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

The bear

Member
Messages
11,133
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.
 

GregCharles

Member
Messages
16
Im on the hunt for a new ES 335 and just cant seem to find the right guitar right now.I want the closest thing to an actual vintage one for that money...A fairly meaty neck but not massive either , somewhere between .86-.89 I think.I absolutely despise the look of shiny chrome hardware and would prefer something a bit more dull looking..Like old nickel hardware, but doesnt have to be distressed...

Tried a few new regular Gibsons , none wowed me...Havent had a chance to play a custom shop but the ones I played where boring and not inspiring.Ill probably be buying online at this point , so as much as id like to find a used Gibson, Im not sure I can trust Gibson?I do have 3 post 2013 custom shop LesPauls and theyre all great.:dunno

I like the idea of a Collings, but from what I gather they dont exactly sound like a true vintage 335.Would love to hear more opinions on that...only a handful in the emporium but those dont fit my criteria I think.

I like Josh Williams MockingBirds but , the wait time is killing me and they are hard to come by on the used market..LA Vintage has 3 now but Im not really digging the sunburst finish all that much...Also worried about the resale case if I dont bound with it.

Where would guys go? Is there a reputable online dealer for those? What should I look for, any brands that Im missing? Heritage and Eastman are kinda meh to me but haven’t played one of those in the last recent years...Im sure they are great instruments for the money but I doubt they are KILLER guitars ? Or are they ?I feel like I maybe in a weird price bracket...Lots of cheaper guitars, or wayyy too expensive but I just cant seem to find a lot of options in that price range.

This is the worst problem to have...all that money to spend and cant find a way to use it...please help ! :D;)

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.
 

barryallenhonig

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42
Im on the hunt for a new ES 335 and just cant seem to find the right guitar right now.I want the closest thing to an actual vintage one for that money...A fairly meaty neck but not massive either , somewhere between .86-.89 I think.I absolutely despise the look of shiny chrome hardware and would prefer something a bit more dull looking..Like old nickel hardware, but doesnt have to be distressed...

Tried a few new regular Gibsons , none wowed me...Havent had a chance to play a custom shop but the ones I played where boring and not inspiring.Ill probably be buying online at this point , so as much as id like to find a used Gibson, Im not sure I can trust Gibson?I do have 3 post 2013 custom shop LesPauls and theyre all great.:dunno

I like the idea of a Collings, but from what I gather they dont exactly sound like a true vintage 335.Would love to hear more opinions on that...only a handful in the emporium but those dont fit my criteria I think.

I like Josh Williams MockingBirds but , the wait time is killing me and they are hard to come by on the used market..LA Vintage has 3 now but Im not really digging the sunburst finish all that much...Also worried about the resale case if I dont bound with it.

Where would guys go? Is there a reputable online dealer for those? What should I look for, any brands that Im missing? Heritage and Eastman are kinda meh to me but haven’t played one of those in the last recent years...Im sure they are great instruments for the money but I doubt they are KILLER guitars ? Or are they ?I feel like I maybe in a weird price bracket...Lots of cheaper guitars, or wayyy too expensive but I just cant seem to find a lot of options in that price range.

This is the worst problem to have...all that money to spend and cant find a way to use it...please help ! :D;)
 

barryallenhonig

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42
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.

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
 

mzdych

Member
Messages
25
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.
 

noodleboy

Member
Messages
112
Im on the hunt for a new ES 335 and just cant seem to find the right guitar right now.I want the closest thing to an actual vintage one for that money...A fairly meaty neck but not massive either , somewhere between .86-.89 I think.I absolutely despise the look of shiny chrome hardware and would prefer something a bit more dull looking..Like old nickel hardware, but doesnt have to be distressed...

Tried a few new regular Gibsons , none wowed me...Havent had a chance to play a custom shop but the ones I played where boring and not inspiring.Ill probably be buying online at this point , so as much as id like to find a used Gibson, Im not sure I can trust Gibson?I do have 3 post 2013 custom shop LesPauls and theyre all great.:dunno

I like the idea of a Collings, but from what I gather they dont exactly sound like a true vintage 335.Would love to hear more opinions on that...only a handful in the emporium but those dont fit my criteria I think.

I like Josh Williams MockingBirds but , the wait time is killing me and they are hard to come by on the used market..LA Vintage has 3 now but Im not really digging the sunburst finish all that much...Also worried about the resale case if I dont bound with it.

Where would guys go? Is there a reputable online dealer for those? What should I look for, any brands that Im missing? Heritage and Eastman are kinda meh to me but haven’t played one of those in the last recent years...Im sure they are great instruments for the money but I doubt they are KILLER guitars ? Or are they ?I feel like I maybe in a weird price bracket...Lots of cheaper guitars, or wayyy too expensive but I just cant seem to find a lot of options in that price range.

This is the worst problem to have...all that money to spend and cant find a way to use it...please help ! :D;)
I'd buy a Collings I-35.
 

strangec

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,562
I'll give another vote for a Collings. I definitely would look at an I-35LC, but I would highly recommend checking out a Soco 16 LC as well. Even though its a single cut semi-hollow, I think that it sounds just a little bit closer to a 335 due to its size. I have both Collings models, and love both, but the Soco might get you a little closer. I will say though that the reason that I bought my first Collings (I-35 LC) was because I played it back to back with an original '64 335. The Collings wiped the floor with it. No joke. A newer Gibson reissue is great too if you need that name on the headstock.



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.
 

BlueHeaven

Member
Messages
3,760
Why settle when you can just go with the real deal, here is my Gibson 1963 hand selected RI ;) Plays like dream and sound absolutely amazing.
154329.jpg
I would not call the Heritage shown above "settling".
 

MikJr

Member
Messages
1
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
 

ChrisP

Member
Messages
2,922
Do you know of a guitar that can rival with an original vintage instrument for less than 5K$?

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.
 

Udonitron

Member
Messages
36
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.
 

brashboy

Member
Messages
195
Yup....
I’ve never understood how Gibson could charge so much $$ for a plywood body guitar...my hollow body Airlines and Rivolta are all solid mahogany with very high build quality.. all in the $1000 range or under

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

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

brashboy

Member
Messages
195
I'm a 335 nut, and my best one to date - which is comfortably up there with anything I've played from the Dot era - is a '66 with Seth Lovers bought for a bit under $4k a couple of years ago. 1 5/8th nut width so it's not tiny in the neck department and it's much more dynamic and a little more evenly balanced than my similar age 355. The 60s can throw up some stone cold classics throughout the decade.

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

brashboy

Member
Messages
195
In the case of 335’s, I don’t get why anyone would buy a 335 guitar from another company besides Gibson. The Gibson 335 line consists of consistently great guitars throughout the years. If you are considering a CS ES335, they are even better this year from the examples I held at NAMM, and if you go to the right dealer you can get it well near 4K depending on the model. Used but not abused is the way to go if you want cheaper. I am waiting on my ‘64 reissue to arrive any day now.

You’d also never get anywhere near your money back for a Collings and the headstock is an eyesore(in my opinion) if you decided to sell. I have personally played some decent Collings guitars though.

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.
 

GulfportBound

Member
Messages
9,449
Followup: For five large, I'd buy two of these and have change to spare (and I'm already tempted to offer to trade one Les Paul for one of these) . . .

gibson-memphis-2018-limited-es-330-satin-aquamarine-729333.jpg
 




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