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CS 336 Did you know as soon as you picked it up?

#1 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 04:21 PM

Noticed several players that said they saw a 336, picked it up, started playing and instantly knew they had to have it. This was my experience as well. I went to a shop looking for an inexpensive Epiphone dot and tried a few but none of them did much for me. Then I spotted a 336 and tried it. I didn't know what it was, the sales clerk didn't really know either and the $3K plus price tag scared me off. But a couple days later I was still thinking about how it played and sounded and I knew I had to have it. I didn't have much cash at the time, but decided to trade an ES175 and a Strat and that got the deal done. I own some very nice Gibson guitars, but if I had to keep just one I'm sure it would be the 336. There are many that look much nicer than mine which is sort of plain Jane vintage burst compared to some of the tangerine and cherry bursts I've seen, but it just plays and sounds so incredible.

Tell us how you fell in love with your CS336 - it's a moment in time we all enjoy remembering. [thumbup]

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2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
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2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
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#2 User is online   Rabs 

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:38 PM

Ohhh shweeeettt... Happy playing man.

A 336 is my most coveted guitar in the world.... Ive played a few.. They all played like butter and sounded amazing..

One day.. It will be mine :)


One day.
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#3 User is offline   JO'C 

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 12:42 PM

Sorry for late reply, was away on a trip. I definitely feel the same way. When I got mine I had 5 Les Pauls. Now I'm down to 2 and they rarely see the light of day. My 336 gets 90% of my playing time. I also have a Larry Carlton Custom Shop 335 which is also a fine guitar but the smaller body and 2 lb less weight of the 336 makes it a dream to play all night standing. And the upper fret access is way better than a LP. Tonewise it's right between the LP and 335. Gives me all the versatility I need. The only issue is that it's too nice to bring to a gig. Here she is, a 2004 custom order one-off in tangerine burst quilt.

Posted Image

Custom appointments are gold hardware, ebony fretboard, pearloid dots and of course the top. It's almost a CS-356 minus the rectangular fret markers.
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#4 User is offline   Silversurfer 

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:44 PM

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I have a 2010 CS-336 that I picked up in a trade - I never even got to play it before I got it. Talk about reckless. Smartest move I ever made. It's got a '59 neck which is amazing and I never was a big neck guy. The previous owner had JM Rolph '59 Pretender pickups installed, which are ridiculously good in this guitar. I've also made a few other mods, just because I can't leave well enough alone:
- Waverly tuners
- Callaham steel ABR bridge
- Pigtail lightweight aluminum tailpiece
- Montreaux steel studs
- RS Superpots
- Mojotone Vitamin T caps

...oh, and gold knobs!

I own a lot of guitars. The CS-336 is by far my favorite of them all. Anyone who doesn't play a 336 is missing out big time.
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#5 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:50 PM

View PostJO, on 05 May 2017 - 12:42 PM, said:

Sorry for late reply, was away on a trip. I definitely feel the same way. When I got mine I had 5 Les Pauls. Now I'm down to 2 and they rarely see the light of day. My 336 gets 90% of my playing time. I also have a Larry Carlton Custom Shop 335 which is also a fine guitar but the smaller body and 2 lb less weight of the 336 makes it a dream to play all night standing. And the upper fret access is way better than a LP. Tonewise it's right between the LP and 335. Gives me all the versatility I need. The only issue is that it's too nice to bring to a gig. Here she is, a 2004 custom order one-off in tangerine burst quilt.

Posted Image

Custom appointments are gold hardware, ebony fretboard, pearloid dots and of course the top. It's almost a CS-356 minus the rectangular fret markers.


That finish is a beauty - great score. The versatility of tone is what I love as well - I can get a nice warm woody Les Paul sound out of it, bright chimey country tone, muted jazz tone. Neck action is fast and low just such an overall great axe. I think Gibson only makes a few at a time because if everyone got to play one they wouldn't sell too many of their other models. Like you said you sold off 3 LPs, just didn't need them anymore, and I'm sure your Carlton 335 is wonderful, but soundwise you probably could do without that too.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#6 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:02 PM

The previous owner had JM Rolph '59 Pretender pickups installed, which are ridiculously good in this guitar. I've also made a few other mods, just because I can't leave well enough alone:
- Waverly tuners
- Callaham steel ABR bridge
- Pigtail lightweight aluminum tailpiece
- Montreaux steel studs
- RS Superpots
- Mojotone Vitamin T caps

...oh, and gold knobs!

