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View Full Version : Comparing Epiphone Sheraton to Gibson ES-335


luitanent_dan
01-04-2011, 07:28 PM
I've been interested in getting a nice hollowbody guitar (ie. gibson ES355), and this is what I've gone with..

I've bought a 2010 Epiphone Sheraton II from the Gibson factory in china.

I'm going to replace the stock parts with the following:

> Gibson 57 Classic Neck Pup
> Gibson 57 Classic + Bridge Pickup
> Adding a ES-335 3-Way Prewired Assembly from Mojotone
> Changing all the gold parts to stock gibson chrome parts (ie. bridge, etc)
> Adding Gibson Black Tophat knobs

I will post pics once it's done.

Questions:
1. What's the difference between a Gibson ES335 and an Epiphone Sheraton?
2. Specifically, what's the difference between the woods used in the body?
3. Has anyone upgraded an Epiphone Sheraton with success?
4. Is there anything else I should upgrade? (ie. bone nut, grafite bridge, ect)

BigPapiFan
01-04-2011, 08:29 PM
Lieutenant(?), the 335 has a one-piece mahogany neck while the Epiphone has a three piece maple neck. Both have laminated maple top, back and rims. I don't know about their center blocks. Of course the 335 will have a nitrocellulose finish while the Epi's is polyurethane.

GCDEF
01-04-2011, 08:40 PM
I've owned both. Workmanship on the Epiphone was horrible and the sound was really harsh. I was planning on doing the upgrade thing too and my tech at the time talked me out of it. I'd offer you the same advice. If it were me and it were still possible, I'd return the Epiphone and take the money you were going to spend on upgrades and look for something decent, such as a used Heritage 535. I certainly wouldn't sink anything into the Sheraton. They have a superficial resemblance, but don't let that fool you into thinking they're anywhere near equivalent. The examples I had were worlds apart.

OrangeAD30TC
01-05-2011, 12:12 AM
I have a Sheraton that I find very comfortable to play. I don't think it will cure your 335 itch but I keep mine because it has it's own appeal.

luitanent_dan
01-05-2011, 01:27 AM
"Workmanship on the Epiphone was horrible" What the?

I think it must be different from guitar to guitar.. for example you could probably get 2 totally different epiphone sheratons in terms of quality etc..

I've heard guys saying that their upgraded epiphone sheraton could hang with the expensive gibsons (335 ect)..

Well, I can't afford a gibson just yet, so I'll stick with my plan.

Here are the parts I'm getting:

http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h134/oztone/CHROMEABR1.jpg


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5184356/DSC07973.JPG

http://www.actionmusic.com/images/products/misc/Gibson57ClassicNickel.jpg

http://www.actionmusic.com/images/products/misc/Gibson57ClassicPlusNickel.jpg

http://www.mojotone.com/core/media/media.nl?id=6576&c=923962&h=b9d69ef2d73cc11ea12b

http://www.mojotone.com/core/media/media.nl?id=8968&c=923962&h=6f65f5f8f02d02448229 http://www.mojotone.com/core/media/media.nl?id=8968&c=923962&h=6f65f5f8f02d02448229 http://www.mojotone.com/core/media/media.nl?id=8968&c=923962&h=6f65f5f8f02d02448229 http://www.mojotone.com/core/media/media.nl?id=8968&c=923962&h=6f65f5f8f02d02448229

http://www.thedesignworks.com.au/ebay_pics/sheraton/main.jpg

luitanent_dan
01-05-2011, 01:36 AM
Just found a great demo video of the stock epiphone sheraton:

6Rk0WZH6RYM

beNsteR
01-05-2011, 01:46 AM
Sorry if this makes me sound like a jerk, but I really had to voice it out-

With the money spent on the Gibson pickups, hardware, electronics, wiring, labour + the price of a Sheraton, I'm pretty sure one could find a used Gibson ES335, ES335 satin, or ES333 on eBay, which would have come with all of that as stock.

Sometimes, it may be wiser to listen to opinions and weigh options first *before* buying..

whomad1215
01-05-2011, 02:02 AM
Sorry if this makes me sound like a jerk, but I really had to voice it out-

With the money spent on the Gibson pickups, hardware, electronics, wiring, labour + the price of a Sheraton, I'm pretty sure one could find a used Gibson ES335, ES335 satin, or ES333 on eBay, which would have come with all of that as stock.

Sometimes, it may be wiser to listen to opinions and weigh options first *before* buying..

Since you're looking at 335's im guessing you meant semi-hollowbody.

Sort of thinking that a used gibby/heritage/etc might have been a better spending of money, then again thats one big purchase where as the upgrades can come in smaller amounts. and who knows, all the gibsons near where I live are POS.
$3700 "Custom Shop" 335 was a complete piece of trash, action so high it was almost impossible to play, lowered the action a bit after I got the stores techs attention, and the bridge pickup was literally hitting the strings. Frets uneven, binding job was shoddy and cracking at the frets already, pickups weak and unbalanced.

For upgrading your sheraton I would imagine that the electronics would be the weakest and best thing to replace first, followed shortly after by the pickups.

Dylan61
01-05-2011, 02:50 AM
A real pity this guy 'always always' uses that okidibi pedal, he can play though! imo it does not give a good idea about the clear sound.

But I do have both guitars, the Sheraton's neck is much thinner, and sound more blacket, gess you can do a lot my changing first the pots only.

