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ES-339 or Memphis ES Les Paul hollow body for blues Choosing a step-up guitar

#1 User is offline   yellowroses 

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:14 PM

I am almost ready to buy a second guitar. My first guitar is a G&L Ascari GTS. The choices have narrowed to The ES-339 (the ES-335 is too big for me. I'm 5'2) and the Memphis ES- Les Paul Standard. It is a hollow body with no "f" holes. The choices have come from listening to the You Tube reviews and demos so not the best quality of sound from my laptop to compare tone.

Most advice is to go to several music stores and try my choices and many others. This might be good advice to someone who lives in a heavily populated area with lots of music stores. The nearest store to me is two hours away in another state and they don't even carry Gibson brand. I will be buying mine online. Most of the guitars around me are Stratocasters or Telecasters and lots of off brands.

My favorite music is blues- Chicago and Delta style. Any style blues is good. I almost pushed the "buy" button on the Les Paul hollow body (no "f" holes), but thought you people might have some thoughtful input.
Thank you,
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#2 User is offline   JimB1 

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 05:44 PM

I just picked up an 2015 ES Les Paul in Bourbon Burst a few weeks ago.
http://www.gibson.co...rbon-Burst.aspx

I play a lot of acoustic blues and am learning electric stuff (BB King, Albert King, Hound Dog Taylor, etc) I was in the same scenario between the 335, 339 and ES LP. The 339 has a more mellow sound closer to a 335 then the ES LP but the ES LP definately has a good portion of the ES hollow sound to it.
Basically if you want the 335 sound, the 339 is going to get you closer. However if you want something that can do a very good impersonation of a Les Paul and then turn around and do a pretty decent impression of a 335 the ES LP might be the ticket for you.
I suspect the lack of f holes will help with high volume feedback but it probably sounds pretty similar to mine, which sounds excellent doing everything from basic 12 bar shuffle rhythm through BB King type leads up the neck.
I chose the ES LP because I think it's a little more versatile and I like the LP shape but I don't really think you can go too far wrong with either choice.
-Jim
  • 2015 Gibson J-45
  • 2012 Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Ltd Les Paul Goldtop
  • 2015 Gibson ES Les Paul Bourbon Burst
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#3 User is offline   yellowroses 

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 01:19 PM

View PostJimB1, on 02 September 2017 - 05:44 PM, said:

I just picked up an 2015 ES Les Paul in Bourbon Burst a few weeks ago.
http://www.gibson.co...rbon-Burst.aspx

I play a lot of acoustic blues and am learning electric stuff (BB King, Albert King, Hound Dog Taylor, etc) I was in the same scenario between the 335, 339 and ES LP. The 339 has a more mellow sound closer to a 335 then the ES LP but the ES LP definately has a good portion of the ES hollow sound to it.
Basically if you want the 335 sound, the 339 is going to get you closer. However if you want something that can do a very good impersonation of a Les Paul and then turn around and do a pretty decent impression of a 335 the ES LP might be the ticket for you.
I suspect the lack of f holes will help with high volume feedback but it probably sounds pretty similar to mine, which sounds excellent doing everything from basic 12 bar shuffle rhythm through BB King type leads up the neck.
I chose the ES LP because I think it's a little more versatile and I like the LP shape but I don't really think you can go too far wrong with either choice.
-Jim


Thanks for the reply, JimB1,
I checked with my local lutier for advice and he suggested going for the ES-339 as being closest to the blues tones I like. I will go with that model. It does sound warm and mellow yet can cry with a piercing sound. Now I am trying to get one, but the holiday is getting in the way so things are on hold until Tuesday. I appreciate the info. I looked for an ES- Les Paul with the "f" holes but couldn't find one. There were mostly satin finishes and studio models. You picked a beautiful instrument.
Kate
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#4 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:32 PM

Hang on, hang on. You should listen to some 336 demos as well. The 336 and it's fancier 356 are carved from a solid block of mahogany (back, rims and center block) then mated to a carved maple top. Tone is really sweet and these guitars can lay down the blues and just about anything else you are capable of playing. They are light weight, easy to play, sustain for days probably the most versatile guitar Gibson makes.

Between the hollow LP and the 339, I would lean toward the 339, but it's body is a maple/poplar/maple sandwich and the tone does not compare to the mahogany maple combination of the 336.

Do yourself a favor and consider a 336 before you make the leap - you won't regret it.
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#5 User is offline   yellowroses 

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 09:59 AM

I ordered a used, in excellent condition, 2010 Gibson Custom Shop ES-339 in Lemonburst from Elderly Instruments Tuesday morning. It should be here by next Monday. I went with this shop because my lutier has done a lot of business with them and considers them to be top-notch reliable people. I would have preferred Sunsetburst but, hey, if the guitar sounds as good as the You Tube reviews, I will learn to love lemonburst fast. Saving about a thousand dollars over a new guitar is handy, too. Now I have some cash to spend on a killer amp to go with the new guitar.
Kate
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#6 User is offline   dReit1 

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:49 AM

Congrats. I hope you enjoy your new guitar. I think it would be hard to not like either of the guitars you were looking at. And Elderly Instruments is a great shop to deal with. I think you will be very happy with their service.
As for color, you can't hear it. And you really can't see it when you are playing. Only peeps in the audience see guitars and if you are playing well they won't remember the color of your guitar.
Rawk On!
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#7 User is offline   kaicho8888 

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:55 PM

Congrats!

ES-339 is nice and also lighter compared to other Gibsons.

You'll find in your journey, different guitars inspires and motivates you to play more. So get ready for the "GAS" to always hit you! Bottom line is practice, practice and more practice to express what's inside your soul.

Many are stuck with the tools, which is fine and enjoyable for many. I, too, enjoy tweaking, staring, and just holding my guitars. However, more satisfying is the final end product that takes more time and commitment to be realized.

Congrats and enjoy your ES! Posted Image
Old Rockers never die; we just fade away! 会長
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#8 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 09:12 AM

Congratulations, on your new (to you) ES-339! I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Good "Blues" tones, however, can be obtained, on ANY guitar, with a bit of EQ (Amp and guitar),
and some decent technique. I own several brands, and types of electric guitars, and ALL give
me great "blues" tones. Blues is a genre, not a particular guitar tone. And, while it's true,
that every guitar has it's own unique tone, and playability, "The Blues" don't much care, as
long as it's played from the heart and soul, of the player! [biggrin]

Have FUN, with your new axe! [thumbup]

CB
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#9 User is offline   JimB1 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:25 AM

Congrats on the 339, definately a good choice. Let us know how you like it...-Jim
  • 2015 Gibson J-45
  • 2012 Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Ltd Les Paul Goldtop
  • 2015 Gibson ES Les Paul Bourbon Burst
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