• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

What's a good deal on a ES 3XX guitar?

StSpider

New member
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Messages
2,146
Last month I was in London and foolishly decided to try out a new ES 355, fell quite in love with it and have been looking at the 335 family ever since.

I don't want to spend a lot of cash on it tho, but I'll be willing to look at anything that has:

2 humbuckers

decent sized neck at least (I like fat ones)

abr bridge

doesn't weight a ton

sounds airy enough.

I'm considering Studios, 333s, older, newer, used, you name it. Maybe even other brands too! I'm not afraid to swap pickups it needed. What's your suggestion? Thanks guys.
 

fakejake

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
1,210
In all seriousness, try an old Korean-made Epiphone Sheraton from the late 80ies, early 90ies. These are simply phantastic guitars, very well made, and tick all the boxes you mentioned. There is usually a couple that are for sale in the UK, and you can get one for around 500-600 pounds. If you need, you can always drop in a set of boutique PAFs and new wiring harness, but the pickups in the one's I've tried so far sounded really really good. If I wouldn't have a great 335 already, I'd probaly go for one of those Sheratons as well.
 

zombiwoof

Active member
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,565
I've seen some recent Memphis 335's that have those features, nice rounded fatter neck, ABR bridge, etc. that are priced under 3K in US dollars. I've seen some really nice looking ones, and the Memphis guitars have been getting good reviews.
Al
 

pjisaacs

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
39
I know you said humbuckers - but best value is a 60's 330.

Different to the 335 because of no centre block, but they're amazing value at the moment and sound incredible
 

tonyj

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2010
Messages
384
Last month I was in London and foolishly decided to try out a new ES 355, fell quite in love with it and have been looking at the 335 family ever since.

I don't want to spend a lot of cash on it tho, but I'll be willing to look at anything that has:

2 humbuckers

decent sized neck at least (I like fat ones)

abr bridge

doesn't weight a ton

sounds airy enough.

I'm considering Studios, 333s, older, newer, used, you name it. Maybe even other brands too! I'm not afraid to swap pickups it needed. What's your suggestion? Thanks guys.

The one guitar that ticks all the boxes is an ES339. Great guitar, a choice of necks and just so similar but a tad smaller than the ES335.

ES333s can be hard to find, but are another great choice.
 

Curious Mike

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
60
I was one of the lucky ones that scored a Cherry 335 when CME had their blowout sale a couple years back, I think it's one of the best guitars I have. I also have a 330 and a 390, all three are completely different animals, but I like the feel of the 335 best, it has that solid body action that's hard to explain...
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
19,821
I second the Epiphone idea. Sure they are asian made, so what?

333 or 335 studio are are great options.

And as you know a 330 isn't even related to a 335 except in the look (sort of)
 

EdmundGTP

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
41
Just keep saving $ and get what you really want. Skip the short term compromise. You'll be better off in the long run.
 

EXPLRGAB

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
47
Just keep saving $ and get what you really want. Skip the short term compromise. You'll be better off in the long run.
EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT ME......IN MOST THINGS...LIKE GUITARS, GUNS AND BOATS......BUY ONCE CRY ONCE...THE NEXT CRITICAL TASK IS...KNOWING WHAT TO BUY.....THESE ARE DIFFICULT GOALS....IF IT WERE EASY ANYONE COULD DO IT.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
33
I think the ES-335 Dot reissues (kind of the Gibson standard for ES-335's prior to all the specific year reissues) are a good buy. Generally these can or should be found for around $2000-2400 USD. I would agree with the people that said not skimp, to save up and get something really good. The Epiphones are plastic-y feeling in my opinion, and lack majorly compared to a true Gibson. Satin finish guitars like a 335 studio, etc... are also a bit of a let down overall. In my formative years I made some quick purchase decisions on guitars that looked great and seemed like a great buy, an Epiphone Zephyr Regent ES-5 style guitar comes to mind, and it was never inspiring. And this is prior to me becoming an insufferable vintage guitar snob, but even then I could not be inspired by that thing. Same goes for some MIJ Fenders I went through. That being said, finding amazing deals on cheaper guitars and reselling them for more could be a nice gateway to trying a ton of things and also building a guitar fund to propel your budget into a guitar you really love. I did that for years and have been able to procure a relatively enviable stable of vintage golden era Fender and Gibsons, without ever feeling like I was actually spending money. All guitar fund spending, which starts to feel a bit like poker chips. Finding a 90's to early 2000's dot reissue though, will definitely scratch your itch and leave with a guitar you can grow with and that won't quickly have you lusting for an upgrade.
 

Curious Mike

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
60
I agree, the Epiphone 339 Pro I bought did not even come close to the feel of my Gibsons, The new Epiphones seem to be a little better, I did buy an Epiphone Les Paul Special P90 TV special just because they were so under priced, and it did sound really good and was really nicely built but still felt odd to me with the high shouldered neck and plastic feeling finish, I'll stick to my Gibsons......
 

Keefoman

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
453
If I didn't already have a Gibson ES-335, I would seriously consider a new Epiphone. A couple of years ago I got a '98 Korean Epi ES-335 Dot with Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz combo fitted. It's a very good guitar, especially considering the price, and Epiphone has cranked it up a notch since then with better electronics and hardware.
 

Bob H.

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2003
Messages
467
You might look at Eastman T486 and their similar models. Incredible bargains because they’re made in China, but excellent workmanship and specs (Duncan HBs and ebony boards to name two). Plenty of videos on YouTube - great sounding instruments. I’d take one over a new 335. My brother just bought a used one yesterday on Reverb.
 

metropolis

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
227
Given we're both in the UK I'll give you one strange observation and that's second hand prices seem to be ridiculous for the 3xx models. If you look at brand new models they're only a couple of hundred pounds more than pretty much all the second hand ones are, even ones in rough condition. I've been looking at a 335 or 345 and quite frankly would just take the plunge and buy new which is normally not my thing to do at all.
 
Top