Gibson es 333 review harmony

Gibson ES 333

Gibson es 333 review harmony

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The ES-333 is a truly wonderful value… here are the specs. 2004 Gibson ES-333… finished in a “satin gloss” trans-brown nitro cellulose finish. The neck is a 60’s slim-taper set-neck, one-piece mahogany w/ a bound rosewood board, MOP dot inlays and medium/med. jumbo nickel silver frets. The scale is classic Gibson 24.75 and the nut-width is 1 &amp; 11/16ths… ( I would prefer it to have the 60’s 1 &amp; 9/16th… nut width). The tuners are your typical “tulip” tuners with plastic buttons. It is equipped w/ 2 Gibson humbuckers (a 490R and a 498T). They have no covers and are ALNICO 2 and 5 respectively. I found the pickups to be TOO hot! I think an almost 15K bridge pickup in a hollow-body is ridiculous. The guitar comes w/ the standard 2 volume/2 tone configuration with a 3 way toggle. The body is a multi laminated maple body to the exact specs of the classic ES-335 design, including the “f-holes”. It has a stop-bar tailpiece and uses a classic ABR (w/retainer clip) adjust-omatic bridge. All the hardware is Nickel. The guitar comes pretty naked with no pickup covers, no pick-guard, the satin finish and no inlay (only decals) on the headstock… this how ever is easily remedied…hehehe!<br />
Action, Fit, &amp; Finish:<br />
I purchased it used and it was setup wonderfully w/ .009’s! I only needed to bring the action down a bit and I needed to replace the retainer clip on the bridge as it was bent considerably. Honest to goodness I could not find any flaws outside the fact that the truss-rod cover was originally installed crooked. Overall, damn near perfect. I have also noticed that in the factory (Memphis) it looks as though they got a bit overzealous scraping down the fingerboard binding on the bass side between the 8 and 15th frets as it is considerably thinner. Not necessarily apparent to a lesser discerning eye than my own ( I have built and repaired guitars for several years… and I did binding work for several years for a local acoustic guitar builder).<br />
Sound Quality:<br />
This is known as one of the most versatile guitars since the Stratocaster… and rightly so. It is essentially an ES-335 for half the price or less. It is your classic double cut hollow body electric. It is incredibly versatile for blues, jazz and most rock styles. The solid center-block aids is keeping excessive feedback at loud volumes down considerably. The tone is rich and vibrant… as it should be. I use it in conjunction with a Peavey Delta Blues 2×10 and a Fender Twin (solid state). The only effects I use are a Visual Sound Jekyll &amp; Hyde (silver edition) and a Visual Sound H2O. The guitar is incredible quiet thanks to Seth Lover and his “Humbucker” design. The pickups lack a lot for this guitar. I have since had a custom made set of pickups made by my good friend Kevin Smith @ Smit’s Handwound Guitar Pickups. They are wound with ALL vintage PAF specs in mind…and I mean all. Even down to using non-coated plain wire (the purple stuff). They are both ALNICO 3’s. I absolutely love them. They have all the character this guitar deserves to have and then some. They are also a considerably lower output… kudos!…to Kevin!<br />
Reliability/Durability:<br />
I see no reason to go into major detail on reliability/durability. It is a solid and well built instrument. I do not suggest using it as a flak-jacket or a shield. I would also be careful with alcohol and acetone when dealing with a nitro-cellulose finish. This guitar will hold up as long as you want it to last. The ES-335 has been around since 1958. There are still examples of a 1958 ES-335 still in existence. In the span of 60 years I would not be surprised if a fret job or several fret-jobs were in order… and repairs will need to be made depending on how you treat the instrument. It is essentially made of wood and metal. Treat it as such and you will be surprised at the longevity that can be achieved.<br />
Ease of Use:<br />
Customer Support:<br />
Purchased used. I can do my own repairs if necessary.<br />
Overall Rating:<br />
I have been playing and building/repairing for about 13 years. I have seen a lot of guitars and played and built quite a few as well. I have no qualms with this guitar at all.I may have gotten lucky with this one but, I find that Gibson is relatively consistent in their quality and I feel that anyone looking for an equal and more economically friendly substitute to an ES-335 would find themselves more than happy and content going this route. I replaced the pickups (ones w/ nickel covers), replaced the control knobs (w/ reflector cap knobs), installed pointer washers for the controls, added Schaller strap locks and replaced the capacitors with “orange drop” caps. I also installed a “short” ES-335 guard. The wonderful thing about this guitar is the rear-access panel… There is a back plate on this guitar (not found on a 335 because the electronics are fed through the f-hole). to cut costs and make electronic installation quicker there was a back plate installed. It opens up a world of possibilities for the tinkerers of the world. I am rather fond of it myself. …and please, do not let anyone tell you this guitar is like a 335 studio. Wrong! The studio had an unbound fret-board and it had no “f-holes”. The ES-333 has a bound board and has “f-holes”. It is an ES-335 without the “flash”. This guitar is now… everything I ever wanted. My overall investment w/ guitar, pickups and few little unnecessary parts put me at less than $1250.00. You cannot find a half-way decent ES-335 for under $2000.00… or at least, I couldn’t.</p>

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