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ES vs. ESLes


NHTom
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So..........GAS has been hitting me lately....as if it's not ALWAYS hitting me.....lol.

 

 

I've been craving a Gibson ES......probably just a 335 or something similar, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience comparing what I'll call a "full body" ES and one of the ES Les Pauls?

 

Looking for opinions from people who may have compared both.

 

Thanks,

NHTom

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I haven't sat down with both for any reason. I've played a few of these ES Les Pauls. meh. I have a Les Paul, I didn't get much different out of it.

 

Even though a Thinline Tele is the same, there isn't much different there, I'd still buy the right one. The ES Les Paul didn't do that for me.

 

Any of their full size hollerbodies are just too damn big on me so no, not happening. I like them, but no.

 

I am really happy to be so much help, I do it for the sake of good, so no, don't thank me.

 

rct

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I had spent quite a bit of time deciding between an Es-les Paul, Es-339, Es-349. They sound nothing like a solid body LP. Not only from the pickups but they sound more open/woody/hollow. A solid body sounds a little more tight and bright. If you like the sound of an ES-339, you will like the ES LP. They baisically sound the same, have the same construction and pickups. It really comes down to the body shape you like more. That being said the ES-349 sounds a little darker, thanks to the nylon saddles. That was my favorite and I bought an ES-349. I do have a white ES LP that I am making payments on too, lol and will take home soon.

 

I also own a CS-336, that sounds more like a solid LP but with more resonance. Quite a bit louder acoustically than a ES-339/ES LP. But it also is a routed solid body and solid top construction.

 

I also had a LP Florentine, that sounded like a chambered sold body LP. Not as woody/open sounding as a ES style guitar.

 

I hope that helps a bit

Edited by Drog
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The 339 is a nice compromise between the 335 and ES LP. I had one for a while and only sold it because it had the 50s neck instead of the Slim Taper. You could get them with both when it was made (2010).

If you haven't tried one you want to try a 336 then.. LOVELY slim profile necks. Like really.. Obviously though its not a proper semi hollow in terms of its construction. But I think that would personally suit my playing more anyway :)

Edited by Rabs
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NHTom,

 

My advice is to ignore anything we have to say about it.

 

You're just going to have to go play all of them.

Touch 'em, peruse them, play with all the knobs.

 

Take your time, and find the one model and the one guitar that feels right, plays easy, and sounds like a chorus of slutty cheerleaders. I mean, angels.

 

That'll be the one.

 

[unsure]

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Before buying my ES-339, I tried out the fully hollow version (ES-336?), it felt and handled beautifully. It sounded great also. I also played the Epi Florentine LP (Epi's ES LP), which I liked very much.

 

After buying the ES-339 Studio, I still had a hankering for a fully hollowbody. I ended up buying a Epi Casino Coupe.

Its the same shape as the 339 and the 336.

 

I only gigged the Casino Coupe once. It was the debut gig of a Jazz outfit. The venue was small and we were not loud. Used quietly without FX or gain, the Coupe was fine. When I tried to add a little gain (and I do mean VERY little) it fed back like a banshee. I had to forget that & finish the gig with pure clean tones.

 

I have since sold the Coupe, but continue to gig the 339. It is more susceptible to feedback but fully controllable. Maybe it wouldnt be if I played metal?

 

I have to say I prefer the handling and weight of full hollowbodies. The semi-hollows are halfway to being solidbodies in most respects. They are acoustically very quiet, fairly heavy (centre blocks are massive IMO) and are less warm sounding amplified.

 

However, the semi hollows are much more practical and easy to live/work with.

 

BTW the amp I used the Casino Coupe on was a Fishman Loudbox Artist, which has an 'Anti-Feedback' control feature.

 

 

Both the 339 and LP I have are equipped with '57 Classics. The 339 does have a warmer & richer tone. Its a subtle difference though.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I kind of have in that I have a Sheraton and a Les Paul. The same shapes as those you mention, of course, despite the one being epi and the other being solid, just thinking about shape, the Sheraton feels huge and uncomfortable to play unless standing (I nearly always play standing though).

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I own both an ES-335 and a CS-336. The reason I had/have no interest in the ES Les Paul when it came out is that, in my view, my CS-336 is basically the same thing.

