Es-333

Tanqueray

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Someone is interested in trading their ES-333 for my LP Traditional that I've got for sale. Unfortunately I don't know very much about the 333s other than they're like a more affordable version of the 335 (and apparently they have a cover on the back for the electronics cavity). What else can you tell me about these, and does it seem like a fair trade if it's in good condition?
 

lexx

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I have a ES333 that I think is amazing. Have a look at Ebay and see what they are selling for. They seem to be going up in price over the last while.

The ES-333 is quite similar to the Gibson ES-335, but varies from the ES-335 in the following ways:

The finish is a thin satin finish, versus the ES-335's thicker full gloss finish.
The headstock has a silkscreen Gibson logo, versus the ES-335's inlaid pearloid logo.
The headstock has no further decorative inlay, versus the ES-335's "crown" headstock inlay.
The pickups are Gibson type 490R and 498T, versus the ES-335's Gibson 57 Classic pickups.
The back of the body has an access cover for the electronics, versus the solid rear of the ES-335

Hope this helps.lexx
 

Tanqueray

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So I did some research on ebay to see how much an ES-333 should be worth and I found something interesting.

Someone sold one back in November for $925. It came with Seymour Duncan 59/JB pickups. The one this guy wants to trade also comes with that pickup combination, which probably isn't that uncommon. However, I was curious so I pulled up the pics he sent me.

Here's the one for trade:




Here's the one on ebay:


The lighting and angle are different, but they appear to be the same guitar. The patterns in the wood are too similar for them not to be. Unless it's not real wood and they manufactured some veneer for these, which I highly doubt.

Either way, I'll probably go try out his guitar and see how I like it. An ES-333 plus cash for my LP Traditional wouldn't be too bad.
 

bullnose

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I've got a vintage sunburst 333 that looks an awful lot like Lexx's. I just redid the wiring to 50's style with black bees and CTS pots this past weekend. I don't see how I could have done that myself without the rear access. I also put in a set of Manlius Hot Rod '59s I had laying around and it just rips. I was worried these might be too hot, but heck the stock 490R/498T set measured at 7.7K and 13.8K so in reality I probably tamed it a bit.

It also has been polished and has a 5-ply Gibson pickguard installed.

The only problem is now I can't stop playing it! I highly recommend one if you've got the jonez for and ES type and want to keep the cost reasonable.
 

raul

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IF you're looking for a semi-hollow guitar, a 333 is an absolutely great guitar. For many, the "cost cutting" measures that Gibson used on these models is actually a plus. The faded finish has a nice, vintage vibe to it, and it can be buffed with Virtuoso cleaner to a nice semi-gloss, if the matte finish isn't to your liking.

The real gem in my opinion, is the rear control plate. I have absolutely zero interest in fishing a harness through the f-holes. Popular opinion is that Gibson discontinued the line because 333 sales were cutting into the higher priced (i.e. more profit) 335 sales. After playing a few, I believe it. I have a cherry finish 333, and it's definitely a "keeper."
 

Ape Factory

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Really depends on the shape and if there are any mods. I'm not fond of the stock pickups and swapped all the electronics out. IMO, that back port is worth it's weight in gold. I did a full Callaham setup, swapped in DGT pickups and then a set of PRS 59/09's. The guitar is spectacular. I'm not in love with the neck or fret size but it sounds so good I deal with it. Cost wise, it seems like anything around $1200 is a steal with how their price has escalated lately. I paid about $1000 for mine but I did a trade plus cash for an EJ strat. IMO, they're probably worth about $1200 to $1500. I see a good condition guitar as being priced to sell for $1200 with hardshell case, all stock. I personally would pay more for quality modifications. With parts and a fret level I had done, I probably have another $700 into mine.
 


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