low-end 335's: Dean, PRS, Yamaha, Ibanez, Greco

rorschah

Member
Messages
540
So I've been poking around in the archives and on ebay, still chasing that reasonable 335 copy or jazzbox. I dig on new Gibson 335's (won't even play the vintage ones in stores, because I know it'll just depress me), can't dig on Epiphone Sheraton II and Dot copies, and Ibanez Artcore - they sound thin to me.

Any comments on comparisons between:

old early 70's Ibanez Artists, AS-50, and AS-100?
old Yamaha SA 600, 800?
old Greco's?
new PRS Xtone Paramount, PS-1, and PC-1 (somebody somewhere says these are less of a semi-hollow-body and more of a LP with wings. That true?)
Dean Stylist?

Anybody out there play a bunch of these? Got comments?

Thanks all.

-thi
 

BadJaxx

Member
Messages
510
when i was looking for the same thing i made the mistake of trying a 335 which pretty much spoiled me....tough for anything else to measure up...playability was a big factor for me....
i like the Ibanez Artist AS-120 (there's one for sale in Guitar Emporium for a nice price)....ended up buying a Schecter C-1 E/A and putting 57 Classics in it...

tried a Dean Stylist....nice guitar for very reasonable price...

i'd recommend you take a close look at the Ibanez AS-120 if you're on a low budget...

never heard of those PRS models....and just checked their web site....what are those?
 

rwe333

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,398
The Yamahas are great value, though some have necks that may be too skinny for some...
 
Messages
728
The dot mark 335 reissues that Gibson was making in the late
80's are killer. I have an 1989 Blonde reissue that has been
near impossible to beat in terms of tone and playability. I've
had it up against many other reissue and vintage ones and it's
always held up if not outdid the competition. I've also found the late 80's reissues to be very consistent. They can be had for
approx $1800. and are not too hard to come by. It also
seems like they put a little extra attention to detail into the
Blondes.
 

fullerplast

Senior Member
Messages
6,781
You may want to add Turser and Agile to your list. Under $500 Korean made copies that sound and play well right out of the box.
 

Shemp

Member
Messages
981
I just bought a "Pre Lawsuit" Agile 335 clone from a buddy out in Toledo. It should be here by the end of next week. I'll post a review. I know a handful of guys who have played this particular guitar and they say it's more than fine as is. I'm skeptical, but at the price point, if I have to buy a set of used 57s and new pots it sure won't break me to get it into Gibson territory for way under 5 bills.
 

joel

Member
Messages
1,050
I tried an Epiphone that was really good sounding, at something like $400. I half wish I had bought it, but my PRS hollow spruce sort of fills that space... I personally didn't like the Yamaha, and really didn't like the Turnser. But that's just my taste, I' sure they would have suited others just fine.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
7,691
I recommend you look for some old Yamaha SA models on eBay. I've got a SA-1200S (the S in the end means it has a spruce top) that I really love, the SA-2000S is a fancier version of the same. The SA-2200 is totally worth the money too.

For one reason or another, Yamahas go for very fair prices used.
 

6stringjazz

Member
Messages
320
I just bought a Hamer Echotone for $400 that's really nice. Neck plays great, very balanced. Planning to change the pickups, they are a little weak, but everything else seems fine. and it's pretty responsive acousticly. I've had a bunch of real 335's, and this compares very favorably, enough so that I don't have a 335 now.
 

modRod

Member
Messages
166
samick san 450. out of production, but to be found on ebay. very nice guitar, that needs a pickup change, though..
 

ivers

Member
Messages
4,104
Originally posted by LaXu
I recommend you look for some old Yamaha SA models on eBay. I've got a SA-1200S (the S in the end means it has a spruce top) that I really love, the SA-2000S is a fancier version of the same. The SA-2200 is totally worth the money too.

For one reason or another, Yamahas go for very fair prices used.
Yeah, I got myself the SA-1200S model... awesome guitar, love at first play!

Now if that plane from Japan carrying my freshly purchased Bacchus Duke Master can take a shortcut... I can't wait. :(
 

joeh77

Member
Messages
914
I've also been dabbaling in this area for a while. I had a early '80s Ibanez AS-200. Was one of the best guitars I ever owned, thought the PUPs were a bit thin, so I traded it! I played a Heritage 535 last month that played well, never plugged it though. Not sure which PUPS they use on the Classic series. I know they use Seth Lovers on certain 535s. And I have played the Agile AS-820, which played and sounded very nice for a $400 guitar.

I would say the Heritage line is as close as you'll get to Gibson at about 1/2 the price!

Joe:)
 

Kiwi

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,080
Look for two USA-made guitars, especially clean and used:

- Guild Starfire IV or
- Heritage 535

They run about $1000 used, give or take, and they have the serious 335 sound. I used to own one of each and still regard them fondly.

Kiwi
 

Lex Luthier

Member
Messages
1,767
I had a MIJ Aria 335 thing that I slapped in new frets and some Tom Holmes pickups (when the prices were sane) and it was as good as any real 335 I've owned. I sold it to a buddy and he plays it to this day.
 

JWK

Member
Messages
350
Originally posted by rorschah
...can't dig on Epiphone Sheraton II and Dot copies, and Ibanez Artcore - they sound thin to me.


-thi
I played an AS83 artcore the other day in the new GC in our town and was very impressed with playability and workmanship. I haven't had a lot of time with it to listen critically and would like to know what you think is "thin" about their sound. How much time have you spent with the Ibanez artcores? Ever change pups? Just wondering as I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on this one. Please forgive the potential highjack.
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,612
How much do you have to spend?

For cheaper guitars, I will agree with the other guy here, the Hamer Echotone (the Korean made one NOT the Chineese) is a very good start. They are available for around $200. Put a nice bone nut, some good tuners, great pickups and a aluminum stop tail piece and you will have a very nice 335 copy for less than $500. This is a very good way to go.

If you can spend closer to $1,000, there are many guitars which others have already mentioned including Heritage, Hamer Newport, and Guild Starfires.
 




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