FEEDBACK needed: NEW Gibson 339 owners !

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by CATHEAD, Jan 2, 2008.


  1. CATHEAD

    CATHEAD Member

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    Im considering purchasing a custom shop Gibson 339 but was wondering what experience new owners have had with them??? I'm very interested in using this axe for Blues/Southern Rock amateur jams and want to cut thru the Strat clutter,with a unique killer Blues tone:jo
     
  2. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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  3. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    Yeah, I think it will be excellent for that. IMHO I think the tone is more Les Paul than 335 but I like it alot. The semi-hollow construction gives it and airyeness or third dimension that I like, a lot. I'm in the process of upgrading miine with a set of Lollar Imperial humbuckers and a Hoveland tonecap and expect a nice improvement there. Having said that, most people that have them here seem to be more than satisfied with the standard '57 Classic pickups.

    :BluesBros

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    I love mine. It has the familiar size of the Les Paul, but with a more airy sound of the 335. These are great guitars. I have the 30/60 neck, and have found it very comfortable. I am used to LP 50's necks, and had no problem adjusting to the 339. Good luck with the purchase!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    Anyone know when these might start showing up in local shops so we can try before we buy?
     
  6. MinuteMan

    MinuteMan Member

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    good review from the les paul forum...

    Musings on the 339
    I stumbled onto this site about six weeks ago, and learned for the first time that Gibson was making a small body 335 with a big fat neck, the 339. I am frankly not a big fan of recent Gibson offerings, although I have a 58' Junior and a 67' SG which sound great. I play mostly vintage Strats/Teles.

    Ordered a 339 from Music 123 as a year-end tax write off and received it 3 days later. Put 11's on it and took it to a gig the night I received it. I had low expectations, but ended up playing it all night. Great tone on this thing, and that is coming from a Fender guy. As I liked the guitar so much, I figured I would see if I could improve on it.

    Swapped in some Duncan Antiquities, very smooth, very balanced, great clarity, very sweet, but I liked the stock pickups better. Then I swapped in a pair of Stock Fralins (9K bridge, 8K neck) again great tone, more power than the Duncans but still with a good clarity, a bit fatter, very smooth and balanced, but I liked the stock pickups better, and they are back in it now. The 57' Classics are just more fun and funky.

    Tried an aluminum tailpiece, but found the stock zinc one had better drive and tone. Tried top wrapping the aluminum bridge and got a more diffused sound that really cops the 335 sound, but ended up with the stock tailpiece back on.

    The volume pots all measured 500k so didn't touch them, and I left the stock ceramic tone caps in as I never use the tone. I usually disconnect the tone pots entirely. It appears the "Memphis" tone circuit is simply 50's wiring where the tone pot is connected to the wiper leg of the volume pot rather than the outside leg. Works great though.

    Left the ABR bridge on it but put on some KTS saddles which have a very subtle smoothing effect. I use them primarily because I break a lot less strings with them.

    Bottom line: The guitar sounds real nice without any mods. Very much in the 335 camp, but with a quicker attack and tighter, brighter tone. I could nit-pick the build quality, but if it sounds good to me, it is good. Suffice it to say it is not Hamer quality or Japanese quality, but it is priced very fairly unlike many other Gibson in my view. The only real negative is the lacquer on the neck is still sticking after weeks of constant use. It will pass but is annoying.

    Just thought I would share my thoughts with the site that turned me onto this fine guitar.
     
  7. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    That's pretty sad considering this is a Gibson Custom Shop.
     
  8. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    MinuteMan - thanks for the thoughtful review, welcome to the Gear Page and see you on the LPF!

    I remain with a huge case of GAS for one of these - when are they showing up in GC's?

    [Goes and check the LPF since it has been awhile...]

    Waitaminnit - MM are you willamps on the LPF or did you just copy his LPF post into this TGP thread?

    [/Goes and check the LPF since it has been awhile...]
     
  9. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    I am so close to pulling the trigger on one of these.

    Is it worth selling a Les Paul?
     
  10. guitarist58

    guitarist58 Member

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    I would guess it would really depend on what Les Paul... and what your personal preferences are, of course. :)
     
  11. cube

    cube Member

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    no keep the les paul. i love my 339. but still play the lester more
     
  12. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    Ok so, red or vintage sunburst... I have a go form the Mrs.

