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wrvond

Product comparison

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Hello,

Looking online at the various Gibson offerings and have hit a wall. 

First, I was looking at the ES-335; specifically the ES-335 Satin - Faded Cherry. Then I started looking at the ES-339 Satin - Faded Cherry but I cannot detect any difference between the 335 and the 339, especially not $800.00 difference! The more I looked, though, the more I like the ES-339 Gloss - Sixties Cherry. Again, there is a significant price difference ($400.00) between the satin finish and the gloss finish of the 339.

I would really appreciate an explanation of the differences between these three guitars that justifies the price differences.  They all appear to be made of the same materials, have the same pups, etc. . I'm baffled. It might help if I understood the design differences between the 335 and the 339 in their most basic forms. I was under the impression the 339 had a larger body, but now I'm not so sure.

 

Thanks!

Edit: I have learned that the 339 is actually the smaller, lighter of the two models according to some Gibson brochures I came across. This is good news for me, as I prefer a smaller bodied guitar and have been leaning towards the ES-339 Gloss-Sixties Cherry anyway.

 

Edited by wrvond

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You are correct the 339 is smaller and lighter.  Best if you can get out and play both models to hear them and see how they feel to you.  As to gloss and satin finishes that is a matter of personal taste as well.  But if you take some Virtuoso polish and a lot of elbow grease you can turn your satin finish into a glossy, so if you want a gloss finish, but want to save some cash, get a satin and you can polish it into a gloss.

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I know the 339 us popular because it is smaller and lighter.   Make no mistake about, though, it is not a 335.  As far as I'm concerned, the 339 is compromised because of its size.  Truth is virtually all of them are bought because of the smaller size, the sound and what they do is secondary.  You won't find reviews saying they're being bought because they sound like 335, it is all about the size. 

Go play them, you'll see. If you like them despite the differences, fine.  

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1 hour ago, Wmachine said:

I know the 339 us popular because it is smaller and lighter.   Make no mistake about, though, it is not a 335.  As far as I'm concerned, the 339 is compromised because of its size.  Truth is virtually all of them are bought because of the smaller size, the sound and what they do is secondary.  You won't find reviews saying they're being bought because they sound like 335, it is all about the size. 

Go play them, you'll see. If you like them despite the differences, fine.  

For me, it was more about the price than the size. 

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Once I got over the size of my BB King (same size as a 335) there is nothing that guitar can't do. Except maybe sound like a Strat or Tele.

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19 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Once I got over the size of my BB King (same size as a 335) there is nothing that guitar can't do. Except maybe sound like a Strat or Tele.

I understand why you say that.  My experience too.  When I first got mine, aside from being blown away by the quality and play-ability, I was thinking "blues", of course.   But the more (other things)  I tried to do with it, the more apparent the versatility became.  Put it in LP territory, plug it into a 100w Marshall and crank it up.  Wow!  Now there's a surprise!  Not really too shocking when you think of the lack of F-holes and the pups used, as that help the high gain performance.   But I think it is one of the "best kept secrets" of a Lucille.

And I think you make a good point too saying "once I got over the the size of it".  That's what I say, "get over it".  As a musician, adjust to the instrument, and quit trying to get the instrument to adjust to you. 

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I used to have a 339 and I have a 335 now.  The 339 has a little more upper end than the 335.  It can get twangy easier than a 335.  I loved it.  The 335 has a big bottom end.  They both sound like they're made from plywood and sound great at high volume.  The 335 has a big body and some smaller guys don't like that.  Anyway, they're both great guitars!

As far as the prices go, the guitars with gloss finishes are a little more expensive.  Models with higher level appointments are higher.  335's have been a little more expensive that 339's in the past because 335's were the original guitar of this type and the model has lots of historical significance.  The 339 was like a 335 but just with a smaller body.  It was introduced in 2007 and they ended up getting pretty popular.  They've always been a little cheaper than the 335's because of market demand.

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Bigger bodies can be good. You might find you like the additional contact more than the small solid bodies and they can be a really fun addition to the stable.

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I've been playing my 339 over the last few days. The only negative thing for me is awkward upper fret access. It looks like it should be easy, but those little cutaways are too small for hands.

Aside from that, I enjoy the hell out of that thing. Especially the sound. It has the same pickups as my LP, but sounds woodier, sweeter, richer.

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Indeed the 339's are different Guitars. The smaller size seems to affect their Sound. I've yet to hear I like more than a 335. 

In the long run I doubt the 339's will hold the resale value of a 335 either...

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