Gibson Guitar Board: ES-339 vs CS-336 - Gibson Guitar Board

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ES-339 vs CS-336 Main differences between ES-339 and CS-336

#1 User is offline   PatDam 

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 03:59 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm planning to buy one of those two models ES-339 or CS-336.

I'm leaving in Paris and there's a significant price difference between both guitars
ES-339 around 2000$ with '60s neck
CS-336 around 3100$

Reading the specifications I did not found anything that would justify such cost difference

Am I missing something ?

Thanks in advance

#2 User is offline   clayville 

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:06 AM

Perhaps this will help:

The two models use radically different construction methods to arrive at a "similar" spot musically, and a similar "small hollowbody" concept -- somewhere between the sound of an ES-335 and a Les Paul, with (in my opinion) the ES-339 leaning slightly towards the 335 sound and the CS-336 leaning slightly towards the sound on an LP. The 339 is a true "semi-hollow" in Gibson nomenclature, made with plywood top/back/sides sandwiched around a center-block. The 336 uses more of an archtop construction: a solid slab of mahogany that is then routed to create the sides/hollows/block area, capped with thick bookmatched maple that is then carved like an LP top with f-holes. The back is routed inside and out to create "dishing", but the sides are part of the same slab of mahogany and remain so during construction. The list price difference likely comes from that use of all-solid woods on the 336 (and 356).

The specific sound of any two guitars -- even examples of the same model -- varies from one guitar to another, but a CS-356 (same constructions as the 336) has been my main guitar since 2003, and it's capable of giving me everything I need along that general scale of sound from 335-to-LP. It can be warm and woody, mellow and lush on the one hand and then rock hard on the other depending on amps/pedals/the situation. Generally, I'd say they're capable of being a bit brighter on the bridge pickup (almost Tele-like) than what most LP players are used to, and a bit more "scooped" sounding in the mids than perhaps a 335 player might expect. But they're exceptionally versatile in my opinion, and have a sound of their own that works very well in many situations.

My experience with the 339 is more limited -- but I've tried a few in the shops. They *feel* almost the same to me as a player given variance in neck shapes -- same shape, similar weight and balance. But the *sound* is a little different: I don't want to exaggerate the impression, but to me the 339 seemed heavier in the midrange compared to the more "scooped" sound of my 356 with it's wide tonal range (it seems to have more highs and more lows in it). They do sound different to me, but similar...


That's the best I can do! Good luck with your choice. In my opinion, you can't really go very wrong here.

#3 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 05:29 AM

I have a 339 and a LP - never played a 336. From my experience, I would agree entirely with what Clayville said. That's about all I can say. The 339 has a more monotonic sound, like a 335 - what they call the moan tone.
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#4 User is offline   PatDam 

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 06:49 AM

Thanks for all clarifications and your feedback on the 339 and 336.

I'll try both before making the decision, however as I own an LP, I might go for a 339

#5 User is offline   clayville 

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:23 AM

Get the one that sounds and feels best to you, which may or may not be the one that extends the range of sound you can already make. If you try them both (or better yet: a few examples of each), you'll know which is right for you.

But... don't shy away from a 336 if I've somehow left the impression that they're LP-equivelants. They aren't really, they just "lean in that direction" (rather than the "335 direction") from somewhere in between a typical 335's and a typical LP's sound.

Another important thing is that the 339s are one of the best price-to-performance offerings in the Custom Shop stable. They're a lot of guitar for a lot less of the money. And that's no small thing.

Good luck in your hunt!

#6 User is offline   td601 

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:12 AM

I went into the local shop a month ago to buy a 339. Asked the guys to get me one out of the cabinet. They handed it to me, I went in back and played it for half an hour, went back up front and asked them to wrap it up. At that point, one of the other employees said "Oh sorry, that's not a 339, it's a 336." So they handed me a 339, and I went back and played it for half an hour. I can't really explain the difference, but there was something about that 336, so that's what I brought home.

Like the others say, if you have access to a shop that has both in stock, I'd play them both and then decide what you prefer.

#7 User is offline   St James 

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 04:24 PM

HERE IS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE

The ES-339 is a small version of an ES-335, with a GLUED IN NECK, same pups and electronics.

The ES-336 is ALL ONE PIECE the a NECK AND BODY ARE BUILT OUT OF ONE PIECE OF WOOD....
THE NECK in a 336 IS NOT GLUED IN IT IS PART OF THE BODY, the the top is cut off and a MAPLE CAP installed.

I own THREE 339;s and 1 336 and I must tell you that the 339 is the DEAL !!!!!
It has everything a 335 has but a little less like bottom end you just have to crank your bass maybe a point on your amp to get it to sound the same''

The ES-336 was a dissapointment, it's tone is somewhat lack luster, but after a change to BAREKNUCKLES PETER GREEN BLUES SPECIALS DID IT and gave it the tone I had originally hoped for but honestly if I had to do it all over again I would not have bought the 336 and honestly I just got two more 339's both in BLACK one is for me and one is for my mate.
They are great for alternate tunings and slide.

