Comparing Epiphone Sheraton to Gibson ES-335

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by luitanent_dan, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. luitanent_dan

    luitanent_dan Member

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    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)
     
  2. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

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    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.
     
  3. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  4. OrangeAD30TC

    OrangeAD30TC Member

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    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.
     
  5. luitanent_dan

    luitanent_dan Member

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    "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:

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  6. luitanent_dan

    luitanent_dan Member

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    Just found a great demo video of the stock epiphone sheraton:

     
  7. beNsteR

    beNsteR Member

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    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..
     
  8. whomad1215

    whomad1215 Member

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    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.
     
  9. Dylan61

    Dylan61 Member

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    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.
     
  10. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  11. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    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!!
     
  12. rydia is hot

    rydia is hot Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  13. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    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....
     
  14. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Member

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    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:

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  15. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    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!!
     
  16. 5cent

    5cent Member

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

    huntcreative Member

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    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.
     
  18. cowboytim

    cowboytim Member

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    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.
     
  19. Drewski

    Drewski Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  20. Drewski

    Drewski Supporting Member

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

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