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Gibson es 335 questions


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I tried a Gibson es-335 satin, very nice guitar!! Loved the tone and feel even if its a little big for a short guy like me (only 5'8) and was curious if someone could answer some questions? First, are the 339s made with virtually the same specs, just a smaller body? The guitar tech guy told me it was the most versatile of all the gibsons (335) they have, he said you can literally play anything from jazz, to rock to hard rock, alt rock, blues, classic rock, prog rock, pop etc, do you share his opinion? Is the 339 the same way with the versatility? Lastlty, do they come with ebony fretboards? He said he believes on a custom shop would?

 

All in all, i couldnt take my eyes off that 335, just a thing a pure beauty and sounded terrific. I would like to try a 339, if anyone has some opinions on the two id love to hear em.

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Hey there,

I love my 339. Here's what I wrote earlier this summer about mine over on the Memphis board here on the Gibson forum:

 

Where I live, this is summer and summer is gigging season. I am busy, which us great, but much of it is out of doors. Around these parts weather is usually quite humid and also unpredictable. As such I almost never bring my better guitars to work.

 

I had been planning on several different Fenders and Epiphones to use last night at a private party, but when the rain started coming down in buckets, the party was moved indoors. That meant I could now use one of the big guns. I decided to celebrate using the 2014 ES339 Satin I had picked up about 6 weeks ago. I had found a couple of the last of the new 2014s were out there for $500.00 less than the comparable 2015s and jumped while I could. Mine is the red satin.

 

I pulled the beauty out to warm up before gig time, changed the strings on her and played for a couple of hours.

 

Although in the house for practice I use a Roland Blues Cube, I decided to pack along my Fender Mustang III v2 amp. The rain was simply pounding down in waves, and just the walk from the parking lot to the main house was such that I didn't want to bring a $700.00 amp along.

 

As I have posted in several places on this forum, I use very few effects. I do have a Fender Mustang Floor unit which I pack from gig to gig so that I can have a consistency of sound, but I primarily use it to set an amp model and add a touch of reverb and delay. Maybe for fun I'll use the wah from time to time, but as I have gotten older have I learned how to love the sound of a completely clean and non distorted and overdriven guitar.

 

Heck, I don't even use a pick anymore.

 

Well, on plugging in and from the very first note that ES339 sounded so beautiful that I was honestly stunned. It was gentle and clean and crystal clear when I wanted it to be, and dirty and stinging with just a touch of swagger and nasty when I wanted it to be.

 

I found my own sweet spot with volume and tone between the two pickups and never needed to touch the controls again all night.

 

I did everything from urban blues, to country, to jazz, lounge, folk, and just about everything in between with the guitar sounding perfectly appropriate with each selection.

 

And here's the thing. At no time did it sound or feel like it had its own sound or tone, but rather that it was totally reflecting my own that I have been developing for the last 45 years of playing. It wasn't like this guitar was responsible for my sounding good, but rather that I was playing the perfect instrument for interpreting all that I had to offer in a perfectly responsive way.

 

I was getting comments all night from folks about just how great I sounded, and these were folks who've been hiring me for years and already knew what I sounded like.

 

The body size and shape were just right for me, with a neck width and length that offered the perfect amount of range for me.

 

The comfort level was so perfect for me that it I was surprised when three hours had gone by with no sense of fatigue, and even went another hour beyond that.

 

By the end of the night I was mighty tired, but also elated by just how amazing this guitar is.

 

It's true that where there once was a satin finish on the neck is now a bright shiny gloss, but that's no big deal.

 

I have several other ES guitars from Gibson and Epiphone, as well as several other manufacturers hollow and semi hollows, but this ES339 tops them all.

 

This is one outstanding instrument.

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Hey there,

I love my 339. Here's what I wrote earlier this summer about mine over on the Memphis board here on the Gibson forum:

 

Where I live, this is summer and summer is gigging season. I am busy, which us great, but much of it is out of doors. Around these parts weather is usually quite humid and also unpredictable. As such I almost never bring my better guitars to work.

