Es-335 Vs. Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bleomonkey, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    Hi everybody,

    I really like the tones that a good strat can get (Hendrix, SRV, Mayer), but I recently discovered the amazing tones of an es-335-esque guitar (Larry Carlton, Keb' Mo'). I was originally thinking about getting a 62 reissue strat for about $1500 and a used super reverb / vibroverb for $700-$900. Now, I don't know whether to get something like an es-335 or a strat or both, but I can't afford to get two $1000+ guitars and an expensive amp. What should I do: get a cheap es-335 copy ($500 or less) and a 62 reissue strat and a super reverb, get an es-335 and SR, get a 62 strat and SR, or other? Sound clips are always welcome if you want to convince me.

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. Zim

    Zim Member

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    I say get the one you want first, then save up for the other.
    Both are awesome guitars!

    my .02 cent.
     
  3. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

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    you can get a good price for a kidney. buy 'em both.
     
  4. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    Should I get an expensive strat ($1500) and a cheap es-335 copy, and if so, which one?
     
  5. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    I'd go the other way. Find a good cheap strat and spend more money on the ES335.

    My coworker just bought a $199 Squire strat cause he wants to learn how to play. He gave it to me for a weekend so I could set it up. I was amazed when all was said and done how well the thing played and sounded. He got lucky and found a really nice one.
     
  6. Dave Wakely

    Dave Wakely Member

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    I have one moderately expensive Strat (Am Dlx) and two cheap ones (Classic Player 60s/Highway 1). All three sound different, but - having played a whole bunch of each before picking the ones I liked - each is a fine guitar.

    A cheap semi is - from experience - less likely to be good. They just cost more to build well. (The best ones I can think of are actually the Peerless, but I've only tried the ES5 and ES330 clones. I had a Yamaha SA800 years ago which played very nicely, but sounded fairly coarse. Try a whole bunch of Strats and different price brackets and see what cash you have left over.
     
  7. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Get a good 335 or 333, a used MIJ Strat or Squier Strat, and amp.
     
  8. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Cheap strats are very good these days. I am collecting cheap guitars!

    I agree for ES335.

    Tomo
     
  9. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    A good ES335 is harder to make IMO than a good strat. Pay the big money for an ES335 copy, then get a good MIM Strat.

    That's what I'd do.

    GAD
     
  10. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    I just pucked, word is the tokai's not sold in the US are good, maybe so, the ones in the US are crap, Had a Tokai strat many years ago and still check them out to see if they are still bad, they are, my attempt at going cheap on a strat, my MIJ strat is not bad after I replaced the pups, however the HOLY GRAIL of tonewood "maple top on basswood" does not hold the screws anymore, so it has to stay at home, the bass wood is soft so the screws fall out, not a problem with my alder American Deluxe HSS strat or my Gibsons.

    Personally I regret going cheap on a strat or a 335, the cheap guitars really don't last and after a few years I regret the purchase, its fine to want to a couple guitars, the strat is a good complement to a lot of the gibson guitars, personally I like my fat strat since I have humbuckers as well as single coils, which ever you want to get first is a question that can go either way, they are both good guitars.
     
  11. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Import a Tokai from Japan. They can be amazing guitars. Super high quality.
     
  12. hardys

    hardys Member

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    How about a 339? Close to a 335 sound & look, while being much less expensive. They're put together pretty well and are from Gibson's custom shop. Musician's Friend is currently selling blems for $1367.24. That's a great price for a Custom Shop semi hollowbody. Lot's of people are raving about these guitars. Here is a link with an excellent demo of one. http://www.sheetsofsound.net/demos.html.
     
  13. meterman

    meterman Member

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    The two guitars that go with me on a gig at this point are a Strat and a semi-hollow and I've got a couple of each to choose from. I don't think you have to spend tons on a good Strat, I got a used EJ for $1100 and a Classic Players 60s that is really sweet for $750. For 335 type axes on a budget it's hard to beat a late 70s or early 80s Ibanez or Yamaha in terms of build quality and bang for the buck, I've got a couple early 80s Ibanez semis that are very very nice both for around $700....
     
  14. Dave Wakely

    Dave Wakely Member

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    If you can find an Ibanez AS200 from late 70s/early 80s, they are wonderful, wonderful guitars. Rarely come up, and prices seem to be all over the shop when they do. I was very lucky and got one for £300 here in the UK. Slightly more refined sound than a 335 maybe, but a superb instrument.
     
  15. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

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    Get a 335, after that, you'll have forgotten why you even considered a Strat in the first place. This is my biased opinion.
     
  16. TheJudge

    TheJudge Member

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    I own quite a few guitars, including several strats (one American Made Dlx and two partsocasters I put together myself). I also own a 1979 Yamaha SA2000 semi. I started playing guitar in the late 1970's, and I have owned many different types of guitars over the years.

    I would recommend taking your time to find the right guitar with the right mojo. You may be able to find an inexpensive strat that sounds and feels fantastic! I don't believe one needs to spend a lot of $$$ to get a great strat.

    There are many different 335 style guitars you might consider. Yamaha, Ibanez, Epiphone, Heritage, Washburn, etc. I did a lot of research before I decided to get the Yamaha.

    In short, take your time, find something that really "clicks" with you whatever it is. Price is not always the best indicator of a quality instrument.

    Good luck!
     
  17. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

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    There are no Tokai 335s sold in the US...of course you can buy them from Japan and have them shipped here. I recently bought a MIJ Tokai ES 120 and it's a better guitar than the 1997 Gibson 335 I owned...I would put it on par with the mid 60s 335 I've owned...they are very...very good guitars. I'd put it up against any Gibson 335 anyday of the week.
     
  18. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    I wonder if he's referring to the Korean made ones. Even then I've heard those can be good, but it should be a chore to locate a bad MIJ Tokai.
     

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