Best value ES335?

furibond

Member
Messages
7
I've got that Tokai ES180. I swapped the pickups, put a bridge and tail piece from Faber and rewired it (50's wiring instead of modern and put a PIO cap).

I considered buying an Eastman or Yamaha but eventually chose the Tokai because it's much closer to an actual Gibson (shape, woods, etc.).

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AZ Boy

Member
Messages
12
I had 335 GAS for ages. Played a few Gibbies, both vintage and custom shop. I balked at the prices but was almost ready to purchase a new CS model at a reasonable price when the IBG 335 was released. Played one and the feel is so similar to Gibson 335s as far as the neck goes (a C profile), at least compared to the ones I played. I couldn't fault the fit and finish and the tone wasn't far removed from modern 335s having similar attack and sustain characteristics, in other words what is expected from an ES335 style semi hollow body. Needless to say, I purchased the IBG 335 and have totally lost any urge to buy a Gibbie 335. Everything about the Ibanez is awesome. Totally and utterly happy with it.

Looks wise IT IS an ES335 with the same ears (the classic Mickey shape), body shape and headstock as the Gibbie models which I really appreciate. A lot of the other brands differ from 335s which sort of put me off because I'm a bit of a ES335 purist and wanted something that looks exactly the same. In my opinion the IBG is a real deal E355 at a reasonable price that cant be faulted unless one is incredibly nit-picky.
 
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Mike Carrigan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24
I’ll second the Ibanez recommendation. I bought a new AS-73 at GC for about $325. I had a nice Epi 335, but I traded it for the Ibanez. So my guitar tech at GC tells he has a pair of DiMarzio 36th Anny PAF’s he’d sell me for $60, a deal which I hit immediately. I had him use theGerman silver solder I have (Wmt?), which gave it that little bit of extra sweetness. I’d put it up against a Gibbie any day. (Not to be a jerk, but I don’t need any harassment about the solder. I was a lunatic audiophile back in the day, and I can hear the difference. I bought it, I use it on every guitar project. I just don’t want to wade through a bunch of Luddite comments. You are perfectly welcome to your opinions, but please share them someplace else. When you have as much experience as I do, we can discuss it. Peace and love, all.
 

rockinstephen

Member
Messages
145
Epiphone has many 335 style guitars. The Ibanez Artcore series would be a good choice. And then, there's always some Gretsch Electromatics...
 

JKater

Member
Messages
42
As good as a run-of-the-mill Gibson 335, arguably better but actually different is the top end MIJ Yamaha SA2200. Same ball park as the John Scofield, Heritage H-535, and the upper range Eastmans. It's more a 355 but we're talking semis, I guess.
 
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Bass Butcher

Member
Messages
113
Find an Epiphone ES-335 Dot that was manufactured at the end of the '90s in the Saein factory. Seriously.
You know your stuff. Saein is a hidden gem among instrument manufacturers. MIC Epi's are assembled at the factory they opened in China. I've owned both Korean and Chinese Saein guitars under different brand names, including a Epi Riviera Custom P-93 and all were excellent quality instruments. Here are a pair of Saein's, I put the 490R/T combo in the SG and it was 100% SG. The MIK Gold Arco with hand wound p-90's is one of the nicest electrics I have ever played and pro build quality.
 

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JKater

Member
Messages
42
Yamaha Sa2200 fitted with a Duesenberg trem and Kloppman Pups. Now you are at the same price bracket as your Gibson 335. :D
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wrenhunter

Member
Messages
80
I haven't played all the models, but I got an Epi Dot Deluxe about 5 years ago for under $300 new. Can't beat that for value. Really nice guitar, nice stock humbuckers with push-pull.
 

Beyer260

Member
Messages
530
I had him use theGerman silver solder I have (Wmt?), which gave it that little bit of extra sweetness. I’d put it up against a Gibbie any day. (Not to be a jerk, but I don’t need any harassment about the solder. I was a lunatic audiophile back in the day, and I can hear the difference. I bought it, I use it on every guitar project. I just don’t want to wade through a bunch of Luddite comments. You are perfectly welcome to your opinions, but please share them someplace else. When you have as much experience as I do, we can discuss it. Peace and love, all.
I assume you're talking about WBT Silver Bearing solder, which contains about 4% silver (otherwise you'd be applying with a torch and a separate flux). It's definitely easier to work with than the "lead free" gunk and is less prone to cold solder joints, but if say you hear a difference I'll just have to take your word for it. The point of solder isn't to conduct electricity, but to hold components in place that conduct electricity.
 

eliot1025

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,700
Check out B&G Guitars. Award winning models from $1,100 to $7,000. Smaller body than Gibson.
They have pre-made, Private Build with set specs and Private Build with custom specs. Joe Walsh
uses them and bassist Carmine Rojas uses their basses.
 

joshofsorts

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,020
I have the Epiphone "Inspired By Gibson" ES-335. After a professional setup it was a really nice guitar. I rewired the wiring harness and put in some Wolftone Dr Vintage pickups because I wanted a more vintage sound, but you really don't need too; a lot of people really dig the stock pickups, and they are a nice balance of vintage & modern sounding. Overall, I would say I am really happy with the guitar and think it is great value for the money.

 




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