 

I had been planning on several different Fenders and Epiphones to use last night at a private party, but when the rain started coming down in buckets, the party was moved indoors. That meant I could now use one of the big guns. I decided to celebrate using the 2014 ES339 Satin I had picked up about 6 weeks ago. I had found a couple of the last of the new 2014s were out there for $500.00 less than the comparable 2015s and jumped while I could. Mine is the red satin.

 

I pulled the beauty out to warm up before gig time, changed the strings on her and played for a couple of hours.

 

Although in the house for practice I use a Roland Blues Cube, I decided to pack along my Fender Mustang III v2 amp. The rain was simply pounding down in waves, and just the walk from the parking lot to the main house was such that I didn't want to bring a $700.00 amp along.

 

As I have posted in several places on this forum, I use very few effects. I do have a Fender Mustang Floor unit which I pack from gig to gig so that I can have a consistency of sound, but I primarily use it to set an amp model and add a touch of reverb and delay. Maybe for fun I'll use the wah from time to time, but as I have gotten older have I learned how to love the sound of a completely clean and non distorted and overdriven guitar.

 

Heck, I don't even use a pick anymore.

 

Well, on plugging in and from the very first note that ES339 sounded so beautiful that I was honestly stunned. It was gentle and clean and crystal clear when I wanted it to be, and dirty and stinging with just a touch of swagger and nasty when I wanted it to be.

 

I found my own sweet spot with volume and tone between the two pickups and never needed to touch the controls again all night.

 

I did everything from urban blues, to country, to jazz, lounge, folk, and just about everything in between with the guitar sounding perfectly appropriate with each selection.

 

And here's the thing. At no time did it sound or feel like it had its own sound or tone, but rather that it was totally reflecting my own that I have been developing for the last 45 years of playing. It wasn't like this guitar was responsible for my sounding good, but rather that I was playing the perfect instrument for interpreting all that I had to offer in a perfectly responsive way.

 

I was getting comments all night from folks about just how great I sounded, and these were folks who've been hiring me for years and already knew what I sounded like.

 

The body size and shape were just right for me, with a neck width and length that offered the perfect amount of range for me.

 

The comfort level was so perfect for me that it I was surprised when three hours had gone by with no sense of fatigue, and even went another hour beyond that.

 

By the end of the night I was mighty tired, but also elated by just how amazing this guitar is.

 

It's true that where there once was a satin finish on the neck is now a bright shiny gloss, but that's no big deal.

 

I have several other ES guitars from Gibson and Epiphone, as well as several other manufacturers hollow and semi hollows, but this ES339 tops them all.

 

This is one outstanding instrument.

Great story brother, it sounds as tho the 339 offers much the same as the 335, just in a smaller, tighter package.

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You can play any genre of music on any guitar. Lots of jazz players love Teles, and I've heard great jazz players play on Strats.

 

That said, I've never played a 339, but I have three semi-hollows- a stock 335, an Epi Dot with Fralin P-92s, and a Carvin SH550 that is very close in dimensions to a 339. Great guitars! Love the way they fit, feel, and sound. If rocketman is a fan of 339s (and he is not a large person, either), I'd say that is the best seal of approval.

 

As for ebony fretboards, they are my favorite, too, and I suppose if you want to spend the time and money waiting for one from Gibson, that is your business. If you were to consider a Carvin SH550, it comes stock with ebony fretboard and with tons of other custom options, including stainless steal frets and choice of woods, for the same price or less. Probably better built, too. And if you don't like the pickups, switch them out.

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Both the 335 and the 339 are great guitars. You can't go wrong with either one. I personally like the 335 with 57 pickups the best. I think the overall sound has a better quality better than the 339. I don't think your height will be a problem playing the 335. You will get use to size of the 335 very quickly.

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I wanted a 335 for years and years... finally picked up a couple last year (downsized my collection to do so) and I am glad I did! By far my favorite Gibsons and I run them through some different Orange amps playing rock. They are fantastic!

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As far as I know, only special order custom shop 335's have been made with ebony boards.

 

If you want an ebony fingerboard you have to go to the variant ES355. However, the new 355's haven't got ebony. Instead, they have boards made from manufactured hardened snot paste Gibson call "Richlite".

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