My ES-335 does have a Fat neck, what I adore.

Two different guitars.

But you might get lucky about finding a good one, but you can't change the thin neck.

GCDEF
01-05-2011, 06:15 AM
"Workmanship on the Epiphone was horrible" What the?

I think it must be different from guitar to guitar.. for example you could probably get 2 totally different epiphone sheratons in terms of quality etc..

I've heard guys saying that their upgraded epiphone sheraton could hang with the expensive gibsons (335 ect)..

Well, I can't afford a gibson just yet, so I'll stick with my plan.



If your mind is made up, why bother asking? You're throwing good money after bad, but it's your money.

As I and several others have now said, for the kind of money you're spending, you could get a Heritage of perhaps even a Gibson anyway.

musicofanatic5
01-05-2011, 09:02 AM
Wow, been a while since I have read so much common sense in a thread about Sheraton II's. Usually it's; "My Epi will smoke any Gibson, dood!". carry on, gentlemen! Very good!!

rydia is hot
01-05-2011, 10:58 AM
My vote--and I know this can be impossible--is to play before you buy or at least make sure you have a good return policy.

I've played way too many Sheratons and 335s that were duds. That said, I have played two Sheratons that smoked a few of the "meh" 335s. But a good 335 will blow away any Sheraton, period, regardless of upgrades.

MartinPiana
01-05-2011, 11:23 AM
I picked up a Sheraton II in GC two years ago and played it unplugged for about 15 minutes, and was surprised at how well it played.... My happy choice going down that road, tho, is the Eastman T185. Fully hollow with solid woods, a different sound and better for me....

lpdeluxe
01-05-2011, 11:50 AM
I have owned both. I got the Epiphone in a trade but only had it a few months before I traded it off and got a Gibson ES-335.

My comparison: the Epiphone was built for bling, not quality. It was made in 1995 at the Samick factory in Korea, and basic construction was solid. The natural finish maple had a large number of obvious small flaws, front and back. The fancy "vine" inlay and the fingerboard blocks were surrounded by filler. Finish was a heavily applied, plastic-looking poly. When I got it in 2008, the "gold" plating was mostly long gone off the hardware. Both pots were scratchy and the switch was intermittent. It didn't have much of a sound, either. The neck was fine, a good size and shape for me, and it had decent Gotoh-style tuners.

I invested in an "Anniversary" set of Seymour Duncans (JB bridge, Jazz neck) and new pots and switch. I had to use mini-pots because the binding left only 3/4" of space between the f-hole sides. Rewiring was a tedious and ultimately futile exercise: it never sounded any good, regardless of amp (Blues Jr NOS, DRRI, Jazzmaster Ultralight, Band-Master VM head/Weber California Ceramic 15, Silvertone 1484). I finally concluded it was not worth the small amount of cash I had in it.

I bought the 335 from craigslist two years ago. It is also blonde, and has flawless, lightly figured maple. The simple dots on the neck are more to my taste, and it has nickel plating (the nickel tarnishes, but that's not Gibson's fault: anything plated with nickel tarnishes around here). The neck is one piece of mahogany. Finish is nitrocellulose lacquer, nicely applied and buffed. It is equipped with the standard Gibson '57 humbuckers. Straight out of the case, it sounded great through any amp I plugged it into. I immediately bonded with it and it is now my one and only electric, with no competition in sight. It was a bargain for the $1750 I paid for it.

And the Gibson will always be worth that; I wasted the money I spent upgrading the Gibson.

People will tell you that guys like me buy Gibsons because of the snob appeal. Those are sour grapes. I bought my first guitar in 1971 and didn't get a Gibson until 1997. I have now had three, and each one was/is a great instrument. I have owned 34 guitars, total, and, until I got the 335, every one had a flaw I ultimately couldn't live with. The '63 Gretsch Country Gent had peculiar controls, the Ric had a, well, a Ric sound, the Strat had a long scale that I found unhandy, the Les Paul was a boat anchor, et cetera and et cetera.

The 335 jumps into my arms every time I open the case. The Epiphone was just a guitar.:D

Pictures:

http://i345.photobucket.com/albums/p362/lpdeluxe1/EpiphoneSheratonIImod.jpg?t=1294253583

http://i345.photobucket.com/albums/p362/lpdeluxe1/GibsonES-335-1.jpg?t=1294253642

musicofanatic5
01-05-2011, 02:42 PM
I have owned both. I got the Epiphone in a trade but only had it a few months before I traded it off and got a Gibson ES-335.

My comparison: the Epiphone was built for bling, not quality. It was made in 1995 at the Samick factory in Korea, and basic construction was solid. The natural finish maple had a large number of obvious small flaws, front and back. The fancy "vine" inlay and the fingerboard blocks were surrounded by filler. Finish was a heavily applied, plastic-looking poly. When I got it in 2008, the "gold" plating was mostly long gone off the hardware. Both pots were scratchy and the switch was intermittent. It didn't have much of a sound, either. The neck was fine, a good size and shape for me, and it had decent Gotoh-style tuners.

I invested in an "Anniversary" set of Seymour Duncans (JB bridge, Jazz neck) and new pots and switch. I had to use mini-pots because the binding left only 3/4" of space between the f-hole sides. Rewiring was a tedious and ultimately futile exercise: it never sounded any good, regardless of amp (Blues Jr NOS, DRRI, Jazzmaster Ultralight, Band-Master VM head/Weber California Ceramic 15, Silvertone 1484). I finally concluded it was not worth the small amount of cash I had in it.

