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  1. #1

    Esseries NGD: Epiphone Bonamassa ES-355

    I picked this up a couple weeks back. Really impressed with the quality of these Bonamassa sig 355's. I'm not a big JB fan, I just like the idea of a black 355 with a Bigsby.

    The neck is massive, in a good way. The entire guitar feels very solid and weighs in at 10.0 lbs, which seems heavy for a 33x semi-hollow, but it's worth it given how it plays.

    Ebony fretboard
    Nubone nut
    Grover Rotomatic tuners
    Mallory tone caps
    Probucker pickups
    Vibramate String Spoiler

    I love the look of the long tort guard and the oversized headstock.

    The import Bigsby may get replaced with a US made B7 and I'll probably drill out the string bar in lieu of the String Spoiler.
    Sound-wise I feel like it's a bit dark. The Probuckers are likely getting replaced with a set of '57 Classic and Classic+ pickups.
    I've had great luck with those in an Epi Riviera.

    That said, the bones are good and a few upgrades will make it a keeper.




    I replaced the Bonamassa TRC with a blank one.

    Last edited by stilwel; 12-27-19 at 09:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    22

    Re: NGD: Epiphone Bonamassa ES-355

    Sounds great! I was looking at those myself, I was trying to decide between that and the Johnny A Epi that came out at a similar time.

    I haven't bought either yet and I'm less interested in the Johnny A now than I was so I still might pick one the 355 if I see a used one for a decent price.

    Probuckers get great reviews but I have to say, I haven't been majorly impressed with them in any guitar I've played them in so I'd almost certainly upgrade too.

  3. #3

    Re: NGD: Epiphone Bonamassa ES-355

    Quote Originally Posted by BLuesGuitarMart View Post
    Sounds great! I was looking at those myself, I was trying to decide between that and the Johnny A Epi that came out at a similar time.

    I haven't bought either yet and I'm less interested in the Johnny A now than I was so I still might pick one the 355 if I see a used one for a decent price.

    Probuckers get great reviews but I have to say, I haven't been majorly impressed with them in any guitar I've played them in so I'd almost certainly upgrade too.
    I haven't played a Johnny A so I can't speak to that. This JB 355 has a really big neck, which is one of the things I love about it. Fit and finish is excellent. They ARE on the heavy side, though. This one weighs in at 10.0 lbs, which is slightly more than my '75 Norlin era LP Custom, but still tolerable.

    I’ve also heard good things about the Probuckers, but they are obviously way darker than the 57 Classics in my Riviera. I’ll have the pickups swapped out today. Just need to get some gold mounting screws.
    Last edited by stilwel; 12-27-19 at 10:51 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: NGD: Epiphone Bonamassa ES-355

    FYI...just put a set of gold Gibson '57 Classics in my JB-355.


    Totally fixed the dark/muddy problem I was having with the Probuckers. Highly recommend a pickup swap!
    Last edited by stilwel; 01-02-20 at 10:58 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: NGD: Epiphone Bonamassa ES-355

    Upgraded the Bigsby B700 to a proper B7. Feels better, stays in tune better. It's just better.


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