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  1. #1

    Which one? ES-359 or CS356

    Any thoughts on which one is better over the other? I have been offered $2600 for the ES and $3100 for the CS. $500 difference.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member 1jamman's Avatar
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    Re: Which one? ES-359 or CS356

    Imo , Much depends on so many things , not stated in you OP , it is difficult to respond with a reply that might be helpful .
    What years are the guitars ? What condition are they in ? Have you played this sized Gibson before ? Have you played each 1 that you are considering ?
    IIRC the only (basic difference between the guitars is what the bodies are made from . The 359 is a plywood body and the 356 is formed from a solid board (routed out from 1 piece of Mahogany ) Both get a Maple top .

    In General , I say the CS356 . I've found , but not Always , A CS built guitar ,is /can be a better guitar ...
    Testing is really the only way to know for sure , which 1 ,if either suits you and what you are looking for ...

  3. #3

    Re: Which one? ES-359 or CS356

    I will give my personal experience, although it may not help the OP's decision-making!

    I've played 339s (not 359s) in shops and liked them.

    But I bought a 356 a few years back which is a really cool great sounding guitar. I have vintage 59 and 64 335s and it is very different sounding to those - more like a Les Paul Std to my ears. In fact I sold my newish LPS because the 356 did all that stuff but better.

    The previous poster mentioned that CS guitars 'can' be better built. He did only say 'can'!! - my experience was rather different. The 356 came with a misaligned bridge which my luthier re-drilled correctly, and such a gap between the fret ends and binding on the treble side that the strings fell between the two sometimes. That was fixed by my guy too. I'd bought it mail order from a store in Scotland that had lost its Gibson franchise so it was sold at a very low remaindered price. So low that I couldn't be bothered to return it as is was still a great deal even with the cost of the work.

    So I'd conclude that a CS356 is a seriously great guitar - I'd just go over it very carefully before parting with that sort of cash to check out any quality control issues. Good luck - look forward to a NGD post.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member clayville's Avatar
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    Re: Which one? ES-359 or CS356

    Quote Originally Posted by 1jamman View Post
    IIRC the only (basic difference between the guitars is what the bodies are made from . The 359 is a plywood body and the 356 is formed from a solid board (routed out from 1 piece of Mahogany ) Both get a Maple top .
    Just a slight correction on the details here: the 339/359 is constructed with Maple/poplar/maple plywood sandwiched around a maple center block (not really a maple top as in an LP). The 336/356 has a back, sides and center "block" routed from a solid slab of mahogany (it's all one piece of wood) that is then capped with solid book-matched maple and carved like an LP with f-holes.

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