ES335 advice needed!!!

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I've got a landmark birthday coming up, and what better way to celebrate than by buying the only other Gibson guitar I've ever really REALLY wanted (I already have a much loved and much used 1990 les paul custom that I've owned since new) , the Gibson es335.

I bought a tokai es135 as a kind of test to see if I'd get on with that style of guitar, and after a few months of gigs and rehearsals, I reckon I do get on with that style of guitar, and I've had loads of compliments on the look and sound of the guitar. (I play in a punk rock n roll band)

But, theres so much choice, and I could do with a few pointers.

All I know is I don't want any faded finishes, I'm after something with similar punch and dirt to my lp custom, I'd rather buy 2nd hand if possible but I wouldn't rule out buying new if I knew where to look. Bigsby would be a bonus but isn't a deal breaker. And of course it has to be red!! 

So what do I need to be looking at ?? There seems to be so many versions, dot, block, Memphis, Nashville, historic, etc, the choice is bewildering!! I don't know what the difference is , I don't know which ones would be a good match for me.


Can anyone help me with some pointers and advice??!!


Can anyone help me ??!


Hopefully Hugh will chime in!!

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Comments

  • Big dollar guitar.

    Go out to a shop and try all of them they have, even of the same model.

    If you're dropping that much money on a guitar, spending 50 quid for trains on a round trip is a no brainer.
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5722
    edited January 2014
    I bet you wouldn't say no to this satin ES330 from 60s..??!!

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    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
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  • a trip further afield to a guitar shop certainly isn;t out of the question.


    And neither is an es330!!!
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  • Herewith some pictures of my red 2007 dot reissue, gloss, mildly flamey Memphis 335. It has the slim neck, but I have fairly dainty paws. At the time of the initial setup which I had done by a superb local chap, I also got the stock nut (synthetic bone) replaced with real bone as the low E just chewed through it. I did try various other options and will say that the Yamaha SA2200 had an immaculate setup right off the hanger, and I tried very hard to convince myself to get it, but ultimately I just thought that the 335 looked, felt and sounded nicer (I much prefer the nitro finish to the uber-glassy polyester that everything else had, apart from a surprisingly lacklustre Heritage I tried - didn't help that it was brown FFS). This was my dream guitar for 10 years before I bought it, and has continued to be for nearly 7 years since.  

    Happy hunting! 

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  • jd0272jd0272 Frets: 3855
    I'd lurve one, but it'd need to be a big necked Historic in Tobacco Burst for me, with 'buckers. Grrrr.
    "You do all the 'widdly widdly' bits, and just leave the hard stuff to me."
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  • I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • jd0272jd0272 Frets: 3855
    Punk sets 'cool' I think. That's what Stabby Wife tells me. Not arguing.
    "You do all the 'widdly widdly' bits, and just leave the hard stuff to me."
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  • LixartoLixarto Frets: 1613
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    "I can see you for what you are; an idiot barely in control of your own life. And smoking weed doesn't make you cool; it just makes you more of an idiot."
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5722
    edited January 2014
    I paid only £1150 new for my cherry satin in 2007 - look what I did to it with just a can of  Brasso! Is a lovely gloss - not like the over machine-polished showroom models and - the red has a nicer hue... Has a better neck than the bound neck models too = and it rings like a bell and grunts like Satan! Knobs are now 60s 'Top Hats'' -  Was a brilliant decision!


    (plus my homage to BeBop Deluxe / Axe Victim)
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 4118
    edited January 2014

    I found that in the UK, people ask for too much for used 335s, usually over £1400, when compared with new prices

    I found a lovely used "natural" one - maple coloured in other words at Angel, but then saw a new Birdseye one like this http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/premier/detail.asp?stock=11052411204331

    Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love figured wood. I'm assuming it will turn a honey colour with age

    This was for the same cost as the plainer used one - £1900 -  but from Thomann, with all their extended warranty and £15 return for refund option. It's lovely, The prices have gone up a little, but they still have an ex demo one for £1890 

    I couldn't find this for less than £2500 new here

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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2334
    There are lots of options and you might be better looking in the other gibsons section in www.LesPaulforum.com where these 'refinements' are discussed ad-nausium.

    You might try the little 336 or 339 (one is a little 335 the other a hollowed out block construction).
    Another big favourite of those in the know is the late 70s to about 85/6 335s which are highly regarded by many in the know. Certainly the few I've played live up to that but they are not 'vintage correct' (but then what is and what does it matter).

    Some are just better than others and an in hand assessment is the only way.



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  • What's wrong with the Tokai?
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  • Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Have a 335 and have tried many lookalikes (NB as distinct from soundalike). It seems to me that apart from the overall tonal versatility, the essential characteristic of a 335 is a honkiness ( some call it a dark tonality) which some love and others do not. 


