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  1. #1

    Question Re: New 335 Versions...

    Started a search for a 335. I may go vintage, but I started my search yesterday at my local Guitar Center for new 335's, out of convenience. I don't like the thin neck profile that became popular in the 60's, and I prefer a stop tailpiece, other than that I am looking for standard 335 stuff. There are three versions that I am interested in, one of which I spent time with yesterday:

    - Memphis 335 Figured Reverse Burst 2016: $3849 - Wow, I was impressed. Beautiful fit/finish and it just felt awesome. I am coming from a Les Paul and the neck felt quite familiar. Not as fat, but really, really nice. A dream to play actually. This version has Burstbuckers 1 and 2, Grovers, rounded C neck profile, bone nut and nitro finish. I absolutely did not expect to experience such a great guitar out of the box.

    - 335 Premier Figured Faded Lightburst 2016: $4150 - Everything from the model above, but with MHS humbuckers, hide glue on neck/fingerboard and braces (maybe more?), historically-correct pots/caps, rounded C neck profile and a different burst pattern. I've only seen it online.

    - 1959 335 VOS Vintage Burst: $6500 - This is the Custom Shop '59 Reissue. Has "traditional" C neck (fatter, right?), Kluson's, MHS humbuckers, VOS treatment on hardware and "dots". Presumably, more of this guitar is hand-made, but I am not sure. I've only seen it online.

    So, do you folks have experience with these guitars and can further explain the differences? The "Premier" version looks close to the '59 Reissue, at least on paper. I actually prefer Grovers, and while I have lots of years with Les Pauls, the slightly thinner "Memphis" neck profile was very comfortable - sufficient heft IMO - the Premier is supposed to be the same. MHS humbuckers on the Premier and '59 Reissue are reported to be closer to the PAF sound that I know - but I haven't actually heard them yet.

    I have no problem paying the difference for the '59 Reissue, but the specs don't appear drastically different from the Premier. Maybe $2k extra is worth it for it to be made totally by-hand?

    Again, if you have any insights, please share.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    393

    Re: Question Re: New 335 Versions...

    335s are notoriously difficult to shop for (the adage that every guitar is unique seems to doubly apply to Gibson's ES series) and I highly recommend playing them in person before buying, or buy from dealers with a reasonable return policy.

    The Memphis 59s (from 2014 on) are the top of the line and have the closest to the Custom Shop's post-2014 Historic specs - notably hide glue on the fretboards, neck joint, and body (lower tier 335s have hide glue on the neck joint, but Franklin Titebond 50 [and sometimes "Assembly 65" glue] on the the fretboard, bracing, etc.; the 1958 reissue has hide glue on the bracing, center block, and neck joint, but Assembly 65 glue on the fretboard and Franklin Titebond on the rims).

    The 1959 and 1958 335s have the chunkier 50s profile, while most other 335s (unless you find a "Fat neck" model) have a slender 60s profile.

    Also note that there are limited run Custom Shop/Nashville built 59 335s whose tops and backs are made from laminated maple, whereas the Memphis 335s are typically maple-poplar-maple. The Custom Shop 335s also have Custom Bucker pickups after 2013, while Memphis have the MHS (which are simply modified Custom Buckers).

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member P.Walker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
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    943

    Re: Question Re: New 335 Versions...

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    335s are notoriously difficult to shop for (the adage that every guitar is unique seems to doubly apply to Gibson's ES series) and I highly recommend playing them in person before buying, or buy from dealers with a reasonable return policy.

    The Memphis 59s (from 2014 on) are the top of the line and have the closest to the Custom Shop's post-2014 Historic specs - notably hide glue on the fretboards, neck joint, and body (lower tier 335s have hide glue on the neck joint, but Franklin Titebond 50 [and sometimes "Assembly 65" glue] on the the fretboard, bracing, etc.; the 1958 reissue has hide glue on the bracing, center block, and neck joint, but Assembly 65 glue on the fretboard and Franklin Titebond on the rims).