I bought the 335 from craigslist two years ago. It is also blonde, and has flawless, lightly figured maple. The simple dots on the neck are more to my taste, and it has nickel plating (the nickel tarnishes, but that's not Gibson's fault: anything plated with nickel tarnishes around here). The neck is one piece of mahogany. Finish is nitrocellulose lacquer, nicely applied and buffed. It is equipped with the standard Gibson '57 humbuckers. Straight out of the case, it sounded great through any amp I plugged it into. I immediately bonded with it and it is now my one and only electric, with no competition in sight. It was a bargain for the $1750 I paid for it.

And the Gibson will always be worth that; I wasted the money I spent upgrading the Gibson.

People will tell you that guys like me buy Gibsons because of the snob appeal. Those are sour grapes. I bought my first guitar in 1971 and didn't get a Gibson until 1997. I have now had three, and each one was/is a great instrument. I have owned 34 guitars, total, and, until I got the 335, every one had a flaw I ultimately couldn't live with. The '63 Gretsch Country Gent had peculiar controls, the Ric had a, well, a Ric sound, the Strat had a long scale that I found unhandy, the Les Paul was a boat anchor, et cetera and et cetera.

The 335 jumps into my arms every time I open the case. The Epiphone was just a guitar.:D

Pictures:

http://i345.photobucket.com/albums/p362/lpdeluxe1/EpiphoneSheratonIImod.jpg?t=1294253583

http://i345.photobucket.com/albums/p362/lpdeluxe1/GibsonES-335-1.jpg?t=1294253642
I love this guy!!!!! He's got common sense and reason coming out his ears!! Sir, should you ever run for public office, I will move to your area so I may vote for you!!

5cent
01-05-2011, 02:46 PM
A real pity this guy 'always always' uses that okidibi pedal, he can play though! imo it does not give a good idea about the clear sound.

But I do have both guitars, the Sheraton's neck is much thinner, and sound more blacket, gess you can do a lot my changing first the pots only.

My ES-335 does have a Fat neck, what I adore.

Two different guitars.

But you might get lucky about finding a good one, but you can't change the thin neck.

I've got a 2010 Epiphone Dot Limited Edition (looks like Larry Carlton's 335), with a really fat neck. It's wonderful.

huntcreative
04-02-2012, 01:19 PM
I have been playing sessions for nearly 40 years. Recently I bought a Sheraton II after spending about 30 minutes comparing it with the 335. Needless to say, I was impressed with this out-of-the-box guitar. Don't get me wrong, it was very obvious the Gibson is better built, uses more exotic woods and superior electronics plus sounds clearer in general. It just wasn't a $2500 difference and I don't agree with upgrading it either. Just buy the real thing new or used.

The Sheraton will be a great guitar for traveling, If you are going to play lead, you cannot beat the clarity of a Gibson 335 but for fill, the Sheraton does the job 95% as well. Just a personal opinion of course and you need to go with what you feel YOU need.

cowboytim
04-02-2012, 01:38 PM
Taj Mahal and John Lee Hooker ......Guitars?....Why Sheraton of course.
If you bought Gibson you would have to up grade their electronics also....to be as nice.
That's allot of jack to spend on a Gibson.
But as you now like Gibson you gotta try out the Epiphones too. Not all equal.

Drewski
04-02-2012, 01:49 PM
I owned a 97 sherry II up until last year. In the 11 years I owned it. I did all the mods you mention, and even a bone nut. Its a very nice guitar for what I had into it (Just under a grand IIRC). It sounds VERY nice, and I wouldve kept it, but I was into building teles at the time, and into single coils at the time. In Feb I bought an 85 ES 335. There is in no way, any comparison between the two instruments, other than theyre both 6 string guitars. The 335 absolutely smokes that old epi, which is a fine guitar for an epiphone. But if youre honestly asking if an upgraded sherry is a 335, the answer is a resounding no.

Drewski
04-02-2012, 01:51 PM
Taj Mahal and John Lee Hooker ......Guitars?....Why Sheraton of course.
If you bought Gibson you would have to up grade their electronics also....to be as nice.
That's allot of jack to spend on a Gibson.
But as you now like Gibson you gotta try out the Epiphones too. Not all equal.

Dont they both play vintage made in the USA epis? Sort of a difference there between that and 2010 made in china No?

semi-hollowbody
04-02-2012, 02:38 PM
Give it a few pages and you will see a decline in the gibson love and an increase in the epi love...thats how these threads always seem to go...

go to gc and play some 2012 (not 2000, or 1995) epi sherratons and some es-335's...try to play some used 335's/heritage as well...