 

CS336FHSNH1_ELECTRONICS_GLAM.jpg

 

While the CS-336 employs a pair of Gibson 57 Classic pups & the ES Les Paul uses MHS humbuckers, I didn't think there was enough differences there to merit the cost of adding the ES LP to my stable.

 

As far as the ES-335 goes - to me there's nothing else quite like it. Iconic. Killer! Everyone who plays guitar should own one. Here's mine with her Longhorn Leathers Custom made strap. Juicy! [drool]

 

 

23316266_1690150291035089_5364883447529340834_n.jpg?oh=b489b7d1b4bd08cae6c758519e438fa4&oe=5AF0464C

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NHTom,

 

My advice is to ignore anything we have to say about it.

 

You're just going to have to go play all of them.

Touch 'em, peruse them, play with all the knobs.

 

Take your time, and find the one model and the one guitar that feels right, plays easy, and sounds like a chorus of slutty cheerleaders. I mean, angels.

 

That'll be the one.

 

[unsure]

 

 

Sounds like the best advice I have or have read here. Best of luck to you.

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During your hunt do yourself a favor and try a CS336. The construction is a solid piece of mahogany routed out for upper and lower bouts. So back, sides, and center block are all from one piece of wood then a carved maple top is fitted. The result is a semi-hollow that can sound quite a bit like a LP (especially if you use pedals for gain or distortion) but also can sound like a 335 or more jazz type guitar. Very versatile, not much bigger than a LP, lighter than a LP so very comfortable to play. Most that have them say it's their number one. I had one for 15 years and just sold it last summer to get a CS356 which is the same guitar, but a little fancier with flamed tops and gold hardware.

 

qGJQAwn.jpg

 

Sorry just can't resist posting a photo of that beauty every chance I get. It sounds as good as it looks!!

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I don't think I would want a ES LP. Just doesn't look right.

 

Yeah, went and checked out a few........Nice guitar, but can't really call it a substitute for a regular ES of any kind. I came away with.....LP's don't have F holes and ES's are larger bodies"

 

I guess now the hunt begins for which model ES......so many versions, and I'm not anywhere near educated enough on the ES line yet. Got some homework to do I guess.

 

NHTom

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I've got a 2012 Gibson Sunburst ES335 & a new Gibson Memphis Blacktop ES Les Paul with Bigsby... Both are almost too pretty to play.. But, I play 'em anyway! The LP is at Gibson getting a Truss a Rod issue resolved should be back in a couple weeks..

 

Both are amazing good Guitars...

 

I also have an LP Jr. Special w/ P90's & an LP Std Plus. I like them all as far as Sound. But, I do like the light weight of the ES LP though. That's an extra plus.

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I'll chime in on the 335s.

The ones with the trapeze tail pieces seem to be more of a jazz instrument than a rock and roll guitar.

I had one in the 70s and one in the 80s and the later one also had a coil tap switch which seemed pretty useless to me. I thought of it as the volume/tone kill switch and more of a novelty than anything else.

Both had 60s style slim necks and I recall the trapeze tail piece made string bending more difficult. Even so, I loved the trapeze tail pieces, they just seemed so cool.

I always start drooling when I see a Wine Red 80s 335.

 

My 2005 335 Satin has a slim, almost Firebird profile neck and that guitar just screams, it makes sounds that my other Gibsons don't. I buffed the finish out and it made it acoustically louder, probably didn't do anything for it plugged into a Marshall.

It needed some fret work as the ends were kind of sharp and that guitar has no fret board binding.

 

I don't have any 345/355 experience but the Lucille is really versatile due to the VariTone. A lot of people don't like that feature but I do.

That's a really heavy guitar and seems more like a solid body model than a 335. The ebony fret board is a nice feature and it has that "strictly upper crust" feel to it that all of the high end Gibsons have.

Necks range from substantial to baseball bat. My current Lucille could pull double duty as a war club.

 

You know how guitars require a certain amount of playing time to feel broken in? It seems to me that they require a lot of playing time to achieve that feeling which is a good excuse to practice, practice, practice!

 

When I got out of guitar playing the last guitar I sold was my Lucille DeLuxe. When I got back into guitar playing the first guitar I bought was a 335.

 

They're beautiful instruments, have fun with the hunt for the right one.

Edited by SteveFord
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