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"Dot" refers to the dot fingerboard markers. Many have speculated why Gibson used dots on an instrument comparable in price to other electrics that have block or trapezoid inlays. Someone has said that it was to call attention to the 22 fret neck (the dot pattern is four single dots, then a two at the twelfth fret, then four more towards the bridge) but I'd say that's a fishing expedition.


The issue wasn't important until Gibson started tinkering with the original 1958 specs. First to go were the dots, replaced with small blocks, then the rounded upper ears were modified into a shape easier to buff without damage, then the stop tail piece was replaced with a trapeze from a cheap archtop model, the pickups were changed, the neck profile was messed with, and before you could say, "Norlin sucks" the 335 had been revamped into a much inferior (to many of us) guitar.


So when Gibson came back from the dead, following its sale to the current management team, one of the first actions taken (along with restoring the Les Paul to its 1958 glory) was to start over with a 335 made more like the originals. These Dots vary, and often have subtle differences important only to Gibson owners (the use of Grover tuners rather than Klusons, and the fact that the "crown" inlay is in a different place on the head stock), but the consensus is that the 335 is once again back where it used to be. Naturally, controversy abounds, but I personally love my 2000 Dot.


So the difference between a "335 DOT" and a "335" is that the former refers to the 335 with the dot neck inlays, while the latter is generic and refers to any of the variations marketed under the 335 name.

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