NGD: Epi ES-335 Vintage Sunburst

1allspub

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Stopped by Sweetwater while I was up in Ft Wayne, IN last week and picked up this beautiful Epi “Inspired by Gibson” ES-335 in Vintage Sunburst.

I used to have an Epi 335 a few years ago, liked it a lot except for the elongated Epi headstock they used to have, which I always thought was hugely unattractive.

By contrast, the new Epi headstock is great and really has a much better aesthetic, IMO.

Tale of the tape.
  • Weight: 7.87lbs
  • Neck at 1st fret: 0.814”
  • Neck at 7th fret: 0.913”
  • Neck at 12th fret: 0.976”
All in all I am very happy with it. Stock pickups are decent enough to not worry about changing immediately (but never say never—sure wish ES pup swaps weren’t such a pain!). Except that fully 3 of the Wilkinson tuners stripped when I tried to change the strings the first night I had it (both E tuners and the B tuner)!

Ugh! Called both Gibson and Sweetwater and some replacements are on the way. Frustrating, but not a deal breaker by any means. 38 years playing guitars and I’ve never had a single tuner utterly fail (have had some that were a little wonky at times, but never complete failures). So to get 3 on one guitar that stripped right off the bat is super weird (and doesn’t speak particularly well of Wilkinsons). Oh well….

Anyway, it’ll get fixed. And I’ll likely get a Bigbsy for it eventually (w/ a Vibramate). In the meanwhile, here’s a couple pics.
BD4F1737-8A26-4F41-8FBD-AFF2AFEF6D24.jpg
C92CBD70-4687-4746-9CE9-50F3AA57FDC8.jpg
 
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Julian_A

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HNGD! Apart of the aesthetics, how it plays compared to the dot that you had?
 

1allspub

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HNGD! Apart of the aesthetics, how it plays compared to the dot that you had?
Pretty similar actually. My old one actually had the block inlays (was a limited edition Iced Tea Burst) and it had real rosewood. Nowadays they are Indian Laurel… which does feel slightly different under the fingers I think. Not bad, just a bit different (they have different grain which may account for the feel diff).

My old had had push/pull pots (which I never used) but had the same Epi Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers. They actually sound pretty similar with this one being a bit more clear (I always described my old one as sounding “greasy”—in a good way, LOL!). The new one is less grease, more clarity. ;) Which probably has more to do with the wiring Epi uses now as opposed to then (new ones have CTS pots, old ones were decidedly not CTS!).

The new one’s neck is fatter (which I prefer), but the two actually are quite similar in more ways than not. Epi’s forte has always been their hollows and semi-hollows—they always seem to produce those consistently well.

All in all I’m very happy with it. And honestly, for the money it is really hard to beat. I’m really way more of an LP guy and just prefer Gibson LPs to Epis. I’m just way pickier about my LPs, ha! But I did want an 335 too…just didn’t want the Gibson price tag. So I feel like this is 85% of the Gibson for 1/7th the cost. Hard to argue! :)
 

Julian_A

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Pretty similar actually. My old one actually had the block inlays (was a limited edition Iced Tea Burst) and it had real rosewood. Nowadays they are Indian Laurel… which does feel slightly different under the fingers I think. Not bad, just a bit different (they have different grain which may account for the feel diff).

My old had had push/pull pots (which I never used) but had the same Epi Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers. They actually sound pretty similar with this one being a bit more clear (I always described my old one as sounding “greasy”—in a good way, LOL!). The new one is less grease, more clarity. ;) Which probably has more to do with the wiring Epi uses now as opposed to then (new ones have CTS pots, old ones were decidedly not CTS!).

The new one’s neck is fatter (which I prefer), but the two actually are quite similar in more ways than not. Epi’s forte has always been their hollows and semi-hollows—they always seem to produce those consistently well.

All in all I’m very happy with it. And honestly, for the money it is really hard to beat. I’m really way more of an LP guy and just prefer Gibson LPs to Epis. I’m just way pickier about my LPs, ha! But I did want an 335 too…just didn’t want the Gibson price tag. So I feel like this is 85% of the Gibson for 1/7th the cost. Hard to argue! :)
Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

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