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339 Qs

TommyTouch

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Feb 15, 2006
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1,050
I would love to hear your thoughts, observations, likes, dislikes, etc, of the 339. It looks like a cool guitar, there is a lot I like about the 339. I have played some in the stores. Please enlighten me with your experience on the 339. Thanks in advance.
 

woody-89

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Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
855
The only experience I can offer is after having played a friend's one. Gotta say I absolutely loved it! Really was like a cross between a LP and a 335 soundwise. Really gutsy but warm tone. Had a HUGE neck as well, don't know how it'd compare to an R7 or similar, but sure felt big enough for me!
 

johnreardon

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Mar 15, 2006
Messages
544
Not sure if the 339 came with different neck options, however, the neck on mine is definitely not huge. It's very close to the neck on my R0. Most certainly not as big as the baseball bat on my My R7.

My 339 is a great player and, to me, sounds closer to a 335 than an LP. My 336 is the other way round, closer to an LP.

Just remembered that they do do a 339 with a fat neck. Apparently the model is called a 3399, the extra 9 indicating the fat neck
 

Monroe

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Mar 11, 2008
Messages
1,140
The one I had had a 60/30 neck. I sold it a buddy after about one week. I was hoping it would fit nicely between my Les Pauls and my 336. I stuggled to find a reason to keep it, not because it wasn't a great sounding/playing guitar, but I just never reached for it thinking, "Perfect guitar for this song".
 

access

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Dec 3, 2001
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1,625
The one I had had a 60/30 neck. I sold it a buddy after about one week. I was hoping it would fit nicely between my Les Pauls and my 336. I stuggled to find a reason to keep it, not because it wasn't a great sounding/playing guitar, but I just never reached for it thinking, "Perfect guitar for this song".

That was my experience exactly.

I have a 335 and les pauls, but the 339 just didnt do either one any justice.

It doesn't quite have the swollen sustain of a 335 nor does it have the focus of a LP.

I think it would be a great 335 alternative for guys who are of smaller stature.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,114
I have an Antique Red with the 30/60 neck from the first batch. I have a love/dis-like(not hate.. too strong a word for this guitar) relationship. It has nice sustain and a nice tone, but it pretty airy sounding. Even my SG/LP has a more solid sound. But, sustain-wise it's pretty good but I sort of equate it to 335-lite.
I've done a bit of up-grading on it: 1" bushings and steel studs, Mapleflame mod but with brass instead of S.S., Pat. Pend. Grovers, ThroBak SLE-101 Ltd.'s and a set of pots from `62. It's a nice guitar to play, but plugged-in I'd love a bit more bottom end out of it. I guess thicker is the word I'm looking at.
The neck isn't as thin as my R-0, but not as big as my R-4 or R-7 Custom or R-8.
 
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TommyTouch

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Feb 15, 2006
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Thanks for the replies. What about the "Memphis tone circuit" that comes with the 339? Do you like/dislike it? Is the Memphis tone circuit usable, what does it do for the guitar?
 

mgenet

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Sep 18, 2010
Messages
53
Good thread. My next guitar will be an ES-339.

Can't wait.

RE: Memphis Tone Circuit; "Memphis tone circuit preserves the guitar's high frequencies no matter where you adjust the volume control"
 

LPBlues

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Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
195
Love my 339, I have the fat neck version. My only complaint is the bottom cutaway/horn is a bit tight for my hands so I have to adjust my playing a little around the 17th fret. I haven't noticed the tone circuit being all that special but I do like the sound of the guitar. It's very comfortable to sit with too.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,114
Thanks for the replies. What about the "Memphis tone circuit" that comes with the 339? Do you like/dislike it? Is the Memphis tone circuit usable, what does it do for the guitar?
"Memphis Tone Circuit" is nothing more than Gibson's original `50's wiring scheme from 50+ years ago. That's all. They used 500K pots and wired the tone cap to the middle lug of the volume pot.
I did install a set of Centralab 500K pots from `62 and real Bee's in mine. Don't much care for the shoddy pots that Gibson Custom uses.
 

guitarzan55

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Aug 27, 2011
Messages
5
I love my 339. I've got the fat neck which is what i'm used to.

