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I for one am glad to see that the Gibson ES339, in some form or another, now earns a fairly regular place within the Gibson price list  – The trend for small bodied semi-acoustic guitars is growing – Hence the PRS Hollow body, the Collings I-35, or the Gibson Custom Shop CS336/356 – All are now established and desirable models within todays market place – But they do come pre-loaded with expensive price tags – Taking this on board, Gibson have taken the ethos of the classic ES335, reduced the dimensions of the body a touch, with the end result being a more compact semi-acoustic guitar and christened it the ES339 – As such it will suit players who are more use to solid body models like a Les Paul, but require the versatile tonal qualities of a 335 – Furthermore any dietician’s out there will love the overall weight of this ES339, as it only just touches 7lbs and 12oz on my digital scales – I’ve always had some kind of love hate relationship with 335’s – They should suit me and the style of music I like to play – But no matter if I’m sitting or standing, they just feel to big for me – The 339 is ideal – Maybe my pics don’t quite do the guitar justice – Use less light and it looks solid black – Use to much light and it looks ‘more gray’ – It is a translucent finish, as such you can see the maple grain through the gloss finish – Maybe more subtle than obvious, but it adds a touch of class to the visual package

This ES339 has a 2022 date of birth and maybe as you’d expect, from a two year old guitar, it has not seen alot of action, so overall you’ll find it is in exceptionally clean condition – Certainly no nicks or dings, so a closer inspection is required to find any hint of a superficial light surface grazes on the trans ebony gloss finish – It might not be quite in that ‘as new condition’ but it is only a notch or two below that tag – Maybe a touch of tarnish to the nickel hardware (mainly humbucker covers) is the only obvious sign of previous usage   – Priced at £1890 and that includes the deluxe Gibson case, along with various, tags, warranty card, strap, manual and a soft polishing cloth – Re-strung and set-up with a set of 10’s and a sensible easy fluid playing action – Spec is very similar to a ES335 with a solid centre maple block, that is surrounded by a bound laminate maple/poplar/maple body – Whilst a one piece mahogany neck, supports a cream bound rosewood fingerboard, that is simply embellished with a set of pearloid dot inlays – The ‘Rounded C’ neck profile measures .857″ around the top nut end, then fattens out to  .951″ around the 12th fret – It is comfortable and easy to handle with a medium depth to it, that fits neatly between the chunky late 50’s profiles, and the slimmer early 60’s profiles – 22 medium jumbo frets  – The guitar still retains the traditional Gibson scale length, fingerboard radius and top nut width – Note a Graph Tech top nut (factory fitted) – Fitted with a complete set of nickel plated hardware including the vintage spec ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge, mounted on the vintage/traditional ‘skinny’ posts – Light weight aluminium tailpiece  – Grover Rotomatic machine heads with the kidney buttons  – Note the ES339 was born in Nashville, as per all Gibson Guitars today – Trimmings are generally as per a 335, hence crest headstock inlay, dot inlays on the fingerboard, plus silver discs on the black top hat control knobs

Tone is provided by a pair of Gibson 57 Classic paf flavoured pick-ups – To be more precise, a Classic 57 sits in the neck position, whilst a Classic 57+, with an ounce of extra juice, sits in the bridge position – Pick-ups measure a vintage flavoured 7.53K neck and 7.87K bridge, so overall the tone is more tender, against trying to kick down a barn door – Does the 339 produce the exact same tone as a 335 – Maybe yes, maybe no – I say that only as 335’s differ, not only from those built in different eras, be it 50’s or 60’s, but even within the same year/model etc – Some have fatter mids, that are closer related to an LP – Some are more transparent – My initial thoughts are that the 339, is a touch more snappy, with transparent mids and maybe a hint of less depth – But overall it is a 335 – Fitted with a set of CTS 500k audio taper pots that possess a smooth taper, with an even ‘roll off’ whilst preserving the highs as you reduce the volume level – Hence the volume pot does what it should do and not harm that precious tone, that you have paid so much for – Tone is very much what you would expect from a good 335 – Hence less moody mids than you’ll find on many Les Paul – Hence excellent articulation, expression and dynamics, whilst that fat, smooth warm vintage tone is always present, with shimmering clear highs – On clean and more subtle overdriven amp settings, it delivers all the quality and texture that the likes of Larry Carlton have enjoyed for years and as such is adored by jazz/blues players – Add some overdrive and it sings and wailllllls with a smooth, rich and clear musical voice – Like a 335, the 339 is a guitar that can work in almost any musical environment, hence easy to see why they are so popular in blues, jazz/fusion, classic rock, Indie, pop, funk etc etc – It possesses enough character to entertain a clean amp setting for a long time, so delve into the chilled out zone of jazz and blues as required – Yet equally it does not require a lot of gain to open up and sing – It is that you’ll find so much expression from lush blues chords, funky rhythm chops to cascading licks – I dare say if you want a shred based guitar then a 339 might not be the ideal guitar, but add enough gain on your amp to take you into the rock/blues land of Cream, Moore and Bonamassa – Hence a great all round guitar

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.