Gibson ES-339 Review: Why I Want One And You Should Too
The Gibson ES-339 is one of the coolest guitars Gibson have to offer. Featuring ES-335 design in a Les Paul size, Dan from Music Junkie gives you his review!
The Gibson ES-335 is one of the most enduring electric guitars ever made. The classic semi-hollow design has become iconic, and it has been in production continuously since its introduction in 1958 - I think you'll agree that's a successful guitar! It's been used for a huge variety of styles over the years, from jazz to rock and roll, blues to hard rock; it's incredibly versatile, and everyone loves it. Right? Well, you can always improve on a classic...
Despite the huge list of advantages to the ES-335, there are a couple of downsides that some guitarists just don't like - namely, the body size and the price. While the body of the ES-335 is certainly iconic, it can be unwieldy - particularly to the smaller player. The high quality woods used in the manufacture of the body also push up the price. Luckily, Gibson found a solution to both of these issues...
The Gibson ES-339 is one of the most sought-after electric guitars in Gibson's catalogue. Featuring the same classic semi-hollow styling as the ES-335 but in a Les Paul body size, this guitar retains all of the warmth, sustain and versatility of its bigger brother but increases comfort and decreases cost. I'm sure I don't need to explain why that makes it so popular!
Simply put, this is my favourite Gibson guitar by a very long chalk. I've always loved the ES-335 - throughout my entire guitar-playing life, I've held it up as the most attractive guitar ever made. While the body size is no issue to me because I'm a lanky sort, I don't have too much space to store guitars at home - the body size of the 335 is just too large for me to have at home, whereas the 339 would sit alongside my Telecaster easily and with pride. I've also never played a guitar that sounds so sweet! Semi-hollow guitars have a sound all of their own, and the ES-339 is loaded with '57 Classic humbuckers that offer that perfect balance between shimmering cleans and warm overdrives that I defy any guitarist to dislike.
So how does it feel? There's a lot made of the difference in comfort between an ES-335 and ES-339, and I have to say the 339 is a clear winner. The body is as comfortable as a Les Paul but with a little less weight, and the 30/60 neck profile is absolutely perfect. If you prefer a chunkier neck, there is the option of a '59 Rounded profile - but for me, the slimmer neck is more comfortable.
Now, I said before that this is my favourite Gibson, so I may be coming into this review a little biased - so why not come down to our flagship music store in Leicester and check it out for yourself? We're huge lovers of everything Gibson here, and if you are too then come on down to our 70s Themed Gibson Day on July 7th to celebrate the new Studio 70s Tribute range. We look forward to seeing you!