Epiphone ES-335: A Comprehensive Review
The Epiphone ES-335 is a semi-hollow body electric guitar that has been making waves in the music industry for decades. This iconic instrument boasts a rich history and an even richer sound, making it a favorite among both amateur and professional musicians alike. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Epiphone ES-335, exploring its features, playability, tonal qualities, and more.
History of the Epiphone ES-335
To fully appreciate the Epiphone ES-335, it’s important to understand its heritage. The original Gibson ES-335 was introduced in 1958 as a revolutionary new design, combining the warmth of a hollow body guitar with the sustain and feedback resistance of a solid body. This innovative concept quickly gained popularity and became a staple in the world of electric guitars.
Epiphone, a subsidiary of Gibson, soon followed suit by releasing their own version of the ES-335. Over the years, Epiphone has continued to refine the design, incorporating modern technologies and improvements while still maintaining the essence of the original model.
Design and Construction
The Epiphone ES-335 features a classic double-cutaway body shape, allowing easy access to the upper frets. The semi-hollow construction consists of a solid maple center block running through the body, which helps to reduce feedback and increase sustain. The top, back, and sides of the guitar are made from laminated maple, giving it a bright and resonant tone.
One of the most striking visual aspects of the Epiphone ES-335 is its elegant f-holes, which not only contribute to the guitar’s distinctive appearance but also play a role in shaping its unique sound. The guitar comes in a variety of eye-catching finishes, including Cherry, Vintage Sunburst, and Ebony, ensuring that there’s a style to suit every player’s taste.
The neck of the Epiphone ES-335 is made from mahogany, with a slim taper profile that offers a comfortable playing experience. The fingerboard is crafted from Indian laurel or rosewood, depending on the specific model, and features 22 medium jumbo frets adorned with pearloid dot inlays.
Hardware and Electronics
When it comes to hardware, the Epiphone ES-335 is equipped with high-quality components that contribute to its exceptional performance. The guitar features a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece, providing reliable tuning stability and easy string changes. The Grover Rotomatic tuners ensure precise tuning adjustments, while the Graph Tech NuBone nut enhances sustain and eliminates string binding.
The electronics on the Epiphone ES-335 consist of a pair of Alnico Classic PRO humbucker pickups, designed to deliver a versatile range of tones that can accommodate various musical styles. These pickups are controlled by individual volume and tone knobs, as well as a three-way pickup selector switch, allowing players to fine-tune their sound to perfection.
One notable feature of the Epiphone ES-335’s electronics is the coil-splitting capability, which allows players to switch between humbucking and single-coil sounds for even greater tonal versatility. This is achieved through push-pull pots on the volume knobs, making it easy to access a wide array of tones with just a simple adjustment.
Playability and Sound
The Epiphone ES-335 is known for its exceptional playability, thanks to its comfortable neck profile and smooth fingerboard. The double-cutaway design provides easy access to the upper frets, making it an ideal choice for players who frequently explore the higher registers of the guitar.
In terms of sound, the Epiphone ES-335 truly shines. The combination of semi-hollow construction and Alnico Classic PRO pickups results in a warm, resonant tone with plenty of clarity and articulation. The guitar is capable of producing a wide range of sounds, from clean, sparkling chords to thick, overdriven leads.
The coil-splitting feature further expands the Epiphone ES-335’s tonal palette, offering players the option to switch between full-bodied humbucking tones and crisp single-coil sounds. This versatility makes the ES-335 suitable for various musical genres, including jazz, blues, rock, and more.
The Epiphone ES-335 is an outstanding semi-hollow body electric guitar that offers a perfect blend of vintage style, modern features, and exceptional playability. Its versatile sound and comfortable playing experience make it a popular choice for musicians of all skill levels and styles.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner looking to invest in a high-quality instrument, the Epiphone ES-335 is a worthy contender. With its rich history, iconic design, and impressive tonal capabilities, this guitar is sure to inspire countless hours of playing enjoyment.