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Gibson ES-235 = Extremely versatile

#1 User is offline   Static 

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 05:09 PM

So I picked up an ES-235 Ebony in gloss finish and haven't been able to put it down in 4 days.

The neck is extremely comfortable, the Burstbucker Pros work really well with the wiring (Memphis Tone Circuit Plus...kind of like 50's wiring with a treble bleed), you get a lot of response and control from the tone and volume knobs. Action is really great on this one and its really comfortable to hold and so light.

Beautiful sparkling cleans, fat crunch sounds and the most cutting gain-driven tones imaginable. This guitar would be a surgical tool in a band. It would really cut through.

Because of the maple neck, maple-poplar-maple back and sides and maple centreblock, and somewhat bright BBPros, this cannot quite get the low, dark growl of the Les Paul but with tone down, it has a growl of its own, more in the upper mids of the spectrum.

It can do that slapback echo rockabilly thing and it can do reverb drenched twang as well. The bridge pickup can get you anywhere from Gretsch to Tele tones if you play around with your amp and guitar dials. The neck pickup could sound like a really fat Strat sound at times. I know some have their issues with Burstbucker Pros but I really feel like they go over well in this particular guitar and are well suited.

I was getting Duane Eddy and Bill Kirchen tones with reverb, everything from Duane Allman, to Skynyrd to Clapton tones in crunch, and big fat Malcolm Young, George Thorogood, Billy Gibbons tones when adding more drive.

You should really check one of these out if you see it in your travels. It is as if a bunch of iconic guitars got together and made a baby. So many tones hidden in this thing.

Well worth the price because it is actually a fun little guitar and feels unique. It does every style well and has its own thing going on and lots of mojo in my opinion.

This post has been edited by Static: 07 January 2019 - 05:17 PM

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#2 User is offline   gampadoug 

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 03:18 PM

Hey Static,

How does it balance in sitting position. I'm using a 335 for sit down jazz stuff but it's kinda body heavy in that position.

Thank you,

- Gampa Dug
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#3 User is offline   Static 

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 06:18 PM

I play sitting with it 100% of the time. I found it very balanced. If you are a jazz guy, make sure you try one out in a store. It has a bit of a hollow body ring to it but I'm not sure how much of that 'ring' you require for the style of jazz you play. It's a minute amount of chime when compared to the 335 or the 355, but it has it. Like noted above..it does freakin' everything. But I wouldn't say it is the holy grail for one genre particularly. If that makes sense.

The pickups on this sound hot but their output is similar to the 57 Classics.

This post has been edited by Static: 08 January 2019 - 06:31 PM

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#4 User is offline   JSW 

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 05:49 PM

View PostStatic, on 07 January 2019 - 05:09 PM, said:

So I picked up an ES-235 Ebony in gloss finish and haven't been able to put it down in 4 days.

The neck is extremely comfortable, the Burstbucker Pros work really well with the wiring (Memphis Tone Circuit Plus...kind of like 50's wiring with a treble bleed), you get a lot of response and control from the tone and volume knobs. Action is really great on this one and its really comfortable to hold and so light.

Beautiful sparkling cleans, fat crunch sounds and the most cutting gain-driven tones imaginable. This guitar would be a surgical tool in a band. It would really cut through.

Because of the maple neck, maple-poplar-maple back and sides and maple centreblock, and somewhat bright BBPros, this cannot quite get the low, dark growl of the Les Paul but with tone down, it has a growl of its own, more in the upper mids of the spectrum.

It can do that slapback echo rockabilly thing and it can do reverb drenched twang as well. The bridge pickup can get you anywhere from Gretsch to Tele tones if you play around with your amp and guitar dials. The neck pickup could sound like a really fat Strat sound at times. I know some have their issues with Burstbucker Pros but I really feel like they go over well in this particular guitar and are well suited.

I was getting Duane Eddy and Bill Kirchen tones with reverb, everything from Duane Allman, to Skynyrd to Clapton tones in crunch, and big fat Malcolm Young, George Thorogood, Billy Gibbons tones when adding more drive.

You should really check one of these out if you see it in your travels. It is as if a bunch of iconic guitars got together and made a baby. So many tones hidden in this thing.

Well worth the price because it is actually a fun little guitar and feels unique. It does every style well and has its own thing going on and lots of mojo in my opinion.


That should read Mahogany neck right?

Jim
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#5 User is offline   Static 

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 09:44 PM

No, the neck is maple, actually.
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#6 User is offline   gnappi 

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:59 PM

View Postgampadoug, on 08 January 2019 - 03:18 PM, said:

Hey Static,

How does it balance in sitting position. I'm using a 335 for sit down jazz stuff but it's kinda body heavy in that position.

