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I want a 335 but...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Taylor Gretsch, May 29, 2020.

  1. Taylor Gretsch

    Taylor Gretsch Member

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    ...I don’t have $3k+ (Cdn) to spend on one new. So, my question is two fold: what less expensive alternatives are there out there - either that have stood the test of time or are the hot new thing - that people have/have their eye on, OR, is the real thing worth the cost?
     
  2. GrooveMerchant

    GrooveMerchant Member

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    I'm kind of intrigued by the Larry Carlton Sire 335.
    Don't know much about it yet, but it looks good, and LC helped design it as i understand.
     
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  3. Patrick Ginnaty

    Patrick Ginnaty Member

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    I always buy used guitars. That being said, springing for a "historic" is probably worth the price. My historic LP is far better than the other 10 that I had previously. I bought my R8 used, as was my 335. Be patient, find the right one.
     
  4. MarkV

    MarkV Member

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    Eastman T386 or T486 get a lot of praise.
    Got myself the T386 and I am digging it. Really nice guitar and plays great.
     
  5. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Supporting Member

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    There are many semi-hollow double-cutaways out there (Epiphone, Gretsch, Guild, etc.) that would do the trick just fine, even if they needed a pickup swap. But a used ES-335 from the early 90s can be had for under two grand (USD), and that's what I'd be looking for.
     
    Norm N Playin likes this.
  6. doublescale1

    doublescale1 Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd ad a used Heritage H535 to that list of things to look for in a solid ES335 substitute. Heritage guitars are made in the original Gibson factory in Kalamazoo Michigan, so the institutional knowledge of the build is very present - you'd have to search eBay and Reverb for one, maybe even the GC used listings for one, but it's well worth the time to take a look.
     
  7. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    ES-333 is pretty cool. Heritage 535 can be fantastic.
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    My 335 Historic is far above other 335s, very comparable to great real vintage...

    if you want the feel of the real thing it’s worth waiting and looking for imo. I had a great Heritage, but the Historic (and a couple of VOS I know well) is a whole ‘nother level imo.
     
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  9. lawrencedesigns

    lawrencedesigns Member

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    For a very small investment you could start out with an Epiphone ES-335 pro. Epiphone has been making a 335 almost as long as the original.
    I got mine about 2 months ago and have really bonded with it. I love the neck more than any other guitar I own (which are all mostly top-tier instruments) and I am finding the pickups pretty darn good.
    And again..it's just a small investment to get your feet wet. If it doesn't do it for you turning it around would probably not result in a loss.
     
  10. 8nthatK

    8nthatK Supporting Member

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    Patrick Ginnaty, Lucidology and Jon C like this.
  11. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    While the initial statement is true, Gibson has manufactured ES3-- guitars in only 3 facilities: Kalamazoo, Nashville, and Memphis. The Epiphone factories since 1970 are beyond counting.
     
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  12. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I also would go with a Heritage 535. There are a couple of lightly used examples (demo's?), from Chicago Music Exchange, on Reverb for $2,295 with free shipping.
     
  13. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I had an Epi Dot for a couple of years. I replaced the pickups and tuners and put flats on it.

    It was a jazz machine. Very affordable, very playable. I wound up giving it to a jazz student several years ago.
     
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  14. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    Which is as good or better than the Gibson according to the salesman in Savannah who sells both.
     
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  15. PeterG

    PeterG Member

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    Get a used Yamaha SA2200. Can be had for around $1300. Ebony fingerboard, push-pull tone controls, impeccable quality. With some effort can be made to sound like a 335.
     
  16. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

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    My experience had been the same. Owned a lot of Gibson USA before ever having a historic. Now I have 2 historic LPs and 2 historic 335s. Will never spend money in the regular stuff again... the difference is just too big and prices not that far off.
     
  17. AustinIsPresent

    AustinIsPresent Member

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    Worth pitching them an offer a few hundred under, too! Several of those were on sale for Memorial Day at around $1950, as I snagged a 530 when I saw it dip below $2k myself. They might be willing to wiggle if it's just a few days out.
     
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  18. nosdoc

    nosdoc Supporting Member

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    With some better pickups, and despite being encased in poly, those old MIJ Matsumoku Epiphone Sheratons and Rivieras from the early 80's are special. Can still be had for round 1200 if you look hard enough and are patient enough...
     
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  19. Whittlez

    Whittlez Member

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    Brooks, Steadfastly, wvpv and 9 others like this.

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