    "Nobody needs more than 20 strats." Mike Landau
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  • LixartoLixarto Frets: 1613
    Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)
    "I can see you for what you are; an idiot barely in control of your own life. And smoking weed doesn't make you cool; it just makes you more of an idiot."
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  • BogwhoppitBogwhoppit Frets: 2740

    I bought a tokai es135 as a kind of test.

     

    I bought a Gibson 335 to test, then bought the Tokai ES130 lol !

     


     


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  • Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)

    I am painfully aware that for some people "punk" is a euphemism for lack of talent, effort, ability and originality , but luckily I'm not so closed minded .
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  • I bought a tokai es135 as a kind of test.

     

    I bought a Gibson 335 to test, then bought the Tokai ES130 lol !

    ToneControl thought the Gibsons were expensive ? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tokai-ES162-Tobacco-Sunburst-ES335-Semi-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-/261271242400?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item3cd4fac6a0
    "Nobody needs more than 20 strats." Mike Landau
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32230
    Lixarto said:
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)
    Interestingly, even through a huge amount of distortion - and I almost didn't want to admit this! - at the SECC gig Neil's #2 goldtop sounded noticeably better than Old Black, to me.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • I bought a tokai es135 as a kind of test.

     

    I bought a Gibson 335 to test, then bought the Tokai ES130 lol !

    ToneControl thought the Gibsons were expensive ? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tokai-ES162-Tobacco-Sunburst-ES335-Semi-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-/261271242400?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item3cd4fac6a0

    nice

    trouble is depreciation, etc, which I assume is why most go for a Gibson, including me

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  • Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)

    I am painfully aware that for some people "punk" is a euphemism for lack of talent, effort, ability and originality , but luckily I'm not so closed minded .
    punk can indeed stand for that, but not of necessity. If it is also characterised tone-wise by what seems to be to be a fairly brash kind of distortion (irrespective of whether the player is talented/able/original or making any serious effort), then you'd expect guitars that are radically different to sound different through those kind of FX LPs vs Teles etc but various versions of the same guitar?
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Cleans, for me, just need to be clean, warm and scooped.

    Distortion... I get a bit funny when people say, you won't hear the difference the difference when you've turned the gain up to heavy.

    You do! It's, for me, an even bigger deal than how different things sound when clean. If I play two different teles with similar but different pickups, I could probably hear the difference just as much as when clean, more so perhaps. It is a big deal if your sound is in high gain.

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  • LixartoLixarto Frets: 1613
    Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)

    I am painfully aware that for some people "punk" is a euphemism for lack of talent, effort, ability and originality , but luckily I'm not so closed minded .
    Yes - I'm arguing your side ;)
    "I can see you for what you are; an idiot barely in control of your own life. And smoking weed doesn't make you cool; it just makes you more of an idiot."
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  • Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)

    I am painfully aware that for some people "punk" is a euphemism for lack of talent, effort, ability and originality , but luckily I'm not so closed minded .
    Yes - I'm arguing your side ;)

    I probably could have explained what sound I was going for better in hindsight ...!!!
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  • Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    Lixarto said:
    I've been trying to resist asking what difference the exact model would make in a punk band ...


    ... but failed
    Something to do with musical snobbery?
    Possibly that. Possibly also the likelihood that any brash style of distortion used in that kind of music would hide any possible tonal differences between models.
    Cf "brash style of distortion" and Old Black :)

    I am painfully aware that for some people "punk" is a euphemism for lack of talent, effort, ability and originality , but luckily I'm not so closed minded .
    Yes - I'm arguing your side ;)

    I probably could have explained what sound I was going for better in hindsight ...!!!
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  • BogwhoppitBogwhoppit Frets: 2740

    I bought a tokai es135 as a kind of test.

     

    I bought a Gibson 335 to test, then bought the Tokai ES130 lol !

    ToneControl thought the Gibsons were expensive ? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tokai-ES162-Tobacco-Sunburst-ES335-Semi-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-/261271242400?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item3cd4fac6a0

    nice

    trouble is depreciation, etc, which I assume is why most go for a Gibson, including me


    I totally agree. I found my MIJ ES Tokai's to be far superior to any Gibson 335 I've owned or played. But in recent years ES Tokai's are deprecating a lot more, whereas the Reborns and high end LS range are increasing, or holding steady.  But I would definitely consider Gibson for high end guitars these days in order to get a return back when I become bored with it. 


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  • Played a couple of 335's today, my impressions of them were....

    The gloss 335 reissue was disappointing....wouldn't stay in tune, didn't play that great and sounded pretty flat.

    In comparison, I'd say that my tokai es135 was a better guitar in every way.

    I played a gloss top/satin 335 one with p90's in ...... it wasn't as nice a guitar, but it sounded and played great.


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  • GuitarseGuitarse Frets: 160
    So will your es135 be for sale??
    Never ever bloody anything, ever!
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  • Guitarse said:
    So will your es135 be for sale??

    Maybe , it's a limited edition one in white with a bigsby .
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