Probably the BEST DEASL GIBSOIN HAS SINCE THE LES PAUL CLASSIC !!!!

ST JAMES

ASIDE from that they are exact !!!!

DAMN RIGHT I GOT THE BLUES

#8 User is offline   clayville 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:30 PM

View PostSt James, on 09 October 2010 - 04:24 PM, said:

The ES-336 is ALL ONE PIECE the a NECK AND BODY ARE BUILT OUT OF ONE PIECE OF WOOD....
THE NECK in a 336 IS NOT GLUED IN IT IS PART OF THE BODY,


Perhaps you should have a closer look at yours. Whether it's an ES-336 or a CS-336, this is just flat wrong.

#9 User is offline   Blackflag 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 10:11 PM

They're both great guitars, but I actually prefer the sound of the 339.

#10 User is offline   Blackflag 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 10:12 PM

View PostSt James, on 09 October 2010 - 04:24 PM, said:

The ES-336 is ALL ONE PIECE the a NECK AND BODY ARE BUILT OUT OF ONE PIECE OF WOOD....
THE NECK in a 336 IS NOT GLUED IN IT IS PART OF THE BODY, the the top is cut off and a MAPLE CAP installed.


Fail.

#11 User is offline   td601 

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:58 AM

Actually there's a page on Gibson's site about the differences between these two guitars. The story is interesting too.

http://www.gibson.co...336%20and%20th/

#12 User is offline   thewizardofAz 

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:30 PM

I have one of each, a Tangerine burst with a highly figured top and 50s neck, and a 339 in red with the slim neck. They feel different. The 336 is warmer, but much more attack sensitive. It has beef, and as was said before it's got a tone that leans to a lester, but not. It's got more bass oomph. The 339 is classic 335 sound, woody, brighter, bite.

#13 User is offline   craigaboy 

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:28 PM

I have the cs336. When I was looking at the guitar there was a 339 right next to it. I played them both, and every other hollow body in the shop. The guitars sound night and day different when they are not plugged in. Thats what really drew me to the cs336. It shimmers like an acoustic, but with less volume. The difference is similar to a plywood top acoustic vs a solid top. The plywood sounds "boxy" or subdued. I can get sounds out of my cs336 and fender blues deluxe that sounds almost acoustic. I could see where that tone would bother some electric players. It can be almost too bright if the tone nobs are set to similar settings to other electrics. I have been playing with the setup and enjoying the process. It is a kick to sit down with out an amp and play (which I often do at night) With both pickups on and the volume rolled of a number on the neck you can get a nice meaty growl with a little drive. LOVE IT. I am sure it just depends on what sounds good to you.

#14 User is offline   St James 

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 06:26 AM

View Posttd601, on 18 October 2010 - 09:58 AM, said:

Actually there's a page on Gibson's site about the differences between these two guitars. The story is interesting too.

http://www.gibson.co...336%20and%20th/



I notice TWO of ya just put down EITHER I WAS WRONG OR THAT I SHOULDLOOK AT MY GUITARS

IF ya go to the link that compares the two you'll see I AM NOT WRONG but am also beginning to wonder if I took the explinations given to me out of context or were they wrong.
Either way I appreciate any input that improves my knowledge especially n the ES models.!!!!!

WADDA YA THINK?

THANKS GUYS I don't mind being told I am wrong just please next time add some link or someti8ng that help to back up your side.
WE are all here to help each opther right?? It;s not a contest IS IT???

JAMES

DAMN RIGHT I GOT THE BLUES

#15 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:14 AM

View PostSt James, on 25 November 2010 - 06:26 AM, said:

I notice TWO of ya just put down EITHER I WAS WRONG OR THAT I SHOULDLOOK AT MY GUITARS

IF ya go to the link that compares the two you'llsee I AM NO WRONG !!!!!

WADDA YA THINK?

JAMES


I think that what they're saying is that the 336 has a glued in neck, it's just that the 336's back, sides and center block are carved from one piece of mahogany and then the maple cap and the neck are glued in. So they both have glued in necks, but the bodies are constructed differently.

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#16 User is offline   St James 

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:46 AM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 25 November 2010 - 07:14 AM, said:

I think that what they're saying is that the 336 has a glued in neck, it's just that the 336's back, sides and center block are carved from one piece of mahogany and then the maple cap and the neck are glued in. So they both have glued in necks, but the bodies are constructed differently.

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Thanks BAD BLUESPLAYER

The MAIN reason why I keep sticking to my guns is because
1 it is in the book GIBSON ES models beginning to todday
2..DAVE FOLEY whom I order my guitars through..he;s in charge on Gibson backed and CELEBRITY guitars told me so.

There;s is always a a chance of him being wrong or his explantaion...it's just seems odd that that was found in two different places.

I don;t wanna really argue this point as BOTH are great ax's but still I prefer the full size 335.
So I am gonna do more reasearch and call GIBSON again tomorrow.

