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

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

  1. NeuroLogic

    NeuroLogic Supporting Member

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    My vote goes to the Epiphone 339 Ultra. Very close to a Gibson with great additional features as to the NanoMag stereo/blend acoustic pickup, USB and tuner on the rear pickup ring. I also much prefer the smaller body size as opposed to 335. It comes with Gibson Alnico 7 pickups. I've considered putting Throwbacks in to take it to the top, but I have Artingers which are the apex of semihollow guitars.

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    HERSCHEL likes this.
  2. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    A-G-I-L-E! Period. I let my Agile stay with. me through three 335's - REAL 335's. . The only reason it isn't with me is because I got a good deal on an I-35 and sold it to me buddy. Just played it a few weeks ago whilst having a few libations over his place, and it is STILL a killer player.
     
    Steadfastly likes this.
  3. fjrabon

    fjrabon Member

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    Well, we aren’t talking about custom shop here. He’s asking about the cheaper stuff. Which, in my opinion, is overpriced garbage. There’s a reason why guitar center has been blowing them out for almost 2 years now.
     
  4. snow and steel

    snow and steel Supporting Member

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    I'd recommend an Ibanez AS-73.

    Their electronics tend to be very sub-par, butThe woodwork tends to be outstanding.

    I'd change the hardware pieces that offend you, install a good set of pickups and pots, a good switch, and have a good set up done to it. You'll STILL have a 1/4 of what a Gibson would cost new and it will sound and play fantastic.

    My Ibanez is the only non-American made guitar I own, and I'm never embarrassed to have it in a stand next to my other guitars at a gig.

    Here's a funny anecdote for you;

    I was backing a reasonably well known blues guitarist and about 2/3 the way through the night his guitar crapped out [we weren't sure if it was caps, pots, loose wiring... just literally stopped working]. His spare was still in their vehicle and we would have had to wait several minutes for someone to run out and grab it and tune it for him [I was told later it was left in the vehicle because it was having issues holding intonation and they were still working on it, they thought his regular guitar - a Gibson LP - would get him through the night.]

    To speed things along, I handed him my spare, which on that night was my Ibanez. He took it, though I could tell by the look on his face he was thinking he wouldn't be pleased. By the end of the second song with it he was digging it [you know how this goes - making body contortions and faces while playing solos, even giving me the "did you see that?" grin every now and then]. At the end of the night he thanked me, and commented that it played and sounded great. He asked how much it cost. I told him and he was shocked, and said he might have to get one. I said I had been very happy with it, but did change the pickups and electronics gave it a good set up.

    He said with a grin "Wouldn't be interested in selling it I don't suppose?"

    "No sir, but I'll take your interest as a very deep compliment."
     
  5. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    I have a Gibson 335. I have an Eastman T484. Eastman all day and night. In every way.

    Fretwork and neck binding on my 2019 model. Get as close as you want. It holds up under the magnifying glass:

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    BTW, my Yamaha's are also good guitars so I think that is another good path though the cost goes up considerably. Not familiar with Ibanez but I'd definitely give one a look in the right configuration. In my case the Eastman T484 was exactly the right guitar on all levels.
     
  6. JPIndustrie

    JPIndustrie Supporting Member

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    I love my Eastman T386 ...

    but I echo there is nothing like the 'real deal'...
     
    aguerin likes this.
  7. fjrabon

    fjrabon Member

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    Those guilds are certainly killer, but imho they’re not very 335 like. They’re great at being their own thing.
     
    nac likes this.
  8. nac

    nac Supporting Member

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    You should be able to get a used 535 or a Gibson ES 335 for that price. I paid just over that for my 535 but it was basically brand new.

    The 335 is great, the access panel makes things so much easier if you want to work on your guitar. The satin cherry finish is awesome too.
     
    aguerin and woof* like this.
  9. Lung plunger

    Lung plunger Member

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    I've heard they're tonally like a LP, but check out a Gibson Midtown for just the hell of it.
     
  10. Tidbit

    Tidbit Member

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    A few years back I bought a Samick SAT-650 as a backup to my Gibson 335. Occasionally the Gibson is the backup to the Samick. The Samick set me back a whopping $200
     
  11. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    American Guild Starfire IV. Change pups if you must.
    Killer guitars.

    No relation, just googled it.


    https://reverb.com/item/26387330-guild-starfire-iv-1998-natural
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
    ToneProspector likes this.
  12. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Member

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    Nowhere I know of.
     
  13. Mincer

    Mincer Member

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    I was always curious about these. Can they get a good semi-hollow AND acoustic sound? I would think it was one or the other.
     
  14. monkeybike

    monkeybike Member

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  15. spiral

    spiral Member

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    Just the regular Seventy Seven Exrubato, if you can find one used, is small shop Japanese craftsmanship at a great price. I have the Hawk Jazz and it's the finest electric I've ever played. Good pickups, lacquer finish, substantial neck, and flawless finish details. You can find the standard models for about $1200-1800 on digimart and sometimes for less used in the US.

    https://www.deviser.co.jp/seventyseven/product/exrubato/std

    Here is a previous thread:
    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/new-guitar-seventy-seven-exrubato-hollow.989174/
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
    Eric Rowland likes this.
  16. HolyGuacamole

    HolyGuacamole Member

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    I also wanted a 335 and preferred the Ibanez AS93 to what I was seeing. Been very happy with it.

    Sounds like Eastman is the better option, but I've heard great things about Yamaha's as well.
     
    ToneProspector likes this.
  17. Golem

    Golem Silver Supporting Member

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    In reality, the sound is a bit more acoustic, almost like a good hollow body, than a typical 335. But I genuinely believe you can get close enough to 335 tones for some people.
     
    Mincer likes this.
  18. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

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    I'm a big fan of Yamaha guitars. I've got an early 70s FG300 and it slays any Martin I've ever tried.

    Not sure why I never considered them for semi hollow guitars. I'll have to check out that SA.
     
  19. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Silver Supporting Member

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    I had an SA2000 (or SA2200...wish I had some pics with it because I can't remember) from the same era and it was a great guitar. The neck profile was a bit thin for me, but if that's a good neck size for you, you can probably find a killer MIJ guitar for under $1k.
     
  20. Skyler Meredith

    Skyler Meredith Member

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    I own one of these epiphones, purchased it in 98. I've never actually played a 335 or a heritage I'm curious as to how the neck shape compares to the Gibson 335 and heritage H535? My Dot neck feels medium thick and as wide and flat fret board, which is a good thing. Anybody able to answer this question?

    Thanks,

    Skyler
     

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