Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
This guitar is great for the blues and jazz. It works with certain rock genres. It works with "Cream" and early days "Led Zeppelin". If you're into Metal this is not the right one I suggest a Les Paul. Getting this guitar for Metal is like a leper giving you a facial it really doesn't work. With all the distortion and treble will just give you screeching and horrible feedback. The amps depend on what you're into. I use a Marshall amp and it gives a great John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers sound. You add a Dunlop Wah pedal and you get a "Cream". You add a little gain and treble (not a lot) and you can accomplish a Stevie Ray Vaughan tone but Strats work better for SRV. The sounds you can get from this guitar are amazing but relating to what I said before the sound varies on what kind of amp you use and/or what you are into.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said before I play the blues and jazz and I must say that the Gibson ES-335 is GOD's gift to the blues along with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy. I own a Fender Stratocaster and a bunch of others and a Dunlop Wah pedal. I've been playing for a while and must say the Marshall, Dunlop, and 335 combo is just magic. If my 335 were stolen or lost I would cry and definitely replace even though I would still be upset. I love the color and finish of the guitar but my favorite feature are those '57 Classics. That sound is unbelievable. I personally think Gibson makes one of the best semi-hollow with Grestch right behind them but not by a lot. Get this guitar and expect great results.
Reliability & Durability — 10
If you're into blues and jazz like me this guitar will not let you down. It's a little heavy so you need pretty durable guitar strap that can withstand it. This guitar is great as a main guitar for gigs. I honestly would still need a backup guitar to get certain tones that you can't get from humbuckers. This guitar can mimic them pretty well but it's but if you have a variety of guitars like me you can tell the difference. This guitar is extremely delicate! Please do not place this in a gig bag use a hardshell case and lay it flat. The case may have knobs to make it stand up but there still is a chance for it to fall down. Trust me from experience on that. You don't want end up with a $1700 guitar with a broken neck and wondering how it could have broke if it was in a hard shell case. Also do not use guitar hangers that let you hang the guitar by it's headstock on the wall. I think the guitar hanger is the worst invention for guitar containment. For that just hang your guitar by string on the top of the wall. Also do not place the guitar on a stand near sunlight. Doing so will only end in tears.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was great on mine when I got it and hammer-ons and pull-offs were heard clear as water. The humbuckers are perfectly placed and pickup everything great. The only flaw that occurred with me was that a piece of lacquer from the neck (underneath the fretboard) flicked off. Thankfully I bought it from Guitar Center and they're great to work with and replaced the guitar with another they had in stock.
Features — 10
The guitar was made in 2006 down in Memphis. It has 20 frets and a rosewood fretboard. The body is made of mahogany as well as the neck and you have a great grip on the neck and can go up and down the frets easily and the wood looks amazing on it. It has a laminated top but I would have preferred a solid but the satin cherry finish on mine takes my attention completely off the top. I personally like the satin finish better than lacquer finishes because lacquer takes away tone from the guitar unless they used nitrocellulose which really unheard of on guitars these days. The 335 makes you feel like you're either Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Freddie King, or Alvin Lee depending on what kind of music you like but this guitar won't make you play like them. The 3-way selector and '57 classic humbuckers work wonders together.