I appreaciate you letting me know this rather than just say WRONG !!!!
Shoud you or anyone find any other info about this PLESASE LET ME KNOW........ that;s what I love about playing guitar 45 years of it and ya still don;t know even close to IT ALL and that will keep us going.
That;s what seperates the GUITAR PLAYERS from the GUITARIST"S

I have one of each and prefer the 339 thugh it is just a smaller 335...the 336 is to tinty, less sustain and maybe I just prefer the 335 full warm sound.

THANKS and HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING

St James

DAMN RIGHT I GOT THE BLUES

#17 User is offline   St James 

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:59 AM

I just found out HOW I MAY HAVE TAKEN THE WOrding ont he 336 out of context

The article I just read said that the body and side are made out of one piece of wood and that the neck unlike other necks is made of ONE PIECE OF WOOD.

I believe that when that explaintaion was given to me either I misunderstood or his explination was taken out of context.

I re-read the book that said that also now reads a bit differently

I am beginning to see that I AM WRONG POSSIBLY and need to find out the real facts.

TO make sure I'll ask DAVE FOLEY to put me in contact with one of the CS LUTHIERS who work on the line that makes the 336;s and have him explain it to me.

I THANK YOU ALL you took the time to tell me that I was wrong , next time rather thanjust shoot me down please explain...I am one of those guys who prides himself on knowing as much as possible about the brand that I LOVE !!!

SO BADBLLUESPALYER N BLACKFALG AND THE OTHER WHO WERE KIND ENOUGH TO SEND ME A PRIVATE MESSAGE rather than make me just look stupid on the thread I appreciate your dignity and courtesy and I hope I can have the CORRECT answer for you one day.

HAVE A GOOD ONE EVERYONE

St James

DAMN RIGHT I GOT THE BLUES

#18 User is offline   St James 

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 08:07 AM

[quote name='St James' timestamp='1286663068' post='761095']
HERE IS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE

The ES-339 is a small version of an ES-335, with a GLUED IN NECK, same pups and electronics.

The ES-336 is ALL ONE PIECE the a NECK AND BODY ARE BUILT OUT OF ONE PIECE OF WOOD....
THE NECK in a 336 IS NOT GLUED IN IT IS PART OF THE BODY, the the top is cut off and a MAPLE CAP installed.

Ihink that the one piece body n eck that I was told is ALL one piece is wrong in the book I read and from the description I was given when they were first introduced and I got one

THE one piece as they explained it gave me the idea that it was ALL one piece, not true it seems now from the private messages and research I am doing is showing that YOU GUYS R RIGHT AND I AM WRONG

THANKS FOR HELPING ME GET THIS CLEARED UP BADBLUESPLAYER n THOSE WHO SENT ME PRIVATE MESSAGES TO NOT MAKE ME FEEL FOOLISH ON THE THREAD.....TNAKS FOR YOUR COURTESY

St James

James

DAMN RIGHT I GOT THE BLUES

#19 User is offline   Doin Montary 

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 09:11 AM

View PostthewizardofAz, on 20 November 2010 - 12:30 PM, said:

I have one of each, a Tangerine burst with a highly figured top and 50s neck, and a 339 in red with the slim neck. They feel different. The 336 is warmer, but much more attack sensitive. It has beef, and as was said before it's got a tone that leans to a lester, but not. It's got more bass oomph. The 339 is classic 335 sound, woody, brighter, bite.


one of each is the way to go, with an lp and a 335 too.

#20 User is offline   eldorado2001 

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:27 AM

View PostSt James, on 09 October 2010 - 04:24 PM, said:

HERE IS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE

The ES-339 is a small version of an ES-335, with a GLUED IN NECK, same pups and electronics.

The ES-336 is ALL ONE PIECE the a NECK AND BODY ARE BUILT OUT OF ONE PIECE OF WOOD....
THE NECK in a 336 IS NOT GLUED IN IT IS PART OF THE BODY, the the top is cut off and a MAPLE CAP installed.

I own THREE 339;s and 1 336 and I must tell you that the 339 is the DEAL !!!!!
It has everything a 335 has but a little less like bottom end you just have to crank your bass maybe a point on your amp to get it to sound the same''

The ES-336 was a dissapointment, it's tone is somewhat lack luster, but after a change to BAREKNUCKLES PETER GREEN BLUES SPECIALS DID IT and gave it the tone I had originally hoped for but honestly if I had to do it all over again I would not have bought the 336 and honestly I just got two more 339's both in BLACK one is for me and one is for my mate.
They are great for alternate tunings and slide.

Probably the BEST DEASL GIBSOIN HAS SINCE THE LES PAUL CLASSIC !!!!

ST JAMES

ASIDE from that they are exact !!!!


From Gibson's description of the CS-336...
"To create truly great resonating properties, the back and sides of the CS-336 are a single piece of mahogany that is shaped inside and out like a classic Gibson archtop, but with a solid center beam running the length of the body from the neck tenon to the tail block."

If the neck and body were one piece there would be no neck tenon, period.

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