#1
I've played acoustic guitar for over 10 years and have been in a couple of small not-that-serious bands. I'm now looking to enter into the electric guitar realm. I want to make a good investment and am looking for versatility, as I realize the music I like/play now will probably change down the road. I started with my eyes on a fender telecaster, but soon feel in love with the Gibson ES-335. I love the sounds that come out of this guitar and, being an acoustic guitar player, I find myself more at home with it's larger, semi-hollow body than I do with other solid body electrics. But now I find myself balking at the price. I jumped quickly from thinking I was only going to spend about $1,000 to looking at a guitar that is going to run me $2,500+.

So I guess I have three main questions:

1. Is the ES-335 worth it?

2. Concerning models, I've looked at the cheaper versions, like the Satin Finish, and wonder if that's the way to go, as I really can't distinguish the main difference between it and the Dot plain top gloss, etc.

3. As I have never bought an electric before, I was wondering what strategies others like me have used in the past when purchasing a new guitar. Is it worth it to just go ahead and buy a new Gibson, and if so, is a retailer like musicians friend the best way to go? Or is the used market somewhere I need to look, and if so, where? I don't really trust eBay. I feel like you never really know what you are going to get.

I really appreciate your help and answers to any of my questions.
#2
First of all, 335s are fantastic guitars. They can do a little bit of everything tonally, and I personally love the feel and shape of them. Your enthusiasm for it makes me think that you also are a fan, which is awesome.

that said, I have a 1981 Ibanez AS-50, a 335 clone from Japan, which is leaps and bounds better than any modern 335 I have ever played. The market is saturated with copies that are fantastic and I suggest you take a look at them. The modern Gibson name is not worth the price tag, however there are many brands that are. Also look into old Japanese made copies by Ibanez and the like as they are great guitars for a much lesser price. If you are willing to go used you will find many good things within your stated budget.

Also, what are you doing/what have you got for an amp for this guitar you wish to buy?
#4
From what I understand, an es-335 can do a lot. It can do jazz, but it also can do very hard rock. I'm pretty sure the rhythm guitarist from Velvet Revolver used one often
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#5
TS take a look at some of these guitars. Similar models by different companies, I can't guarantee they'll play the same as a Gibson will, but the sounds should be similar.

Ibanez AS103

Epiphone B.B. King Lucille

Ibanez AS93
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#6
Quote by nerdor257
First of all, 335s are fantastic guitars. They can do a little bit of everything tonally, and I personally love the feel and shape of them. Your enthusiasm for it makes me think that you also are a fan, which is awesome.

that said, I have a 1981 Ibanez AS-50, a 335 clone from Japan, which is leaps and bounds better than any modern 335 I have ever played. The market is saturated with copies that are fantastic and I suggest you take a look at them. The modern Gibson name is not worth the price tag, however there are many brands that are. Also look into old Japanese made copies by Ibanez and the like as they are great guitars for a much lesser price. If you are willing to go used you will find many good things within your stated budget.

Also, what are you doing/what have you got for an amp for this guitar you wish to buy?


Thanks for the advice. I'm a huge fan of the 335, and the more I do my research, the more it's hard for me to look at anything else. I'll check out the Ibanez. And I doubt I'll be playing much metal. I'm more of an indie/alternative, rock, blues kind of guy. And the amp: I'm playing a fender hot rod deluxe.
#7
gibson also released the 339/336 a while ago which are fantastic. mid way between a 335 and a les paul
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#8
although this one would be REALLY tough to find to test out, i absolutely love the gibson vegas. they aren't in production anymore, but they pop up on ebay pretty regularly. there's one on there now within your price range. i think it's a love-it-or-hate-it design, and it's really similar to the old fender starcaster. anyway, just throwing that out there! i don't think you'd be upset with the purchase of a 335, vegas, OR a tele! with the money you've got and what you're looking to get out of this guitar, i think i'd look into a nice tele custom. let us know what you end up with!
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#9
Take an ibanez AJD, has gorgeous body, semi acoustic and still has tremolo, both white and black finishes look sexy or an AMF73 (I own one) which is a new model, also semi acoustic but almost the size of an ordinary SG electric. Compared to its small size and sweet vintage look it has a sound as warm as a clumsy jazz guitar. It is also great for practicing without an amp Man i don't know what they are doing at Ibanez but it's peak quality for a price only fraction of a gibson.
#10
I love the 335 and find it to be a stunning guitar. Just to throw something different out there, check out Heritage. They are a lot more specialized than Gibson (in my opinion), but they are built in the original Gibson factory. They are both high end guitars, but Heritage is just unique, like seeing a Bentley