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Pinetreebob

ES 339 Studio volume and tone knobs-2 or 4?

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I currently own an American Strat and a Highway One Telecaster and want to add a humbucker equipped Gibson to my guitar stable. I considered the Les Paul Studio, the ES-335 Studio and the ES-339 Studio. I think I have settled on the ES-339 Studio for my next purchase. The out the door price of $1599 seems like an outstanding price to me and fits my budget. The problem is I noticed that up until the 2016 model, the guitar had a single tone and a single volume knob. This is also the case with the ES-335 Studio model. The thing is it looks like the price has jumped from $1599 to $1999 from 2015 to 2016, it probably is because of the extra control knobs. Ugh! Why does this stuff happen to make my decision so hard?

The question I have is, how much of a difference does it make when it comes to the Gibson ES series to have the 2 extra knobs. Would it really make it worth another 400 to me? My Telecaster only has a volume and and tone control and I don't seem to miss it but my Fender has single coil pickups so I probably am comparing Apples and Oranges. It seems like most previous reviews of the 339 Studio are great and no one seems to mention the lack of the extra two controls as being a problem. Can anyone enlighten me? Should I pull the trigger on the less expensive last year's model with the stripped down controls?

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Hi Bob,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I have been using Gibsons for less than a year.

 

Well since you don’t already have a 4 knob control guitar, it’s a little easier to advise. However any advice on this is entirely subjective.

 

I never got used to the 4 knob arrangement. When I gigged by Casino Coupe (which has 4 knobs), I was flummoxed when trying to turn the volume down, only realising too late that I had both pups active. Can you get used to it? Yes of course you can, but I just prefer a simpler arrangement.

 

I have a 2015 Gibson ES-339 Studio, and for me the 2 knob arrangement was one of the plus points in favour of that model.

 

When getting the electrics upgraded on my Deuce, I had the 4 knobs reconfigured for 1 master tone, 1 master volume, with the remaining two functioning as coil splits.

 

4 or 2 knobs, shouldn’t be a deal breaker either way, but given a choice I would still opt for 2.

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Hi Bob,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I have been using Gibsons for less than a year.

 

Well since you don’t already have a 4 knob control guitar, it’s a little easier to advise. However any advice on this is entirely subjective.

 

I never got used to the 4 knob arrangement. When I gigged by Casino Coupe (which has 4 knobs), I was flummoxed when trying to turn the volume down, only realising too late that I had both pups active. Can you get used to it? Yes of course you can, but I just prefer a simpler arrangement.

 

I have a 2015 Gibson ES-339 Studio, and for me the 2 knob arrangement was one of the plus points in favour of that model.

 

When getting the electrics upgraded on my Deuce, I had the 4 knobs reconfigured for 1 master tone, 1 master volume, with the remaining two functioning as coil splits.

 

4 or 2 knobs, shouldn’t be a deal breaker either way, but given a choice I would still opt for 2.

Thanks for the information!

Bob

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It's a matter of your preference and how you control the tone.

 

With 4 knobs (separate volume and tone for each pickup), you can tweak each pickup when using the middle toggle switch. Or you can use one pickup as lead and the other rhythm.

 

If you constantly tweak (like I do) with the knobs while you play, you get accustomed to any configuration.

 

 

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Since you posted back in February you probably already bought one or the other, but I would argue for the 4 knob set-up. However unlike you I have almost always used the two volume, two tone control guitars so that is what I am used to - just like you are used to the two knob set-up.

 

What I like about it however is being able to blend the two pickups in the middle position which gives you a seamless array of tones that you simply cannot get by using one or the other pick-up by itself, or both pickups but with only one tone control. To me that additional range of tone is worth at least $400.

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My go to is my Tele with the simple by HIGHLY effective Tele system, did add a 4 way switch. That being said can't imagine my 347 or 339 without the four. LOTS of tones in the middle when you can mix them. Rarely do I have them both on 10 when in the middle, for solos boost the one I feel like and then roll it back when done.

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It's got to be 4 two volume and two tone, that's one of the beauties of Gibson style guitars, it gives you so much control that you don't really need any pedals.

 

 

Ian

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Very illuminating to hear all these opinions and assertions guys, but 'pinetreebob' hasn't been back here since 28th February, meaning the only reply he's read was my original one on the 24th. :rolleyes:

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