I also have les paul, and don't really equate it with the Les Paul --
Much more like a 335.

I really like the bell tone quality of the 339. It Rings -- sounds sweet.

Referencing the poster who couldn't think of a song that the 339 was ideal for ... my experience has been the opposite. I find it hard to find a song that can't be perfectly played by my 339.

It does get tight up top, and getting above fret 17/18 does take some adjustment.


But, believe me; this thing absolutely sings. Sweeter than the Les Paul, a little chimier than the 335 (if that is possible).

Get one.
 

guitarzan55

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Aug 27, 2011
Messages
5
Good thread. My next guitar will be an ES-339.

Can't wait.

RE: Memphis Tone Circuit; "Memphis tone circuit preserves the guitar's high frequencies no matter where you adjust the volume control"

You probably won't regret it. I play my les paul less and less these days -- the 339 is great for jazz, ideal for classic rock, 50's blues --

You can find a guitar that can play any genre better than the 339, but the magic of the 339 is that it's so versatile, and able to play practically all genres.
Again, it might depend upon the individual guitar -- perhaps I got lucky, but nevertheless, it's a phenemonal guitar.
 

Bluespower

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
3,419
Memphis tone circuit is not my favorite. A slight change tone/vol knob has dramitc change in volume and tone.
To turn it up a "little bit" is not easy. I guess I'm used to normal audio pots with gradual changes.
 

J T

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,150
I have one of the first run's Custom Shop with the 59 neck. Great guitar. I pull it out a lot. The only thing I changed was I put on a vintage swtich tip and knurled nut just cause I had them.

One thing nobody mentioned is that it has tall frets.

The antique cherry kind of looks almost candy apple red in certain light.
 

Curious Mike

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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
64
I have a 2012 339, one of the last from the custom shop. I really like the way it plays, it seems to bring the freak out of me a bit more, plus it's pretty.... d708mgrksj2vdop5ctsn.jpg
 

C-4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,756
I have an Antique Red with the 30/60 neck from the first batch. I have a love/dis-like(not hate.. too strong a word for this guitar) relationship. It has nice sustain and a nice tone, but it pretty airy sounding. Even my SG/LP has a more solid sound. But, sustain-wise it's pretty good but I sort of equate it to 335-lite.
I've done a bit of up-grading on it: 1" bushings and steel studs, Mapleflame mod but with brass instead of S.S., Pat. Pend. Grovers, ThroBak SLE-101 Ltd.'s and a set of pots from `62. It's a nice guitar to play, but plugged-in I'd love a bit more bottom end out of it. I guess thicker is the word I'm looking at.
The neck isn't as thin as my R-0, but not as big as my R-4 or R-7 Custom or R-8.
I as well, had a 339 from the first batch, a flamed model, and loved it, but as said above, it didn't have the punch of a LP, nor the fuller sound of a 3X5. Also, I found the smaller cutaways prevented me from comfortably using the upper frets. I used it live for about a year.

Previously, I had 5 CS-359's, 3 of them with a '59 neck profile, and after the 339F, later on, I re-tried a regular 339 and found that my thoughts, as stated above, were again verified, so the guitar again was sold.

The 359's were really nice, but playing at volume, the guitar fed back uncontrollably as a solid wood arch top jazz guitar would, which is the reason I sold them. I thought the 339 would alleviate the howling, which it did, but the sound, although good, was just not satisfying me.

I went back to R9's, and the day the Murphy Lab guitars were introduced, I ordered a M2M -'59 ML in ultra light aging in watermelon red.

While I love semi-solid body Gibsons, I finally came to realize that the smaller versions, while a great idea, were just not for me. ymmv :)
 

renderit

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Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,111
30/60 CS 2012.

Tried more pickups in it until I found bog standard Wizz seemed to suit it.

I need to replace the nut though. I has always sucked.

35711464193_6761612679_3k.jpg
 
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