Owners of the Epiphone Elitist ES335: What are your opinions?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JMarck, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. JMarck

    JMarck Member

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    I'm thinking about getting one of these. I recently fell in love with the 335 and want one. All of the reviews have been really good, just wondering what you think of them? How would it compare to a Heritage H535?
     
  2. ryhlick

    ryhlick Supporting Member

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    I do not know about Heritage guitar, but a friend of mine has one and it is top notch. The build quality is better than my early 90's Gibson 335 I used to own and much better than the ES 339 I had. They look, sound, and play fantastic.
     
  3. MickeyJi

    MickeyJi Member

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    I've had one for a couple of years now and it's an excellent instrument. Build quality, materials used, playabilty, sound - everything is top notch.

    It is however a bit different from a Gibson, I think mainly due to the finish which isn't nitro and the pickups sound different than the Classic '57s. (very good but a bit more modern, if you want)

    I'd still recommend it to anyone who doesn't need the G-logo on the headstock and isn't prepared to put with the shoddiness evident in some Gibsons.

    :JAM
     
  4. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    I used to have a 66' 335 and now have an Elitist 335. I don't feel I'm missing anything. The finish does feel a bit different, but it's not a big deal. Basically, to me, it does all the cool things a 335 does, but the quality and construction seems more PRS than Gibson.
     
  5. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    Best re-issue 335 out there, bar none, imo. The body dimensions feel slightly small, just like on a "real" 335. It also has that woodiness and aliveness that re-issues typically miss; again, just like the real ones. My *only* only gripe is that the neck tends towards the early 60's, wide flat style. If it had a chunkier, '63 kinda neck, I'd stop looking for old ones.

    If you're really in the market, pm me and we can talk. I *might* be putting mine up, the only reason being the neck. Not sure yet though; it's a keeper in every other regard.

    /rick
     
  6. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

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    Just curious...have you played any of the MIJ Tokai ES series...I have an ES 120 and though I've never played an Elitist 335 I can't imagine it being better than the Tokai...the Tokai has the slightly slimmer body like the original 50s and 60s 335s...nitro finish, very good Tokai pups, lightweight aluminum tailpiece...plus it has the correct shape headstock which is a big plus too me. I got mine a couple of months ago and it completely puts to shame the 1997 Gibson 335 and 2000 Heirtage 535 I owned....better than either of those guitars in every department.

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    One thing I've noticed about the Elitists...they seem to have the slightly more pointed horns found on the mid to late 60s 335s...on the Gibsons that was due to some of the tooling wearing out...the Tokais have the more correct horns and cutaways often referred to as Mickey Mouse ears found on the earlier 335s.
     
  7. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    No, I've never tried the Tokai; would like to. How is the neck? It's possible they might be manufactured by the same people doing the Elitist; anyone know?

    re Mickey Mouse ears, they came and went seemingly at random from '63 to '65. I've owned several guitars from that era with the pointy horns; come to think of it, *all* of the ones I've owned from that era had em. The Elitist nails the pointy horn profile, exactly, which is correct for '63. The headstock, well that's another matter :rolleyes:. I've come to like it.

    One other thing; despite being poly instead of nitro, the color on my cherry red Elitist totally nails the early 60's Gibson look. I've never seen another re-issue, custom shop, whatever, that got it this close.

    /rick
     
  8. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

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    The neck on the Tokai is a slimmer neck width wise at the nut...1-5/8s inch instead of the more popular 1-11/16s...honestly the difference is so small that I really don't notice it...the profile of the neck is quite chunky...not nearly as thin as Gibson 60s style necks...I'd say almost as chuncky as a '59 profile...very comfortable too me. And yeah...my 1997 Gibby 335 was red and I didn't care for it much at all...very dark read...I much, much prefer the red of the 60's 335...that classic 335 all they way as far as I'm concerned. As far as I know Tokai has their own factory...so I imagine that they are built at different facilities.
     
  9. swimrunner

    swimrunner Member

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    An Elitist has straighter string pull at the headstock than a Gibson, and therefore in theory better tuning stability.
     
  10. magnido45

    magnido45 Member

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    Can any of you guys post pics of your elitist 335s?...haven't seen any good ones besides those on the Sweetwater site...
     
  11. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

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  12. magnido45

    magnido45 Member

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    Thanks for the link, HRydarcik...hey, what does the USED stamp mean? I noticed that the recent Elitist 335s only come in the natural finish...red or vintage sunburst would be great options...I'm waiting for my tax refund...so many choices...so little MIJ 335s (pretty much nada) to test at the local stores where I live...
     
  13. JMarck

    JMarck Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. This one is definately a contender in my search. I wonder how some lollars would do in there?!? :D
     
  14. devilrob1979

    devilrob1979 Member

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  15. magnido45

    magnido45 Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply, devilrob...in most the photos, the lacquer finish seems like its satin, not gloss...is this true? I've also been thinking about the fancier black model that you have...what are your likes/dislikes...Don't mean to hijack your thread, JMarck...Definitely tax refund season and this is the time to ask questions as well!!!:D
     
  16. devilrob1979

    devilrob1979 Member

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    The finish isn't super bright and shiny but I rubbed it down with some Caranuba wax and it glows nicely. If I had a buffer I could make it as shiny as I want but I think they were going for a kind of an aged finish. The lacquer is aged looking as well in that the top coat has a bit of a yellow tint. I wish it had been gleaming white but I understand that this is the trend right now so I don't really mind. The inlays on the headstock are kind of cheesy up close as well but for the price I don't think there's a better looking ES-335 on the market. The pickups are a personal preference but I don't have any problems with 'em.
     
  17. magnido45

    magnido45 Member

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    Thanks, devilrob1979...hey, I sent you a message offline!
     

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