I have read so many "ive been playing for years, have owned many gibsons, and my epi blows it away" and "ive been playing for years, have owned many gibsons, and my epi doesnt even come close to A GIBSON"

guitars are different, and im sure epi sherratons do sound different than an es 335...that might be good, might be bad...depends on the player

I would get an epi elitist sherraton over a new 335 any day of the week...stock...Ive played both unplugged and plugged...

budglo58
04-02-2012, 02:50 PM
I have played the Sheraton a few times , but used to own a Epi Dot Deluxe.Thought about going the route of an upgrade in pickups , hardware and wiring.Decided to save my money and buy a 335.Was glad I did.Thing that I found being a huge difference to me is the action on the 335 is so much nicer .I was able to dial down the action to 2/64ths at the 12th fret without any buzz.My Dot if I tried to get that low it would buzz like crazy.Any money you put into the Epi will be lost if you sell it , plus it wont hold its value. If it were me I would save toward a 335. I bought a new 335 plain gloss for less than 2300.There are a ton of used ones for less than that.

rwijaya
04-02-2012, 04:22 PM
i have a 1983 epi sheraton that is made in japan that is really nice. does it compares to Gibson? hell no! different construction, different neck materials, it has 5 pieces neck construction (maple, rosewood, maple rosewood, maple) than gibson has only one piece mahogany.

however, every time i bring out the epi and play around some players that owned a vintage es335, they always praised me on how good that epi sounded. given this though, my epi has an upgraded electronics and bone nuts. one of the favorites guitar for my luthiers, since he only need a very little amount of adjustment to it during setup.

jrsmiles
04-02-2012, 05:22 PM
I guess I'll be the one to say you owe it to yourself to check out other "copies" if you are looking for a good semi-hollow body. Heritage, Yamaha, Epiphone Elite/Elitist, maybe even some of the older 70s lawsuit Japan models. Ibanez, Tokai etc...

As with any guitar, any of them can be good or bad.

tamader74
04-02-2012, 05:50 PM
...I've posted this on other threads, 15-20yr.'s ago and today is two different things, I owned at the same time a '82 335 and a '93....When I sold the '93...meh, Yup, great 'git, but, I never dreamed at that time the '82 would ever leave me...had to sell some things to settle up my severence from the anti-christ, and when the '82 left, I actually cried. I have picked up a few Epi.'s that will 'git 'er done....I can tell you without doubt there ARE some Sheratons that will go toe to toe with some of the new 335's, most are at least 15-20+ yr.'s old, But, you swap out the harness in the old MIJ/MIK's and the die hards would be shocked. I put mine up here in the emporium, and I swear I've spent a couple of hours today trying to make a few things work out and if they do, The "Sherry" won't be there long, and this is NOT a plug for my ad., Just read some of my post on it...

cap47
04-02-2012, 08:24 PM
I had a MIK Sheraton and it was a nice sounding and playing guitar. Bought it new in 93. Where I was living I was afraid it was going to get stolen so I took it to my grandson who was learning to play. He still has it and he is a killer guitarist! Now things have changed, I moved to a different location and bought all new stuff. At times I wish I still had the Sheraton. Glad it is still in the family tho!

squeally dan
04-02-2012, 08:59 PM
Sorry if this makes me sound like a jerk, but I really had to voice it out-

With the money spent on the Gibson pickups, hardware, electronics, wiring, labour + the price of a Sheraton, I'm pretty sure one could find a used Gibson ES335, ES335 satin, or ES333 on eBay, which would have come with all of that as stock.

Sometimes, it may be wiser to listen to opinions and weigh options first *before* buying..

If I had the dough, i'd spring for a real 335. Having said that, I play a epi sheraton (stock) in my band and get compliments all the time. The soundman at my church also loves thesound of it. I like it better than the gibby 333 I owned, which always sounded muddy to me and more nech heavy.

24frets
04-02-2012, 09:40 PM
I gotta argue this one. I have a Samick-Sherry II, from '09. I love it, it plays well and has a vibe all it's own with the Gibson '57Classics I had installed. It won't necessarily smoke a Gibson, but it has a vibe and a grind all it's own. Just my two cents.

hendrixisgod
08-30-2012, 07:06 AM
Firstly I would like to say how much I have enjoyed reading this thread and some people have made some really good points.
I would like to say I have a 1997 Epiphone Sheraton ii Korean made. I picked it up second hand for £300 which is a steal. I going to between two shops and playing a lovely 335 which was priced at £1749 which again I thought was a good price. After talking to my guitar teach (really well respected guy worked set up guitars for Oasis, Iron Maiden, Trivium and a lot of other acts) he convinced me if the Sheraton played well and it was £300 I should go for that.
I have since bought the guitar and had it for 2 years the bridge, tail piece, tuning heads(gotoh), electrics and pick ups(symour duc's) have now been changed at a cost of around £400 and the thing sounds amazing I have since played any number of 335 and although they are outstanding guitars which I very much like they’re not £1049 more of a guitar than my Sheraton. Some are no ware near as good. don’t get me wrong I am not saying all Sheratons are amazing some or most are stinkers but I would never have considered buying one but some times that factory gets one right. So if the guitar plays well enough and is at the right price I agree get the Sheraton and upgrade mines been a success. Like a guy has said its easy to fall in love and a proper relationship with a guitar cuddling and all, this guitar after seeing it upgrade really feels like its mine and I wouldn’t change it for any thing.
Also with the Gibson it totally depends on who was making the guitar and what kind of day they where having. I have played some stinkers of 335’s also. There is one in a shop near me that has been there for almost 4 years as the owner just can’t get rid of because “it just doesn’t feel right”
I might one day find a 335 that makes me look at my Gladys (my Epiphone) and think its time for a change. But as some one has already pointed out I just do not think the Gibson is £1500 (in most cases) more guitar and for that reason I would take an outstanding upgraded Epiphone each time.
Also I love a guitar for its imperfections not its perfection, and the sustain I get from this thing is quite simply incredible. Now I see why a lot of guitarist go for the 335 you don’t need to do that much hunting for a good one and you know what you’re getting, but if you take a little time pick the right Epiphone and the right pickups, making sure you upgrade the hardware you’ll have a better connection with that guitar and will want to play it more.
Of course this is my opinion and experience, I am 27 years old and have owned 49 guitars (currently 19) and I could sell the rest cos of how good that guitar feels and sounds.

guitargeek135
08-30-2012, 08:36 AM
I've been interested in getting a nice hollowbody guitar (ie. gibson ES355), and this is what I've gone with..

