First impressions on my new Gibson ES-335...

No Code 5

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My new 335 arrived yesterday... I checkec it out, set it up, and played it for quite a while, here are some impressions and questions:

Upon first arrival and inspection I was suprised. This looked and felt quite a bit different than my older 335 (a 1999 model). The neck profile was much thinner and there was not much dishing on the top (the arch wasn't very pronounced). These are not bad per se, just different than I expected. Also, the headstock seems more narrow on the wings, skinnier.

The case isn't as nice as the older models, it also does not have an archted top as they used to (I imagine these cases are cheaper to make) and no combination lock. They are a lot like a new Gretsch case.

The fit and finish of the guitar looked good. There were a couple of spots in the binding on the neck, but they rubbed right off. The bridge and tailpiece were set way too high. I did a setup and fixed the neck and this arrangement. That might be for shipping safety, but not very playable out of the box.

Playing it the guitar is very well balanced and is comfortable (other than the weight, more on this). The neck is finished well, frets are even... very easy playing for sure. The more shallow neck is open for debate on whether my hand will be comfortable long term. Maybe a Les Paul with a 50s neck would suit me better.

Acoustically, the sound is very good, balanced and alive. Good sustain as well.

The sound is massive and glorius (nothing sounds like a big bodied Gibson, nothing). Very responsive and useable all through the volume and tone controls. The '57 classics sound great. Cleans just bloom out of the guitar, semi dirty stuff sounds good. Leads are thick and BIG. Very good stuff here.

Overall, after playing for a couple of hours, my back is killing me. I haven't played standing up for that long in a few months since moving to Houston and not being in a band. Plus, the weight is pretty substantial next to an SG or Tele (my other guitars). I think the guitar is a winner, very good stuff.

The neck will get a closer evaluation, as will the weight as far as if it is a keeper. But, this guitar is a great 335. It gets a four headbanger rating (out of 5, 5 being the most perfect guitar ever)

:dude :dude :dude :dude
 

No Code 5

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391
I should add,

any suggestions for alternatives with less weight are appreciated... full hollow, smaller bodies, etc. The guitar has a 45 day return window, so I can put it through its paces.

Gretschs, Epi Elites, Hamers, Heritage?
 

rooster

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2,119
Originally posted by No Code 5
I should add,

any suggestions for alternatives with less weight are appreciated... full hollow, smaller bodies, etc. The guitar has a 45 day return window, so I can put it through its paces.

Gretschs, Epi Elites, Hamers, Heritage?
I know Heritage makes one called the "Prospect", I think. It's like a smaller 335, and if the necks on them are anything like the one on my H150CM, you'd probably like it. The neck I have is partway between the '60's Gibson carve and the '50's carve, a little closer to the '50's. Perfect for me, much like my old '72 SG Standard. Check with Jay Wolfe in Florida and see what he can do for you.

rooster.
 

Den

Gold Supporting Member
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1,919
Originally posted by No Code 5
I should add,

any suggestions for alternatives with less weight are appreciated... full hollow, smaller bodies, etc. The guitar has a 45 day return window, so I can put it through its paces.

Gretschs, Epi Elites, Hamers, Heritage?
I have a Gibson Johnny A that gives me everything I've been looking for in this style of guitar. I can get as close to 335 tones as I like and pretty close to some LP tones as well. Also some nice jazzy stuff too. It's very light weight and I find the neck amazing. I could stand up and play this one all night and hardly feel it.

Another big plus for me is that this Gibson has a Fender scale length, which gives it more snap and clarity that, as a strat player for years, I really love. You may want to check one out.
 

Buffaloe

Member
Messages
574
Originally posted by No Code 5
I should add,

any suggestions for alternatives with less weight are appreciated... full hollow, smaller bodies, etc. The guitar has a 45 day return window, so I can put it through its paces.

Gretschs, Epi Elites, Hamers, Heritage?
Hamer Newport. I just sold a 335 to make the change to the Newport. Mine is 7 lbs. 4 ounces, much smaller body, way better build, and more resonant. Try one. You'll likey.
 

