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Stop me! I might give a 335 one more chance.

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by burntfrijoles, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a G5655T with the smaller body. It’s a very nice guitar but it’s not a 335. I loved the Gretsch at first but I rarely play it now.

    The 335 is like my Unicorn guitar.
     
  2. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I've tried, you can't MAKE yourself love a guitar.
     
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  3. timbgtr

    timbgtr TDPRI Member

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    From the cheap heresy corner: A while back I realized that a hole in the flotilla (to mix metaphors) was something in the 335 vein. (I had and have a ‘64 Country Gentleman and a ‘80 175.) Guitar Player ran a piece on best guitars under $300–I told you this was cheapville—which included an Epi Dot Studio. Having little to lose, I got it and then (had) installed a Duncan Alnico Pro II and Pearly Gates I had lying around.

    We may be up to $600, but it’s nice and a lot less than $3K. To connect to another thread, an advantage to me is that it has just a single volume and tone control. That’s clearly a downside for others.
     
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  4. BD56

    BD56 TDPRI Member

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    I can't understand why no one has mentioned the Heritage versions. Not cheap but beautifully made. I visited the Memphis Gibson factory and their shop a couple of years back. The finish and setup left a lot to be desired.....
     
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  5. fjblair

    fjblair Tele-Meister

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    I don't know, I rarely play my 335. I just haven't sold it because I always wanted a 335, but I think I'm ready to let go of that sentiment.
     
  6. koula

    koula TDPRI Member

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    I have an Eastman T484L which is like a Gibson ES 335 only the body width is smaller. The T484 body is 14" across and a very comfortable guitar to play. I wonder if you might find that less awkward to play. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.n...10616/T484_Thinline__BCL1_0119.jpg?1548810616
     
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  7. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Memphis Shop is gone. Gibson’s under new management trying to rightbtheir previous wrongs.
     
  8. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a Tele with a Bigsby for ages, but when I got my Antigua Tele Custom I found myself never playing the old one and I sold it. The Custom is a 70s one so I don't really want to mod it and I haven't really been missing the Bigsby. Maybe I'll add another Bigsby Tele someone in the future... There's always room for one more!
     
  9. Yuro

    Yuro TDPRI Member

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  10. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    I love them and couldn't live without one. They're comfortable guitars, you get used to the size and upper fret access is good. I have 2 of them, a Gibson and a Heritage. Another good option is an "Ibanez Artstar Prestige AS200." They're very well made in Japan and have ebony fretboards instead of rosewood. They're $400 to $600 cheaper than the Gibson or Heritage models, and in my opinion, they're are just as good. Been looking for one that's around 7 1/2 lbs., but it's hard finding one during Covid. Love Teles and have several of those, but have never been able to warm up to the Thinline models. Sold the two I had due to uninspiring tone and "neckdive".

    ES335.jpg Heritage 535.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The lower priced Gibson's with the flat finish or similar type of cost cutting moves seem to be very poorly made. Cracks in bonding , poor finish etc. The ones without binding especially.
    I would go with an Epi or Ibanez or some others before those.

    Eastman would be top of my list in a budget for a 335 type. Way above Gibson low line.

    I've learned I dont bond well with 335 types any more though. I must have tried 6-8 of them over the last 20 years. They are big, they are plinky and woody at low volume. They do sing cranked volume though.
     
  12. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you're taking non-Gibson recommendations, Reverend makes some good 335-alikes.

    I have a Tricky Gomez (a play on Trini Lopez) with a Bigsby and RevTron pickups.

    unnamed.jpg

    They also make the Manta Ray with humbuckers and a stop-tail, and slightly different looks.
     
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  13. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    Unfortunately, it’s not just limited to the satin models- a couple of weeks ago on Sweetwater, there were probably 60 Gibson guitars from across their range in their “deals” section discounted for various factory issues. Guitars with contamination in the finish, binding delaminating, overspray, finish cracks. Les Paul juniors, specials, standards, SGs, and some of the tribute ones as well. This is just speculation, but I think the bankruptcy coupled with Covid might have done a number on morale in the factory. I hope everyone there is doing ok.

