Best value ES335?

Bill Lumberg

I Drink and I Know Things.
Gold Supporting Member
Check out the Epiphone Sheraton II.

It's my favorite ES-335-style guitar that's not a vintage Gibson model.
I'm not overly impressed with the standard issue 335's coming out of Gibson these days and I don't play a 335 model enough to invest in a Custom Shop model, so the Epiphone is an excellent alternative.
Especially if you can find a clean, made in Korea version from the mid-90's. I had a white one that I put a set of real PAFs in back then and it sounded AMAZING. Even though they're made in China now, they're still great guitars. Great tones, feel and quality. Some models even have upgraded pickups, pots/caps/wiring, Tone Pros hardware, GraphTech nut & Grover tuners. All for under $1,000 including tax and shipping. Cases are extra though.
If you're looking for something a bit more interesting, the Epiphone Emily Wolfe Signature Model is a killer take on the 335/Sheraton platform.
Happy hunting!

Chicago Slim

I'm a long time semi-hollow guy. I've owned a ES335, Heritage H535, Ibanez AM50 and AS73, Epiphone (Saein) Sheraton II, as well as several Gretsch hollow bodies. Each had something to offer at their price point. I would like to try a Sire but wouldn't buy without first playing. Get out and play as many as you can. Semi-hollows can vary a lot from guitar to guitar. Semi-hollows can be LP heavy. Remember that it's a PITA to change pickups and POTs on a semi-hollow.

This past year I tried a IBG ES335, Riveira with mini humbuckers, PRS SE semi-hollow and SE Hollowbody II. I came home with the PRS SE Hollowbody II. It's different from a semi-hollow, but I really liked it. YMMV!
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I have a minor GAS for an ES335 (style) right now, but not sure if I wanna fork out min 3k for one. What are my options?
The Best value ES335?

The one and only original by Gibson is the best value because it is a better guitar. I've tried several other ones and none of the lower priced budget models sound or feel as good as a Gibby 335. You can probly get a sightly used real Gibson ES-335 for about $3k, maybe even slightly less. The higher end Ibañez and Yamahas are quite good. I also have a 2 or 3 year old Heritage H-535 that I like a lot. It's a little darker sounding than my Gibson but very nice. BTW, something I've heard from a lot of 335 owners is that each ES-335 sounds a little or even a lot different. And I tend to agree.

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I have a minor GAS for an ES335 (style) right now, but not sure if I wanna fork out min 3k for one. What are my options?

I just checked on Reverb, there's dozens of 335s up there between $2k and $3k.

And that's just Reverb...


Silver Supporting Member
I have an Epi 335 pro that I bought about six months ago. I put in a set of Seth Lovers and replaced the harness and I could not be happier with the guitar. It took a little work, but well worth it!


Sheraton's headtsock is too massive unfortunately.
The regular Epi 335 is a step up from the dot.
I'd go with Ibanez or Epi-335.


Some vintage Gibsons sound really treble-ladened and are considered less desirable. I have a 1962 that was that way, and it came (from my grandfather) with the old Bigsby tremolo, which would just never hold tune very well.

So I defaced it by removing the tremolo and replacing it with a traditional stop tune-a-matic. Then I went inside and wired the bridge PAF to modern spec. Now it sounds beefy when needed, but can easily comp jazz chords using the neck pickup with volume and tone rolled back.

If I didn't have it, I think I would look to Eastman because of the fret attention. I actually like the Yamaha SA, but I pulled one off a rack and the frets were all over the map for some reason.

This could be because it was left to the dealer to dress and setup.

Eastmans come from the factory dressed tho. They're plug-in-play.

But if all things are equal, I'd get the Yamaha SA2200. The sycamore wood body is way more interesting tone wise, very unique. They sound absolutely fantastic.

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