For ES335 tone, feel, and overall vibe/quality @ much lower $$$$...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BlueHeaven, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. BlueHeaven

    BlueHeaven Member

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    What's good competition for Heritage/Gibson up to say, $1500? Really have a thing for a Cherry Red Heritage H535 but, being retired, that aint gonna happen lol. Just trying to get pros and cons of some Eastman, Ibanez, Ibanez, D'Angelico etc models.
     
  2. AustinIsPresent

    AustinIsPresent Member

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    I prefer the Eastman stuff I've tried in this vein to any of the Ibanez models I've been able to get my hands on. I haven't played a bad Eastman semihollow, and I've played probably a half dozen. Really, really great sounding and playing instruments. D'Angelico I can't say much - never seen one in the wild. I'd love to try the Rosenwinkel sig, or any of the Premier SS/DC/Mini models but I haven't run into them.
     
  3. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    Not sure about cherry red, but if you keep a close eye out, you can get a nice used H-535 for $1500 or less.
     
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  4. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon A really hoopy frood. Silver Supporting Member

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    For a few years in the early aughts Gibson made a 333. Essentially a slightly stripped-down 335 with an access panel to get at the electronics. You can still find them used for around $1k. Love mine. It came in a few different colors, and I'm pretty sure cherry red was one of them.
     
  5. LikeAMotherF

    LikeAMotherF Supporting Member

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    What he said. You can probably also get a nice satin Gibson ES-335 in the $1500 neighborhood, if you're patient.
     
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  6. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    I will tell you what a salesman at Corner Music in Nashville told me a couple of weeks ago when I was checking out an Eastman AR371 and 372. He said, if you don't need Gibson on the headstock, Eastman's are as good or maybe better and they are 1/3 the price. A Gibson ES-335 collector agreed with him. My own take after playing them was that they are nothing less than superb.
     
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  7. Alton

    Alton Member

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    Eastman T386 or their T484 or T486 will get you way under your $1500 ceiling. If you can comfortably handle another $200 or so there is also the T186, T185, T184. Eastmanguitars.com Thinline guitars will show you what's available and LIST pricing
     
  8. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    Yeah, Gibson 335 owner here and the Eastmans pretty much get you all the way there, they're awesome guitars.

    If you live somewhere with good access to used stuff then good deals can still be had on 70s MiJ guitars - Greco, Epiphone, Electra etc. Look for a set neck guitar with a proper centerblock, the earlier MiJ 335s are a bit too quirky but the ones that do everything right get to pretty much as good a guitar as Gibson w making at the time. Later MiJ Epiphone and Yamaha are also good used options.
     
  9. Presc

    Presc Member

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    Used Heritage, no question. It’s going to be the closest to Gibson in terms of feel/vibe/tone
     
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  10. Telechamp

    Telechamp Member

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    My buddy just bought this used Eastman T59/v for $1100 off Reverb, and I was blown away by it.. Great guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon A really hoopy frood. Silver Supporting Member

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  12. Jimmy MAck

    Jimmy MAck Member

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    I'll throw in my $.02
    I love 335's. Shoulda had one 50 years ago but I was always swayed in other directions, LP's Guilds, old Strats and Tele's, an L5, Lucille, Casino, 339.
    Now that I have whatever guitar suits the need, I still wanted a 335 as a basic tonal need. But on a budget!
    Guitar Center one day, an Epiphone 335 PRO. Tried it and loved it. All the 3355 tone and mojo.
    I put it on Layaway, and the very next day GC marked them down. So for $399, I have a beautiful Cherry red Epi (close to a Gibson) with fantastic p/ups and tone. I gig with it regularly. And it's lighter in weight than many Gibsons, but very responsive.
     
  13. Lemonhand

    Lemonhand Member

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    Yeah, I would say Epiphone too. Great guitars for the money (in most cases).
     
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  14. scott944

    scott944 Member

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    When I went on that journey, and played everything I could find in my price range (Ibanez, Epiphone, Schecter, Hagstrom), I ended up with this Eastman T386.

    [​IMG]

    There is enough difference in the various neck profiles to make it worth playing the candidates in person. Eastman semis have wide necks with 1 3/4" nuts. Many Ibanez models have 1 5/8" nuts. Big difference. Eastmans are finished in nitro and come with nice hard cases, which are big pluses.

    Another name worth looking at in your price range is Godin. I played a Montreal after buying the Eastman that was very nice.
     
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  15. BluntForceTrauma

    BluntForceTrauma Member

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  16. spawnofthesith

    spawnofthesith Member

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    I haven’t played a Gibson 335, but I’ve owned a few different les Paul’s.


    My epiphone Sheraton pro II has been really impressing me, especially for the price.
     
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  17. deech54

    deech54 Member

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    Guild Starfire
     
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  18. mjross

    mjross Member

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    If possible, just save up and purchase a good used Gibson 335. You will not be sorry!
     
  19. shredmiyagi

    shredmiyagi Member

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    The Ibanez AS93 is a lot of guitar for the money.
     
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  20. Dawg76

    Dawg76 Silver Supporting Member

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    New D’Angelico Excel DC is $1599; seen here used for under $1K. I picked up a new one recently and have a Gibson 335 ‘63 Reissue to compare it to. Really happy w/ the D’Angelico (first non USA made gtr I’ve bought in 20 years). Great playability, stock pups are quite good, and one beautiful gtr. Recommended.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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