Gibson ES 336 or ES 339 ???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Teleman, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Teleman

    Teleman Supporting Member

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    I'm in the market for a semi-hollow Gibson. I've had the chance to play an ES336 but have not played the 339.
    what are the big differences, besides price, in playability and tone?
     
  2. lannyhall

    lannyhall Member

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    Last year I bought a 336 figured top, and it is a great guitar. It now has TonePros, and I plan to hold on to this guitar. I have not played the 339.

    Unlike the 339, the 336 has a solid top, and the back & sides are carved out of a single piece of wood. I understand the 339 is built like a 335 (laminate top, regular construction for back & sides), just smaller.
     
  3. pullagnm

    pullagnm Member

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    I bought the 339 and have played a few 336's. The necks on the 336's are slimmer. I have the 30/60 neck on my 339. The neck pickup on the 336 was duller sounding in the low end. Where the 339 neck pickup was fat and thick. And the 336 was slightly lighter. Both are great guitars, but for the price the 339 is the way to go.
     
  4. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    Very different guitars. I did some work on a friend's CS-336 and in fact just today I played an ES339 at Guitar Center. CS336 is a chambered solidbody with a carved maple top over a hollowed out solid mahogany back (you get to the pickups through a cover on the back like a Les Paul). It's not quite a total solidbody, and has a little life or jazz flavor to it but retains its brightness. The CS339 is a scaled down ES335 that has more of a noticeable acoustic flavor. You might find that price and the neck profile are more important. My understanding is that both guitars (depending on the year of CS336 you're looking at) have '57 Classic Humbuckers in them. I'm not sure the market is going to tolerate the overuse of the "custom shop" decal on the headstock, since the ES339 is a Memphis instrument and not a Nashville. Also a model that's only sold through Guitar Center affiliates may be rare and collectible or it may just be a blip that nobody liked and won't be desireable later on. Having said that, I did like the one I played an awful lot and would like to have one especially at that price.
     
  5. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    i'm selling my CS336p, it has a bigsby......it is a killer guitar. if you're interested email me at surfshack6524@comcast.net

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  6. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Supporting Member

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    339
     
  7. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Gold Supporting Member

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    Are there any noticeable differences in tone or sound between the two guitars?
     
  8. Gary F.

    Gary F. Silver Supporting Member

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    Bob-

    Not trying to be confrontational, but are you sure you worked on a 336? I assure you mine has no cover plates on the back, nor have any others i've ever seen.

    Gary
     
  9. Tim Pourciau

    Tim Pourciau Member

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    I have a 356 Koa top and love this guitar. Different beast than either the 336 or 339, but i always like to brag about it. The combination of the Koa top and ebony board make the bridge pickup pretty bright and the neck pickup is big and fat. Also, there is no cover plate on the back of this baby either.

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  10. * velcro-fly *

    * velcro-fly * Supporting Member

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    They won't need to tolerate it for long...apparently they are going to the regular production line soon - no more CS designation.

    Re: Memphis vs. Nashville - I'm pretty sure that all ES models are built in Memphis, including Custom Shop ES-335's ( at least any laminate / archtop guitar )

    The 339 plaintops will be GC only,the figured tops will be available elsewhere (but not GC...) $1000 more for figured plywood. Sweet.

    I adore my 339, it's more like a 335 whereas the 336's were tonally closer to my Les Pauls. The 339 is my absolute current favorite guitar and the best bang for the buck that Gibson has.
     
  11. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf Silver Supporting Member

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    +2 I've owned a CS-336 since 2003 and there is no access plate on the back. Perhaps he worked on one of the old prototype ES-336s that had the mickey mouse ear body and the straight pull peg head, I believe those had a flat back and so possibly a back plate as well.
     
  12. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf Silver Supporting Member

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    If it had a cover plate it was an old ES-336, some what different than the CS-336. I've owned a CS-336 since 2003 and trust me, it has no back plate. Here's some pics of a ES-336 I found on the web. Note the flat back with back plate and the small straigt pull headstock.

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  13. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a 339 with the 59 neck - love it. It definitely has that 335 vibe, if that's what you want. I haven't played a 336, but I would expect it to sound more like a Les Paul than a 335 based on its construction.
     
  14. johnboho

    johnboho Supporting Member

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    no backplate i wish it did bitch to work on
     
  15. artandink

    artandink Silver Supporting Member

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    I think some of you are thinking of the CS-346.

    I used to own one. Sold it to guy named Mike on the Gear Page about three or four years ago. Not one of my better moves.

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  16. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    In the mahogany/maple chambered design, there is the CS-336, CS-346, and CS-356. I think there was also an ES-336 (maybe non-custom shop?).

    I think the CS-346 is the one with the parallelograms and smaller headstock. Pretty sure the CS-336 is standard head with dots and the CS-356 is the standard head with blocks. I know there are other differences too (hardware and binding).

    Then you get the new wave of guitars. First, the ES-339. Now they are introducing higher end versions. It's not easy to keep up with everything...
     

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