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I want a ES335


Never owned one and played a used one before xmas it was a 2005 red for 2200 Gibson USa and really liked it . Any years golden, even saw some low prices on 70's oneson G base. So any suggestion or issues unique to the 335
The more you play them and the more they get settled in and loosened up the better they sound.Even the Newer ones.You will start to feel every note.

Bob Pollock

Rancho Los Gatos
Gold Supporting Member
A 70's is likely to have a fairly narrow nut width, as well as the trapeze tailpiece. You may, or may not like these features. The "golden years" are '58 -'65, and generally priced in 5 figures.


Nothing useful to add here, but yes - you do. Got the same bug 5 years ago after picking one up for the first time in a guitar center. There's only one cure for this condition and it's an expensive one.

Btw, that's exactly what I paid for a 2005 antique natural.


Listen you guys, you don't have to wait until you've got $2399 to play an ES-335. There's many 60's-70's Made In Japan "lawsuit" semi's that rival Gibson quality of the late 50's! Seriously, it doesn't have to be an Orville or a $1700 vintage Tokai. Check ebay for Electra, Aria, Memphis, and even the early 70's Epiphone 335's. They smoke todays off the shelf, semi-hollowbody Gibsons.


Silver Supporting Member
I have a sweet Heritage H-535. Hands down best Semi-Hollow I've ever played. I actually have it posted for sale here in classifieds, but sort of having second thoughts about selling it. Pulled the trigger on an expensive amp is only reason I'm selling it. It certainly rivals anything Gibson custom shop is putting out.
My 335 is also a 2005. I bought it last year for $1,700, but the usual price range is $2,000-2,300 or so. I like it a lot, but it took a while to appreciate all its "nuances". In fact, I'm just getting comfortable with it now. Norlin era 335's will generally be in the same price range, but the trapeze tail is going to sound and feel a little different that a stop tail. Personally, I like the 2005 just fine, and don't feel compelled to search out a vintage model.

One trick that I've recently learned is that a 335 can chane its personality drastically, depending on the volume settings. Mine likes to have the amp turned up, and the guitar volume turned down. With the volume wide open, it sounds very much like a Les Paul. With the volume rolled down (to about "6" or so), it get that warm, woody, singing sound you expect from a good 335. The tone controls are also part of that equation, so don't be afraid to turn the knobs.

There are some decent copies out there, but I've found that the copies really don't really display the "nuances" of a real 335. The Epi Dot is decent. If you can find one, the Hamer Echotone is a great buy. A step up from that would be the Epi Elitist 335 or Yamaha SA2200. They're all nice, but not as nice as the real thing. Buy once, cry once......
Buy a Yamaha SA2200. It's the best non-335, 335-style out there, and is superior in every respect to your average Gibson-and cheaper. Better build, better hardware, better finish, greater versatility with the coil-taps, flawless QC...and specs more akin to a 355.

After having owned several 335s and being introduced to the Yamaha, Gibsons felt like poor cousins in comparison. Buy the instrument, not the name on the headstock.


I upgraded an Epi Dot with Fralin PAFs, Bigsby, locking tuners, graphite nut, and it sounds/plays like any 335 I've ever had in my hands. It won't say Gibson on the headstock, but you save over half the price all said.


Another satisfied Yamaha owner here. I picked up a dead mint 2010 SA2200 in trade in the Emporium that is quickly becoming my go to guitar. The fit and finish is exquisite, after a little elbow grease on the frets and a good set up it plays like the proverbial dairy product and sounds fabulous.


"Ignore Everybody" ~Hugh MacLeod
Never owned one and played a used one before xmas it was a 2005 red for 2200 Gibson USa and really liked it . Any years golden, even saw some low prices on 70's oneson G base. So any suggestion or issues unique to the 335
Seven of 13 posts (not counting the OP) recommend something other than a Gibson ES335. To these people I ask:

Ahem. That said. I LOVE my 2007 Cherry ES335 (Custom, Gloss). Can't believe it's actually mine.

The place that's likely to give you the best deal, straight up, is House of Guitars in Rochester. Do whatever you need to do to get one.

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