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Good high end ES-335 alternative

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Telephonist, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Telephonist

    Telephonist Tele-Meister

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    Hi you all,

    do you guys know an alternative that´s as good or even better than an ES-335. The price should be around 2000 - 2500 bucks. And it should have a rather thick neck (Gibson 50ies rounded profile or something similar, 52 Tele U-shape is also great). It can be used/discontinued, too. Maybe you know a small brand, I´ve never thought of...

    Thanks!
    Daniel ;-)
     
  2. dconeill

    dconeill Tele-Afflicted

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    Short answer is no.

    Longer answer is that a current standard ES-335 retails for around $3000, so your phrase "high end" rather conflicts with your price target. To me, at least, "high end" means the best of the best (and usually more money), not less money than the standard type.

    That said, a non-comprehensive list of ES-335-type guitar manufacturers without regard for price would include:
    Ibanez (Scofield model, some ArtCore Customs), Heritage, Hofner (Ultra-thin?), Eastman, Epiphone, Collings ($6k), Hagstrom, Sadowsky (single-cutaway but internally about the same), Carvin. There are also many custom luthiers that make guitars like this (Sheryl Bailey's guitar, Jake "The Jazz Guy" from Guitar Player, and so on), but not at your price point.

    Heritage and Eastman might be in your price range, and there's also the used market.

    There's a capable fellow named Jack Zucker who has a webpage on which he reviews a number of semihollows. See http://www.sheetsofsound.net/semihollow.htm
     
  3. Telephonist

    Telephonist Tele-Meister

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    @dconeill: I wasn´t too sure how much they cost in USA, but here they are around 2000-2500 euros and I thought, they are about the same in USA in dollars. My fault... So then lets say, up to 3000 dollars is ok for me.

    With "high end" I meant, that it should be in the same league as a Gibson and not a 250 dollar Korean guitar or stuff like that.

    Thanks for your reply and the link!
     
  4. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Heritage. Made in the original Gibson plant and for a long time by original Gibson employees (there are probably a few still lurking). Very cool company. I owned one but never got to play it (I bought it in the US but had to sell it before I could get it to the UK for financial reasons). It was a "Prospect" which is I guess kinda like a 339....small body semi-hollow with tone that is sorta half way between a Les Paul and a 335. Cost me $1,250 (bought it used, of course)

    http://www.heritageguitar.com/indexb.html
     
  5. mr newhaven

    mr newhaven Tele-Afflicted

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    get yourself a used gibson es-335...its awesome!!
    if not...get a vintage epiphone casino for the same range...its not a semi-hollow but its awesome!

    heritage makes great guitars...and in the old gibson factory so i cant imagine them being too bad but i have no experience with them...

    look for something vintage and funky if youre not looking at an ES-335...

    here is my opinion on something that deserves some consideration...

    1950 Orpheum:
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/orpheum-semi-hollow-franze-pickup-1950-sunbur

    at this price you can get 2 guitars...or this and an acoustic...or this and an amp...
    PRS SEMI HOLLOW
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/paul-reed-smith-se-custom-semi-hollow-tobacco

    here is a 1968 guild...very cool!
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/guild-starfire-iv-1968-cherry-lacquer-re

    $350!! cmon you cant beat this!
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/harmony-rocket-1965-sunburst

    here is a dot...just a year old...
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/gibson-es-335-dot-2009

    these VOX guitars are cool as Hell in my opinion...
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/vox-virage-dc-2008

    heres another guild...very cool!
    http://www.gbase.com//gear/guild-and-reg-sf-4-sb-starfire-iv-1981

    thats about all i got!
    in terms of suggestions...think outside the box if you dont want a straight up ES-335!
     
  6. straightface

    straightface Friend of Leo's

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    Edwards makes a good 335 copy for under $1500 (US), depending on exchange rates.
     
  7. Singin' Dave

    Singin' Dave Friend of Leo's

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    Another vote for Guild Starfire IVs and Heritage H535s
     
  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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  9. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    Yamaha SA2200. IMHO, it's a better guitar than an ES-335, at half the cost. Semi-hollow, two humbuckers, individual tone and volume controls, plus coil-tapping on each pickup, so you get 8 possible PU settings. MIJ, absolutely perfect fit and finish, and a beautiful guitar. $1500 new.