I've bought a 2010 Epiphone Sheraton II from the Gibson factory in china.

I'm going to replace the stock parts with the following:

> Gibson 57 Classic Neck Pup
> Gibson 57 Classic + Bridge Pickup
> Adding a ES-335 3-Way Prewired Assembly from Mojotone
> Changing all the gold parts to stock gibson chrome parts (ie. bridge, etc)
> Adding Gibson Black Tophat knobs

I will post pics once it's done.

Questions:
1. What's the difference between a Gibson ES335 and an Epiphone Sheraton?
2. Specifically, what's the difference between the woods used in the body?
3. Has anyone upgraded an Epiphone Sheraton with success?
4. Is there anything else I should upgrade? (ie. bone nut, grafite bridge, ect)


So I did nearly the same thing you did to my Sheraton ii. I upgraded to Sheptone hb sized P90s, RS wiring kit, grover locking tuners, and Tonepros bridge. I also sanded the neck and refinished to get rid of the sticky poly finish feel.

I absolutely love the result even compared to my Gibson ES-345. The sound isn't the same as a 335, I think it's deeper with more of a full woody tone. That may be the P90s, but either way It's a keeper and was worth every cent. I love my 345 overdriven, but the sherry now sounds better clean. They're never going to be the same guitar, but you will end up with a very good axe with killer tone.

peskypesky
08-30-2012, 08:49 AM
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doublescale1
08-30-2012, 09:46 AM
I did all those same mods to a '93 MIK Sheraton II back in 94. Still have that guitar and still play it. Also have a Memphis 335. They are different sounding because of construction differences noted earlier in this thread, but not really all that far apart. In a live-band bar/club mix you'd be hard pressed to hear a difference. Also even after the mods he's planning on doing he will not have the equlivent ammount of money in that guitar as what it would cost to buy a used Heritage 535 or Gibson 335 - Elderly has an '06 Heritage listed for $1,700. and an '06 Gibson 335 @ $2,250., and that one is on hold as of today (that Gibosn's got a figured top, plain tops might go for 1,850. to 2,100. depending on condition). You may find even closer tonal similarities between the Ibanez 335 copy, even some Yamaha's or semi-hollow Hammers - mahogany necks will make a tone difference from the laminated maple Sheraton neck, but certainly not in a bad way, just a little different, perhaps a little brighter. The Sheraton neck profile on my guitar is very slim front to back, again different from my Gibson 335 which has the 60's taper and that is a "fatter" neck than the Epi. In all I like having them both - for outdoor gigs the Sheraton gets the nod, that is also the guitar that I will tune to an open key if I need that for a set list. Variety is the spice of life and IMHO the Sheraton, even after the cost of mods, represents a great value and a nice sounding guitar to play.

BlackStrat_Fan
08-30-2012, 11:57 AM
I'm really having a hard time with this one. I've been wanting an ES-335 for some time now. Had the money in hand, but my dealer was out of stock at the time. So what did I do? Spent it on a new amp (65 Amps London Pro.) So now I'm close to having the money for a Dot, but considering the Sheraton and mods. I actually like the Sheraton a lot, and have been eyeballing a used one at the local GC for $425. But I keep telling myself to have patience. Wait for the new stock to come in and get that cherry one you've wanted for a long time.

StanG
08-30-2012, 12:58 PM
Bottom line here: if you can afford a 335 and want one, get it. If you can't a used sheraton for about $4-450 and some 100-150 pickups will make you happy in the meantime.

I have had several 335's: 1978, 2005, recent nashville historic '59, and now a 333. Until recently I had a '96 sheraton that I paid $400 for and put some gibson pu's in. Absolutely nothing wrong with that guitar, and the guy that has it now thinks the same.

the historic, which I could not afford to keep, was probably the nicest, an all areas, guitar I have ever had in my hands.

bob-i
08-30-2012, 01:43 PM
I traded a reverb unit I had built from the 63 fender schematic for a 99 sheriton. The owner said it played well but didn't sound very good so I figured I could tweak the electronics.

When I pulled the electronics out I found loller imperials, rs guitar works pots and caps and really, REALLY poor wiring work. Once I rewired it I just love the tone and feel of this instrument.

I've compared this one directly to a beautiful sunburst 335 a friend of mine owns. It comes in a very close second. the 335 has a complexity in the mids and highs the sheriton can't quite duplicate. Feel wise, the flattened C shape of the sheriton doesn't feel quite as good as the more rounded C of the 335 but that's a personal choice. I also string it with 10-56 where my friend uses a regular 10 set so the lows are tighter on my sheriton.


