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Please tell me about the Gibson 1959 ES-335 Dot Reissue


Silver Supporting Member
Hello, I'm was hoping the experts here could tell me about the 1959 Gibson ES-335 Dot Reissue. I'm primarily a strat player however besides the strat the ES-335 type guitar is the guitar that my favorite guitarist play (i.e Carlton, B.B., Cream era Clapton, etc.). The reason I am interested in this particular model is b/c I prefer a 50's style neck as oppose to the flatter 60's style gibson necks (I'm assuming the ES necks shapes follow the Les Paul models). I also would like a high quality instrument as I prefer not having to sell and buy up a few years later. I found out in my strat quest that I would have saved a whole lot of money and effort if I would have just bought the best I could afford up front. Here are my questions:

1) The Gibson website says it's a 'Custom'/made in the custom shop. Are custom shop Gibson's much better than their regular production guitars? Where are the different locations where ES style guitars are made?

2) Is the 1959 ES-335 Reissue neck similar to the 50's neck of their Les Paul standards?

3) What's the best way to go about buying an ES-335? I just don't see many ES-335 in stores (and I frequent very nice shops). Is there a store in the U.S.that has a whole lot of them? I don't mind a little travel or even ordering out of state if it's a reputable shop.

4) Are the custom shop ES' fairly consistent in quality/playability? What should I be looking for in an ES. Is there an ideal weight range? Is the 'long neck tenon' a good thing or insignificant? Other tricks to ES type guitars? Sorry, I know alot about what to look for in a strat but not so much this type of guitar.

5) is there a difference between the '59 reissue and 1959 reissue? I noticed that there are '59 reissues that were made starting 1998 and then on Gibson's website is says that the 1959 reissue is new for 2009 and only 250 are made. Which leads me to the question, is the 59' reissue better or 1959 reissue or are they equal?

Thanks a bunch.


Silver Supporting Member
1. There are CS versions and Historic CS versions, and both are made in a Gibson CS, but some are from the Nashville CS and sell for a bit more than those from the Memphis CS. The orange label inside the f-hole cavity will specify. AKAIK, both are built to the same specs.

2. The neck is very close to a '59 Historic CS LP, which is typically a tiny bit smaller or more tapered than the earlier years reissues. Still nice and big though.

3. Some of the bigger dealers are Wildwood, Dave's, Centre City, Fuller's, Willcutt, and Private Reserve Guitars (formerly Guitarsale), but there are plenty of others. I'm sure others here will offer suggestions as well. I've dealt with Wildwood and Willcutt, and both are superb.

4. They tend to be more consistently superior than non-CS issues ('Gibson USA'), but even standard USA issues can be quite good, though your chances are better with CS. Strangely, all ES-335s have long tenons, but the Historic CS versions are a tad longer/wider. It's generally considered an advantage, but again, it's really all about the individual guitar. I own a CS version now which is superior to others I have owned, most identical.

5. '59s and 1959s are basically the same, but I believe that the recent 50th anniversery edition of 250 includes a few small changes.....guess it kinda has to in order to justify the higher price!

There are others here that could go into more depth on this, and be sure to check The Les Paul Forum, as they break down all things Gibson to the tiniest detail. Hope this provides some clarity.

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