Gibson ES-335 Model Differences?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bigkahuna, Oct 20, 2005.


  1. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna Member

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    Starting my search for a Gibson ES-335 new or used. As new, I see the 'Memphis Dot' listed as the current stock model from Gibson. I can't confirm if this is the thin 60's neck or not based on varying descriptions. Can anyone shed light on the various recent incarnations of this guitar and notable differences? Any which are known to have issues? The list below is from review at Harmony-Central. I am also considering a Heritage clone. Any feedback on these would be appreciated.

    • ES-335 '59 Dot Historic Collection
    • ES-335 '59 Historic Reissue
    • ES-335 61 DOT Reissue
    • ES-335 Custom Shop Dot Neck
    • ES-335 Dot
    • ES-335 Limited Edition
    • ES-335 Pro
    • ES-335 Memphis Dot
     
  2. adamg

    adamg Member

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    ... and to confuse things a bit I am also considering a Tokai ES120 (335 clone) from Japan. If anyone could include comments on this as well it would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Adam
     
  3. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    OK. Here goes. The 59 Dot Hist., 59 Hist., and Custom Shop Dot Neck, are all different ways of referring to the same gutar. This is a Nashville built Custom Shop guitar with the long neck tenon, beefier neck ('59 profile) with dot markers, and the long pickguard (goes to bottom of bridge). It will have the orange Nashville Custom Shop sticker inside. All the others are various renditions of the Memphis built (not custom shop) 'dot', as opposed to the slimmer necked 'block' 335s (block markers on neck). A quick tell-tale is the long pickguard, although the custom shop 'block' models have the shorter guard as well. And unless it's a Nashville guitar it's not Custom Shop. Hope this wasn't too confusing. PS...if you can, go for CS. It's a better overall guitar, but does have the requisite price tag.
     
  4. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    Biggest differences are that Historics have bigger necks and reissues have the smaller neck. Also, all historics will have the ABR-1 bridge and some of the reissues have the Nashville style bridge. IMO, moreso with 335's than any other Gibson you just need to try them. There are great guitars and stinkers in all models and years. A vintage 335 guarantees you nothing but a lighter pocketbook.
     
  5. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Yep....what Mark said.
    I currently have a '63 reissue....one that I swore I wouldnt even look at because of the slim neck (the neck aint slim).
    The '57 classic humbuckers in this axe are fantastic.
    I've owned a Gibson USA, made in Memphis that was just as nice...and alot less $$.
    So...get out there and play a few.
    S.
    j
     
  6. Ardis

    Ardis Member

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    The Memphis-made 335s also have the long neck tenon. In fact the 335, no matter which model, has always had the long neck tenon. The only distinct differences between the current Nashville Historic/Custom shop 335s and the Memphis-made Gibson USA 335s are the tuners (the former uses Kluson-style, and the latter uses Grovers) and the finish. I suppose the necks are different, too--but there's so much variation among different samples of the same model that it's hard to call this a real difference.
     
  7. Ron K

    Ron K Member

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    What are the finish differences -- colors, or the type of finish?
     
  8. Ardis

    Ardis Member

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    The Historic's sunburst looks very different from the Memphis model's vintage sunburst--the latter lacks any red in the gradation from yellow to dark brown. Also the shape of the sunburst looks a little different. The Historic's cherry is also more faded looking than the Memphis's cherry. The Historic's natural finish is a little more aged looking than the Memphis natural. The Memphis model also comes in colors that the Historic doesn't--lightburst, tranparent brown, a couple other colors I can't remember. One other thing: the Memphis models tend to have flamier wood than the current Historic models, though the latter used to have flamey wood up until about 3 or 4 years ago.
     
  9. Ardis

    Ardis Member

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    Oh, forgot to mention. Both the Historic and Memphis models use Nitro--no difference on that front.
     
  10. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Played a real nice Cherry Dot 335 in the Local GC. Not sure but I think it was Memphis model. Had a nice faded finnish. $1700.
     

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