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Old 04-14-2015, 08:05 AM   #1
ES335Dot
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Does Your 335 Have That Magic 'Woody' Tone???

Mine does not!
Maybe Gibson just doesn't make them that way anymore.

All ES-335s came out of the box with that 'boxy', 'woody' type tone. I had one in the 70s and another in the 90s as well as knowing many other players around the country and Canada who ALL had that specific tone.

Gibson says nothing has changed ... horsesh_t! Oh well , it is still an extrordinary sounding guitar.
Has anyone had my problem and pursued a fix??? I even put old Sprague bumblebee caps in when I changed the pups out. They didn't do anything exciting as far as change ... save your money on that one.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:43 AM   #2
jamman
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Re: Does Your 335 Have That Magic 'Woody' Tone???

I own 2 recent Gibson 335's so I can only opin about the few others I have tried .
I'm not sure ,what you mean by "woody" but I would presume it has to do with the Pickups more then the guitar . Not being an expert ,in any way or thought . If my tone was not what I was looking for ,would swap the harness and Pups . Imo , It's the guitar and how it feels and plays that has been improved upon in the last 2 years .
I think , working with a guitar that talks to you ,but needs a push ,to get it to where you want it is all good . And ,imo normal .

Nothing is the way things were and how we remember them .
And Gibson has made a clear line between USA and CS guitars. I agree USA's for the most part are not the CS =

My Memphis Blister top 335 is all that and more . Converted me into playing the 3X5's over LP's . I also have a close 2nd. 345 which is right up there next to it .
Gibson uses the wood available . Nothing can be done about that . And it does differ from 1 guitar to the next .
Finding the 1 that gives you what your looking for ,in todays market can be difficult . which is why so many post about the need to try as many as you can .


The Guitars Set up is also needed to be addressed . Once you get a guitar set up well , it can seems like a different guitar. Finding it's sweet spot can take time and patients . Both of mine did and I'm still working on the 345's set up . But I did just get her back a few weeks ago , so another month of tweaking and she should be perfect . IMO , this factor is the most effective for eval'ing a guitar .
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:58 AM   #3
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Re: Does Your 335 Have That Magic 'Woody' Tone???

Thanks for your response. No; pickups or other electronics have absolutely nothing to do with the one-time ES335 tones of yesteryear. I thought with a grain that it was possible but nope.. no cookie. It has to do with the wood and wood only. In decades gone by, body woods were dried with a lot more care and detail as compared to today's manufacturing standards. That properly dried wood had everything to do with the natural 'woody' tone that most ES guitars naturally had.

That lended them to being a good contender for the jazz markets back then. That's why there were only a handful of them out there in R&R back in the '60s +. Freddy King, Chuck Berry, Alvin Lee, Clapton (who hardly used his), Dicky Betts etc.
There is not one ES335 I've tried out of dozens in the past 5 years that contains that 'woody' tone anymore ... even a few early 2001 +.

So, since my previous ES335 Dot, which I purchased new back in 1994, did have the classic tone I miss, I will conclude that since the opening of the Memphis manufacturing facility in 2000(?), that and there, is where the changes took place. I'll bet on it.

I changed everything that could possibly be changed on my 2013. Three different pickup swaps, built my own replica vintage style harness, real vintage sprague bumblebee caps, lightweight aluminum (USA) stop tailpiece, Gibson Historic pots etc .. she's a dynamite beauty but purely a R&R machine in the same category as my LP Standard. I will keep looking for a early 1990s Dot.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: Does Your 335 Have That Magic 'Woody' Tone???

Oooppss ... I should tell you my 2 sources of info on the lack of 'woodyness' in ES-335s were Gibson themselves as well as one of the most knowledgable authorities in the country on these particular instruments - Charlie Gelber at The Gibson ES-335 - check out the site, it's awesome!
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Does Your 335 Have That Magic 'Woody' Tone???

"electronics have absolutely nothing" ???? I disagree with that statement 100% . Yes I've been to His site and I'd bet money he'd use a Real PAF over any "New" Gibson pup from, today .
I found a few little details he left out about a guitat\r I almost bought , which I didn't care for and made me think ...what else isn't listed . I'm sure he's a nice enough guy ...but he is selling (moving) Vintage guitars .

I wonder if anyone has tried putting a real Junk pup into a vintage guitar and thought is sounded great ??? That's what your saying basically .

Everything involved in the tone chain is important and Most important is the player.

My experiences with Putting Old pups in a new guitar have ..All worked very well . Those can't be beat ...imo . and I never swap them back . Unless I'm test some pups , But they go back in after I'm done testing . they don't make them ,the way they used to ,,,fits well here .

The Wood is dried the same way it was done in the 50's and forward , In a Kiln . IIRC The Maple was sourced locally . The Mahogany I'm guessing was from where ever Gibson got it at the time . Central America ,I think But Honduras mahogany, is a pretty generic term , as my understanding is it came/comes from a few different Counties . Fret boards that were RW Brazil(for the most part) . I'm not sure about the Ebony .

Agree, The MFG'ing is a bit different today and has been for a long time . Late 60's -70's ,I think . Gibson no longer builds any guitars with the same neck angle as in the 50's , which ,imo have a lot to do with the overall sounds and playability .
Then comes the bridges studs, and bushings. Which are getting back to original specs these days . Even strings and picks are different today and effect tone greatly .

New ain't the same by a long ways . Imo ,it's much more then the wood , which can't be got any more . Although , listening to some fine players (Off hand , Joe B) , make these new guitars sound great and as good as many old guitars . I know why too .
it's the hands that get s a lot of tone . Also look at the Amps being used .

Nothing stays the same , nothing . that's just part of life . I feel the New guitars "can" be very good . Vintage , Nope , But I'm not going to buy Vintage without playing it 1st. Not every Vintage guitar is great , That's a myth . And those selling it will always tell you it's great . They have to and that's understandable , Or they would never sell them .
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Does Your 335 Have That Magic 'Woody' Tone???

interesting topic. Have you tried the MHS pickups used in the VOS guitars?

They are underwound compared to modern humbuckers. This contributes to a clearer and fuller tone. That seems compatible with "woodiness", I suppose. I think they sound wonderful; they are not as hot as the humbuckers used in other 335s models.

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