Gibson 335 Question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by -analog-, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. -analog-

    -analog- Member

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    So, Are the tops, sides, or backs of 335's laminated?
    Buddy of mine thinks such things, I was always under the impression 335's had solid wood sides,back, tops etc and maple center blocks.

    Figured TGP could rule a verdict on that one.

    a 1963-4 Block neck came into our local shop and Joe thinks it was probably laminated, Made me roll my eyes?
     
  2. ProToneThinline

    ProToneThinline Member

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  3. Jim S

    Jim S Gold Supporting Member

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  4. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    ^ these fellows are right. All 335s, 345s, 355s, 330s, etc (and indeed, the vast majority of ES-series guitars) are laminated.
     
  5. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Exhibit 1 in the thesis: Plywood is not necessarily bad for electrics. Less feedback, for starters, and a good distinctive sound of its own.

    As for the laminate neck - there are many quality two- and three-piece necks. I've heard it said that they're more stable than one-piece necks.
     
  6. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    all laminate. part of why they sound like they do!
     
  7. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    ^ yeah, I like plywood for semi-hollowbodies. I'm also a big big fan of three-piece necks for their superior stability and no negative influence on tone. Got the three-piece neck on my Rickenbacker, Gibson Tennessean, and Epiphone Sheraton, and they are all rock-solid (and durable).

    Check out high-end jazz boxes for evidence that the multi-piece neck can be the way to go.
     
  8. Sandy Cheeks

    Sandy Cheeks Senior Member

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    I think the ES-336 is one of the exceptions to the rule.

    EDIT: As I recall it has a solid carved top and the sides and back are a either made from a single chambered piece of wood, or was that multiple pieces of wood, chambered?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  9. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    ^ yeah, there's that and one or two other oddballs, like the ES-446, if I recall correctly .
     
  10. bynapkinart

    bynapkinart Member

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    +1

    Many guitar manufacturers chose to start making 3-piece necks in the 80's because they are generally stronger laterally than solid necks, but the outcry from traditionalists killed that pretty quickly. Epiphone and Gibson still make the Sheraton and certain other jazz guitars with a 3 to 5 piece neck, and Hamer has pretty much always used a 3 piece neck on all of their USA line. My Hamer is 30 years old and the neck is still perfect despite the pretty rapid changes in humidity and temperature here in the past week or so...not to mention whatever else it has gone through in all those years.
     
  11. BobPoomba

    BobPoomba Member

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    Don't let the laminated part scare you off man. On an acoustic maybe, but on those ES guitars like the 335 and 175 that's a good thing. Like others have said, this is to help with the feedback issue. And laminated on these guitars IS different than plywood on fifty dollar acoustics.
     
  12. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Correct and it's blinged out sibling, the 356.
     
  13. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    ES-335 bodies are laminted wood with a solid block inside and the necks are solid Mahogany with Rosewood boards.
     
  14. dougk

    dougk Silver Supporting Member

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    Calling the laminated tops plywood is doing them a disservice. Most of think of Plywood as the cheap CDX stuff they side houses with full of voids ect. Gibsons laminated tops are Maple/Birch veneers essentially that they form their own "plywood" with. Its not made of chip foder like most "plywood" we think off.
     
  15. -analog-

    -analog- Member

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    So even the 50's and early 60's stuff is laminated?

    shocker.
     
  16. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes.
     
  17. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    ^ yes indeed, that's right. As the gents above mention, that doesn't mean they're of diminished quality compared to solid-wood guitars, though it might seem that way. Laminated tops are usually employed foremost to reject feedback. Many topnotch jazz cats who can afford anything they want play laminated guitars live -- cf. John Pizzarelli, Pat Metheny; even Joe Pass did. Many top-flight archtops are laminated - see Benedetto, Sadowsky, Moll, et al.

    As a matter of fact, when Gibson was trying to get Les Paul to endorse an amplified acoustic in the early '50s, Paul refused to even countenance the idea unless the thing was laminated. The J-160E was the result, if I recall correctly.
     
  18. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    ^ p.s. a friend of mine, the post-bop virtuoso Bill Moio, played primarily the laminated Ibanez George Benson model for probably 20 years. A few years ago, he switched to playing sweet carved-top Benedettos for some gigs - and guess what? He now has to deal with feedback problems.
     
  19. Oakley

    Oakley Supporting Member

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    A 335 would not sound the way it does with solid woods.
     
  20. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Member

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    335 backs and tops are made in a heat press that forms the arch as well as laminates the layers. Gibson has used poplar, spruce, mahogany, and several other woods for the inside layers (they are four-ply). Necks were originally one-piece mahogany but were changed do laminated maple in the late '60s to save money and to reduce warranty returns on damaged necks. Some models, like the ES-340, always used laminated maple. Newer dots (like my '00) have returned to the one-piece mahogany.

    Laminated construction is a superior way to build an electric semi-hollow body, since it eliminates a lot of the resonance that causes feedback. And Gibson isn't the only one to have discovered this: those beautiful Gretsch Chet Atkins models were also made of laminate. The practice also allows Gibson to use figured wood without charging a big premium, because only veneers were needed. Solid woods would be overkill, in fact, given that Gibson uses a solid maple 1" x 4" block down the middle. A kerfed spruce gluing surface, shaped to match the arch, is glued between the maple and the top and back. This would, naturally, inhibit any vibration of the top. Ted McCarty did the sensible thing and used laminate.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I don't hear any flaws in the sound of my 335 attributable to its not being solid wood. Poor sound is usually the result of poor engineering or construction; nearly any material can be (and has been) used to produce good sounding guitars.
     

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