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TinyBabyBrandon

Mid 90's 335's

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Hey guys,

 

I saw a pretty nice 335 for a decent price, but it was a mid 90's model. Not that that even necessitates a "but" per se, but I am not is a position where I can play it and I was just wondering if these years are generally looked upon with favor in the eyes of my fellow gibbaholics. Obviously it's not Norlin era and all the negativity that goes with that time period, but I never hear much one way or the other on 90's guitars. Anyone have an ES from the mid 90's and what is the quality and feel like compared to the ones that are getting cranked out nowadays? One thing I know that is different is the custom shop designations the 335's get currently. I'm pretty sure that was not part of the deal back in the glorious 90's. Anyway, any info, experience or opinions would be VERY welcome. Thanks again guys!

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I have no direct experience with 335's from the 90's--I have newer and older ones--but I have not heard anything bad about that period in general. What version is it, and which shop was it built in (it's on the label)?

 

When I was looking, I was surprised to find that the 335 depreciated very quickly, then flattened out completely in price, so that a 1995 and a 2005 cost virtually the same thing. Much will depend on condition and play wear when it comes to determining value, as much as the year built.

 

In my experience, each ES 335 needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis, particularly with Memphis instruments.

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Hey Nick,

Thanks for the response. I actually don't know where it was made. I could call the guy that's selling it and find out, but I'm guessing Memphis. It's in good condition, it looks great, and the value is there, no matter what year we're talking about, but I'm just wondering quality in relation to other 335's. while today's are really hit and miss, some of them are so sweet, I know that's probably the case for all eras, but I'm hoping someone either has a really good experience with this era or a really bad experience to sway me one way or the other.

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I was shopping for and played a number of 335's right around the time they were all from Nashville, and shortly after when they started coming from Memphis.

 

To me, I think that TONALLY, there is more variance from one 335 to another than most guitars. Not a quality thing, but that different 335's can sound COMPLETELY different from each other.

 

I thought the mid 90's ones were great as far as quality, but the more important issue for me as to the sound of the individual guitar being one that excites me far outwieghs and minor quality issues there MAY be between them.

 

Of corse, one thing that kinda sucks all the way around, is the 335 USED to be a "STANDARD" model before the Memhpis factory came around. When they started making them in Memphis, they discontinued the regular production of the Nashville ones, and the price went up considerably. The "idea" being that the Memphis factory being more of a "custom" shop. Now, it seems all used 335's reflect the new prices of the Memphis ones, rather than the used prices of a typical used Nashville "standard" production.

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I once owned a 1996 ES 335 TDC. It had no quality issues, per se, but it was sort of nondescript and soul-less... sorta like a Yamaha.

 

The neck shape was plain vanilla, the joinery and detail work were excellent, the wood was pretty, but I never really "bonded" with that guitar, for whatever reason.

 

I agree completely with the comments about guitars coming out of the Memphis shop. I love my ES 137 C probably better than any other Gibson I have owned or still own, but I have had another 4 or 5 that were nothing to write home about. Don't buy the specs is my advice. Let the guitar talk to your soul. If you hear music when it speaks, open your wallet!

 

My $0.02/FWIW/YMMV

[thumbup]

J/W

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I once owned a 1996 ES 335 TDC. It had no quality issues, per se, but it was sort of nondescript and soul-less... sorta like a Yamaha.

 

The neck shape was plain vanilla, the joinery and detail work were excellent, the wood was pretty, but I never really "bonded" with that guitar, for whatever reason.

 

I agree completely with the comments about guitars coming out of the Memphis shop. I love my ES 137 C probably better than any other Gibson I have owned or still own, but I have had another 4 or 5 that were nothing to write home about. Don't buy the specs is my advice. Let the guitar talk to your soul. If you hear music when it speaks, open your wallet!

 

My $0.02/FWIW/YMMV

[thumbup]

J/W

Jelly, I get it, the souless thing. That's what I'm worried about. I've played some like that and I'm worried this might be that kind of situation, but the price....is.....so.....good! We'll see what happens.

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Jelly, I get it, the souless thing. That's what I'm worried about. I've played some like that and I'm worried this might be that kind of situation, but the price....is.....so.....good! We'll see what happens.

What type of money are we talking here? A mid-90's 335 in excellent condition should go for $1600-1800 in the US.

