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Thread: Should I do it?

  1. #1
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    Default Should I do it?

    Well, long story short, I've had a rare bit of a windfall that can (and must, according to my financial adviser) be spent freely. Travel, of course, is not the first thing that comes to mind, having OD'ed on it while working - and besides, travel is a tad scarier than it used to be! In any event, the first thing that flashed into my mind was a new axe - not that I need one! So, I figured, not another strat style since I already have three, so after some browsing online, I cruised on over to Chuck's. The most unusual of situations presented itself, whereby they actually had an ES-339 and a CS-336 - its hard enough to find even one, let alone both, especially since Gibson has stopped production of the 336, and will do only custom orders for 6 grand.

    I spent some time playing both of them through a Carr Skylark, which might be a slightly bright amp. I definitely did not bond with the 339's D (almost U) neck profile, but felt the 336's C profile was very comfortable, even though I'd have liked a little more wood there - definitely not the same as my USACG fatbacks, but very comfortable. They both had very nice fretwork, and sounded almost the same. I felt that the 339 was a touch rounder, while the 336 was just a hair snappier. Of course, I'm sure we all know the major difference between them - the 339 is a scaled down 335 - same laminated (maple/poplar/maple) back sides and top with a maple center block, while the 336 is all solid wood with a hollowed out mahogany back and a carved maple top. I guess the best comparison for a 336 would be to a PRS Hollow or maybe even a Suhr chambered setneck with those woods (same construction, but different scale lengths).

    So I asked about approximate prices, and the guy (my buddy Todd wasn't in today) said 3K for the 339 (which I thought was a bit high), but then he said that the 336 is a 2013 model, brand new but an older model, so he'd let me have that for 3K as well. I though 3K for a 336 was a pretty good price and I left very tempted. In fact, it seems to me that a 2013 model is actually better because the wood has had time to settle.

    What do y'all think???

    Srini
    Last edited by Srini; 07-23-2016 at 06:31 AM.

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    willkupers (07-28-2016)

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    Have you ever tried a Midtown Custom? I saw the Wailers back in May and Ras mel was playing one. It sounded SPECTACULAR.

    http://www.gibson.com/Products/Elect...wn-Custom.aspx
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

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    Srini (07-22-2016), willkupers (07-28-2016)

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    Thanks, Mike, I saw that online, but didn't see any at Chuck's. From the pictures, though, it looks more like a 335-sized than a 336/339-sized instrument, but pictures can be deceiving. Did it look smaller to you?

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    The body is smaller, but beautifully proportioned - I was front row and thought it was a gorgeous axe. But it does not have the laminated maple top; rather, it is a chambered mahogany body with a maple cap. I've read conflicting reports on the tone, but to me it sounded righteous. And the workmanship and playability factors are supposedly excellent.
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

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    In that case, its construction is the same as the 336, excepting for carved top. I know some people say that makes a difference to the tone. I checked the prices, and it does seem very affordable, which makes me wonder where else they may have cut corners.

    I just ran into a used 336 on Reverb.com for 2100+50 for shipping. I'm talking to the guy about, among other things, the price. Assuming there's not that much variation among 336s, this could be the way to go. He says it was made in the Nashville custom shop, which is supposed to be better than the Memphis custom shop, but I'm sure this is an urban myth.

    I'll keep you posted.

    Srini

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    I've got a Midtown Custom that's about 2 years old and really like it. It's really not that big and very comfy for a flat top/back guitar. The fret board is Richlite, a composite that looks very nice(think ebony) and feels fantastic to me. I think you'd be pretty happy. The quality is great and it's just a good looking guitar. If there is one thing I'd change it would be the tuners. They don't hold tune quite as well as I'd like but they're not bad by any means. Oh, and the case it comes with is really, really nice.

    It sits a little lower in the hanger hook than the others so it appears bigger and longer than it is. Really it's not that much larger than the strats.

    Last edited by mjaggisan; 07-22-2016 at 07:37 PM.

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    Thats gorgeous, jag! I saw a youtube clip of Joe B playing that guitar, and expounding on the virtues of Richlite.

    So, I pulled the trigger on the used one at Reverb.com. We agreed to 2K incl. shipping, and here it is:

    https://reverb.com/item/2539907-gibs...0-3-tone-burst

    Love to hear what you think!

    Srini

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    Wow, what a gorgeous flame top! That's sweet...congrats Siri. And give what I've seen the price seems very reasonable. Can't wait to hear your impressions and see some more photos when you getit. I'm sure it can't arrive fast enough lol.

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    Thank you, sir. It looks pretty clean for a 6 year old guitar, but I'll wait until I really see it! I hear 336s can sometimes have tuning issues, but hopefully I won't have to futz with it too much. I'd like this to be a no-tinker axe - as is, as much as possible.

    I'm going to try 11s on this, because I'm guessing with the shorter scale length, I'll get the same tension as 10s on a Strat. The seller says he doesn't have a truss rod wrench, so I'll have to use what I have and see if one of them fits. If not, I'll need to get some specs. I imagine I'll have to intonate. At least I won't to adjust individual saddle heights..:)

    Srini

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    Congratulations, Srini! I see many smiles in your future. Tuning issues, hah! I think that's just more internet trash talk. Every guitar needs a good setup and lots of love, and then they will treat you right.

    I was really jonesin' for either a 336 or 339 a few years ago, but I talked myself into settling for my Gibson Lucille and my ES-335, and developing a relationship with both of those.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

 

 

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