    I really rolled the dice on my 2020 satin 335, and got really lucky by getting a good one that was put together extremely well, albeit with a bit of barely visible orange peel in certain places. They still make some good ones in Nashville.

    and I totally agree! they definitely sing when you ride them hard. Through a dimed 5e3 and vox ac15 in stereo, mine sounds incredible.
     
  14. Yuro

    Yuro TDPRI Member

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    Jay:

    I had an early guitar hero when I was a Freshman and he was a Junior. He played lead in a band that was quite good and played in the auditorium at pep rallys etc. He had a 65 or 66 cherry 335 with trapeze tail through a blackface Super Reverb. He lamented not getting the hard tail version they made the year before. So...whatever year his was, it was the first year of trapeze.

    When I finally got a guitar and amp and band, I got a duco blue colored '68 tele. Those things are worth a ton these days! It and my Pro Reverb got away from me due to many changes in my situation...very long stories there.

    I wanted that 335 setup so bad...I never got a Super Reverb but I did eventually score a real '60's 335...a 61 with thin taper neck.

    Before buying that guitar, I studied up on old 335s. I liked the idea of hard tails. I never liked Bigsbys because, hey, they go out of tune, add weight and I bend notes like crazy. So...had to be a hard tail. Some collector had posted that the pecking order, in terms of collectability, is '58, 59 (due to rarity and big necks), then the other hard-stop bridged 60's guitars with real pafs, then same with hard tail with patent #s, then Bigsby or Bigsby removed. Then trapeze and finally 345/355, converted or not. I won't argue anyone's choice. I like them all and there are legitimate reasons from buying all of them. I avoid Bigsby for the reasons I mentioned, but I love the way they look and they can add sustain....and some people like them.

    I looked at the trapeze bridge ones...and owned a wine colored late 60's one for a while...It was a converted 345. I got it cheap and it was a little bit patina'd but had a good look to it. $300 with ohsc. It had the real narrow neck they put on many of them in those years. My paws are too big for those things. It sounded great, but I could barely play anything on it. It came to a bad end due to some unwise storage conditions. Mildew ate the wiring. I sold it to a hobbyist for a song. Ah...youth and poverty and moving.

    I think the trapeze style 335s sound and work just as good as the hard tails...but I invested in a cherry '61 with real pafs, hard tail and a biggish thin taper neck that I find to be just great to play. No issues with it at all in spite of my meathooks. It's all original and is a 401k guitar for me. I do play it occasionally. Always a treat.

    I bought a used blonde 335 dot reissue "Blem" from the early 80s on Ebay. It's a nice, full-sounding power guitar with big neck, big tuners and a big body. It is really a big guitar. I have a buddy who is a big guy. Plays lead in a ZZ Top cover band. He played mine at a jam once and loved it so much he bought his own....and it's his #1. It's a more than an inch bigger than my 1961 at the lower bout and weighs more too. I've had about 5 different sets of pickups on it over the years. Currently it has a great pair of Throbak vintage type pickups with aged nickel covers. Sounds real nice, but truth be told, the original Gibson pickups were pretty good. They had little printed circuit boards on the back!!!???

    I took all the chrome hardware off it and got nickel replacements, then did a trick where you hang the nickel pieces above a very shallow pool of muriatic acid in Tupperware for about 3 minutes. It ages them beautifully. I got just the right authentic look I thought the guitar should have had in the first place. I'm not a fan of chrome. Nickel gets the nicest patina after a few years.

    One day, I came upon a consignment guitar in a store in Niles, IL. It was being sold by Jimmy Dawkins, a west-side blues god who played through a Dual Showman or two and blew the doors off the venues he played at. I never heard him and probably wouldn't have stayed very long...but this guitar was interesting.

