Say you have 5K to spend on a killer 335 , what do you buy?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tuumbaq, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Mistamista

    Mistamista Member

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    You can't be helped. ES335s are bastards to find and buy, they really aren't all the same. Quite a lot of them tend to be a touch "cloudy" - the good ones are clear all over the neck. Yamaha make a very nice one but it's....not....quite...the same, not as "smoky" - but they are good. Mine took years (literally) to find, I tried I-don't-know-how-many, the benchmark was one I borrowed for some months in the 70s. Never forgot it, tried to buy it. But it's a Gibson vos re-issue of a 1960, didn't cost anything close to 5K, bought used, perfect nick, case and candy. Huge sounds, not a bad sound in it, best 'lectric I have, easy and none of the too-shiny finish and chrome you mention. You know the neck you want, you need to know the p/ups too. Dirty Fingers and BBs 1&2 are absolutely criminal on 335s but Gibson bash 'em out just the same. You need underwound, unpotted Alnico PAFS to get the range of sounds these guitars can give. Everything but shred.
    Try buying the Guitar magazine to look for the ads put in by the smaller, more specialist dealers. The ones that deal in choice used stuff, look out for vos re-issues - they are generally made in a different factory and it shows. Once you've located those dealers you can keep track online but don't tell them what you're looking for, they'll sting you. Cash hungry, you can haggle the money if you have the stash ready and waiting. You should be able to bring it home for less than 3K. That's what I'd do. Peace.
     
  2. joesnewmatch

    joesnewmatch Music Is My Soul Food Supporting Member

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    I you love your Collings' neck (like me), you can get that on a I-35lc and most any other Collings, too!
     
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  3. 98G2PRU

    98G2PRU Member

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    When I was looking for a new 335 20 years ago, I went to every shop in the Houston area for a year or more playing every 335 in stock. I finally found a great one at Fullers Vintage Guitars in Houston. Back in the day they were a big Gibson dealer. What I learned from the experience is you have to invest the time to find and hand pick the special ones.

    There are also the late 60s and early 70s Walnut 335s with the trapeze tail pieces that are cool guitars. I had a buddy with a ‘64 that was a killer 335.

    +
     
  4. The bear

    The bear Member

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    It seems like Collings is coming out with a new version of the I-35lc, called the I-35lc vintage.
    I belive there is a different laminate recipe than the usual model, and maybe some other tweaks as well. It seems like the aged finish is standard, as well as the Throbak PG 102(as far as I know, could be wrong. I am curious to check out this version when ever it comes out.
     
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  5. FenderAmpFan

    FenderAmpFan Member

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    Take a trip to the Chicago Music Exchange and check out their inventory.
     
  6. GregCharles

    GregCharles Member

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    Sounds like you've looked around quite a bit, i do think there are big differences between manufacturers and guitars year by year, or from one to another so its a crap shoot if you buy online. saying that i've bought several guitars i bought online and i guess got lucky because they are all great. I am also a lucky guy long ago my wife bought me a Red 1983 ES 335 DOT for Valentines day! It is a very nice guitar, not too heavy, still looks and plays great after all of these years. I have read that the Gibson factory in the 70's and after mid 80's went through some quality issues but mine is superb. The change i made was to change the pickups to 57's which are pretty nice PU's without being too boomy. good luck on your hunt.
     
  7. barryallenhonig

    barryallenhonig Supporting Member

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  8. barryallenhonig

    barryallenhonig Supporting Member

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    For me. I had a 2013 ‘63 Reissue 335. It was ok. Couldn’t keep it in tune. Had a new nut made. Out on Grovers. Still would not stay in tune. I have a 2014 RO that stays in tune great!
    About a year ago I bought a used Collings I35LC Deluxe. I love it but it does not sound like a 335. It has its own thing.
    But if I had 5k I’d try find a late 60’s Gibson 335. The old wood cannot be replicated
     
  9. wilson1

    wilson1 Member

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    I haven't seen anyone mention a Heritage 335. I've played one in the store and it was great. I never heard anyone say anything bad about them. jmo
     
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  10. mzdych

    mzdych Member

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    Id get an Eastman and another amp ! I have a Eastman T59v and love it. I prefer it over the many of Gibson 335's ive tried. Guitar prices are ridiculous now a days.
     
  11. noodleboy

    noodleboy Member

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    I'd buy a Collings I-35.
     
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  12. strangec

    strangec Silver Supporting Member

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    I came to post the same thing duaneallen said. The SoCo 16 LC is the same size as a 335- ~16" The I35 LC is ~15". Both sound great.

    When I was shopping for a semi-hollow I visited numerous high-end shops- Daves, CME, etc... and tried out friends' 335s as well. The Collings' I tried sounded better, played better, and had better fit, finish and quality than the Gibsons. Collings gos so far as to make their own laminate wood to get the tone they want.

    When people say, 'Collings won't sound like a 335' I always wonder- which one? The 335s I tried were so all over the place tone-wise that generally not sounding like a 335 was a good thing.

    Good luck and enjoy your search.
     
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  13. BlueHeaven

    BlueHeaven Member

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    I would not call the Heritage shown above "settling".
     
  14. MikJr

    MikJr Member

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    Builder Ken Mccay, told me “There is a seller on reverb called red circle guitars who has two of mine a blonde and a black. Those are both 335 style.”
    1800 PAFs? Total At 6000
     
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  15. ChrisP

    ChrisP Member

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    I don't believe that because a guitar is old it is better than a new instrument.
    Not an electric anyway...not enough to warrant extra $$$. Maybe an acoustic instrument. I had a very decent, at best, Yamaha acoustic that eventually changed into a pretty decent instrument. I assumed it was because the wood aged. It was only 7 8 years old.
    I don't care about original, I want tone, play-ability etc...but there are a ton of guitars out there and it seems like you could find a good one without dropping $5000.
    Maybe I misread the OP

    Caveat! I have not played a ton of guitars! I'm just saying I have played some VERY nice instruments and some of them were new or pretty new. Can't imagine how much 'better' they would be than an older instrument.
     
  16. Udonitron

    Udonitron Member

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    Get a late 70s early to mid 80s MIJ 335, trust me.
    You will get a 335 that looks and feels like a 50s model on the cheap.
     
  17. brashboy

    brashboy Member

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    What? What!?! A solid-wood guitar better than an actual Gibson???

    The real question is: how did you avoid drinking the Kool-aid?
     
  18. brashboy

    brashboy Member

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    Sure, just ask Larry Carlton about his '69 335.
     
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  19. brashboy

    brashboy Member

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    Seriously? Granted, Gibson invented the 335. But do you really believe there is something magical about Gibson's CNC machines, or Gibson plywood or Gibson glue? Or Gibson pickups? Or maybe Gibson Asian (Sung-il) hardware? I mean, Gibson's peerless quality control is legendary, right?

    Once the design is out there, anybody can make one. As Darrell Braun and others have shown on YT, people who sigh that there is just something special about a Gibson can't reliably pick out the Gibson in the blind A/B test, even (yikes) against an Epiphone.

    You're on more solid ground about resale value, which is why a lot of pro musicians tend to stick with Gibson and Fender.
     
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  20. Udonitron

    Udonitron Member

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