335 guys, what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mr.Hanky, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I know quite a bit about Les Pauls but near nothing about 335's.

    What do you look for in a 335?
    Any that are to be avoided?
    How are the new historics?

    That Freddie King tone is calling me these days.
     
  2. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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  3. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been a 335 guy for 27 years!! I have a '67 vintage 335, a '93 dot reissue and an Ibanez AS200 (335-type). I also have a PRS Hollowbody II.

    If you can find a mid-60s ('65 to '68) real vintage one, they are great. It will run you over $3k (at a minimum). Many of this era have trapeeze tail pieces. I lot of folks put in a stop TP. I was going to do this but my guitar sounds so sweet. VERY Freddie/BB King sounding.

    I really like the reissues. My '93 is great. I love the neck. It just doesn't sound as vintage as the real deal. I have not tried the Historic reissues. I'd guess that they are very nice.

    My recommendation is to go for a used reissue dot. I think they can be had for a reasonable price and they are very nice.
     
  4. Intelligentpony

    Intelligentpony Member

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    A friend of mine just bought a 1965 with a factory stop tail and that guitar is a monster. I have to go with the try 'em all before you buy, some stand out above the others. You can find quite a few new ones that are as good as any early one and conversely you can find plenty of old ones that are dogs. Don't over look the new Satin finish ones.
     
  5. LTE

    LTE Member

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    I like 335s but don't own any.

    Perhaps oneday, but right now, I'm working a deal to buy a CS 356.

    I need to sell my B.C. Rich neck thrus to help finance it.

    Any takers?
     
  6. cadjack

    cadjack Member

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    I must agree with JackD for the most part. Mine's a '66 bought in '75, but it's a one-off. Factory shaved small neck. Had a slight hump in the fretboard, had Mike Tobias and Bill Fels fix it by putting a slight compound radius on it. It's perfect for me, most from that era are good. I also had '69 ES-340 with real PAF's in it that was not equal to the sum of it's parts. That said, finding a good 335 is easier than most other guitars. You won't be disappointed. :)

    Here's my '66 as it looks now:

    [​IMG]

    Happy hunting, Jack
     
  7. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Cool, thanks guys.

    I know all about picking one that speaks to you, but when I know nothing about them it is good to gather some info first. I don't think a vintage one is going to be in the cards, sure would be nice though. Watching Freddie King play a 70's one is inspiring though, I know on one video he has a red one with the gibson pups that had the "Gibson" logo engraved in the chrome pup cover, that was early 70's I believe.
     
  8. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

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  9. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    Yikes! I hope that radiator isn't turned on! ;)
     
  10. rbisherw

    rbisherw Guest

    I have owned a 72 ES 335 (sold it during college to raise money)
    A 96 Heritage H535 (nice guitar, but not a 335 as far as I am concerned).
    A 2001 ES 335 Dot (great guitar. I am still kicking myself for selling this one)
    A 2004 ES 335 Dot (could not get it set up correctly and it is now gone)

    I recently played a 63 Historic reissue, that is hands down the best guitar I have ever played. The day after I played it, I went back and put a deposit on it. THe only downside; it cost a fortune. This is the reason I have been selling gear.

    When you find a good/great one, there is no better guitar IMHO.

    Mr Hanky is correct, Freddie King and a 335 is beautiful thing.
     
  11. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    Secret: Yamaha AS series, 1500 and up. I have a '81 AS-2000S (with a solid spruce top). It's an unbelievable 335 copy. My favorite guitar by a long shot. Seriously outdoes the modern standard Gibson 335 line, and well beyond any of the Epiphone etc. stuff in current production. A stunner of a guitar.

    I hear it's a studio favorite. I think it won't hit *exactly* the very exact vintage 335 tone. It's a little softer and sweeter on the neck pup, and a little twangier and less nasal on the bridge pup. Very flexible, especially in the middle section. But it's my favorite guitar. Rockabilly, punk, jazz, latin stuff, bluuuuueez. It's my baby.

    God it's a great guitar.

    Set me back: $750, on the 'bay.

    I believe prices are steadily going up on these things.

    -thi
     
  12. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I owned and sold an Historic Dot 335, and it's the only guitar I regret selling (hope you're lovin it, Joe!). Big tone and so versatile. Get a 'dot' with the bigger neck (the 'block' necks are thinner and have a pronounced taper that isn't my thing). The other characteristic that you MUST look for is light weight. Controversial in solid bodies, critical with semi-hollows, because the resonance of the top will greatly determine how much benefit you derive from its design. I'd say anything 8.5 lbs or below is great for a 335, as the center block and big body dictates that they can't be too much lighter. As the die-hard LP guy I know you are (I'm a huge LP fan as well!), you'll love the subtle and obvious family resemblences you'll notice in the 335. AC
     
  13. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    If and when I do do it, I will be looking at a 59 historic for sure. I like the big necks on my R7 and R4, so that is no problem.
     
  14. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    I think that's a 355. Looks like the split diamond and block inlays.

    Just as cool, if not cooler.
     
  16. AtomEve

    AtomEve Member

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  17. George H

    George H Member

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    I recommend a dot Historic as well if you dig the big fat neck.
    I know I love mine.


    [​IMG]
     
  18. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Sorry, AtomEve, really nice PRS, but it is so tonally different than a 335, IMO it's not comparable. The smaller PRS body has sounds more akin to a solid body, albeit with some differences. The 335, with its bigger expanse has much more of that hollow sound...a real signature sound of its own. The PRS is a great guitar in its own rite, but has more differences than similarities.
     
  19. AtomEve

    AtomEve Member

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    Great analogies but Hanky REALLY needs a PRS.:dude :D

    And how is it that a completely hollow PRS sounds like a solid body but a 335 sounds more like a hollow body though it's a solid block of wood with electronic pups through the center and hollow surrounds much like the design of Les's Log? Curious.... I never played a PRS hollow body that sounded anything like a solid body like a 335 does. The beauty of a 335 for me is that it is close to the LP but thinner and closer to feedback.

    All subjective I guess.

    I do however think that the ES-330 is a closer analogy to the HB-II except for the Pups of course.


    Bryan
     
  20. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    I have both, a PRS Hollowbody II and 2 ES-335s. I LOVE them all and they are all keepers. The PRS is a different sound and feel. It is very open and refinded. Mine is very sweet sounding.

    My '67 ES 335 is a very old vintage blues sounding baby--killer, but not in any way refined. Also the neck (patent number) pickup is very bright and punchy--almost like a p-90.

    My '93 dot reissue is right between. It still sounds like a 335, but it's got better articulation and clarity. Also, that 60s slim taper neck is great (although the PRS wide/fat is wonderful as well). I recently pulled the '57 classics out of this 335 and had Fralin Unbuckers installed. I like them a lot. A bit sweeter top end and the coil tap (via push/pull tone pots) makes the guitar more versitile.
     

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