    I guess I should start a poll... yep that is what I am going to do.
     
  13. Radagacuca

    Radagacuca Member

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    i am very happy with mine. it actually became my #1. i was up to about 8 les pauls, mostly custom shop) last year and then started selling them off to get some more tonal variation into the collection instead of multiple shades of the one les paul tone.
    if i was forced to decide right now i would sell my remaining 2 lesters and keep the 339. the airyness of the 339 compared to the dryness of a les paul is a big tonal difference imho. and a very subjective one.
    i am still hunting for that glorious one les paul that has it all though.... if i find it, the 339 may have to step back again. anyhow, imho the 339 is one amazing guitar for a very fair price considering other gibson custom shop offerings.
    :BEER
     
  14. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    I am dying to try a 339.

    Radagacuca - given what you describe you like about the 339 and what you hear in a Les Paul, I have to ask - do you have a 1-piece mahogany-bodied LP in your stable - either a '54 style BB with a P-90 + Alnico or a triple-'bucker 50's style Custom? It really sounds like either one of these could meet your needs...
     
  15. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    My LP is a LE with Ebony board and I loaded her with Fralin P-92s. I think it sounds great but i play my tele 90% of the time. That is the only reason I would consider selling her to buy a 339.
     
  16. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    Ok, I sold an amp instead.

    Two days await my VSB 339 with 30/60 neck.
     
  17. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    Congrats, your going to love it, they are great guitars!
     
  18. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    It arived. Non-off the issues mentioned are apparent. If fact after a once over and short noodle I pronounce here shweeett! Looks great, no file marks, not rattles, no finish flaws; dark board. I think Barry at Guitarsales did a good job.

    I'll keep her I think.

    Update: I spent some time playing her through a Victoria 2012 and a Matchless Clubman into a Marshall closed back 2x12 last night. Here are my thoughts on the 339:

    Good
    There are lots of good tones available in this guitar. I like the pups allot on this model even though I have not liked the 57's as much on some Les Pauls. Brighter than a 335 for sure but still has that “pillow on the notes” that makes it bouncy and warm. The bottom was a bit to soft as I prefer KRANG but that is not a hollow body trait and the strings and set up could help define the low end better (Bigger strings and a pup adjustment). Love the 30/60 neck (it is substantial); it’s much fatter than I thought it would be. More shoulder than my 50’s neck LE LP. The color and finish are killer looking (mine has a little flame behind the Vintage Sunburst).

    Not so good
    The bridge is very sharp. When you rest your wrist on the bridge it could conceivably draw blood. Come-on I don’t want to spill blood on my new guitar! Another sour point is the pots. Sure the “Memphis” tone circuitry helps retain the highs as the volume is rolled off, but the linier pots suck. They are not on-off switches like some I have seen but there is no volume below about 5 so they are only useful at the top of the dial. They do remove the last bit of gain in a nice way when cranked through an overdriven amp though.

    Other observations
    I see how some people have said that the bridge (studs) were bent but the tail piece is 90 degrees from the top at it’s point in the arch of the body and then the bridge has to line up level with the neck so these two sets of posts are definitely offset from each other but it is not an error it’s a necessity. I think it appears pronounced on this guitar because of the smaller body size. I did notice that two of saddles (E and G) are adjusted al the way back although the intonation for those strings is spot on at the moment. I don’t think this is an issue.

    Overall it is a really good guitar in my opinion. It sounds more alive than a Les Paul for sure. I agree that it is not a 335 replacement but I think it is hollower sounding than some here have commented (it is certainly more comfortable to play than a 335 size guitar). As far as the set up, sure Gibson could do better but I almost always have my guitars set up to my preferences anyway so it is not a deal breaker.

    I think I would go to this guitar before my Les Paul for most stuff I play… It may not nock the Tele off her top rung but ….

    I’ll give her two thumbs up!
     
  19. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    update,

    I had the 339 set up; including filling the bridge blades a bit and putting a set of 11's on her.

    Final opinion is that this is a really nice playing, feeling and sounding guitar. Huge tones from bright to fat and woody abound.

    check em out they are worth your time.
     
  20. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    Mine displaced my LP Custom as my #1. But I will always have a Les Paul around too.
     

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