A good customer of mine has asked me to sell this used, but exceptionally clean Gibson ES335-S for him – A 2011 model with a classic vintage sunburst finish – Maybe at first I was a touch unsure about its quality, tonal character and playing performance, but granted this was before I viewed and played it – Many of the more budget flavoured Gibson Guitars can be a bit hit or miss, so I was surprised at how well this Gibson performed – Granted it is not the most expensive or indeed the finest Gibson you could ever buy, but for under a £1000 it has few competitors and therefore offers outstanding performance qualities for its price- Note new low price – Was £939 – Now £849
One owner since new and in exceptionally fine fettle, so close scrutiny is required to detect any signs of previous use – And most of that is found between the 2 humbuckers around the ‘scratchplate’ area, from minor pick mark wear and I mean ‘minor’ – The nitro gloss finish just about reveals no signs of use and certainly no hint of a nick or ding – Frets are fine and the black Gibson case is also in excellent condition – Re-strung and set up with a set of 10’s and a sensible fluid playing action that responds to a light touch
I’m a touch unsure as to why it is called a 335-S – It obviously refers to a solid body with no acoustic chambers, but don’t expect it to perform like a 335 – Yet equally it is not a Les Paul or an SG – However it does have a lot going for it – A slim maple body, with a one piece maple neck ensures it possesses more clarity, with less moody mids, than a LP would deliver – So after all, maybe it does possess more of the clear, fat and warm qualities that a 335 delivers – The body is maybe a touch deeper than an SG, but certainly slimmer than a Les Paul – Spec’d with a Granadillo fingerboard – My initial viewing was that it might be an ebony board, but reading the spec sheet on the Gibson site is when I discovered it is Granadillo – It maybe does not quite look as black as ebony, but it is darker than rosewood, with a smooth and even grained pattern
To be fair to Gibson they have not tried to add to much to the guitars glamour status, preferring to spend appropriate funds on the build quality and components to ensure a superior playing performance – So at the heart of the tone department you’ll find a pair of Gibson Burstbuckers with alnico 11 magnets – A Burstbucker 1 with a 7.4K output sits in the neck position, whilst a Burstbucker 2 with a 7.90K output sits in the bridge position – Whilst the Burstbuckers possess a vintage flavoured output and tonal character, sometimes they can be a touch to moody, especially in the mid range area – But thanks to the maple construction this 335-S sounds fat and warm with more of a single coil clarity about it – It has enough about it to sound interesting and lush on clean amp settings, with plenty of warmth from the neck pick-up and a brighter but still rich character from the bridge pick-up – Separate volume controls, so a master tone pot, allows you to blend the two pick-ups subtle but effective tonal variations – Add some gain on the amp and the warm, but clear voice of BB King is apparent – Again lush chilled out chords and riffs sound pleasant on the neck pick-up whilst more of a hot country twang and bite is delivered via the bridge pick-up – Add some hi-gain on the amp to take you to the land of Foo Fighters – Again the humbuckers retain their single coil clarity so riffs and power chords are tight, clear and focused – No one guitar does it all. but this 335-S offers plenty of expressive qualities
The neck has a C profile that has a medium plus depth to it – Not far, but a touch more meat than many SG’s, so par for the course for many 335’s – It measures .820″ around the top nut end and .965″ around the 12th fret, so just enough girth to be easy to handle – 22 medium jumbo frets allow for a slick easy action and effortless string bending with a set of 10’s
I’ll endorse my earlier comments that it offers a good performance for its price and has some individual qualities about it that you won’t find on a Les Paul or SG – As such it can stand on its own 2 feet, or be part of a collection – By the way it does weigh in at 9lbs, so more of an LP weight and I dare say the maple body is guilty for a touch more weight
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Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A journey, now in excess of 40 years, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
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