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Gasing for a 330 best option?

Mike Thomas

Member
Messages
115
Kind of find it crazy that in order to get a decent USA made hollow body with p90’s you really need to spend upwards of 3k or more. That being said what is the best bang for the buck? An actual reissue Gibson es330, or although a bit more pricy and in the 4K range the collings ic30? And lastly heritage which is a bit less with their h-530 coming in around $2700. I also like some of the epi elitist models however unless it’s Japanese made I always have reservations about spending more than a grand on Asian instruments.
Any other ideas for a decent 330 axe? Thanks.
 
Messages
1,836
I've got a Heritage, have had it for almost a year now. I haven't had a chance to play a Gibson ES-330, but did try a Collings I-30. The Collings was beautiful and a bit more refined, but I can't say it's worth 1.5x-2x the Heritage (to me). Your mileage will vary, of course, but I got my Heritage used for $1900 loaded with Lollars from the factory. Nothing I'd change! It's been my daily driver since I picked it up. Really fantastic guitar.
 

jazzguitarfan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
555
I've got a Heritage, have had it for almost a year now. I haven't had a chance to play a Gibson ES-330, but did try a Collings I-30. The Collings was beautiful and a bit more refined, but I can't say it's worth 1.5x-2x the Heritage (to me). Your mileage will vary, of course, but I got my Heritage used for $1900 loaded with Lollars from the factory. Nothing I'd change! It's been my daily driver since I picked it up. Really fantastic guitar.
Same thoughts as above. I bought a 530 new in 2013 for around $2Kish and it checks all the boxes if one is looking for a 330L type guitar. It is different than a regular 330 where the neck joins the body at the 16th fret and the Heritage and 330L join at the 19th fret. They do sound a little different and the Heritage is essentially a 330L. I previously owned a 68 330. I have played two of Collings I30 offerings and while they were VERY nice (and I am Collings fan and own a SoCo), if I were looking for a 330L type for less than $3K, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Heritage. I didn't feel I was missing much at all in terms of tone when I played the Collings, but the neck carve was nicer, or at least felt familiar and like my SoCo. The Heritage sounds and plays great and is reasonably priced new and very reasonably priced used.
 

PremiumMember

Member
Messages
394
That style of guitar is my main focus when it’s time to make music.
The Collings I-30 sounds the best from all the demos I’ve heard floating around. The acoustic properties is phenomenal sounding!
 

Grendel2000

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,151
If you're looking for "bag for the buck" it's hard to pass Eastman guitars by. Their T-64/v is fully hollow and sports P90s.

I recently bought my first Eastman - a T484 - and LOVE it! Extremely well made and a great value.
 

fitz

Member
Messages
2,410
I have a Custom Shop VOS 59 RI 330 and all I can say it is simply amazing. I bought it when it first came out and it was one of the first on the market. It is built well and sounds great. I believe I paid $2799 back then in 2012. They have gone up in price by quite a bit for sure in recent years. Looking at the trend selling costs on Reverb, you may be able to pick one up used in the <$3000 range if/when the come up.
 

PremiumMember

Member
Messages
394
Same thoughts as above. I bought a 530 new in 2013 for around $2Kish and it checks all the boxes if one is looking for a 330L type guitar. It is different than a regular 330 where the neck joins the body at the 16th fret and the Heritage and 330L join at the 19th fret. They do sound a little different and the Heritage is essentially a 330L. I previously owned a 68 330. I have played two of Collings I30 offerings and while they were VERY nice (and I am Collings fan and own a SoCo), if I were looking for a 330L type for less than $3K, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Heritage. I didn't feel I was missing much at all in terms of tone when I played the Collings, but the neck carve was nicer, or at least felt familiar and like my SoCo. The Heritage sounds and plays great and is reasonably priced new and very reasonably priced used.
I wish Collings made a fully hollow version of the Soco with more pickup options.
:banana:banana:banana:banana:banana
 

PremiumMember

Member
Messages
394
I have a Custom Shop VOS 59 RI 330 and all I can say it is simply amazing. I bought it when it first came out and it was one of the first on the market. It is built well and sounds great. I believe I paid $2799 back then in 2012. They have gone up in price by quite a bit for sure in recent years. Looking at the trend selling costs on Reverb, you may be able to pick one up used in the <$3000 range if/when the come up.
Most of those gibson I’ve tried can be real mushy and bass heavy sounding. Never tried the reissues tho’
Any gewd?
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,677
Those Epi Elitists are great guitars. I’d own one but I can’t hang with the skinny neck profile. The Inspired by John Lennon version seems a little higher end than the standard Korean/Chinese Epis with a little more thickness at the neck. If you don’t need a double cutaway that will really open things up for you, lots of ‘60s ES-125TDCs were made, but prices have crept up on those. You’ve also got ES-225s and on the newer side ES-135s.

It’s too bad Tokai, Burny, etc never really made any 330 types.
 

JES1680

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,898
Wow these have shot up in $$.
I picked up a 2018 Gibson Memphis 330 from GC a few years ago for $1800. Great guitar. I love the Collings but hard to justify the price.
 

PremiumMember

Member
Messages
394
Wow these have shot up in $$.
I picked up a 2018 Gibson Memphis 330 from GC a few years ago for $1800. Great guitar. I love the Collings but hard to justify the price.
They always say the last few percentages in quality is what will cost you.
 

AndreasG

Member
Messages
1,893
Gassing for a 330 myself, but never could find one at a decent price and never wanted to shell out those big bucks for one. So still quite happy with my korean Casino
 

Mpcoluv

Member
Messages
3,506
Doesn’t Loar make an ES 330 clone? They make a 125 clone for sure.
I had a red 1961 ES-330 for years. I thought it was great but swapped it for a LP Pro Deluxe. Back at the end of the Norlin days
 
Last edited:

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,730
I have a couple of vintage 330s, a '65 and a '69, and it's one of my favourite guitar designs. It's definitely a design you get what you pay for, a good 330/Casino is a killer guitar and it's worth spending money on one.

On a $2k budget, the Eastman T64 is phenomenally close to a vintage 330 in terms of sound quality, they really are fantastic. I'm not a fan of the almost but not quite body shape but aside from that I think they're wonderful guitars.

I had a pre-Elitist Tereda made Casino for a while, it was a really nice guitar but it's the only guitar I've ever sold because I couldn't get on with the neck. I don't mind a small neck at all but that thing felt like a ukulele. The pickups were really hot as well, and I prefer the brighter, janglier P90 thing.
 

Bengal B1

Member
Messages
110
I just purchased a 2012 1959 ES330 VOS heritage and so far I have to say it’s a great quality amazing sounding 330. I’ve had a 1966 which the neck being 1-9/16 made it unplayable to me. This one is 1-11/16th and thick very playable and the under-wound pickups are great. A all around well made guitar.
 




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