Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jrjones, Aug 17, 2019.
Then there's the ES-333 sometimes overlooked, minimal "bling" but definitely a great value and has back access to the volume/tone pots.
Mine experience is a 2018 Studio 335. It's quite a handful, and at the same its neck is rather slim for my tastes.
The Dot series (especially the Epiphone) seem to be consistently easier to play, and it's real hard to find a 335 that matches your hands/tastes.
I think that the best idea would be to try each one personally instead of going mail order.
No reason to be sorry - many if not most of us have gone through the same evaluation. Is that guitar that's 7x more expensive 10% better than what you have ? 50% ? Each one of us has our own way of evaluating - and justifying it to ourselves.
I agree with this as well. Great, versatile, guitars. I've owned three over the years and played many more. I think I've finally found my keeper. An 83 '59 dot reissue. My ideal 335 would play like this one and have a Bigsby, but I have not found that one yet. Happy hunting.
I'd just guess 7 times, lol. Like you know, would I just rather have this one guitar or like 4-6 other guitars? That sort of thing? I don't know.
I've tried out many, many solid body guitars, so I won't get into that!
I still would LOVE to try out those 7-times-better guitars; specifically the PRS USA and Gibson USA semi-hollow bodies.
That will happen one day, hopefully very soon, but I will be going in with a SUPER HIGH expectation. I guess my own way of evaluating and justifying it to myself is just too unrealistic; that's my problem. But then again, I'm spending my money in my own way and I expect a lot from the guitars. I know, it's a problem, like going in a circle, forever, LOL.
Sorry once again!
To my knowledge, the earlier 345s (90s and early 2000s) were small run custom shop affairs, then when they included a 345 in the Memphis love up it's usually been placed in the standard series so following similar spec to the 335 Dot, the ones I've played having fairly medium C profile necks. 345s and 355s were officially dropped from the line up in 1981 and didn't come back in any real numbers until the Memphis operation was up and running, so they're a bit less ubiquitous than the Dot RI.
More recently there have been year specific 345 reissues, which follow the 335 reissues in terms of neck profile and horn shape. I haven't had much experience of them, I think I've only played one which was a '63 or '64 reissue, I can't remember which. I have a couple of original mid 60s 3*5s and that reissue was very similar in terms of neck profile and body shape, although I didn't think it sounded much like the originals. Still a very nice guitar though.
There was a non varitone version doing the rounds as well just before the ownership change, although I've never seen one in the flesh, and a spectacularly cool signature model for a Japanese guy whose name escapes me.
Probably the best value in the older 335 family - they're always well made, look great and are consistently a lot cheaper than equivalent year Dot RIs. I love them, especially the later ones with the less obvious coil tap switch and mickey mouse horns.
Also, late 70s 335 Pros and CRR/CRS models - no-one seems to know what they are, so they end up being a lot cheaper than late 70s 335s, 345s and 355s. I'd prefer a 347, but they're definitely things to have on the radar when 335 shopping.
I've had several 335s, my only axe for many years was a dot reissue... i recently got a studio es339 on a trade, and it was the best deal ever, I love the sound... had it setup, it still may end up getting a fret job, but it sounds like a 335, but it's lighter and smaller.... love the neck too
This really interests me in terms of how people qualify value in guitars. I have a theory that there's two personalities when it comes to choosing guitars where there's a big price differencial:
The first guy compares the two and thinks ok, I like the expensive one and I can afford it, but it's only a little better and with the money I save on the cheaper one I could buy whatever else I fancy as well so the expensive one isn't worth it. The second guy thinks ok, I have this money I can afford to spend and I want this particular type of guitar, so if the expansive one is just a fraction better I'm going to get that one because I want the best possible example I can get of that particular guitar.
Neither guy is right, it's just different ways of gauging the worth of the guitars. I'm firmly in camp two, wish gets expensive where Gibson thinlines are concerned! I've had a couple of Epiphones over the years, an upgraded Korean Sheraton and a really nice MiJ Casino, but I never really liked them the way I do my Gibsons. But I totally get why others would be more than happy with either of those two, they were great guitars in their own right.
I’m the latter.
This is me as well. I’ve said the same thing before. Although my strat isn’t a custom shop. My tele and les Paul don’t get a lot of love these days.
Guitars - 4 by Markv7 posted Jan 1, 2019 at 6:26 PM
Why not get a Bigsby and a Vibramate to put on your current 335? It doesn’t add much weight and the Vibramate ensures that you’re not drilling holes into your guitar.
To the OP: like anything to do with Gibson, I would advise running the racks and being patient. When that magical 335 falls under your fingers, you’ll know.
I used to have one of these, and they are a great value, and my tech loved the access
I'm kinda camp 2, as well...but looks are a deal breaker. I want the "Custom" parallelogram on the headstock; all the binding; bound f-holes and an older than 20yrs date of production; ebony fretboard. The 347 ticks most of those boxes.
I'm currently in California looking for a 355. Tall Toad is just down the street and they have a White VOS with Bigsby and a new Figured. I noticed on Gibson's web site that they have discontinued the 355 for the moment...I could be wrong. I'm going to LA during my stay and have found a few online down there.
I want vintage/sun burst with stop tail. I love the 347.
I am really impressed with the new (2020?) 335 with various color options. Tall Toad has one or two.
Jay, do you know of any 355s up in Manchester? I'll be back in England in October. I do want this 355 as my traveling guitar, so flight case is in order, too.
Apologies for the hijack, but surely some helpful insights can be gleaned during my search out here in Cali.
Are you anywhere near San Francisco? Real Guitars have had really cool player grade late 60s ESs the last few times I've been in. Mad little shop, but they're always worth checking out.
Back in Blighty, Rich Henry who's local to me has a late 70s wine red one or at least he did last week, looks like a good guitar from the Instagram photos and he's pretty straight up. Otherwise I don't ever go into Dawsons, I work at Forsyths so we definitely don't, and I know the manager at PMT so I can ping him if you like. I've seen 355s in there before.
Guitar Village is probably the best place in the UK for new Gibson ESs, he buys a huge number of them. I bought my '65 there a few years back and found the owner very pleasant to deal with.
There's a cool vintage sunburst late 70s one on Ebay at the moment, some changed parts and I think a little overpriced at just under £3k but it caught my eye, very pretty looking thing.
If I see any in my travels I'll let you know, I always keep an eye out for them.
Well, specifically rectangular inlays AKA block inlays, corresponding to the 335 inlays starting in 1962, replacing the dot. Seems trapezoids according to some definition can include rectangles so that's not wrong, but it also seems that more often in the guitar world they refer to shapes like the inlays on Les Pauls.
I've tried many that had factory Bigsbys and even owned a great one that had been converted as you suggest (photo below) . Tuning stability was an issue on all of them, even with two different "pro" setups, and I don't play with a heavy hand. I keep searching.
edited to add that I have had Bigsby guitars with no tuning stability issues, just no 335s (yet).
I love my 2017 335 Studio that I got in the famous CME blowout. Grabbed it for a song (pun intended) and still can't believe how much I like it.
I'd recommend either a 59 or 63 Reissue. Can't get much better IMO, however I love 335's. Since you're just getting into them, I'd look at a "Dot" (dot inlays). You can get them used ~$1,700 in excellent condition and they sound great