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Hey guys,

 

I saw a pretty nice 335 for a decent price, but it was a mid 90's model. Not that that even necessitates a "but" per se, but I am not is a position where I can play it and I was just wondering if these years are generally looked upon with favor in the eyes of my fellow gibbaholics. Obviously it's not Norlin era and all the negativity that goes with that time period, but I never hear much one way or the other on 90's guitars. Anyone have an ES from the mid 90's and what is the quality and feel like compared to the ones that are getting cranked out nowadays? One thing I know that is different is the custom shop designations the 335's get currently. I'm pretty sure that was not part of the deal back in the glorious 90's. Anyway, any info, experience or opinions would be VERY welcome. Thanks again guys!

 

TBB, I have owned two 1997 Nashville Custom Shop 335 '59 reissues and both had necks that would not straighten out for low action. I had one refretted and neck straigtened by a luthier and sold it. The other I still have, though I am not satisfied with the action. It is a blonde with lots of flame and looks good on the wall. Also, on both of these models the neck joint is about 3/4 inch off from the traditional neck/body joint. The neck joins the body that much further out. Not a big deal, but interesting, since no 335's before or since have this deviance. That's my experience with '97 335's. I have a 2009 50th Anniversary '59 model made in Memphis and it is nearly perfect. Can't say enough good things about it.

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Remember too, that a 15-16 year old guitar, "should" have a more "open" tone, due to the wood

(and finish) being dryer (or, should I say "fully dried") than a newly manufactured version.

So, in that sense, "used" can be an advantage. Especially, if it was played, quite a bit, and

the top and back "loosened" up, tone wise. Used acoustic guitars, usually have that characteristic,

as well. Granted, the ES guitars are laminated construction, whereas a good acoustic is not, usually.

But, the wood tone characteristics can still be influenced, in similar ways, by age, and usage.

 

CB

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TBB, I have owned two 1997 Nashville Custom Shop 335 '59 reissues and both had necks that would not straighten out for low action. I had one refretted and neck straigtened by a luthier and sold it. The other I still have, though I am not satisfied with the action. It is a blonde with lots of flame and looks good on the wall. Also, on both of these models the neck joint is about 3/4 inch off from the traditional neck/body joint. The neck joins the body that much further out. Not a big deal, but interesting, since no 335's before or since have this deviance. That's my experience with '97 335's. I have a 2009 50th Anniversary '59 model made in Memphis and it is nearly perfect. Can't say enough good things about it.

 

Ooooohhh! Not good. Well, I passed up the one I was going to get because the price went to high and to be honest, even from the pics it didn't look like it had that "it" factor. To me it seems like quality ramped up around the mid 00's and I think I'm going to stick with looking at those.

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15838650312271210983898.thumb.jpg.b0152f9eee10727463cef1c903b5f33e.jpgI now own a 1996 ES 335 Dot Limited one of "?" built for the Guitar Center. I fell in love with it as soon played the first chord and the bite was the best ever. It took about a year to get the owner to sell her. I paid 2k and would have paid 3 for her. I've played and looked at about 16 335's I like the wider necks.

It's Sunrise Orange 8.4lbs.... she's a Beauty too.  If anyone has anymore info I'd appreciate it.

P.S. I've owned over 40 guitars about 12 being Gibson, 64 yrs old and have  played 49 of them.

Great forum 1st time poster...

1583864982074-595847103.jpg

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On 1/13/2012 at 4:14 PM, TinyBabyBrandon said:

Hey guys,

 

I saw a pretty nice 335 for a decent price, but it was a mid 90's model. Not that that even necessitates a "but" per se, but I am not is a position where I can play it and I was just wondering if these years are generally looked upon with favor in the eyes of my fellow gibbaholics. Obviously it's not Norlin era and all the negativity that goes with that time period, but I never hear much one way or the other on 90's guitars. Anyone have an ES from the mid 90's and what is the quality and feel like compared to the ones that are getting cranked out nowadays? One thing I know that is different is the custom shop designations the 335's get currently. I'm pretty sure that was not part of the deal back in the glorious 90's. Anyway, any info, experience or opinions would be VERY welcome. Thanks again guys!

If its at a great price and you want it just make sure they will take it back if you don't gel with it. I would take a 335 over a LP any day of the week. Probably an SG too.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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