I own a lot of guitars. The CS-336 is by far my favorite of them all. Anyone who doesn't play a 336 is missing out big time.


I am not familiar with the Pretender pickups, what sort of tone difference is there between them and the 57 Classics? Also with the changed out cap and pots and other mods I would love to do a side by side comparison of the sounds. I may change tuners on mine, but since I had a luthier work on the nut a little it stays in tune well so maybe I'll leave it alone.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#7 User is offline   Silversurfer 

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 11:07 AM

View PostTwang Gang, on 05 May 2017 - 07:02 PM, said:

The previous owner had JM Rolph '59 Pretender pickups installed, which are ridiculously good in this guitar. I've also made a few other mods, just because I can't leave well enough alone:
- Waverly tuners
- Callaham steel ABR bridge
- Pigtail lightweight aluminum tailpiece
- Montreaux steel studs
- RS Superpots
- Mojotone Vitamin T caps

...oh, and gold knobs!

I own a lot of guitars. The CS-336 is by far my favorite of them all. Anyone who doesn't play a 336 is missing out big time.


I am not familiar with the Pretender pickups, what sort of tone difference is there between them and the 57 Classics? Also with the changed out cap and pots and other mods I would love to do a side by side comparison of the sounds. I may change tuners on mine, but since I had a luthier work on the nut a little it stays in tune well so maybe I'll leave it alone.


Jim Rolph is a pickup guru who has wound pickups for many famous guitarists and has been around since the '70's. He's known for producing some of the last accurate reproductions of PAFS and single coil pickups around. The '59 Pretenders aren't as underwound as his '57 or '58 pickups, but have that PAF midrangey vocal tone with just the right amount of bridge pickup sizzle. The pot and cap mods are more about taper than tone, although the RS Superpots tend to measure above 500K, so they can increase some brightness. I do believe that the bridge and tailpiece/studs mods significantly increased acoustic resonance and sustain. Tone is so subjective, so before you start making any mods, I'd recommend you take inventory of what you like about your current tone and what you'd like to change, as well as who's tone you really like. These mods work for me, but may not be for everyone.
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#8 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 09:17 PM

Tone is so subjective, so before you start making any mods, I'd recommend you take inventory of what you like about your current tone and what you'd like to change, as well as who's tone you really like. These mods work for me, but may not be for everyone.
[/quote]

No, I am not considering changing pickups or any other components as I love mine the way it sounds now. I was just curious about how the Pretenders effected the tone. As you say it's personal taste and very subjective, but I think I get the idea of the slightly underwound thing. [thumbup]

By the way I have seen very few 336s in Ebony (you don't see that many regardless of finish) very cool.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#9 User is offline   clayville 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 12:39 PM

Back in 2003, when many, many Gibson dealers were allowed to show specific new guitars on the internet (instead of the small handful who can now), I fell instantly in love with the dealer photos of a CS-356 in a shop on the other side of the country. These were relatively new models then, differing from CS-336's with an ebony fingerboard and more bling, and then as now, very difficult to find locally no matter where you live. I took what was, for me, a huge gamble and pulled the trigger having never played one - and this was an investment of at least three times the size of any previous guitar purchase. This one is from a special run for Music Machine in Washington, In "Quilted Heritage Darkburst", with a Stinger painted on the back of the headstock. I was lucky to get it.

Nearly fifteen years later, it has been by far my favorite guitar, and inspires me every day from the minute I open the case. Mine is still bone stock - though I can attest that these are very responsive to even small screwdriver tweaks to raise/lower the pickups, pole pieces or tailpiece. They're tremendously versatile guitars too, with a really broad range of sound available through little more that twisting the knobs - I can get as close as I need to get to an LP or a 335 sound, and pretty close to a brighter Tele-like sound too. I wouldn't part with it for three times what I paid for it new.

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#10 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 02:57 PM

That's a beauty and a great find on your part.