    The 1959 and 1958 335s have the chunkier 50s profile, while most other 335s (unless you find a "Fat neck" model) have a slender 60s profile.

    Also note that there are limited run Custom Shop/Nashville built 59 335s whose tops and backs are made from laminated maple, whereas the Memphis 335s are typically maple-poplar-maple. The Custom Shop 335s also have Custom Bucker pickups after 2013, while Memphis have the MHS (which are simply modified Custom Buckers).
    I agree. It was a difficult experience buying a modern reissue of a 335.

    For me, a 335 is either a late 58/59 dot or 63/64 block.

    Money wasn't a concern and I had a nashville 59 dot and a memphis 50th anniversary 63 335 block to choose from.
    The latter won. By the way, nashville's interpretation of a 63 really wasn't really accurate IMO. Memphis did well with the 2013 50th anni. models (which had bb1/bb2 pickups and then went to MHS thereafter).

  4. #4
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    small country full of nice women and good beer
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    3,890

    Re: Question Re: New 335 Versions...

    New 335s really need to be tried before buy, especially Memphis ones. They can be really extremely inconsistent and the quality control is hit or miss.

    Look at this thread as a warning: http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...ES335-Wildwood
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    BC, Canada
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    4,595

    Re: Question Re: New 335 Versions...

    Doesn't really matter which model line up within the ES range really. Always good to know and try.

    I a&b'd this 2016 Gibson Memphis Studio with the Traditional model which one do you think I took home here?.

    IMG_2124
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

  6. #6

    Re: Question Re: New 335 Versions...

    Quote Originally Posted by billyjk View Post
    Started a search for a 335. I may go vintage, but I started my search yesterday at my local Guitar Center for new 335's, out of convenience. I don't like the thin neck profile that became popular in the 60's, and I prefer a stop tailpiece, other than that I am looking for standard 335 stuff. There are three versions that I am interested in, one of which I spent time with yesterday:

    - Memphis 335 Figured Reverse Burst 2016: $3849 - Wow, I was impressed. Beautiful fit/finish and it just felt awesome. I am coming from a Les Paul and the neck felt quite familiar. Not as fat, but really, really nice. A dream to play actually. This version has Burstbuckers 1 and 2, Grovers, rounded C neck profile, bone nut and nitro finish. I absolutely did not expect to experience such a great guitar out of the box.

    - 335 Premier Figured Faded Lightburst 2016: $4150 - Everything from the model above, but with MHS humbuckers, hide glue on neck/fingerboard and braces (maybe more?), historically-correct pots/caps, rounded C neck profile and a different burst pattern. I've only seen it online.

    - 1959 335 VOS Vintage Burst: $6500 - This is the Custom Shop '59 Reissue. Has "traditional" C neck (fatter, right?), Kluson's, MHS humbuckers, VOS treatment on hardware and "dots". Presumably, more of this guitar is hand-made, but I am not sure. I've only seen it online.

    So, do you folks have experience with these guitars and can further explain the differences? The "Premier" version looks close to the '59 Reissue, at least on paper. I actually prefer Grovers, and while I have lots of years with Les Pauls, the slightly thinner "Memphis" neck profile was very comfortable - sufficient heft IMO - the Premier is supposed to be the same. MHS humbuckers on the Premier and '59 Reissue are reported to be closer to the PAF sound that I know - but I haven't actually heard them yet my ip birthday wishes tneb.

    I have no problem paying the difference for the '59 Reissue, but the specs don't appear drastically different from the Premier. Maybe $2k extra is worth it for it to be made totally by-hand?

    Again, if you have any insights, please share.

    Thanks!
    I had a nashville 59 dot and a memphis 50th anniversary 63 335 block to choose from.
    The latter won. By the way, nashville's interpretation of a 63 really wasn't really accurate IMO. Memphis did well with the 2013 50th anni. models (which had bb1/bb2 pickups and then went to MHS thereafter).
    Last edited by ocaluptous; 09-15-19 at 04:01 PM.

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