Which 335?

smv929

Member
Messages
1,040
I have a Memphis Dot 335. I'd like to upgrade to a higher end model, for the same reason I like my Les Paul VOS model over the USA models. The extra quality in feel, especially in the neck, frets, and fretboard binding, makes a difference to me. The last Dot I considered had rough binding nibblets (or whatever they're called) and had a fretboard hump.

Below are the models I'm seeing, none of which I can find locally--Louisville, KY area. The best thing would to be to play these models, as many as I can. However, there are none around here. If you know of some of these around here, let me know. I could take a road trip.

  • Custom Shop Memphis 1963 Historic Block 50th Anniversary
  • Antique Vintage Sunburst Historic 59 Dot Reissue 50th Anniversary
  • Gibson Custom Shop 1961 VOS Reissue
  • Warren Haynes Model

Basically, I'm looking for:
  • Slim 60s type neck. Not too thin, but also can be slightly fuller than a 60s profile. I've heard the Warren Haynes necks are on the thinner side of the 60s profile. Probably still nice.
  • Light: looking for 7.5lb give or take. Under 8lb anyway.
  • Frets: Medium or above size frets. Not a fan of small frets. Even thought I love my VOS Les Paul, it's frets are as small as I'd want to go. On the other hand, I'm selling a USACG guitar neck with 6100 frets. They're cool, but I'd probably prefer a little less height. The models I've listed I'm assuming have smaller frets, except I hear the Warren Haynes is taller.
  • No neck issues, of course. I would like the option of having low low action. That is, I don't want to live with a action constraints due to a fretboard hump at the 12th fret. Been there! Plek'd would be great.
  • Vibe: Prefer Cherry or the vintage bursts
  • Pickups: I can do whatever - 57 classics or the Burstbuckers, which seem to be the other option in these models. I like the 57s in my Dot, but I'd be open to whatever comes in one of these.
  • A player. I'm not a collector. I almost don't want a mint 335, because I will gig with it and ding it. it will not be a closet classic.
  • Sound: Has to sound good amplified, of course. Would be nice if resonant accoustially, but as long as it sounds good.
  • Price: Modest price. Money is an issue. I'm not going to spend 4K.

Correct me if I'm wrong on any of my assumptions.
Thanks!
 

jamester

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,069
You're not gonna get any of the guitars you listed for under $4K unless you find some deals used.

Your list of criteria fits my satin cherry 335 to a "T" btw...at almost half the price. :)
 

Palladio

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,104
IMO 335's are one of the least consistent guitars Gibson makes. I've played a bunch from the standard models to the various Custom Shop reissues, lots of vintage ones, and I own a '66. Some are heavy and dead dogs (including vintage ones) and others are super resonant and amazing. I tend to favor the lighter ones, but YMMV. I wouldn't focus so much on which model, I'd just try to get out and play whatever you can get your hands on and see if you find one you like better than yours. Take your time and wait for the right one to come along. Also, keep your eye the early 80's reissues with the Tim Shaw pickups. Those have been some of the nicer 335's I've played, and some have bettered actual vintage guitars that were many times the price. Those early 80's ones can be bought in your price range.
 

mds

Member
Messages
1,187
Agree with P. Just play a bunch. I have a 2004 regular ole 335 that is just a fantastic guitar.
 
Messages
23,963
IMO 335's are one of the least consistent guitars Gibson makes. I've played a bunch from the standard models to the various Custom Shop reissues, lots of vintage ones, and I own a '66. Some are heavy and dead dogs (including vintage ones) and others are super resonant and amazing. I tend to favor the lighter ones, but YMMV. I wouldn't focus so much on which model, I'd just try to get out and play whatever you can get your hands on and see if you find one you like better than yours. .........
+++++1!!
 

dcbc

Member
Messages
2,282
IMO 335's are one of the least consistent guitars Gibson makes. I've played a bunch from the standard models to the various Custom Shop reissues, lots of vintage ones, and I own a '66. Some are heavy and dead dogs (including vintage ones) and others are super resonant and amazing. I tend to favor the lighter ones, but YMMV. I wouldn't focus so much on which model, I'd just try to get out and play whatever you can get your hands on and see if you find one you like better than yours. Take your time and wait for the right one to come along. Also, keep your eye the early 80's reissues with the Tim Shaw pickups. Those have been some of the nicer 335's I've played, and some have bettered actual vintage guitars that were many times the price. Those early 80's ones can be bought in your price range.
This. I played several before I picked up this 68 in Austin eighteen years ago. I have always said it is the most "even" sounding guitar I have ever owned. Super easy to play with the slim neck.

 

T92780

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,240
Go check out Heritage H535. Mine has Seth Lovers in it and sounds great.
 

fhrussell

Member
Messages
34
I wouldn't focus so much on which model, I'd just try to get out and play whatever you can get your hands on and see if you find one you like better than yours. Take your time and wait for the right one to come along. QUOTE]

++++1
 

Krausewitz

Member
Messages
3,226
You're not gonna get any of the guitars you listed for under $4K unless you find some deals used.