I know a 356 is more deluxe than a 336 with the multi ply binding, ebony board, gold hardware. Are they carved from one piece of mahogany like the 336? Doesn't seem to be any info on Gibson website as I guess they are not currently in production.

Great looking guitar and sounds great too. [thumbup]
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#11 User is offline   clayville 

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:38 AM

View PostTwang Gang, on 10 May 2017 - 02:57 PM, said:

That's a beauty and a great find on your part.

I know a 356 is more deluxe than a 336 with the multi ply binding, ebony board, gold hardware. Are they carved from one piece of mahogany like the 336? Doesn't seem to be any info on Gibson website as I guess they are not currently in production.

Great looking guitar and sounds great too. [thumbup]


Thanks. The back and sides are carved (routed) from a solid slab of mahogany in the same manner for both the CS-356 and CS-336. Though the CS-356 has not been on Gibson's own website for nearly a decade, they do in fact still manufacture them in short runs for select dealers as far as I'm aware. Over the last year or so they have turned up at both Wildwood and Music Zoo, I believe.
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#12 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 05:01 PM

View Postclayville, on 11 May 2017 - 09:38 AM, said:

....Over the last year or so they have turned up at both Wildwood and Music Zoo, I believe.


Music Zoo have 3 x 356s at the moment including a stunning quilt top. [love]

https://www.themusic...-guitar-natural




Plus lots from Steve Miller's collection including four Clapton 'Beano' LPs......!
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#13 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:44 AM

Music Zoo have 3 x 356s at the moment including a stunning quilt top. [love]

https://www.themusic...-guitar-natural


Wow that quilt is beautiful, and the Honey Amber is no slouch for $1K less. Now if I didn't already have a 336, and just bought a new LP............ [crying]
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
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#14 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 03:51 PM

View PostTwang Gang, on 14 May 2017 - 10:44 AM, said:

Music Zoo have 3 x 356s at the moment including a stunning quilt top. [love]

https://www.themusic...-guitar-natural


Wow that quilt is beautiful, and the Honey Amber is no slouch for $1K less. Now if I didn't already have a 336, and just bought a new LP............ [crying]




https://www.themusic...tar-honey-amber

Richlite board.....[omg]
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#15 User is offline   Plus Top Dan 

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 06:23 AM

There are some lovely guitars posted here, how much smaller is a 336 compared to the 335?
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#16 User is offline   Pesh 

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 04:56 PM

Some absolutely gorgeous things on this thread! Posted ImagePosted Image

View PostPlus Top Dan, on 08 June 2017 - 06:23 AM, said:

There are some lovely guitars posted here, how much smaller is a 336 compared to the 335?


Same dimensions as a 339, if you've seen one of those. The difference is the construction method.
Pesh, also known by some as Tom; an English bloke living in Spain, who likes sending all kinds of well-intentioned sonic shrapnel careening through the air. (Twitter = @TM_Fisher).

Things with Strings...
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2016 Stagg M20 Mandolin - "Octavia".

Things I've Built...
First build; cross between a '57 Goldtop & the Lou Pallo Signature Les Paul; thread here [in progress and sadly on hold]

Things without strings...
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#17 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:54 PM

View PostPlus Top Dan, on 08 June 2017 - 06:23 AM, said:

There are some lovely guitars posted here, how much smaller is a 336 compared to the 335?


I don't have a 335 handy to compare them. But the 336 is 14 inches across the lower bout, 10 inches across the upper bout and 16 inches body length from the neck heel to the end pin. I think anyone who plays one will agree that it is much more comfortable to play than a 335. And even though it is smaller it makes up for it tonewise due to the carved construction, mahogany back and sides with maple top.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2
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#18 User is offline   Plus Top Dan 

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:42 AM

View PostPesh, on 11 June 2017 - 04:56 PM, said:

Some absolutely gorgeous things on this thread! Posted ImagePosted Image


Same dimensions as a 339, if you've seen one of those. The difference is the construction method.


I always thought the 336 was slightly bigger than a 339, you live and learn eh? I used to have a 339 but the dimensions just looked a bit out of proportion to my eyes so I sold it on.
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