Playing my Epi ES339 today.

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Paul G., Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Crap, I would have killed for a guitar this good when I was 15.

    Of course, by the time I was 17 I had a Gibson (SG Special), so I guess I win.

    Still, that Epi sure is nice.

    P.
     
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  2. thatbastarddon

    thatbastarddon Well-Known Member

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    Guessing from what I've seen from you before Paul, I'd be willing to bet that your 339 is pretty sweet. It's nice to see the Epi love coming from a person that has some really sweet Gibsons on hand. Pic's please...
     
  3. John61

    John61 Active Member

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    Perfect mix of LP and 335. I know if I played one, I'd have to buy it. But I just don't have the room for another guitar. Damn it.
     
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  4. ultra80096

    ultra80096 New Member

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    +1. Have one of them myself in natural. Comfortable playing & sounds so good!
     
  5. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    +2 - I also have a pretty blonde. Really comfortable to play, particularly when you compare it to a monster 335. And as for the build quality - I've looked at the various joints with a magnifying glass, and I can't see a single point where they could have done better.
     
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  6. Robert Herndon

    Robert Herndon Well-Known Member

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    Ya...getting laughed at with a 59 Sears Silvertone was no fun...but, with a Quarter Pounder and playing through a DOD FX50 into a beat up, yet cranked, Traynor Bass Head/Ampeg 6x10 cabinet, gave me a little street cred...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
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  7. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    A Vintage Sunburst would look nice in my Armory...

    3_9_1.jpg
     
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  8. RVA

    RVA Well-Known Member

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    I just grabbed my 336 and smiled. Thank you for the inspiration!
     
  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    +3 ...mine also is a blonde ES-339, but mine's sporting P-90s.
    Blonde@100.jpg
    I really like this guitar! It's heavier than an SG by about a pound, but that puts
    it comfortably in the 8 lb (3.5 Kilos) Telecaster class, so it's no problem. The blonde finish is nicely
    done, the neck is comfortable with fret-over binding, very nicely done. I really like the clear finish
    on the mahogany neck, from the back it looks like this:
    neck back 2@100.jpg

    Mine also had excellent build quality except for a couple of "normal" Epiphone issues:
    The switch began to crackle after about a year of use, so I bought a whole new wiring
    harness and a set of Rose Pickups P-90s and replaced everything. It's such a bitch to
    do this on a semi-hollow body guitar like this, I only wanted to do it once.

    Somebody should tell Epiphone to install better parts on a guitar that's this difficult to
    work on. Or else rout us a back door into the works, like on our SGs. I actually considered
    doing this, but figured if I rebuilt the inner workings with high quality parts, there'd be no
    need to dig around in there again. Anyway, I like this guitar enough to invest in some
    good components. So I did. But I played it for about a year stock, just to get acquainted with
    what it can do and how it fits into my style.

    The stock pickups didn't sound bad at all, especially when you consider how little I paid for
    this instrument. If the original switch hadn't started to crap out, I'd still be playing it stock.
    When I pulled out the issue wiring harness (everything has to come out through the F-hole)
    the pots said CTS on them.

    I had only one issue with the original guts... but because of how
    much hassle it is to work the parts out of the instrument (with fishing lines tied to them so I could
    drag the replacements back into the right holes) I decided it was better just to replace it all.

    Now this instrument is one of my favorites. Love the balance, and how compact it is.
    The ES-339 has NO acoustic sound, so it's technically an electric guitar that looks like
    a hollow body, but just has a couple of cavities above and below the center block. They don't
    do anything. I don't care. I've been playing this one a lot, and really enjoying myself with
    it. It's my first P-90 guitar since way back in the '70s when I played an old Orpheum jazz guitar
    my dad had bought in a pawn shop in the fifties (probably for about $20 or so).
    That one was stolen right after I started gigging with it, so I never really got to know it well.
    Here's Caledonia (my ES-339) standing next to Snow White... they've both got this
    blonde/black motif going in different ways.
    SnowWhite Caledonia@100.jpg
    What a great guitar...
     
  10. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    I once replaced pickups in an ES335.

    If I never work on a Semi again my life would be better.

    I've had no trouble at all with the electronics (yet), so we leave it.

    Should something give me trouble -- switch, pot, etc., she will get new pickups and complete harness. As long as you're in there, right?

    P.
     
  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    right... and the ES-335 has no center block, and so everything goes in or out through
    the p'up hole. A little easier I reckon. I really did NOT want to dive into mine, but because
    I bonded so well with Caledonia, I couldn't accept anything less than best for her.

    It's great after it's DONE! And I hope nobody else has to deal with wiring problems in their
    semi hollow guitar. The designers really ought to give us a back door access panel... it would
    make our lives so much easier. Or else they should just install the best parts... they should do
    that anyway. I lucked out and got my ES-339 for $339 brand new from M/F. Could not resist
    that. And I saved enough to afford a hardshell case, new Gotoh bridge & tail, Gotoh tuners and
    a Tusq nut. The Gibson version costs about $2700, and they offer a "stripped down" model for
    about $1600. And the Gibson is plywood too... *shrugs

    I love transforming an inexpensive guitar into a real player. Some say that Gotoh has diminished
    their quality in recent years, but the parts I bought fit right on this Chinese made guitar with no
    fuss, and work very well. She sounds great and feels great and looks great. I'm a happy owner.

    In truth, the stock parts worked fine, and would have made a totally serviceable guitar. Anyone
    who owns one of these might say the same. Epi quality seems to keep improving... to their credit.
    I changed all the parts I mention simply because I wanted black on this blonde instrument, and
    because I was liking the feel of it in my hands so much that I wanted to improve things if I could.
    And because I enjoy working on an instrument that I have come to love.

    Are we having fun yet?
    Caledonia 4x6@100.jpg
     

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