    When I was looking for a semi-hollow a few years ago I tried a lot of guitars. The bang-for-the-buck on this one was by far the best. It wound up being my #1 for 3 years in a classic rock band.

    You probably won't be able to find one in a store. You'll have to order it from an online dealer (I got mine from Music123). And the neck might not be as thick as you like, which you won't know until you try it.

    Alles Gute!
     
  10. fretbuzzard

    fretbuzzard Former Member

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    This is the first I've heard of this model--looks pretty nice! I'm with the OP in looking at alternatives to the 335. Has anyone had a chance to play a Hofner verythin? I've seen some videos on youtube, but have not been able to get my hands on one to try it out in person. Seems to be aimed more at the jazz market, which is cool, but I'm interested in versatility as well...
     
  11. dkbemb10

    dkbemb10 Tele-Meister

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    LISTEN TO ME VERY CAREFULLY! I bought a Gibson ES-333 for $1,200. It has the exact same body as a 335, the only differences are the pickups, no gloss finish and no pick guard. But like I said I got it for half the price of a ES335 and all I did was swap the 490R and 498T pickups that were in the ES-333 for the standard '57 Classic humbuckers that are in the ES-335 and I added a pickguard. I have played mine side by side with a 335 at the local guitar center and it is so close to the 335 that I can't even explain any differences now cause I can't hear any.

    And adding the two '57 humbuckers and a pickguard, it cost a total of $200. So essentially, I got the closest you can get to getting a 335 without getting a 335 and it only cost me $1400.

    Oh one other great thing about the ES-333 is that unlike the 335, the 333 actually has an access plate on the back of the guitar incase and maintenance needs to be done (i.e. changing pickups) which trying to do in a 335 is very tidious, time consuming, and expensive for the hours it takes, if not next to impossible because everything has to be threaded through the "F" holes found on the front of the guitar which isn't easy at all to do.

    Give it a try... It's the best thing I ever did. Getting the 333 instead of the 335 left me with a thousand dollars left over to purchase a Fender Bassman reissue which sounds great.

    Good Luck
     
  12. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    This guitar is just too sweet for words and cost about half that of a Gibson.

    Heritage my friend!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MikeS29

    MikeS29 Tele-Meister

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    +1 on the Heritage 535
     
  14. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Absolutely Heritage. I'll try to post pics of my H555 tonight. Of course I'm biased. Ren Wall is a friend. But you cannot ask for a better guitar for the price.

    dan
     
  15. fretbuzzard

    fretbuzzard Former Member

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    I can't decide whether that pickguard is a little over the top for me or if it is just perfect! Probably both!
     
  16. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    Carvin, perhaps?

    [​IMG]

    specs (from their website):

    The SH445 is a semi-hollow, double cutaway guitar with a carved top, not just a bent veneer. The top wood is hand-selected bookmatched maple, while the body is alder and the neck is Eastern hard rock maple. Carvin's metal-covered S22 pickups are custom-wound with vintage plain enamal wire to bring out the rich tone and sustain of this instrument, while adding to it's classic styling. The unique heel design and "Rapid Play" neck ensures effortless playability, and lower body cutaway allows easy access up to the 22nd fret. Standard Features:
    - Premium alder body & set-in maple neck
    - Highest quality plain maple carved top
    - Maple headstock
    - 24K gold plated Carvin headstock logo
    - 25" scale ebony fingerboard with abalone dot inlays
    - 22 medium-jumbo frets
    - Sperzel locking tuners
    - S22J & S22B metal-covered humbuckers
    - Two volume controls, 3-way pickup selector
    - Push/pull tone controls double as coil splitters
    - Solid finishes, optional translucent stains
    - Finish is applied to the top wood and headstock only
    LIST PRICE: $3,299.00
    DIRECT: $1,449.00
    SALE: $1,299.00

    more details;
    http://www.carvinguitars.com/customshop/semihollowcarvedtop.php
     
  17. pdxjoel

    pdxjoel Tele-Holic

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    Eastman T184MX. Gorgeous wood, top-shelf workmanship, great pickups. I thought it actually sounded and played better than the 335s I've tried.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. guitarguytim

    guitarguytim Tele-Meister

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    Maybe I missed something, but why don't you just go out and buy a Gibson? You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a 335 in the $3000 price range...
     
  19. FraKcture

    FraKcture Tele-Meister

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  20. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Friend of Leo's

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