Bottom line, I have maybe $125 into the sheriton, he paid $2400 for the 335. I just can't justify the money so the sheriton is a keeper.

aeronius
08-30-2012, 01:53 PM
I'm doing the same thing. Picked up an '03 Peerless-made Sheraton. What I REALLY wanted was a ES-355, but I just can't justify $2.5k for a used one, let alone $4k for a new one. The Sheraton get's reasonably close in the aesthetics dept while still keeping its own unique thing going.

Here's a list of the upgrades I'm doing:

Sheraton II ($400/eBay)
Setup/Fret level/adjust nut slots ($120/John Wescott in LA)
TP6 Tailpiece ($26/eBay)
Resomax bridge w/ graphite saddles ($40/eBay)
Mojotone 335 assembly ($60/mojotone)
Black tophats ($10/mojotone)
SD Pickups (Free/pulled from another guitar)
Dull poly finish on neck (Free/elbow grease)

Let's compare numbers:
Total invested in my guitar: $656.
Cost of a new Sheraton II: $599 (Musicians Friend)
Cheapest used 335: $1299 (GC Hollywood)
Average used 335: $1700 (eBay)
New 335 (satin): $2249 (Musicians Friend)
New 335 (gloss): $2999 (Musicians Friend)

My $656 Sheraton is 50% the cost of the cheapest used one, and 21% the cost of a gloss 335. For a guitar that gets me 95% of the way there in the the look/sound/feel department, I'd say my Sheraton is a winner.

I really hate how so many people on the board say "why not just get a Gibson blah blah blah throwing money away with upgrades blah blah blah." Can I afford a new 335? Yes. Can I afford a new 355? Yes. Do I want to lay out that much for another guitar? Not so much. Not everyone's a gigging musician, and even those who are don't always want to take their expensive stuff out. Now I have a guitar that's set up exactly how I want with little personal touches that make it uniquely mine.

The only people in the world who care as much about branding and what guitar you play are the people on this board. If you're gigging, no one in the audience cares because they're their to listen to music and have a good time, not scrutinize your gear. For a time I was tech to lots of hot local LA bands, and most all of them play with stock MIM Fenders, beat up Kays and Silvertones, and they all sound great. I've seen ONE local show where a guy came out with a nice PRS Singlecut. Funny thing is, my guitars are 100x nicer than anything any of the bands I worked for played, and I'm not even a gigging musician.

Anyhow, I digress. Buy what you want, play what you want, and make it yours. Forget all the Epi haters and all the 'only a Gibson is good enough' malarky. Funny how 90% of the threads here are "Gibson QC sucks" but everyone still says "Gibson smokes everything!" when Epiphone or any other cheaper brand comes up.

Hulakatt
08-30-2012, 01:57 PM
There's a good reason I lean towards Edwards guitars...

peskypesky
08-30-2012, 02:17 PM
Let's compare numbers:
Total invested in my guitar: $656.
Cost of a new Sheraton II: $599 (Musicians Friend)
Cheapest used 335: $1299 (GC Hollywood)
Average used 335: $1700 (eBay)
New 335 (satin): $2249 (Musicians Friend)
New 335 (gloss): $2999 (Musicians Friend)



I'm with you 100%. When I watched the Youtube videos comparing the Sheraton to the 335, it made my mind up for me. I'm going with a Sheraton!

And I probably won't even do all the mods you're doing. :JAM

Jura
08-30-2012, 05:08 PM
I've owned both, I loved the Sheraton, until I bought the 335.
Soundwise, they can get pretty similar after all the upgrades, but the feel is what did it for me.
I believe I would love the Sheraton even more if I had it refinished in nitro..

toasterdude
08-30-2012, 07:00 PM
I have 3 cheap epi semi hollows. A dot deluxe which is a gift from fiance so not getting sold ever. I put lollar imperials underwounds in it and I dig the guitar. Would a real 335 be better, probably.

The fiance also bought be an epi riviera with 3 p90s. I really dig that cheap ass guitar. May put lollar p90s in it as well. Not sure if gibson has a 3 p90 semi hollow but have no doubt it would sound better.

A few years back our upstairs neighbor who plays sax came down to show us an epi sheraton his cousin sent him from the states. He wanted to sell it for cash. Showed him all the guitars I had laying around and told him what it was likely worth used. Months later we were at one of his gigs and he was trying to sell it to the cuban tres player in the band. It was a few weeks before christmas and my bday is the 15th. The fiance called up and asked how much. He said 14,000 pesos which would be 350 bucks. She said I have 10,000 pesos in my hand. he said sold! About 250 bucks. Would a gibson sound better, yeah. I actualy will not likely swap pickups. They have a different sound. Seem to breakup in a funky bluesy kind of way.

For the $4,000 a new 335 costs from sweetwater I was able to buy:

epi dot deluxe - 400
epi riviera - 400 bucks
epi sheraton - 250 bucks
gretsch setzer hot rod - 1500
Used gibson explorer - 1100

Plus pay for the lollars in the epi dot.

None of those are my main guitars and neither would a 335, so I prefer my option as I get more versatility.

lpdeluxe
08-30-2012, 07:15 PM
This is an interesting thread and should be required reading for anyone who says "X is crap and my Y blows it away!" and all related idiocy.

I posted earlier with pics of my Sheraton II and my 335 and there's no doubt about which side of the fence I inhabit.

