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Les Paul vs. ES 335


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Hi there,


I've got a really hard decision to make.

Finally I've got the money to buy a real Gibson, but I can't choose between the Les Paul Standard ('08) and the ES-335 DOT.

'Till this moment I love them both, and they both have their positives (and negatives).

Currently I own a Stratocaster, and I prefer rock, blues and pop songs.

I will take a look at both of them before I decide to buy one, but I would like to have your opinion about both guitars.


Which one would you pick or do you prefer? Why?




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Both guitars are great and you can't go wrong with either. BUT if you looking for an all around, do everything guitar...you may prefer the Les Paul. Really the only sound the Paul won't be able to mimic well will be the ES's nasty, nasal gritty-blues tone. But don't get me wrong, a Paul can play the blues quite well regardless! I like the smaller body of the Les Paul, it just feels good with your arm thrown over it, and the picking hand playing position just feels so natural. And I am a big time Strat lover! Every guitarist needs a Les Paul in their collection!

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Both great guitars indeed....


These forums IMO are slightly LP obsessed.... <_<


No doubt they satisfy many players' desire for cool looks and versatile sounds


For me, the 335 has a more classic look, harking back to the archtops of yore


Eric Clapton 'muddies the waters' somewhat by extracting great sounds from 335, LP and Strat


Personally I like big guitars to hold.....


Ideally one could have an extended trial of each before committing either way...no substitute for hands-on experience...





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... BUT if you looking for an all around, do everything guitar...you may prefer the Les Paul


Versatility is important for me. I'd like to buy a guitar that fit many styles or genres, not just one or a few.

And okay, they both look really cool. ES has a nice classic look, the Paul more of a rock look.

But there also is a difference in price. The ES (DOT) is a bit more affordable than the Les Paul.. That makes the desicion also pretty hard.


More experiences or advices are welcome ;)



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Well, if it was me, and limited to one Gibson...it would be the ES-335!

Love my Les Paul guitars, but the ES-335 can have that LP sound, and

also the mellower, warmer Semi-hollobody tone, as well. So, it's a bit

more versatile...IMHO. The ES-335 will be a bit more prone to feedback,

through the "f" holes, at high volume. But, Clapton and other's have done

well with them...even through 2 Marshall Stacks. So...???


Both guitars, are excellent! Buy one, now...save for the other one. [thumbup][biggrin]



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my personal oppinion based on your choices of 08' standard and ES335? ES335 the 08' standard is chambered and not to my personal taste however a LP Traditional and an ES335 is a hard one. I was playing a LP custom and a ES335 in the shop last week an if i had the cash I would have picked the 335 but perhaps that because i already own a LP Trad. Hard to say personally i want both

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This is a tough question. I think the only definitive answer is you REALLY need BOTH, so I view this question as "which one should I buy first". That even in itself is a hard call, so I'll relate my own experiences.


I've owned an LP since 1975 (first REAL guitar I bought brand new), and I got an ES-335 in 1980 (also a 1975 model). So I bought an LP first, and five years later found a 335 I just had to have. After getting the 335 I played it much more than the LP (gigs and rehearsals), and in fact wore the frets off it and had to replace it. I replaced it with a 345 which still gets way more playing time than the LP for Blues (mainly) and (a little) Rock. From the late 70's through the mid 90"s I also did a lot of studio work, and the LP and the ES got about equal playing time in the studio.


So having had the opportunity to own both types of guitars for many years, that's my personal summation. Doesn't really help much, does it! Good luck, you really can't go wrong with either choice, just immediately start saving up for the other one.

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I am also fortunate to have one of each and it really depends on what day of the week it is as to which one I like better. I just bought a new LP Traditional Pro (w/p-90s) and I am really finding it to be great guitar. I think you would be best served by playing a lot of guitars and buying the one that sings to you! It also probably depends on the amps you own. I find a 335 into a DRRI is just sweeeeeeet! (but so is the LP... :)

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I have a '73 Les Paul and a 2011 ES335. To me the question is whether you also use other guitars, or want a single instrument that can cover anything. The ES is, IMO, the better sounding guitar at what it does, but the tone is less versatile, a little "dark" compared to the LP. I can cover "fender type" parts reasonably well on the Les Paul, not so sucessfully on the ES. If your looking for a single, main instrument , I''d recommend the LP.

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Thanks a lot guys! It's fun to read those different stories about the ES335 or Les Paul.


I'm not specifically looking for a 'main instrument', but you can only play one guitar at once, can't you? ;)

So, I think that if I buy a Les Paul (or an ES335) I would spend less time playing on my Stratocaster, which I really love.

It still is a though call.

I hope I'm able to visit a guitar store next week, so I can play on both the Paul and the ES335.. And I guess at that point, I have to listen to my heart and my ears.


More experiences or opinions are still welcome.

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Well my friend, I have walked this road many a time :rolleyes:[biggrin]


I have a 1973 Les Paul Custom, 2011 Les Paul 60's tribute, too many Fender Strats, a couple of SG'S and I recently purchased a GIBSON ES-335 Cherry Figured Top.


In my opinion as much as I would like to have the belief that 1 main go to guitar will give you genuine different guitar tone variations, I think it is a load of bull.


Between my les pauls which are worlds apart in quality & price etc...the 60's tribute is far cheaper and has tone growl!! and can be just as much fun as my 1973 LPC. It also gives you that Les Paul experience.


My ES-335 is just as versatile and is custom shop build quality. I can't put that thing down.


As I suggest like everyone else that you go to a GC and try out an ES-335, Les Paul standard/Traditional/Traditional Pro/60's Tribute.. and use that as your deciding factor.


I play in numerous bands and I would love to have the luxury of a 1 trick pony, but I just do the hard yards and drag around with me a Fender Stratocaster 3x Single Coil pups, Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute P90's, Gibson SG 61RI 57 Classic Humbucker pups... and at present I have a Deluxe Tele coming, this is what my live performance arsenal is... You could not get any true'r tone than the original instrument designed to do that job.


How about these options; [biggrin]


#1 Buy an ES-335 and a Les Paul 60's tribute at the same time, this gives you more bargaining power with a GC to heavily ruduce costs...they are more than likely going to give you a bigger discount on 2x instruments than 1 alone. You not only get top of the line Custom ES-335 but also a LP60'S tribute and both will cover different tonal spectrums having ES with humbuckers and LP60'S tribute with P90's.


#2 Buy a Les Paul Traditional Pro..


#3 Talk to your muso friends and get a purchase party together for example; try to get at least 4 of your friends to buy a guitar at the same time as you. Go to a GC and put the order in for the 4x guitars. Then use this as your barganing power to purchase options 1# or #2.


Trust me you will make the GC people smile and also save yourself big dollars. It can be done as I have done it 3x.


Sorry about the war & peace.. Good Luck. [thumbup]

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