat on the back. There are a few variations but it was really hard to find the slim neck and I played about 30 different models. Actually about the same time I gave up I had driven up to Norm's Rare Guitars here in LA. They had a wide variety of vintage and reissue players models to compare. The one I fell in love with and purchased is a 61RI Custom Shop. The neck is slim for a 335 but still slightly larger than my Fender tele and strat. It's actually not far in size from a Les Paul 58 chunky neck width wise but just a bit thinner front to back.

    So don't think the slim neck 335s are skinny per se. They are just the slimmest of the 335 models and to me, the most desirable.
     
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  3. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Curious where a standard fender c neck would fall in with these profile measurements....
     
  4. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Generally the year specific reissues follow the vintage spec for that year. So, a '58 is huge, a '59 big, '60-'62 slim, '63-'64 medium. Most of the reissues have been within that window but there was a '68 reissue recently which was both narrow (1 9/16" nut width) and fairly slim at the nut. The vintage guitars tend on the whole to be chunky at the body end of the neck whatever the neck is like at the nut, the reissues a little less so.

    A '61 will be as slim front to back as they get. If you want a nice medium then one of the '63 or '64 reissues might be worth checking out, as they're not as big as the 50s style but chunkier than the '61.

    I think they overegg the big 50s thing a bit - I have an actual '58, sadly a 225 rather than a 335, but it's nowhere near as big as the '58 reissue. There seemed to be a big bias towards huge necks a decade or so where everyone was thinking bigger is better, and things have swung back a bit since then. Personally I think that mid 60s profile is perfect.
     
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  5. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If you’re used to a Strat then I’d think the difference between 1-5/8” on it and the 1-11/16” on the 335 would be the bigger change. Also the radius and unbound vs bound and Strats are wider at the 12th fret, longer scale, etc.

    The depth differences just don’t seem like the gating issue.
     
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  6. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    It's funny, I find myself the opposite! I have a '65 ES330 that's 1 11/16" nut and a '65 ES355 that's 1 5/8ths, every other neck dimension being identical, and I really struggle to tell those two necks apart - they just feel so similar. But I also have a '66 335 that's 1 5/8" but just fractionally shallower at the nut then the 355, and I notice that every time I switch from one to the other.

    I'm quite lucky that adjusting to different neck profiles doesn't really bother me anyway but it's interesting how different people feel different things on a neck.
     
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  7. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    My strat has a nut width of 1 11/16, and it is perfect for me...
     
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  8. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Revisiting the specs of my musikraft strat neck, it is a medium c .83 and .92
     
  9. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    My .02

    Buying a ES335 without handling first is one of guitar gear world great gambles.

    I’ve owned several and I only had one that stuck around more than a couple years.

    I also had a ES347 that was great for a bit of time.

    I don’t own any now but my last one (2001 Nashville built ES335 Ebony) was the best one. Stayed in tune with a 16 vs a 17 g string, the 57 Classics were awesome and had a great medium C neck. A blues jam friend nagged me relentlessly until I handed it over.

    In other words I guess I’m saying make sure you can return it.
    :)

    Ps also consider a Heritage H535. Hand made at 225 Parsons St. I believe you can control the neck profile a bit while the guitar is being built.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve given up on Gibson electrics because of their necks. I haven’t been able to find a single guitar from them that i find comfortable. I sold a beautiful R8 because I never felt comfortable playing it. I’ve tried a range of ES and SG models to no avail.

    I will eventually check out a Collings to see if they have a neck suitable for me.
     
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  11. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Meister

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    I still have my beloved LH ES-335TD 39 years later...

    [​IMG]

    I must say that it is a rather thin C-profile one, with a 43mm nut width. Very similar to the Gretsch guitars of today (Electromatic or Proline standard models) :

    Neck thickness at the 1st fret = 20.5mm
    Neck thickness at the 12th fret = 24.9mm
    Scale = 627mm (24"3/4)

    Hope this helps... ;)

    -tbln
     
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  12. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Gorgeous! Love the poker chips on the two switches!

    Everyone likes to rag on those late Norlin era guitars but I have several McCarty era ES models now and my favourite of my all Gibsons is still my old '79. They can be amazing guitars.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Trying to determine whether you will like a neck based on average or even specific specs is not very reliable.

    Buy on a good return policy. Bigger retailers will agree to give you a
    return label at their very discounted rates. Being out $50 to try a $2-3k+ guitar isn’t so bad.
     
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  14. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, I wouldn’t purchase a guitar without the option of returning it. I have purchased guitars sight unseen and have been lucky that I have never had to return any...it’s tough when you live In a location where you can’t try first...it would require traveling to a shop that probably won’t have anything close to what I’m after.
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  16. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve got one of the dot reissues from the mid 90s. It has a 60s medium profile. I’ve never wanted a different one.
     
  17. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Slim taper I think it is called.
     
  18. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Meister

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    20190409_174954.jpg
    I've had a few and my favourite has always been the 64 neck profile. It 3rd from the left in the picture (sorry this is the only pic of it on my phone so it's with its brothers Trini, 355, and 330).

    It's 0.84" at the first fret and 0.95" at the 12th. Perfect compromise between the extremes of the typical baseball bat early 59s and blade-neck 61s.

    If you can find a 335 with a neck in this ballpark it should be a great player.
     
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