BUT (full disclosure here) -- I perform at my church from time to time (we have everything from organ music to our "Baptist Blues Band") and, during the brief period I owned the modified Epiphone I spoke of earlier, I played it through an unmodified Fender Blues Jr NOS tweed amp (pic below) and a friend (who can pretty much afford whatever he wants) told me, "That's the best tone I've EVER heard!"

Me, I've got other sounds in my head.

Pardon the clumsy PhotoShop.

http://i345.photobucket.com/albums/p362/lpdeluxe1/FenderBluesJr.jpg

TJNies
08-31-2012, 06:27 AM
My 2 cents:
I had a 2003 Korean Epi Dot Deluxe. Prior owner changed out the bridge to a TonePro, and SD Jazz and JB pickups. Sounded petty fair, but then controls got very scratchy-sounding, no amount of cleaning seemed to help.
So I sprung for a BCS Guitarworks vintage 335 wiring kit, had a professional install it. That made a huge change in the tone - wow! Sounded marvelous, and as others have said, got 95% of the tone of a 335.
The only thing I didn't care for was the thinner, unbound neck. Having played acoustics for many years, I like a fatter neck.

Had my chance, sold the Epi and bought a Joe Bonamassa signature ES335. Finally got a neck I liked. And the sound, well it does blow away the Epi, but any real 335 I've played as well. Maybe I got lucky, but would make that change every day of the week.


So, feel free to upgrade the Sheraton, you'll probably like it. But I agree with the others that for the cost, a useed Heritage might be a better idea.

Good luck!

Nobler
08-31-2012, 07:39 AM
I have an early nineties korean made Sheraton II. I played it untill in the early noughties I bought a '99 Gibson ES 335 because it was a lifelong dream to own the real thing. The Sheraton is the better finished ánd the better playable guitar however. With the stock pickups, the Sheraton sounds better to my ears as well.

The only thing that let the Epi down was the wiring and pots, possible in combination with the properties of the pickups. It doesn't clean up like the 335 does and loses too much treble when you lower the volume.

After numerous times trying to get guitar techs to change the wiring to my taste, I gave up and 'forced' myself to only use the 335 (which I grew accustomed to quite nicely). The 335 is certainly not bad, but I still think the Sheraton I have is still the better guitar.

speedemon
08-31-2012, 11:56 AM
Hi OP,

I have a 2006 Sheraton, from the Unsung factory in Korea. I am not going to pretend it is an "average" example of a Sheraton or imported guitar, I knew it was "special" when I looked at it. I upgraded the pickups (Gibson 57 classics), bridge assembly(tone pros), and electronics (heavy duty, done by previous owner, but approved by my repairman). I am into it $800; the price has fallen and if I did that now it would be $600. I like it just as much as the 335s in the store today that cost 3x as much. I have played the new Sheratons from China; you can have 'em. Does my Sheraton sound as good as an old 335 with Shaws, Patent. Nos. or PAFs? No way. does it cost 1/3 to 1/4 as much? yes. Sometimes the guitar is a little brite for me, so doing it again I would go with the 57+ like you are considering, or maybe a custom pickup.

The real difference is the neck; a lot of Gibson semi hollows have a mahogany neck, the Sheraton has maple. The rest is appearance.

If you can find a 335 for under $1k (or $1500 for that matter!), don't waste any time getting it! Otherwise, I agree you will be happy with a modded Sheraton.

Have fun and good luck!

TJNies
08-31-2012, 02:14 PM
For the $4,000 a new 335 costs from sweetwater I was able to buy:


There are a number of Gibson 335s that you can buy for far less. My '61 JB 335 was $3k even.

But your point is valid.

I guess someone else mentioned, but if you can find one, an Epi Elitist 335 at around $1200 - $1500 would be a fantastic instrument to buy.

lonesomebill
12-07-2012, 07:16 AM
I just sold a 93 Sheraton that sounded great stock. I pulled the harness and cleaned the switch, jack and pots which were nearly non-working. I would have kept it but the fretboard was just too narrow for me.

I have owned about six 335s, four 333s and one 355 which all played better than the Sheraton - I will get another Gibson when I can afford one.

However, I just bought one of the 62 reissue Sheratons. It looks like it will not require upgrades and the price was right for an import that comes with a case. Best of all, the fretboard is wider.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-EPI-ETC2-LIST

woodie
12-07-2012, 08:02 AM
Is the neck shape on the Sheraton kind of thin and flat? Maybe it was just the one I picked up, but the neck profile just seemed more uncomfortable than the rounder 335 dot reissue necks I've played.

bluegrif
12-07-2012, 10:35 AM
I've mentioned this before but I tour the blues festival circuit and see a lot of Korean Sheratons on stage. Now it's certainly possible those are the road guitars and a more expensive semi sits home or in the studio. But the fact is, properly set up they cut it pretty well in a live setting. I have no personal experience with them though. I have owned an early 80s MIJ Riviera that was a nice guitar. But it was quite a bit different from my 86 335, which was a great one. That said, if I were buying today, I'd just look for another Yamaha SA2200 and be done with it. One of the best, period. And I think the going used price is around $1200.

rwijaya
12-07-2012, 11:05 AM
I just sold a 93 Sheraton that sounded great stock. I pulled the harness and cleaned the switch, jack and pots which were nearly non-working. I would have kept it but the fretboard was just too narrow for me.