Your list of criteria fits my satin cherry 335 to a "T" btw...at almost half the price. :)
That's not true. My 50th Anni. '63 was WELL under 4k new. The 'real' Gibson price is way below MAP.
 

custom53

Member
Messages
4,746
I have to agree about the inconsistency of Gibson 335's.. I have played some that just melted in my hands..! Played like butter.. But then I have played some that were truly impossible to play.. My advice is play every one you can get your hands on.. Which is what I always have done with any guitar I was interested in..
 
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jamester

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,069
That's not true. My 50th Anni. '63 was WELL under 4k new. The 'real' Gibson price is way below MAP.
Interesting, the '63 is $4K selling price so there's probably haggle room there, and the Haynes is under $4K. I stand corrected...
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,228
Your existing 335 Memphis dot may be able to meet your needs list IF the neck carve is to your liking. Gibson still does hand neck shaping so neck carves aren't consistent, even if the model is supposed to have a 60's slim neck. But assuming you do like the neck carve on your Memphis dot, and the color and the weight are acceptable, the neck issues can be addressed by a good guitar tech.

Just because Gibson sends a guitar through a PLEK machine, it doesn't ensure perfect frets or perfectly cut nuts. Many new production guitars, as well as after market necks, need some fret work to be their absolute best. Regarding the binding over the fret ends, Gibson used to do this and from my understanding, has now done away with this time consuming hand work. And yeah, since scraping away the binding was and is done by hand, it could be hit or miss in quality. When my 335 needed new frets, we went with frets over the binding, which is the only way a re-fret can be done anyway. If you don't like the binding over the fret ends on your dot 335, you can have the guitar re-fretted. Or a good tech can smooth them out and make them much better.

And the electronics can be changed, as well as the bridge assembly, if you think that's needed. At any rate, your existing guitar could most likely be vastly improved without having to buy a $4000 new guitar, which may not be any better than what you have now.

If your existing 335 isn't the right color, weight or neck carve for you, Sweetwater has a Warren Haynes model listed for $3700, in cherry red, 7lbs 10oz. Nice guitar.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ARWHFCNH
 
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smv929

Member
Messages
1,040
Thanks for advice. I'll just try to be patient and play a lot. And thanks for pointing out some that are currently out there. Keep em coming if you see any more.
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,228
Looking around at Reverb.com, it had these:

* a custom shop 2012 cherry red '61 VOS Dot RI @ $3000. You'd have to ask about the weight

https://reverb.com/item/40453-gibson-custom-shop-1961-es-335-vos-reissue-2012-61

* a custom shop 2009 sunburst '59 Historic Dot RI @ $3500. Seller say it weighs under 7 lbs but I doubt it.

https://reverb.com/item/261313-gibs...ric-59-dot-reissue-50th-anniversary-1959-2009

Some sellers at Reverb do allow for returns ( you pay the shipping ), others don't. And many are willing to entertain offers lower than the asking price.

* And here is a 2006 cherry red Memphis Dot RI @ $1950 that the owner says has had a re-fret with 6100 frets ( bigger than stock ), along with some other upgrades. No weight was indicated.

As you most likely know, buying online is a crap shoot, so imo, it's best to buy from a seller that allows for returns. But you may have to pay a little more for that option. Either buy online, or locate every guitar shop in your driving radius and ask about 335's. I can't see any other way to do it.
 

jo2012

Member
Messages
2,285
You're not gonna get any of the guitars you listed for under $4K unless you find some deals used.

Your list of criteria fits my satin cherry 335 to a "T" btw...at almost half the price. :)
The WH Model is $3699. It's the best 335 I've ever played besides vintage ones
 

jzgtrguy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,660
IMO 335's are one of the least consistent guitars Gibson makes. I've played a bunch from the standard models to the various Custom Shop reissues, lots of vintage ones, and I own a '66. Some are heavy and dead dogs (including vintage ones) and others are super resonant and amazing. I tend to favor the lighter ones, but YMMV. I wouldn't focus so much on which model, I'd just try to get out and play whatever you can get your hands on and see if you find one you like better than yours. Take your time and wait for the right one to come along. Also, keep your eye the early 80's reissues with the Tim Shaw pickups. Those have been some of the nicer 335's I've played, and some have bettered actual vintage guitars that were many times the price. Those early 80's ones can be bought in your price range.
Ditto, my experience exactly. Why not a Heritage or a Collings?
 

Oakley

Member
Messages
982
Why not a Heritage or a Collings?
The Collins has a solid top and isn't the Heritage thinner? I had a 535 and a 555. Neither had the tone I was looking to get from my 1983 335.

I love the low, oval fret profile on my 1983. It is by far my best playing guitar. But it's the opposite of the high frets that seem popular today.
 






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