2012 ES-339 - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mtnbkr123, May 23, 2020.

  1. Mtnbkr123

    Mtnbkr123 Member

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    I just picked up some more Mesa gear including a 1977 original owner Mark I for $350 CDN. Add that to my recently acquired Mark V 90, my TA-15, some nice Recto cabs and yeah, COVID has been a great period for gear acquisition.

    The same guy has a mint 2012 Vintage Sunburst ES-339. I think it still has the original strings on it. It looks like it was never played. Decent but not bargain basement pricing on it. He is pretty firm at $2k CDN. I may be able to get him to $1850 CDN. Maybe $1750 CDN but I doubt it.

    I am not familiar with this guitar. It needs to be set up. The action is 3x higher than it should be. I am going to have to buy it a bit in the dark. I bought so much gear off them (the dad is a retired professional musician) that I think they will allow me to take it for a week so I can get it checked out, with the ability to return it if anything is catastrophically wrong with it.

    My daughter’s guitar instructor of 10 years often plays her Vintage Sunburst 339. I have watched her in envy as she opens the case and unleashes that beautifully crafted work of art. I have always wanted one.

    Any ES-339 owners here who can chime in?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    Gizmot likes this.
  2. Arcadia

    Arcadia Supporting Member

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    A local music store has one. It tempted me. It's kind of in between a 335 and a Les Paul. Pretty cool guitar. If it's truly mint, it's easily worth $2000+ USD. What do they want for it?
     
  3. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    The usual suspects will probably be here shortly to let you know that a 2012 Gibson probably has a laminated fretboard and is therefore practically worthless.
     
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  4. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Supporting Member

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    I feel ya about the amps, picked up a TA15 myself, great little amp. Id say it is a pretty fair price for the guitar, not an insane deal, but fair. If you can have a week to bond with it, I'd take advantage of having that opportunity. The Memphis 335 I had would just not get where I wanted it to, with a lot of tweaking and a pro setup even.
     
  5. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Member

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    I used to own one. Sold it as I also had a 335. The 335 was a better fit for me and also sounded fuller/bigger. Also, the 339 is somewhat rarer, as you don't see as many of them around.
    If you are looking for a semi hollow for your daughter you can't go wrong here, but I would definitely get it checked out as it has been stored for many years. If your tech green lights it, I would get it. Your daughter will be over the moon. :)
     
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  6. JS-29

    JS-29 Member

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    I really like mine. Huge 59 neck and 57 classics. It definitely has it's own unique thing going on and I especially like the clean tones. It is also very light, which makes it a nice option for gigging for a guy like me with back problems. Great guitar.
     
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  7. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    I had one, but not for long. Mine could never be adjusted to play with low action and no dead spots. I think it needed a new nut and a fret level. I bought it 2nd hand, so no warranty. I decided not to invest more, and moved it along. I usually have good luck with Gibson guitars, but frankly my 339 was a dog. Not sure Memphis guitars are built as well as Nashville.
     
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  8. Mtnbkr123

    Mtnbkr123 Member

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    This sums up most of my concerns quite nicely. Especially re the action.
     
  9. Mike J.

    Mike J. Member

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    Superb guitar, so definitely “yay”!
     
  10. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    Go East, young man, go Eastman.
     
  11. Mtnbkr123

    Mtnbkr123 Member

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    Thanks, but hard pass.

    Just got through reading through some threads rife with Gibson hate posted mostly by people who appear to secretly lust after them but can’t afford them. At least that’s how they read at my end.

    I saw your posts.

    Plus I asked for opinions in this thread from people who own them (or, impliedly, are familiar with them). I will assume you are neither.

    I can afford them, and I have not been burnt yet with a broken headstock. They are worth every penny to me. Much more actually.

    I am not familiar with ES-339s, which was the thrust of my inquiry. This wasn’t an invitation to $hit all over Gibson.

    But thanks.
     
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  12. ChrisN

    ChrisN Supporting Member

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    2012, I believe, was included in the period when TWO different necks were offered on the 339 - a '59 (big) and a 60/30 (.030 over a '60s slim), so check which it's got, and which you prefer, to ensure alignment.
     
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  13. Mtnbkr123

    Mtnbkr123 Member

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    Correct. Not sure how to find out what neck profile this particular guitar has. Plus I have played nothing but 60s slim taper necks. Not sure which between those other 2 options I would prefer. A different neck profile might be a welcome thing.
     
  14. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    If you want a smaller body semi-hollow? Eastman T484. I would and I did.
     
  15. Mtnbkr123

    Mtnbkr123 Member

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    I saw your posts in the other threads too.

    Aaarrrggghhh.
     
  16. ChrisN

    ChrisN Supporting Member

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    EDIT: If you like your '60s slim taper, then I think you'd definitely want to stay with the 30/60, over the '59. The 30/60 is just a smidge bigger than the '60s slim taper neck. If you're looking for a different experience altogether, then the '59 neck makes sense.

    Absent (1) the seller's ability to differentiate from their own experience(s) with the different profiles, and adequately communicate that result to you, (2) the seller's ability to accurately measure the neck thickness at the 1st and 12th frets (under the strings - top of fretboard to back of neck - I use calipers and a .5" nut, to get through the strings), or (3) your ability to try it out first, the only thing that comes to mind is a clearly defined photo of the neck from the side, perhaps with a ruler held against the side of the neck at the 12th fret to allow a ballpark idea of thickness. The '59 neck is definitely thick enough relative to the 60/30 for this to be seen in a photo that you could post here for those knowledgeable to review/opine.

    I have a '18 339 with what I believe is the 60/30 neck (no optional neck in '18 - this is the neck you got, so I imagine Gibson went with the more popular of the 2 previous options - anyway, mine feels like it's a smidge bigger than the '60s slim taper), and I find I always prefer the thicker neck on my '93 LP Studio (59ish thickness) to the 60/30 on the 339. That said, I've read where others who are more experienced than I am have said the '59 neck was, for them, way too thick at/near the upper frets to be useful for their style of playing. It's a personal thing.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  17. ChrisN

    ChrisN Supporting Member

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    Excellent choice - just be aware that the nut is 1 3/4, not the Gibson's 1 11/16 - that's a deal breaker, for some.
     
  18. Phil the Kill Bill V2 guy

    Phil the Kill Bill V2 guy Member

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    I own a 2013 339 with the slim neck. I own 17 guitars, and the 339 has become my favorite.
    YMMV
     
  19. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    I was looking at an Eastman hollow body while I was in Nashville in March. The store sold both Eastman and Gibson. The salesman used to own his own store in Michigan. Without any prompting, the salesman said the Eastman was as good and maybe better than what Gibson has to offer. I mentioned this in a thread a month or so ago and I Gibson collector said he agreed. I am not giving Gibson a bad name; only stating facts. And I can afford a Gibson. I don't need to have a name brand on my guitars or vehicles. I also can't see spending three times as much for something when I can buy the competitor's model which is as good or better. Others don't see it that way. Your choice is yours and mine and others are ours. Yours seems to be emotional. Mine is based on economics and reason.
     
  20. Mtnbkr123

    Mtnbkr123 Member

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    I checked them out. Yes - they look like fine instruments. Another option. Thanks.

    Sorry to have responded the way I did. I had just finished reading a couple of threads filled with Gibson hate.
     
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