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EasyTiger

Can't Decide on 335 or 355

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Wood used for the fretboard as well as the neck is widely known to affect tone. Rosewood is typically warmer than an either ebony or maple which are denser and tighter grained. They seem to have more snap to my ears. I think it is very apparent and actually prefer ebony on Gibsons because they are already a pretty warm sounding guitar. All of my Fender types have Rosewood because I prefer the warmer tones to Maple. Compare a recent 355 with an ebony board without the Varitone circuit to a 335 with rosewood side by side and you will hear the difference. Collectibility on recent instruments is not much of an issue compared to vintage so get what you like the sound, feel and weight of. I've played the composite fingerboard material on an SG and wouldn't buy one. Beyond it not feeling like wood, it didn't feel good period.

 

On the Varitone circuit, I don't like them. Most consider them to be a "tone suck" and a needlessly heavy addition that places too many components in the signal path. I wired mono and removed them from both a '61 355 that I still own and a '68 345 which I sold a couple of years back. For my style of playing, I prefer a more open sound which was achieved by removing the VT. You can always put it back in or include it if you ever want to sell the guitar which I did with the 345.

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On the Varitone circuit, I don't like them. Most consider them to be a "tone suck" and a needlessly heavy addition that places too many components in the signal path. I wired mono and removed them from both a '61 355 that I still own and a '68 345 which I sold a couple of years back. For my style of playing, I prefer a more open sound which was achieved by removing the VT. You can always put it back in or include it if you ever want to sell the guitar which I did with the 345.

 

Not the "tone suck" garbage again, please! [cursing]

 

The Varitone is there to change the tone. That's its purpose via resistance circuitry. A 355 or a 345 without the varitone would be an instant pass for me - no more than the merest glance - no matter how gorgeous the top or whatever.

 

However, your guitar and your choices. At least you put the Varitone back in when you sold your 345 which is more than many might have done.

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Not the "tone suck" garbage again, please! [cursing]

 

The Varitone is there to change the tone. That's its purpose via resistance circuitry. A 355 or a 345 without the varitone would be an instant pass for me - no more than the merest glance - no matter how gorgeous the top or whatever.

 

However, your guitar and your choices. At least you put the Varitone back in when you sold your 345 which is more than many might have done.

Actually, it's not garbage. It is aptly known as 'tone suck' because as you note, it places resistance in the signal path which by definition, filters out or sucks out frequencies of the signal which is your guitar tone. Most players don't like that. I prefer to use the tone controls on the guitar and amp. That's why the vast majority of players prefer a 335. I've played a 355 for 40 years and 'Tone suck' was coined (certainly not by me) because of the VT in the 345/355. If it sounded good, it would be in more guitars than re-issues. However, your guitar and your choices. When I sold the 345 to my friend in Germany, I gave him the option of re-installing the VT and he declined so it was shipped in the case. As a working pro, he preferred it without and is very happy with the tones he is getting sans VT. Surely you realize that vintage mono examples are preferred for reasons other than rarity. Funny, I wouldn't consider playing a VT equipped guitar on a gig or session. But hey, enjoy your guitar.

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Actually, it's not garbage. It is aptly known as 'tone suck' because as you note, it places resistance in the signal path which by definition, filters out or sucks out frequencies of the signal which is your guitar tone. Most players don't like that. I prefer to use the tone controls on the guitar and amp. That's why the vast majority of players prefer a 335. I've played a 355 for 40 years and 'Tone suck' was coined (certainly not by me) because of the VT in the 345/355. If it sounded good, it would be in more guitars than re-issues. However, your guitar and your choices. When I sold the 345 to my friend in Germany, I gave him the option of re-installing the VT and he declined so it was shipped in the case. As a working pro, he preferred it without and is very happy with the tones he is getting sans VT. Surely you realize that vintage mono examples are preferred for reasons other than rarity. Funny, I wouldn't consider playing a VT equipped guitar on a gig or session. But hey, enjoy your guitar.

 

Well, perhaps we have to agree to disagree about the Varitone. My view is that they sound a LOT better with rather than without and I think the "vast majority" simply wrong but enough said...

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I guess I've always thought of a ES-355 as the Stereo model, including the varitone. That's just always

been my memory (from owning a Red '68..back in '68-72), and it's the one guitar, I've totally regretted, selling!

Especially, now! [crying] Mine also had the Lyre Maestro vibrato.

 

But, if you don't need that, or the associated "bling" factor, a ES-335 will suffice quite nicely! [thumbup]

 

Of course, there's always the wonderful ES-345, as well. Kinda the best of both, at a middle price range,

between the other two. [thumbup]

 

 

CB

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