School me on the ES335

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by ReggiedaDog, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Tele-Afflicted

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    Very true. My Heritage weighs as much as the HMS Titantic and probably floats as well too. Heck, it even weighed more than my Norlin-era '72 LP Custom.
     
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  2. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    I have an old ES-330, which is shaped like an ES-335 but has P-90s and is hollow. I paid about $400 for it and for years they were considered the red headed step child of Gibson models.

    I was looking for a really nice ES-335 a few years ago. My buddy has a '58 that he wouldn't sell me and I didn't want to spend quite that much anyways.

    I played a bunch of them and the Gibson Historic models seemed to be what I was after as far as feel and sound.

    Just for fun I ended up trying a Heritage 535 that was only $1000 used at the store and while I didn't like it quite as much as the Historic it was 1/3 of the price, plus IMHO it looks great.

    I spent about three hours adjusting the pickups. A guy named Rendall Wall reworked Schaller pickups for Heritage and (speaking as someone with 6 PAF equipped guitars) they are flat out killer. I had a set of Throwbaks that someone gave me so I tried them out in a LP and the Walls were liked much more (IMHO/YMMV).

    Once they were setup to my liking I have enjoyed the 535 even more than I thought I would.

    If you want a Gibson but don't have the coin don't discount the Heritage stuff.

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    This is just a cell phone photo with no filter or anything of the top on the Heritage. I don't think Gibson would give you this for as low a price. I'm not huge on flame but it's PRSish.

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  3. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a big fan of 335s and 330s: they're pretty much the perfect guitar for me. I lean towards 355s for the flashier look, and I use 330s live because of the weight difference - I have a shoulder injury and I can cope with a 6lb 330 much better than a 9lb 355.

    If you're in the market, it's a good idea to get out and play them. 335s essentially break down into three categories, a sophisticated version with lots of detail to the sound that's great for jazz and blues, a raunchier version that does blues and rock very effectively, and a turbo version that sounds like a Les Paul with looser bass response. Which one you get is a bit of a lottery, sadly, and it's not really model related, so trying them out is really important. I find 355s tend to lean to the rock end of the scale, possibly due to the ebony board, but BB King certainly makes them work for him.

    Most 335s use the same blueprint, particularly if you rule out older guitars, but it's worth knowing the Studio and BB King models use maple for the necks, which gives them a different flavour.

    Here's my current family: 355s from '65 and '79, 330s from '65 and '69, a hot rodded '71 320 with goldfoils and a '79 Artist with active circuitry. Each one of them has a really strong character and I feel like I could add a couple more and still not be duplicating myself.... I know, I know, we all say that...

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  4. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I bought and returned 3 of the Gibson 335s and could not bond with that model. All were modern version standard models in the mid $2500 range. I had kind of given up on owning one and ended up buying an Epiphone Dot but replaced the pickups with some SD P90s. I liked the guitar but it had no soul really, seemed a little less resonant but not much from the Gibson's I had tried. None of the necks either Epiphone or Gibson felt right. Pretty much gave up the whole idea of owning one.

    Then I spent a Saturday at Norm's Vintage guitars, tried several models and one of them spoke to me. It was a Gibson 63 reissue model out of Memphis. This had the thinner more traditional neck of the era, block inlays and it resonates like my violin, which surprised me because most of the earlier and modern models seems stiff and heavy. This one is very light with great sustain. I think the reissue models are really what a lot of people are looking for but they are so darn expensive. In the $4500 range new. Mine was used from a few years back and I picked it up for $3200. Not a lot more than the standard models and if you can find a used reissue, snag it. They sound remarkably better and play like butter. Tonally they are superior in my view.

    Here's the picture.
     

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  5. ReggiedaDog

    ReggiedaDog Tele-Meister

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    So... after spending some time trying lots of 335s this last week I made a purchase. A sunburst ES335 2010. Like someone said above I was amazed at the differences in sounds between the different models. This one does not have the best clean sound, but with some gain into a cranked amp it comes alive. [​IMG]

    As I saved a considerable sum I n the used market I also bought the wildcard runner up, a Yamaha Revstar 820. I was incredibly impressed with these so bought one going for half RRP on eBay. Planning on setting this up for slide. [​IMG]


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  6. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    For folks who are looking for more "clarity" out of their ES-335 I'd recommend at least 550K pots on the volume knobs, some modern wiring schemes benefit from treble bleeds, and a pair of humbuckers that isn't overly fat/balanced which some stock Gibson pickups can be.





    Fair warning, the new "2019 Memphis" USA P90 ES335, if you're interested I bought one of those. Great guitar but it's actually an ES335 STUDIO model with $600 up charge for P90's though they were a great pair of P90's. I was a bit miffed they advertised it as a regular 335 as they fooled me!


    Anyways, you can find ES335 "Traditional" models for 2G's new pretty easily and used reissues for not much more.


    ES335's do really vary guitar to guitar so buy with a return policy or try before you buy.
     
  7. ReggiedaDog

    ReggiedaDog Tele-Meister

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    I’m updating this thread so future generations can have some closure.

    I’m sorry but its not the 335 its me....

    Ive played the guitar a lot at home, and then took it to 3 rehearsals and two gigs.

    Playing it stood up made my hand hurt, a lot, the volume knobs (I’m a crank the amp and use the volume knob kind of player) were all in the wrong place, but try as I might I couldn’t get a sound I liked out of it.

    At every gig and every rehearsal I switched back to my 88 Tele and boom, the sound I wanted, the neck shape I wanted, and the knobs in the ‘right’ place...

    I think I need to accept my destiny that I’m gonna be a Tele player for the rest of my days, there are worse fates.

    Ive spoken to the shop I bought it from and after they’ve checked it for dings (there aren’t any) they will give me a refund.

    Next project- building a partsaster with Baja 60s neck and electronics and a double bound fiesta red body. Watch this space.


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  8. telo

    telo Tele-Meister

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    I went through 4 Les Pauls before realizing that I'm just not an LP guy. Having said that, I now own an ES-333 and love it. It's valuable knowing what you don't want and there's only one way to find out.
     
  9. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    My favorite Gibson is a Yamaha SA 2200

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