Den

Gold Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
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1,919
Originally posted by mtndog
Another voice for the Johnny A.
Don't you just love it??!! Everytime I play mine, I smile like this: :D
 
Messages
4,729
nice evaluation.

i like and recommend my Heritage Millenium DC. it's in the 7-lb range, double cut, like a downsized 335, esp. w/the HRW pickups. list is $2500 and up, depending on options. new ones go for <$2000 at some dealers.



:cool:
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
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4,804
strange, the old 335's are real lightweight... never think of it as even a medium weight guitar.
 

adamquek

Member
Messages
837
I was thinking of a 335, ended up with a Soloway. Sure it's not the same sound but it's a glorious sound none the less :) And it's really light
 

Bluedawg

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10,800
I don't have a Johnny A, but I sure would like to have one.

Played one once and I loved it.

Maybe someday.

:cool:
 

No Code 5

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391
I played for another 3-4 hours last night, I picked up a new amp too (well new to me)...

While most of my playing was sitting down... I still really dig the tones from this thing. I am thinking maybe it is an adjustment issue rather than a deal breaker.

I played an R7. Awesome neck. That is a neck you can spend some time with... fills up my hand and you can really dig in. Still the tones aren't what I am looking for... the 335 sounded fantastic through the Fender amps I was testing.

I wound up with a Super Twin Reverb(a beast), but it really gives a ton of 6L6 tone, which is a good thing with a 335 or tele.


Re: Suggestions

Thank you for the input. I tried the Newport/Newport Pro, it wasn't quite my thing. It was a nice guitar, no doubt... not what I am looking for at the moment. I have never played a Heritage that spoke to me. The Johnny A is a killer guitar, a bit more than I want to spend at the moment though... I kind of like the Gibson scale... it lets me get away with more when playing live. I have my telecaster to show my lack of skills. :(

So, I think the 335 may be a keeper. I need to put some more time on it with the new amp and play with the setup. Might have a winner for the new live rig.
 

tiptone

Gold Supporting Member
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752
Dan,

I want you to check out my Agile 2900. Shaped like a LP, but almost completely hollow. We still need to get together and play anyway, sounds like a good enough reason. :)
 

No Code 5

Member
Messages
391
Originally posted by tiptone
Dan,

I want you to check out my Agile 2900. Shaped like a LP, but almost completely hollow. We still need to get together and play anyway, sounds like a good enough reason. :)
Well, how was the wedding? Or is that this coming weekend?

Good enough reason for sure. Plus, I have a new amp to play. Another good reason.

I am warming up to the guitar and its "features."
 

tiptone

Gold Supporting Member
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752
Wedding was great, thanks for asking. It was outside so it was a little warm but everything was perfect. Couldn't have asked for much more.

You've got one coming up too correct?

I didn't get a new amp and 335 before I got married....guess I need to talk to someone about this... :)
 

No Code 5

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391
yeah the wedding is July 16th in St. Louis.

I had told her for months I was getting a new guitar and amp after we paid for the wedding... so, we paid for the wedding, I bought a new guitar and amp. :)

I figure I should get my purchases in now before I am married. Although, she is always supportive of music stuff in general.

She even let me setup my new amp in the living room by the couch...

We do need to jam sometime soon... how's your schedule?
 

tms13pin

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,847
Try a Gadow Custom Hollow. Don't know if Gadow has any
dealers in your area, but you can check at their site:
www.rrgadowguitars.com. Fralins, tonepros bridge, 25.5"
scale. Bolt-on, not set neck, but, check it out if you get a
chance. Light as a feather. The neck is wide, so you may or
may not like that. I love mine.

I've also got a Brian Moore semi-hollow on order. Smaller
body than a 335 and I'm sure lighter. I love the BMG
necks, but that may or may not be your thing. This one is
a bolt-on too, 25.5" scale, Duncans, tonepros bridge etc.
I'm kinda taking a chance on it though as they generally
aren't stocked and you have to place an order. But, I like
Brian Moore guitars in general, so it isn't too much of a stretch
for me.

I've heard great things about the Johnny A's, but haven't
played one yet. They ain't cheap though!

--Tom
 

phretbored

Member
Messages
4,940
Another Johnny A player checking in. :D
Stoptail!!!

This is the best design to come out of Gibson in years IMHO.
 




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