Les Paul vs. ES-339

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by The_Sentry, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    OK, some might find this laughable, but hear me out....

    A lot of folks swear by the Les Paul, and that's fine. But at the same time, I sort of put a guantlet down for Gibson to "build a better Les Paul". I gotta be honest...after reading the reviews on the ES-339, I can't help but wonder if they've already done that, and the tone killer has been sitting under my poiny nose the whole stinkin' time. I saw the reviews, and the price intrigued me...but what really got the ball rolling was when I started doing some amateur research into the tonalities in conjunctions with my own experiences with the archtop vs. the solid body....

    But it was Bonehead (who just bought an ES-339) that gave me a bit of confirmation towards this line of thought:

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/other-gibsons/37808-my-new-es339-review-long-pictures.html

    Supposedly, this model offers you all of the presence and bottom end of the ES-335 (and I can testify to this just jacking around on a clone model...the real deal much be frightening!)...but it's in a package the size of a regular Les Paul solid body. Furthermore, they've put some mojo in there with their Memphis circuit which assists in preserving high end when the volume is turned down...and they've done some work towards preventing microphonic feedback which a lot of archtops and hollow bodies are notorious for.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9hv4_WvdL8&feature=related]YouTube - Gibson ES-339 Guitar Demo[/ame]

    Also bear in mind that the Standard (and even the Traditional and the Classic) are regular production models. The ES-339 is a CUSTOM SHOP PRODUCT for around 1800 dollars.

    That's about the best price going for the best amount of craftsmanship Gibson offers in terms of a group that builds electric guitars for 'em.

    So nah...no knock against the Les Pauls...they're great guitars...but if you're in the market, I don't think you should overlook these great little archtops.

    2 cents.
     
  2. Murfdog

    Murfdog Senior Member

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    Sounds awesome, but I prefer the looks of the Les Paul over the ES. I would definitely buy and play an ES, but the Les Paul would still be my #1. As great as the ES sounds, I bet it can't duplicate that raw powerful dirty Les Paul tone. I believe that unmistakable Les Paul tone, can only be achieved through a Les Paul.
     
  3. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Murfdog....A Les Paul is a great sounding instrument (and that single cutaway look has an iconic status)...but IMHO when you take a hollow body or an archtop and you play it through a loud amp...there's no feeling in the world like having that guitar vibrate underneath you while you're sustaining notes.

    As it stands, the newer Les Pauls are already chambered. This is the truest sense of "chambering" in a traditional block archtop.

    Looks wise? Yeah, the LP is an icon, of that there is no doubt. Quality wise? I think people would be crazy to write off a CUSTOM SHOP guitar like this on the market for 1800 dollars.....:slash:

    If someone's got one in a store along with a bunch of Lesters and you're in the market, what does it hurt to plug it in and try it out? You just might surprise yourself.
     
  4. lennon47

    lennon47 Senior Member

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    just buy it already sentry lol
     
  5. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Make one in a left handed model. ;) And don't tempt me....( if I did that, then you'd have to hear me whine about dumping one of my Gibson LP's because I had this killer Custom Shop guitar...:laugh2: )
     
  6. FennRx

    FennRx Senior Member

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    i have both.

    i would sell the 339 before any of my pauls.

    its cool, but if you already own a LP, just pay a little more and get the 335.
     
  7. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Interesting. Does the 335 have that Memphis Circuit on it as well?
     
  8. FennRx

    FennRx Senior Member

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  9. FennRx

    FennRx Senior Member

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    and fwiw, i think the memphis circuit Sucks with a capital S. turn the volume pot to 5 and it goes silent.
     
  10. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Hmmm....might need some Mojo on it.

    Does yours have the 60's profile neck or that chunky '59 neck on it?
     
  11. FennRx

    FennRx Senior Member

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    fiddy nine
     
  12. Leumas

    Leumas Senior Member

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    I saw one of these at the shop today for $3800. I didn't have the energy to be a dick.
     
  13. nauc

    nauc Senior Member

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    you pos TRADER!






































    jk :D

    that thing sounds great!
     
  14. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    :hmm:

    Isn't that the same neck style they put on the stuido LPs?
     
  15. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Hahahaha...well, you know, Custom shop stuff for under 2 grand....

    (and Leumas...you should take a rubber hose into that store and beat the owner with it for trying to sell 'em for that much. :D )
     
  16. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    Jack Zucker, (the guy in that video) is an incredible player, wonderful author and teacher, and a great guy.

    He knows his tone, too.

    ES-339's are great guitars.

    Personally, I like the full-size 335, and will be sticking with that.

    But the tone, features, and price of the 339 are certainly tempting. Many people are saying it's the best Gibson in decades.

    And I know a couple guys who swear by 335's who do a lot of flying, and are getting 339's as travel guitars.

    Will I be the last diehard 335 guy left? ;)
     
  17. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    No way, Mac!!! 335's are just incredible guitars. I'd actually like to see Gibson work to improve those as well...

    But the 339 is definitely a "new kid with a vintage attitude"....and I think it should be a feather in Gibson's hat for making these.

    On a bigger note...I really do think archtops and solid body Les Pauls are converging into a newer model. I'd love to see the 339 in a single cutaway configuration. (that would probably drive people bonkers. :laugh2: )
     
  18. Leumas

    Leumas Senior Member

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    I have to say that these are appealing. I haven't drank the archtop kool-aid yet though like sentry. :) I just don't have enough experience with them yet, the casino is my archtop introduction...and truthfully if I had it to do over again I would have looked for a semi-hollow instead of a full hollow. It's still a bad-ass guitar, which I got for a wicked deal though.
     
  19. gmacdonnell

    gmacdonnell V.I.P. Member

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    I'd love a single-cut ES-339, Sentry. Sounds like a great axe to me!

    I was just kidding about being the last 335 guy: they're great guitars.

    If I had my way though, i'd have them move that input jack to the side like they did with the 339: that's always been my biggest, and only criticism of the design.

    Aside from that, it would be nice if Gibson kept a better eye on the weight of 335's: vintage examples are fairly light. The modern ones are usually 1-2 pounds heavier.
    even my '82 weighs quite a bit less than any modern 335 I've played.

    That's not a bad thing, but imho it makes the guitar sound more like a solidbody, (more Les Paul even,) than 335.

    It would be nice if they made it both way for the guys who prefer the vintage-style though.

    (Maybe they need to start chambering the center block! ;) )
     
  20. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Well, don't take my word for it...tell you what....the next time you go to a music store where they have these, ask to try one out. But instead of this "ooh, look at me! I'm Mr. Clean Jazzy guy" in terms of tone and the amp settings :laugh2:, put that sucker in front of a fat Marshall, crank up the gain, and just hit smack those strings with a big fat pick...and if you pull the vibrato just right, be welcomed back with sweet sustain that slowly disintegrates into blissful feedback! :dude:

    I am by no means a soft player. When I got my archtop, Alex Lifeson and Ted Nugent were more in line with the type of sound I was looking for vs. the other stuff that's frequently played (and sampled) in terms of these guitars.
     

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