So I leisurely payed guitar center a visit the other day, as we all have, and I picked up a $1999 Gibson ES-335 off the rack in the isolation room, and hooked her up to my amp model, a Blues Junior. Now I've always thought that these gibsons are overpriced, as I've never really played a guitar over a thousand dollars and been impressed by it's value. That is, until I played this thing...

It was one of those experiences where you pick up a guitar and you play better than you ever have before, sounds better, feels better, everything clicks... and me, being a blues man, was extremely impressed. The workers at Guitar Center told me to bring my amp out and jam with them. A drummer asked where he can catch a gig of mine, and I don't have a band. And of course, the damn thing is $2000. My car cost less than that.

Really upset about the price, I then went and played the Epiphone DOT $399 version. Now I don't know if it was set up poorly, or if the strings were old or what, but that ****ing thing felt and sounded like a piece of shit. It felt like a toy compared to the real deal. I had higher hopes for it.

Then I tried the Sheraton II. Didn't sound nearly as good but felt a bit better.

My question is what is the best way to get to that level of performance without $2000. I'm 19 and live off minimum wage. There's no way I'll be able to afford that anytime soon.

What I was thinking, however, was finding an Epiphone DOT that actually feels nice in my hands, get it set up correctly, and swap the stock pickups for some '57 classics. I've been a fender person my whole guitar life so I'm looking for some gibson fellas to help me out a bit.

tl;dr, Gibson ES-335 too expensive, Epiphone DOT feels like crap, need alternative.

Thanks all, any help is appreciated, I'm quite distressed haha
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
Last edited by SlinkyBlue at Oct 5, 2008,
You'll never be able to get an Epiphone that matches the quality of the $2000 Gibson, that's why there's such a vast price difference... you get what you pay for, you know?

But there's plenty of great Gibson replicas aside from Epiphone... Try Tokai.. I'm not so sure they do ES-335 replicas but I picked up a Tokai Les Paul and it sounds awesome compared to the Epiphone. Have a look around, but if Tokai do a 335 I'd say at least give it a try. They're great guitars.
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I bought a 60's ES-330 for cheap on ebay.

The new 335s are garbage compared to the old ones.

The other option is the Heritage 535 which is a much better and cheaper ES-335
Japanese copy off ebay is your best bet. Half the price most of the time.

Fear the LIME

You all don't like the idea of Epi. Dot w/ Gibson '57s?
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
Find an Elitist Dot. They're WAY better than the regular production Dots. They only make them in natural now but I'm sure you can find one in cherry on ebay or somewhere.
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Quote by SlinkyBlue
You all don't like the idea of Epi. Dot w/ Gibson '57s?

It's not that everybody doesn't like it. If you happen to find an Epi. Dot that you like then feel more then welcome to buy it. Everybody's just giving you other options you can look at. We gotch'o back.

I'd probably take your path if I was looking for a nice semi-hollow body. I also want a Gibson ES-335, but it's way outa my price range and I got other guitars on my list ahead of it.
Used ftw... that said, everyone is not going to get the miracle deal of a '60s Gibson for under $1000. Some of the newer, MIJ Epiphone semi-hollows seem like nice guitars. Another option is to get the Epiphone and try new pickups. Or you could look at a MIJ used copy like Tokai.
Quote by l3p4rd

I'm not tryin to be a beatle =) but yeah they're cool guitars.

Hmm. About that Elitist Dot, my local GC doesn't have one in stock, and I'm skeptical about spending 1300 on a epiphone. Is it really worth that? Why not go the extra mile and save up the last 700, you know?

On the subject of pickups... I can imagine that changing pickups on this body can be quite difficult. Anyone have any experience with this?

If I got an Epiphone Dot 400$ that I thought played well, and put a Classic '57 in the neck and Classic '57 Plus in the bridge, I'm good to go aren't I? Those are basically the bees knees for this tone, I hear... but the reason I'm thinking twice is the installation issues.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
get a Grestch, or Gretsh(I can't spell it) They're old, but I liked it better than the ES-335
I really don't have enough experience to make a valid comment probably but I have the Ibanez AS73 and I have heard more than once that you can switch the pick ups with the '57's and get a great 335 sound out of it.
Quote by xander307
Steal it

Just buy a Dot, and shove the Gibson in the case that the Dot came in! What could possably go wrong!

But I doubt you would ever find a guitar that actually plays as good. I've played an Elitist Les Paul, but that didn't feel like the Gibson Les Paul, so I'm guessing it would be the same with the ES335. Neither did a Tokai Les Paul. But, maybe a Gretsch would be a good idea, they sound good, and play really nice aswell.

I recommend one.
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I agree with a few posts above me, if you're not completely dedicated to the ES 335, check out gretsch g5120, or some ibanez artcores
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