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Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Neener, Dec 11, 2020.
Why in the bleep are Gibson ES-335's so expensive?
Look at your question and tell me, what word sticks out most?
Because they can be.
Buy a used dot reissue or a 333 before people snatch them up. They don’t hold value as well, but people are starting to get wise.
leave the period accurate ones for the rich guys that can’t play.
1.) because they are made by gibson
2.) because they are made by gibson
3. a lot of famous players have used them for a long time
4 generally they sound great for jazz blues rock, very versatile instruments
you could by one from Heritage,
or a the Yamaha SA2200
Depends on your definition of expensive and also the model of 335s you are talking about because there are at least 4 different models, maybe more, across various price points that get lumped into the 335 family.
Because they can get it. If you ran a guitar company, would you set your prices at less than people were willing to pay?
It's all about the headstock. I prefer the Sheraton myself.
Until around 6-8 years ago they where not. Since then it seems like Gibson have accepted that demand for 335s isn't what it used to be and thus scaled down production and raised prices quite a good bit.
It's even worse with regards to archtops. They've basically stopped making ES175s, L5s and what not and the few that are for sale cost twice what they used to
I wouldn’t pay that much for a semi-hollow with dot inlays. Gibson got it right with the 345.
I find the es-175 thing to be heresy. Ibanez and epiphone have no problem selling 175 style guitars to jazz students. They practically let smaller manufacturers take their place at the price point of 00s 175s. With enough marketing you can seal the deal for those who go beyond student level and need the “real thing.” But I guess they’d rather invest more money throwing crap at the wall making vomitburst and pinstripe LP monstrosities for people with money to blow and see what sticks.
It's not a slab body with a bolt-on neck. It has a set neck, and a top, back, and sides that have to be bent and glued together with kerfing inside like a flattop acoustic, and have its electronics installed through the pickup routs and pot holes. You try doing that without skilled workers.
Related comparison, of Gibson ES- models ($$$$) to Epi ES-models ($$$).
I have a 2016 Gibson ES-339 Studio which I bought new for around $1500-1600, with hard case of course.
And, I have a 2013 Epiphone ES-339, which I bought used (Reverb), excellent condition, for $339 (yes, that's the number I offered, which was accepted.) Case not included. In 2013, Epi was using Rosewood for the fretboards - and they had building ES-guitars down.
To be honest, I put these two instruments right in the same league with each other, except the Epiphone neck is slightly fuller and the Gibson neck is slim.
The Gibson came with Classic '57 pickups, which are excellent pickups. The Epi came with ProBuckers, which sound excellent, as well - plus they can be coil-split.
If I had puchased this Epi first, I may not have bought the Gibson - they're that comparable, as instruments, while quite different in price.
Here, I have installed TVJones Hilo'tron pickups in the Gibson (I prefer the single-coil tones vs. humbuckers)
Here's the Epi.
I have since installed Cavalier "Phoenix" Firebird pickups in this Epi
I'd say give the Epi ES- guitars a good look, especially if you don't want to pay Gibson prices. You may be quite surprised at how nice Epi ES- guitars are.
And another (related) aside, regarding Gibson vs. Epi ES-guitars.
I wanted an ES-Les Paul. When I found a Gibson ES-Les Paul, I was surprised that it seemed somewhat cheaply made, to me, and was quite expensive. I passed.
Then, I discovered Epi ES-Les Pauls. Built exactly the same was as the Gibson version. I bought a used one in Wine Red and was so impressed that I also bought a new one in Transparent Black.
They're stunningly nice instruments! I'm convinced that when Epiphone wants to build a very nice quality ES-style guitar, they're QUITE up to the task.
The two guitars behind the ES-Les Pauls are a Transparent Black D'Angelico Excel EX-SS hollow body (15" x 1.75", S. Korea) and a Gretsch G6119T Player Edition hollow body (16" x 2.25", Terada, Japan). The Terada built Gretsch is at least the equal, if not superior, to a Gibson. The Korean (Unsung built) D'Angelico is on par with Gibson.
for epi kind of money I feel like it’s better just to pony up a little more and just buy a lawsuit Ibanez. Sometimes people dump them really cheap and they’re fantastic. also, I’m not sure 339 feel wise is going to scratch the itch. It never did for me.
Ibanez makes some great guitars, which should be considered as well.
I'm sure the ES-335 scratches the itch for some folks. And, the 339 scratches the itch for others. I mentioned ES-339s as an ES comparison between the high-priced Gibson version and the modestly-priced Epi version.
Myself, if I'm going to have a 16" wide bout, I want a bit more body depth than 1.6"... and perhaps more hollow-ness. The ES-335, at 16" x 1.6" depth, just feels like too much surface real-estate for such a shallow semi-hollow guitar.
The ES-339 with a 14" bout feels really comfortable to me, and just right for a shallow semi-hollow guitar (which, like many semi-hollows, ES-335 included, is for the most part a solid body guitar, with some hollow wings on each side).
They are hitting them outta the park with the new Epi line, but they couldn't do that in the US for those prices and pay a decent wage. We need to remind ourselves that Asian guitars are as cheap as they are because of the slave wages. That's why Japanese and Korean built are much more expensive, because they are paid better in those countries.
It’s hard to go Gibson when Ibanez, Epiphone and D’Angelico are killing it.
I'm sure the labor wages are a good bit lower in China, vs. Japan, Korea, and especially the USA. That said, my hunch is that the people building guitars in China probably appreciate having those jobs. And their cost of living is likely commensurately lower than those other countries, as well.