I have owned about six 335s, four 333s and one 355 which all played better than the Sheraton - I will get another Gibson when I can afford one.

However, I just bought one of the 62 reissue Sheratons. It looks like it will not require upgrades and the price was right for an import that comes with a case. Best of all, the fretboard is wider.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-EPI-ETC2-LIST

wow that looks awesome. chinese made sheraton? or indonesian made sheraton?

tiktok
12-07-2012, 11:08 AM
I've been interested in getting a nice hollowbody guitar (ie. gibson ES355), and this is what I've gone with..

I've bought a 2010 Epiphone Sheraton II from the Gibson factory in china.

I'm going to replace the stock parts with the following:

> Gibson 57 Classic Neck Pup
> Gibson 57 Classic + Bridge Pickup
> Adding a ES-335 3-Way Prewired Assembly from Mojotone
> Changing all the gold parts to stock gibson chrome parts (ie. bridge, etc)
> Adding Gibson Black Tophat knobs

I will post pics once it's done.

Questions:
1. What's the difference between a Gibson ES335 and an Epiphone Sheraton?
2. Specifically, what's the difference between the woods used in the body?
3. Has anyone upgraded an Epiphone Sheraton with success?
4. Is there anything else I should upgrade? (ie. bone nut, grafite bridge, ect)

The Gibson uses select tone plywood for the body.
The Epiphone just uses plywood.

lonesomebill
12-07-2012, 01:46 PM
wow that looks awesome. chinese made sheraton? or indonesian made sheraton?

I think these are made in Korea, but I could be wrong.

tsar nicholas
12-07-2012, 02:59 PM
I've owned both. Workmanship on the Epiphone was horrible and the sound was really harsh.

Huh, really? I've never seen a Sheraton with sloppy workmanship. I have a one and it'd a nice axe, especially with Duncans. Kevin O'Neil plays one, so they can't all be horrid!


That said, I don't think the Sheraton sounds exactly like a 335 -- I speculate that the laminated neck chages its timbre a little bit. I think it actually has a more vowel-like sound than the average 335.

Oakley
12-07-2012, 04:07 PM
I have an Elite Sheraton. It's a fantastic guitar and every bit as well made as either of my 335s - Not the same thing, I know, but you can get them for $1000. They're priced high around $1400 now, but they will go back down.

rwijaya
12-07-2012, 04:32 PM
I have an Elite Sheraton. It's a fantastic guitar and every bit as well made as either of my 335s - Not the same thing, I know, but you can get them for $1000. They're priced high around $1400 now, but they will go back down.

i wonder if the original japanese made (pre elitist line) is also priced around 1000 ? or the elitist is still priced higher than non elitist?

i have one 1983 sheraton MIJ, i wonder about the value in the used market.

Waxhead
12-08-2012, 03:38 AM
I've been interested in getting a nice hollowbody guitar (ie. gibson ES355), and this is what I've gone with..

I've bought a 2010 Epiphone Sheraton II from the Gibson factory in china.

I'm going to replace the stock parts with the following:

> Gibson 57 Classic Neck Pup
> Gibson 57 Classic + Bridge Pickup
> Adding a ES-335 3-Way Prewired Assembly from Mojotone
> Changing all the gold parts to stock gibson chrome parts (ie. bridge, etc)
> Adding Gibson Black Tophat knobs

I will post pics once it's done.
Questions:
1. What's the difference between a Gibson ES335 and an Epiphone Sheraton?
2. Specifically, what's the difference between the woods used in the body?
3. Has anyone upgraded an Epiphone Sheraton with success?
4. Is there anything else I should upgrade? (ie. bone nut, grafite bridge, ect)

I've posted on this subject many times already.
My story is another`total success upgrading a Sheraton 2 with almost the exact parts you propose.
I got my Sherry 2 yrs ago for $450 from the US - they cost $1200 in Aust.
All my upgrades cost $300 and I ended up with a guitar that sounds almost as great as a 335.

Mine has been blind tested by a 335 owner and we can't hear a tone difference at all - and he's not happy either cause his cost $5000 in Aust.

There's one big proviso on this though -
Epi guitars vary greatly in quality so you have to buy a good Sherry.
Get a crappy one which several people in this thread here have obviously foolishly done and your upgrades won't improve it much.

Shop around and get a good one like I did and you have the basics for a great one.

Here's mine with upgrades
57 Classics, all electrics, graphtec nut.
The result was so great I added the Trem system :)

Hey - 335's are great guitars for sure but they're also THE most over-priced guitars I've ever seen


http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd231/newysurfer/EPISheraton16Nov11007.jpg

bluegrif
12-08-2012, 03:48 AM
I
However, I just bought one of the 62 reissue Sheratons. It looks like it will not require upgrades and the price was right for an import that comes with a case. Best of all, the fretboard is wider.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-EPI-ETC2-LIST

Very nice. I wasn't aware of these. It's great they're making a Sheraton that actually appears to have the specs of, well, a real (late 50s through 60s) Sheraton. I know the Elitist model was correct, but this is the first I've heard of a lower priced option. My complaint with the Sheraton II is it's a bit of a departure from a classic Sheraton. I would assume the quality of this new reissue to be similar to the limited edition 61 Casino, which I found surprisingly good. I'd like to check one of these out. I hope they get one in at the local QC.