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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My New ES 339 Build Quality

My brand new ES 339 arrived last week. I am very happy with the tone/sound that is has and mine is the 30/60 neck which fits my hand nicely. The neck is quite similer to an original 1957 Les Paul gold top. Than being said, the unhappy part is that the finish on the neck was poorly done, the 6th string side and halfway back around the neck plus the back and edges of the headstock have orange peel in the lacquer finish. The headstock I can live with but I had to rub out the neck as it was simply horrible. It could be felt when playing the guitar. Another thing that was not up to par is the ends of all the frets on the 1st string side of the neck have sharp ends that are very noticable when playing. The nut was way to high, bridge was set very high and the neck pickup ring was on 1/2 turn off which made it set cocked to the strings and not perfectly horizontal. Thankfully, I have had much experience in setting up many guitars in the past so I gritted my teeth and got to it. After much tweaking and a few words that cannot be repeated, it now meets my standards. Thankfully there was nothing that I would send the guitar in for as who knows how it would come back. I have had a lot of faith in the Gibson brand but now I wonder? My experiance is 45 plus years and 25 guitars later including Fender, Gretsch, Ovation, Washburn, Johnson, Gibson original 1957 gold top Les Paul, Gibson SG about 1970 model with vibrato tailpiece. A word of caution to buyers, wait until they are at the dealer stores, as mine was purchased at an online store.
Regards; Pop's

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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the headsup on this, was seriously considering buying one next month.

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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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MrWrong; The Memphis Tone curcuit works great, you can roll off the volume for either pickup or if the switch is in the middle position, there is absolutly no loss in the treble settings. The guitar sound amazing and I really like it after going over it and making the proper adjustments and fixes. One other thing I discovered is when playing all the way up the neck, the cutout in the body on the treble side is rather small for my hand.
Regards; Pop's
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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After having my new ES 339 for about 2 weeks now and working out the bugs, I really like this instrument. As I played it and got the pickups set to my liking along with the bridge height and nut height, this is going to be a keeper. Just sold a 1999 Gretsch JR2 with the vibrato tailpiece and that was a very nice sounding and playing guitar but it was just a little to mellow for what my style is, Country, Country Rock and some old stuff. The tone is just great on this new ES 339.
Regards; Pop's
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Old February 8th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Another 339

Hey Great!!!
Glad to see other victims like me! I was victimized by this beatiful instrument when i took the first look at it. After buying 2 ES-335's and returning them, i was lucky to remember something i read in the Internet about the Memphis Tone and the upcoming (back then) ES-339. Mine is red and 30/60, too! About the 335's, i didn't like their finish either, some wrinkles and bubbles in the maple top! But the 339 has none of that. And, i satisfied my need for a 335 eventually with the Epi Dot and put pups (Gibsons 57 Classic and Classic Plus). You see, the rough feel in the frets/neck in the 335 and 339 is something that takes getting used to. My Gibson Les Paul has the same problem. But the Epi Dot, (i also have), a cheap Korean PRS SE Custom semi-hollow body ($599 at MF) and the Clapton Strat (signature) have the best necks in the world.
But hardly anyone knows about the 339 for real. Now i'm worried if they start making the 339 in China (Epi)...like the Les Paul Ultra and Ultra 2...gotta have one!!!
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Old February 13th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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colimodio; You are right about the frets on the 339 neck. They seem to be almost square. I have thought about putting a nice crown on the to help get rid of the railroad track feel. I really notice it when I pick up my Washburn as it has the wider frets and I had did a fret leveling and recrown on it plus a polish job of the frets. It is smooth as silk. The crowning and polising of the frets is a little painstaking but does make a remarkable difference. Good to hear from some other hands on 339 users. Good luck.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 08:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Message for Pop's

Pop's,

I sent you a private message on the 339. I just received mine yesterday. got the fat neck version. I agree 100% with your comments on set-up. It will need some work, but the tone is great.

If you have some time, please read my message.

Jim D
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 04:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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An update on my new 339. I will start by saying that I love the tone from this guitar. I ordered the fat neck version, and when they say fat, they mean it. Almost too big, but since I am primarily an acoustic player, no problem.

Overall I am disappointed with the quality. Numerous issues on mine. This is my first Gibson electric, and I was prepared for this. The nut work was very shabby. I needed to work on all the slots to get the strings to tune without binding. The fretboard shows obvious sanding marks the entire length. The first fret crown is all pitted, and none of the frets have even a remote shine to them. The fret ends are strange, in that the fretboard binding seems to stick up and cover the ends of the frets. I have never seen anything like it on any guitar, acoustic or electric.

The wood has a very uneven grain quality, on the front and back. I am not too pickey about wood appearance, but on an instrument from the custom shop, I was hoping for a more even grain pattern.

Last but not least, I believe it has a grounding issue. As my fingers approach the strings, I can hear popping sounds through my amp. This really bothers me.

I am not going to bail out on this guitar. I am going to get it in the hands of pro, and get these issues sorted out. It is the right size and weight, it plays well, and sounds great.

It will just need work to get it right. I guess this is why I have stayed away from Gibson. I did my reading before the purchase, so now I am going to go the extra mile to get it sorted out. In the end, I should have a nice guitar.

Jim D
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just received my es 339 this week and like everyone, the tone is great but is does need a good set up. I want to know what strings came on your 339. Mine came with D'Addario. I always thought that Gibson made their own strings and that is what would come on them. At first I thought that maybe this is one that was sent back but I really don't believe it is. So did anyone get D'Addario strings on theirs, just curious.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There aren't too many string factories, so many different packages contain the same strings.
I doubt Gibson has a string factory. They probably repackage D'Addarios, so it's probably all the same to them.
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