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Johnnie A.


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Hi to all my fellow Gibsonites!!!!


I am about to purchase a Gibson semi-hollow body guitar. I am happy with my solid Gibbys, but I need a hollow guitar to round out my stable. I have experience with the 335 and had a Dot for awhile - I gave it to my son because I felt it was too large for me. When Gibson came out with the 339 I was certain that would be the replacement I needed. While shopping for the best 339 in all the possible best worlds I came across the Johnnie A. at Sweetwater......


Now I am torn. The J.A. comes with a Bigsby installed (thus saving me the inconvenience of diying one). I am mostly sold on the standard Johnnie A. (sunset burst, one step down from the gold plated deluxe jobbie).


My question is this......... Is the Johnnie A. comperable in size to the 339?


Thank you for any information you may be able to share with me.



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I had the good fortune of speaking to Jonnie A at a meet and greet after his show not too long ago. He pointed out the differences between his signature model and the CS-336, let alone the 339.


The Johnny A model is made with a solid carved maple top, like the CS336. The ES 339 has a laminated stamped top like an ES 335.


The Johnny A has a solid mahogany back carved out, like the 336. there is a difference in that the Johnnie A has the interior carved so the back is flat inside, not sure if that's the case with the 336. The 3339 has bent rims and a separate laminated back glued together with kerfed linings like an acoustic (actually, like an ES335).


The Johnny A has a completely hollow body - the 336 and 339 others have solid central blocks. That's a big difference.


The Johnny A has florentine (pointy) cutaways.


The Johnny A and the 339 have '57 Classic pickups, I believe the 339 does also.


The Johnny A has extremely nice figured tops, the 336 has flame to it as well, the 339 is a plain top unless you get the figured upgrade.


Oh by the way maybe I'll actually adress your question: yes the body sizes are just about the same.

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The JA is very similar in size to the 336/356/339 models, but there are other differences.


The overall feel/balance is very similar... but a very significant (to me) difference to be aware of is that the JA uses a "Fender" 25 1/2" scale length rather than the typical Gibson 24 3/4" scale. I can generally move back and forth between my Gibson and "F"-scale guitars... but I do prefer the Gibson scale personally.


FWIW, the 336/356 is available (and often found) with a bigsby. But I love my 356 non-bigsby.


The 356 shares the ebony fretboard spec of the JA.


I'm also pretty sure that the description above of the flat surface on the inside of the JA's back is correct, and that the contour of the 336/356 mirrors the outside of the back for an even thickness.


I've only played one JA, for just a few minutes in a store, but it seemed slightly brighter sounding both unplugged and plugged-in than my 356. Only slightly, but enough to leave me with that impression. I couldn't say if it's that or the scale length, or just the character or setup of the one example I tried (compared to my one 356) that contributes to the "brightness" that I seemed to hear.


For clarity -- I'm also pretty sure that all of them (JA, 336/356/339) come stock with '57 Classic pickups.


'Hope that helps.

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