Thank you,

- Gampa Dug


I've never owned or played any Gibson double cut semi that was not body heavy. I wear a leather strap and it holds it steady.
Regards,

Gary
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#7 User is offline   gampadoug 

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 09:16 AM

Hey Gary,

Leather straps with suede backs really go a long ways to mitigate neck dive while standing. While sitting, however, I'm not sure a whole lot can be done about neck dive or body dive.

- Doug
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#8 User is offline   gampadoug 

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 01:21 PM

View PostStatic, on 08 January 2019 - 06:18 PM, said:

I play sitting with it 100% of the time. I found it very balanced. If you are a jazz guy, make sure you try one out in a store. It has a bit of a hollow body ring to it but I'm not sure how much of that 'ring' you require for the style of jazz you play. It's a minute amount of chime when compared to the 335 or the 355, but it has it. Like noted above..it does freakin' everything. But I wouldn't say it is the holy grail for one genre particularly. If that makes sense.

The pickups on this sound hot but their output is similar to the 57 Classics.

It seems that you've has some experience with an ES-335. How does the body compare size wise with the 335?
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#9 User is offline   Static 

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 08:52 PM

Gampadoug, the ES-235 doesnt really compare to the body size of the ES-335. The ES-235 is what I would describe as a ES-125 shrunk down to around slightly thicker than Les Paul thickness, with the upper and lower bout less wide than an ES-125 by a little bit but not quite Les Paul proportions.

And as mentioned before, the guitar is balanced. I noticed no neck dive or dipping at the body.
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#10 User is offline   gampadoug 

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 10:27 PM

View PostStatic, on 31 January 2019 - 08:52 PM, said:

Gampadoug, the ES-235 doesnt really compare to the body size of the ES-335. The ES-235 is what I would describe as a ES-125 shrunk down to around slightly thicker than Les Paul thickness, with the upper and lower bout less wide than an ES-125 by a little bit but not quite Les Paul proportions.

And as mentioned before, the guitar is balanced. I noticed no neck dive or dipping at the body.

Got it.
Thank you, Sir.
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#11 User is offline   Static 

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 08:37 AM

You're quite welcome, Doug. They're pretty comfortable couch guitars! Just play one at a store and make sure you like the Memphis Tone System and the Burstbucker Pros. If you've played guitars with 50s wiring or a treble bleed, thats kind of what you're getting with the 235. And just make sure those Burstbucker Pros are able to be tamed down enough for the kind of Jazz you play, they lean towards the hotter side of the spectrum.

They got sort of a chunky 50's neck on em that I love and they can certainly pull off the brighter jazz sounds. If you wanted warmer jazz sounds I would seek a semi hollow or hollow with Classic 57's and no Memphis Tone System.

This post has been edited by Static: 01 February 2019 - 08:44 AM

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#12 User is offline   FuzzBuzz 

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:47 PM

Looking forward to trying one out. Iím curious if there is a hardcase that would fit this guitar? Seems like an unusual size overall. Bigger than an LP, but smaller than a 335

This post has been edited by FuzzBuzz: 06 February 2019 - 05:11 AM

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#13 User is offline   yoshiii1 

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 04:25 PM

It looks like a small version of theGibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
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#14 User is offline   RUSHian 

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 12:31 PM

I have a Cherry Satin ES 235 i'm selling at a great price:
https://www.ebay.com/mys/active

I can only afford to have one guitar right now

This post has been edited by RUSHian: 01 March 2019 - 12:31 PM

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"If you don't stand for something, You'll fall for anything"
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#15 User is offline   bobalu 

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 08:14 PM

Just bought a 235 in the sunburst and I concur with most of Static's comments here - a wonderful versatile guitar for sure. I have not had any problem getting some nice "standard" jazz tones through my Princeton Reverb re-issue (12" Canibis Rex) and have not found bass response to be an issue (stock strings still on it). Just my own perspective here. Anyhow, I love the 50's type rounded neck and the response of the tone controls. Gibson confirmed to me that they do not make a hardshell case for this guitar. I'm checking out options now as the soft gig bag is not going to cut it for me in the long run (will keep you posted on what I find). Perfectly comfortable body size compared to my 335 (with 57 Classics) and certainly enough difference in sound to justify owning both [biggrin]. Absolutely worth trying out if you need an axe to cover a lot of ground sonic wise. [thumbup]
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