The Lisbon Plane
- Dec 20, 2021
- Hampton Bays, NY
I've heard it explained that the vibrating top of a 335 causes pickup movement, which is imparted to the strings.
I think if the finish is thick and soft, it will act as a dampener on the system, and therefore the fundamental will be emphasized more, and high end will be cut. This may be what one wants of course. Hard and thin finish is probably best in terms of high end and harmonics/overtones. I'm curious for other people's opinions as well.
From both a logical perspective and from my listening and playing experience, I don't believe these guitars have just about any tonal differences when plugged in, assuming the same pickups are used. A 335 after all has a big solid block of wood running down the middle. So even if there's a reason why hollow body guitars with pickups should sound different than solid bodies, a 335 isn't even hollow.
I mean, if strings stretched across two tables can sound like a telecaster, why wouldn't a 335 sound like a Les Paul?
If anyone believes that this is incorrect, can you please either record clips of you playing exactly the same with the same electronics, same settings, same pickups, on the two separate guitars and show how it sounds different? Or explain to me in a logical sense how having hollow wings tagged onto the side of a guitar could possibly impact the amplified sound. I mean it, I'm not trying to be a "prove me wrong" provocateur here. I genuinely want to know if there's something I'm missing for how hollow wings could affect the sound, and if I hear convincing audio or logical evidence, I will change my mind.
If you’re playing something like a 335/dot with a lot of gain, it’s a total feedback monster, which absolutely matters. I always kept the neck pickup volume all the way off and used the pickup selector as a kill switch when i played an epi dot in a punk band.That overplayed video shows very little related to reality. Just because it makes "guitar like noise" doesn't mean it's the same. It's very simple; the type or construction of a guitar matters inversely proportional to the volume played. The louder or more gnarly you play, the less the construction affects the tone.
On an electric, if you play overdriven death metal then it wont matter much.
If you fingerpick an acoustic electric the difference is readily observable.
Most guitars are in between somewhere. An ES 335 type sounds very different from a Strat at low volume. Woody, sparkly etc. But cranked up it's a great blues guitar.
But the most important thing is how it sounds and feels to the user, and nearly all of can tell the difference.
Ok, interesting-- what about finish on the neck then? Hard and thin finish for that too?I'm sure body finish has some subtle effect, but vibration analysis shows the major contributing component of the supporting structure is the neck - makes sense really.
I have a 335 clone that has beautiful stainless steel fretwork (hotdog fret ends), roasted mahogany neck with compound radius, buzz-free Gibson-spec setup, and superb Korean no-name buckers. It is a . . . . wait for it . . . . Harley Benton E335, $400 US. I have also played numerous Epi and Gibson 335s. I won't promise I'll never shell out three grand for a Gibson, but the odds of that happening now seem slim. The quality difference between $400 and $3500 leaves me scratching my head. Is the nitro finish and nominally better hardware worth it? Hmmmmmm.I have a 2021 Epiphone 335. I really like it for what it is (all stock, no mods so far) and often think about what a more high-level Gibson would sound and feel like. But then I recall that when I got it I A/B'd it in the store with a Gibson that listed for $3500 and while there were some differences (especially in the factory finishing), there wasn't $3000 difference. And when I upgrade the pickups and electronics I'd call them even. I think I'd have to nearly double that Gibson price and go custom shop or a boutique builder to really level up.
I also have a '71/'72 LP Custom. The LP and 335 both have humbuckers but very different pickups. The LP is a fretless wonder, and the necks feel quite different, so they provide a different experience but they are still more similar than not.
As others have said, when seated the 335 is much easier to play. The 335 is about 8.5 pounds, which isn't light, but the LP is over 9.5 pounds. Not a problem for me (yet!) but I understand why someone wouldn't play it based on that alone.
Ok, interesting-- what about finish on the neck then? Hard and thin finish for that too?
High volume 335:If you’re playing something like a 335/dot with a lot of gain, it’s a total feedback monster, which absolutely matters. I always kept the neck pickup volume all the way off and used the pickup selector as a kill switch when i played an epi dot in a punk band.
I like feedback, but unless you’re going for some kind of noise act/early industrial kinda thing, it’s way more than you want. It’s way more than I’d want for Japanese hardcore, which is saying something.
The tested guy does a poor job of making good comparisons to root out actual facts. Also, audio in a youtube video isn't that detailed, even with great speakers.
Also, he seems to confuse "sounds good" with "sounds identical." You can make nearly anything with a pickup sound cool through the right amp. 335s sound like plinky toys when played acoustically.
A 335 has a maple center block and an arched and laminated maple top and back. A Les Paul is mostly mahogany, and may or may not have a maple cap. When playing a 335 at volume, you can notice a bit of softness in the attack. The note blooms for you, which is usually heard as a bit of sweetness. A Les Paul has a much more immediate attack.
From both a logical perspective and from my listening and playing experience, I don't believe these guitars have just about any tonal differences when plugged in, assuming the same pickups are used.
Doubtful. If you don't already understand why wood matters, no amount of anyone telling you it matters is going to matter to you.if I hear convincing audio or logical evidence, I will change my mind.
I went to Stuyvesant. Scored 720 on the Physics ACH test. I then went to Carnegie-Mellon, where I studied Physics of Music and Sound Design. I've been in pro audio for over 35 years.When someone says, "It is simple physics!", I wonder if they took physics.