NGD: Epiphone (IB Gibson) ES-335 Traditional Pro

Flybydaybry

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 5, 2022
19
England
Nice! I picked up an early 80s Yamaha copy about 25 years ago. It’s also a great guitar and by all accounts better made than the Gibsons of that era. Nice pickups that have split coil wiring available. It plays fantastically well and it’s been a real workhorse over the years.
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drp146

Strat-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 8, 2020
407
Oklahoma
Can't say enough good things about this guitar. Punches well above it's weight for the price paid, fit and finish are fantastic. Set-up from the factory is actually playable (needs nut slots adjusted and a basic setup like any other off the rack production guitar), and the pickups actually sound really good (with the caveat that the coil taps suck). I'm used to Epi's of the past that have had super hot, unusable pickups. These are different and sound fantastic. I'm an edge of breakup, low to moderate OD type of player and have no plans to change anything on the guitar. So far this guitar pairs great with a Barber Gain Changer.

I think these are some sort of special run in these colors (black, Inverness green, gold and wine red) for Musician's Friend/Guitar center. They have split coil hum buckers, a treble bleed circuit and say "Inspired by Gibson" on the label inside the f-hole. Musician's Friend had the inverness green on sale for $399 for yesterday's SDOTD, and Guitar Center has them on sale now for $499.99, and just marked down the red to $449.99. I was tempted to get the inverness green, but doesn't really suit my style and went for the gold. I bought mine online and picked it up in the store earlier today. Guy went to the back and brought out the guitar, unopened, new in the box. Took it out and made sure it looked good and played it next to a floor model they had in the same color. preferred the one I was handed in the box and went on my way. Been playing it all day. Intended on putting on some D'Addario EXL110's and giving it a proper set-up today, but that will have to wait because I've been having too much fun playing it.

I'll say it again...this guitar punches quite a bit above it's weight. Of course it may not be as refined as a Gibson, but it gets you most of the way there for a fraction of the price. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Gibson with humbuckers since regretfully selling off my SG's a few years ago to pay for grad school (was determined to graduate without any student loan debt). Was looking at several differnt SG's and a bunch of different Les Pauls (including an R8). Came to the conclusion that I really didn't want to shell out that kind of money for anything new, and used prices right now are just out of control, so I decided to give the Epiphone a shot. I have no regrets. This isn't the Epi's of years past where the f-holes are crude and the finish is thick and glopped on with crappy pickups and dental floss thin wire and switches that crap out a month later. The neck profile is full and the fretboard looks great. It's the perfect compliment to my Strats and Teles.

If you're on the fence about one of these I'd say just go for it.

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Looks great!
 

Tratocaster

Strat-Talker
Mar 22, 2013
471
Colorado
Update:

Got around to setting up the guitar. It didn't need that much. Had to adjust the truss rod a little (neck had no relief), lower the action and fine tune the intonation.

Stock Wilkinson tuners are junk, especially the g-string tuner. Very rough and "grind". They just feel cheap and sloppy, but still is a fine guitar overall for the price paid. I read somewhere that the Kluson Deluxe are a direct drop-in replacement for this guitar, and considering pulling the trigger on a set. Would be well worth it for an otherwise fantastic guitar and can't say enough about how nice the stock pickups are.
 
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matsont123

Strat-Talk Member
Silver Member
Mar 30, 2018
14
Oregon
Congratulations on your new guitar. I looked at the Epiphone 335's about 3-4 years back and agree the quality is much better than many of the Epi's I looked at back in 2007. If I didn't already have my modded '07 Korean made Sheraton II I would think seriously about getting one of these. I recently sold my '79 Yamaha SA2000 which was built closer to the 335/345 specs most people tend to associate with the 335 than the Sheraton. I read Tony Bacon's book on the ES 335 and it's amazing how over time the 335 had changed or morphed into other models and how often it's construction and materials used changed. The SA2000 was a nice guitar but I aquired a SC1200 and something had to go and the Sheraton II won out.
 

bmikultyak

Strat-Talker
Feb 28, 2020
145
NJ
I bought an Epiphone DOT Studio in the early 2000s and it played and looked great. Got it from MF in the worn cherry. It's actually a very rich red color and when I told MF, they changed the picture on the site. I changed to flat would jazz strings and it really has a controllable clean to distortion sound. The only drawback was lack of pickguard so I hit StewMac for one and added the cross decal.
 

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Stu78

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 20, 2019
2,417
Scotland
Had a 2014 Les Paul Traditional Pro. Wish I'd never sold it. ☹️ Great guitar but I'm firmly a Strat man now. Screenshot_20220312-162019_Gallery.jpg
 

hill hippie

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 28, 2022
12
usa
HNGD! I am also impressed with the Inspired by Gibson 335's.