    It was an ES Artist. It's a 335 with no F-holes, like a Lucille, but it's got Moog electronics and active pickups, a fine-tuner bridge gold hardware, and tuners with little string winders built in to the knobs...has fancy binding and offset dots on the ebony board, and brass nut and saddles...very posh. For $800, I couldn't pass it up. The controls are Neck Volume, Bridge Volume, Master Tone, Pickup Switch, and 3 mini-switches that operate the Moog stuff in various ways...none of which are very rewarding.

    I tried to make friends with the Moog stuff. I still have all of it. It's best turned off. The pickups were just OK. I love the rest of the guitar although it's also a little heavy. It's just great looking in 80s dark vintage burst that reminds me of an old pool table. I took it to a great luthier near my house. He did a crown and polish on the frets and installed a pair of Lindy Fralin humbuckers with 4 leads. Then he wired the thing up so it the first mini switch splits the neck pickup, Last one splits the bridge, the middle one reverses the polarity for extra twang. He made it so all switches in down position made it a stock 335 configuration. Easy to remember where your at. The knobs changed to Master Volume, Master Tone and a rotary fader between the pickups so you can have 70% neck pickup or 55% bridge etc. When you put the pickups out of phase, you can dial in some really unique and great sounds.

    If you're looking for something between a 335 size and a 339, try a Collings I-35. I like the LC model...They're a little cheaper and sound better to me.

    LC means laminated...something???

    The late Joe Collings didn't like the laminated wood that is available commercially. He thought it sounded dead. (Gibson uses it). He made his own. I loved that guy. He also didn't like the guitar cases he was buying (I didn't either) so he put up 40,000 square feet of building and made a guitar case factory. His acoustic cases are as nice as his guitars. Light, strong, beautiful and with perfect precision fit...almost too tight.

    Anyway, a used I-35 LC is a flippin' great guitar. If you're not too picky about the color, you can find them on Reverb. They're light, very comfortable, very resonant, have a just right neck and absolutely great electronics and pickups. I prefer my I-35 to any Gibson I've ever played.

    I'm a big fan of certain little American boutique amp and guitar makers. They are making some really nice products....Some nicer than the original Gibsons and certainly nicer than what's being made now. What a great time to be a guitar player! Sometimes you can pick up a gem of one of these boutique brands that not many know about for decent prices. I bought a Collins City Limits (LP type guitar...only, I think, better) used at a guitar store in Chicago for about 2700. Perfect! The Fender and Gibson traditionalists are many but these companies make too danged many guitars now. You can't count on a new Gibson or Fender to hold its value these days. I get what plays right to me.

    I like those weight relived Gibson Les Pauls too...but you have to find the right one.

    Anyway...sorry this got so long. ES's are close to my heart.
     
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  15. Yuro

    Yuro TDPRI Member

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    Modavis: Did it. They're nice. Not sure there aren't other nice ones availble for half the money...but they're nice.
     
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  16. Yuro

    Yuro TDPRI Member

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    Totally agree that no one should buy a cheezy 335 just to cover that base. You should love it or don't bother, especially if you already have guitars you love.
     
  17. modavis99

    modavis99 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    agree. I’ll say this - changing pickups on a 335 is a pain, you don’t want to do it too many times (unless you add extra lead wires to the vol pots). So I never wanted to go down the 335 pickup rabbit hole. I tried 4 or 5 different sets over the years. The Throbak SLE 101+ has something going on with the mids that just works with a 335. Interestingly enough, I don’t like them as much in a Les Paul. YMMV
     
  18. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Tele-Meister

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    Perhaps you should try a Rickenbacker 330 or 360. They are a lot more versatile, than people give them credit for.
     
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  19. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Yeah...Gretch guitars are usually supplied with a Bigsby of one sort or another, and not EVERYone is a fan. The trem bugged me on my Tennessee Rose G6119T. Easy fix. I like it much better now and the top is a lot less cluttered with orthopedic appliances. :lol: This one is from their Japanese factory and is exquisitely made, but all across the board, Gretsch guitars are really nicely made!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  20. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    I got a 339 for the smaller size. I dont regret it but at the same time I'm pretty sure I could get used to the 335. Maybe one day...
     
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