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Question on 2019-2020 ES-335


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I’m looking into 335s. The spec sheet on 335 Figured vs 335 (Dot) vs 335 satin show that they are virtually the same guitars apart from some cosmetic differences if we disregard satin vs gloss. However, it seams like most 2018 or older models I find with ABR-1 bridge, the bridge studs are drilled directly onto the body. However, I can’t find any rhyme or reason for how the how the bridge is mounted on 2019 or earlier models. The Figured 335s I’ve come across so far have studs drilled directly to the body, granted I’m not sure they are the new management original collection models or old management 2019 models. As for plain tops, I’ve found both examples of studs drilled directly to the body and examples with bushings. Satin models I’ve come across seem to always have bushings on the top for mounting the bridge. 

I’m wondering if all Gibson USA are moving towards the ABR-1 mounted with bushings or if some of the models will maintain the Memphis tradition? Is there a any construction differences across these models or is it purely cosmetic? I know this have been asked before for previous years and I believe the only differences were cosmetic at the time. However, I wonder if that’s still true now with the current management? Can anyone confirm if there is indeed a difference in how the bridge is mounted across models figured, plain, satin and 345?  Or is that a difference between old an new management, Memphis vs Nashville? This is more a nagging curiosity than a concern, as for me personally it is not a dealbreaker. However it does make me wonder if there is anything under the hood that is different. Like, for instance, neck joint or anything else really. 

P.S.: I know some people believe this make a difference in tone and some people don’t believe it makes any difference. I don’t really want to get into that discussion. I’m just wandering about the construction for curiosity’s sake.

P.S.S.: I know some people on YT describe this method of mounting the bridge as fake ABR-1 or a cross between Nashville and ABR-1. The thing is I can a bit more pedantic than those pedantic YTrs. My understanding is that the part we call bridge on a ToM is the part that is not drilled to the guitar and is held in place in part by the pressure of the strings and is the part that hold the saddles. In my books what they’re using is an ABR-1 bridge. What’s “difference” is how the bridge is mounted. The quotations is because it’s nothing new. We’ve seen this before in previous USA models. 

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I believe I was able to answer my own question. All the 335 models have the same bridge mounting with bushings under the new management. The 2019 models with studs drilled directly to the top were spec’d by the previous management. Thus it seems the only differences across Gibson USA 335/345 models are purely cosmetic. 

Edited by pauloqs
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