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i bought the inspired by gibson epi firebird,fully with the intention of immediatley putting new picups,and guitar harness in it. so far this firebird sounds so good,that im leaning towards no mods,but im still in the honey moon period. i have a couple nice,more expensive guitars,and the firebird is maybe my favorite?! im kinda still in denile,and confused. lol! ill eventually get it togethor,i hope!
 

hill hippie

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 28, 2022
12
usa
i bought the inspired by gibson epi firebird,fully with the intention of immediatley putting new picups,and guitar harness in it. so far this firebird sounds so good,that im leaning towards no mods,but im still in the honey moon period. i have a couple nice,more expensive guitars,and the firebird is maybe my favorite?! im kinda still in denile,and confused. lol! ill eventually get it togethor,i hope!
im sorry if im too off topic for this forum,i just gave that some thought,duh! again,i apologize.
 

Handsome McClane

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Sep 6, 2020
2,145
Sacramento
Beautiful. Love that color. Congrats!

I bought an Epi ES339 with my first stimulus check. The build quality is superb, feels as good as any of the Gibsons I've owned. Good pickups too.

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Tratocaster

Strat-Talker
Mar 22, 2013
471
Colorado
Update: I swapped out the stock Wilkinson tuners for a set of Kluson Deluxes. Saying it is a major improvement would be an understatement. I'm not one to be a tuner snob or replace stuff if there isn't a reason to, and have always kept th stock tuners on the Squier Classic Vibes and MIM guitars I've owned because they all worked as they should. These Wilkinson tuners are a differnt story. They're just pure garbage to be blunt. I found myself constantly having to tune the guitar, and forget about bending and playing pedal steel licks because the guitar just kept going flat. The g-string tuner was especially bad and the tuning peg itself was really sloppy and had a grinding feel to it.

The Tuners themselves were a direct drop in, but the shafts of the Klusons are bigger than the shafts on the Wilkinsons, so that meant I had to swap out the bushings (I was hoping I could just keep the Wilkinson bushings, but no dice). This meant I had to ream the holes a little to accommodate the Kluson bushings. After that it was just plug and play as the screw holes lined up perfectly.

Also bought a nice case which should arrive sometime this afternoon (some sort of brown covering with a pick interior and that pink cover that goes over the guitar just like the old Gibson cases used to have). All in all the is still a great guitar. $499 for the guitar, $150 for the case and $50 for the tuners and $15 for the reflector knobs, so I'm in it for $715, which is still a fantastic deal. The sound of the guitar is fantastic and it played even better after I set it up myself (relief, action, nut slots and intonation). Pickups are a bit hot, but not like the pickups many of us may be used to that came in Epiphones back in the day. I may experiment with adjusting the pickup heights at some point, but they really sound good the way they are and they definitely push the Deluxe Reverb into break-up much sooner than my guitars with single coils do.

This guitar would be a great compliment for someone who plays single coils most of the time but wants something different once in a while but doesn't want to spend a ton. You might have better luck than I did with the stock tuners, but even after replacing them it's still more than worth it, and I'm sure most of you can easily do it yourself.
 
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harrisonguitars

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 18, 2020
18
Raleigh, NC
Update: I swapped out the stock Wilkinson tuners for a set of Kluson Deluxes. Saying it is a major improvement would be an understatement. I'm not one to be a tuner snob or replace stuff if there isn't a reason to, and have always kept th stock tuners on the Squier Classic Vibes and MIM guitars I've owned because they all worked as they should. These Wilkinson tuners are a differnt story. They're just pure garbage to be blunt. I found myself constantly having to tune the guitar, and forget about bending and playing pedal steel licks because the guitar just kept going flat. The g-string tuner was especially bad and the tuning peg itself was really sloppy and had a grinding feel to it.

The Tuners themselves were a direct drop in, but the shafts of the Klusons are bigger than the shafts on the Wilkinsons, so that meant I had to swap out the bushings (I was hoping I could just keep the Wilkinson bushings, but no dice). This meant I had to ream the holes a little to accommodate the Kluson bushings. After that it was just plug and play as the screw holes lined up perfectly.

Also bought a nice case which should arrive sometime this afternoon (some sort of brown covering with a pick interior and that pink cover that goes over the guitar just like the old Gibson cases used to have). All in all the is still a great guitar. $499 for the guitar, $150 for the case and $50 for the tuners and $15 for the reflector knobs, so I'm in it for $715, which is still a fantastic deal. The sound of the guitar is fantastic and it played even better after I set it up myself (relief, action, nut slots and intonation). Pickups are a bit hot, but not like the pickups many of us may be used to that came in Epiphones back in the day. I may experiment with adjusting the pickup heights at some point, but they really sound good the way they are and they definitely push the Deluxe Reverb into break-up much sooner than my guitars with single coils do.

This guitar would be a great compliment for someone who plays single coils most of the time but wants something different once in a while but doesn't want to spend a ton. You might have better luck than I did with the stock tuners, but even after replacing them it's still more than worth it, and I'm sure most of you can easily do it yourself.
My thoughts exactly and that's a good assessment of the Epi tuners.
 


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