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NGD with Questions (Gibson ES-333 Content)

tfunster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,324
I've been lusting after an Es-335 for a while but they've always been out of my price range, so I got a decent price on a ES-333 and finally received it.

The first thing I noticed was that the neck was REALLY skinny - it seemed almost shredder thin. I have some hand problems and am worried that a think neck might exacerbate them. I've read that some ES-333's have thick, almost '59 style necks. I'm wondering if I just got an a-typically small one.

The other thing I noticed is that it seems a bit harder than it should to bend strings, even with 9 gauge strings. I thought the shorter scale length means it's easier to bend, but my tele with 9's plays so much easier. Is that an ES-335/ES-333 thing?

Overall, it sounds good and plays well. I have the ability to return the guitar for a refund if it doesn't work out, but I don't really wanna pay my tech to set up the guitar and possibly do some minor fret work if it turns out that the playability won't noticeably improve.

I also noticed that there's a greenish rust on the bridge and pickup slugs/screws and am worried if that could be a sign that the guitar was kept in an overly humid environment that could affect the wood/neck?

Thanks for any input!





 

RobJ

Member
Messages
497
Not sure I'm gonna be much help. My 333 has a pretty thick neck. It may feel a little bigger than my 50's neck standard. Certainly no smaller. I have 10's on it and it bends fine.
 

SackvilleDan

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,080
The green gunk is just someone's skin cells and dust... no worries on the environment. You can clean the hardware up with some windex or maybe some naptha.

As for the bending... I have an '02 ES-333 that I have strung with .011s and it is easier to play than my '03 LP Standard that's also strung with .011s! It's all in the setup.

The neck on mine is fairly large - it feels a bit fuller than my 339 did, and I think it is because the shoulders on the neck are a bit wider (more of a D shape than a U). It's no '59 neck by any means but I certainly wouldn't classify it as skinny.

The 333s are fantastic guitars though, clean it up and give it a proper setup and I'm sure it will get close to being your #1!
 

tfunster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,324
Wow - it sounds like I got the thinnest ES-333 neck ever made! Bump for any more opinions.
 

corbs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,370
Well I recently purchased one and the neck is nowhere near as thick as my 2013 LP Traditional, thinner than my DGT, and thinner than the Reverends I own. However it is thicker than my HM Strat beater that practice on. No consolation there. I will be looking to replace the crappy wired ABR, though... what a piece of junk.

*edit I have 10's on it now, normally play 11's so it bends almost too easily.
 

Black Squirrel

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,161
Raise the stopbar it should make the bending a little easier, I have played thin 333's and fat 333's luck of the draw
 

Juan Tuthri

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,154
can you post measurements for reference?

And can you guys with the thicker necks do the same?

Please:aok
 

tfunster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,324
Well I recently purchased one and the neck is nowhere near as thick as my 2013 LP Traditional, thinner than my DGT, and thinner than the Reverends I own. However it is thicker than my HM Strat beater that practice on. No consolation there. I will be looking to replace the crappy wired ABR, though... what a piece of junk.

*edit I have 10's on it now, normally play 11's so it bends almost too easily.
Would you mind giving a quick comparison between your DGT and ES-333? The DGT is the other guitar I'm considering and wonder how they contrast playability and sound wise.


Raise the stopbar it should make the bending a little easier, I have played thin 333's and fat 333's luck of the draw
Thanks - I'll have to give this a try.

Congrats bro! She looks awesome!
Thanks!
 

Hulakatt

Has done terrible things for a klondike bar
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,633
Or for easier bending, try lowering the stopbar all the way and wrapping the strings out the back and over the top like this:

 

KOG

Member
Messages
675
I recently acquired a 03 ES333. I also have a R8 LP. Comparing the necks = across the top of the fretboard they fell very similar as does the string tension (both with 11's). The back neck shapes are different. The ES lacks the girth of the R8, but it is manageable and nowhere near other slim taper 60's necks I have played in the past.
 

Ape Factory

Member
Messages
2,504
I have a 60's neck ES. It's as wide (same nut width as my Corsa LP) but it's fairly flat out back. I tend to like no shoulders and a bit of meat on the back side. I just adapt. Playability on mine is exceptional and I've worked with the setup myself for some time after having a luthier do a fret level, check the nut and notch new saddles. I had it top wrapped but went back to having the bridge raised. Much better on my guitar that way. I've experienced just the opposite on a 2004 LP which was better with a wrapped tail. Go figure.
 

tfunster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,324
Or for easier bending, try lowering the stopbar all the way and wrapping the strings out the back and over the top like this:

I'm curious - the screws on my bridge face the opposite way (it's an ABR I think). Is that a different bridge?
 

tfunster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,324
Congrats! Perhaps get it set up professional.
I have a gig tonight and will see if I can get used to the then neck and to make sure it doesn't excacerbate my hand problems. If I can manage, I'll definitely have my tech fix it up nicely.
 

TattooedCarrot

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,232
333 is spec'd with a thin 60's slim taper neck. I've owned 4-5 of them over the years and all had the same thin neck profile.

Same goes for a modern production Dot 335 - thin neck. The Historic '59 335 has the fat neck, and I can't rule out an oddball run 335 somewhere, but normally its thin necks on all of these.
 

Gearaddict

Member
Messages
1,431
It isnt the neck width, it is the neck shape that is the problem. Ive run across the same thing on several guitars, swearing they were thin, but measured out at 1 3/4".
 

jfwund

Member
Messages
627
The neck on mine is pretty thin, too. Definitely the 60s profile. Night and day when compared to my R8.

As for the bending, Hulakatt has it right -- drop that tailpiece and topwrap. Makes the strings much more slinky. A good cleaning and setup should get the corrosion off of the hardware and the guitar feeling much more to your liking.

Gratuitous pics:


 






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