ES-335 12-String - The Real Deal
I was seriously suspect of Gibson's overall quality after purchasing a new 2011 Les Paul Traditional Plus and a new 2010 Les Paul Custom, both of which I only kept for a short time before selling. Both of the aforementioned guitars did not come close to my 1990 & 1995 Les Paul Standards in terms of materials (wood, tuners, electronics), workmanship and Tone. I needed a 12 String Electric for recording some original material and was wavering between the Ric & Gibson and there wasn't much available to choose from used, so after taking a deep breath about 6 weeks ago I went with the 335 and ordered mine from Sweetwater. Upon receiving the guitar I was very pleasantly surprised at the fit, finish and materials as soon as I took the guitar out of the case. It was flawless. More important, this is the FIRST new Gibson guitar I have purchased (and there have been several) that arrived properly set up and ready to play. The guitar sounds awesome with the BB Pickups and coil tapping capability. The guitar has a nice "woody" tone but can get plenty jangly with the pickup coils split. This guitar covers a very wide tonal landscape. The reason I gave the guitar a 4.5 instead of 5 is because Gibson chose not to use a bridge with 12 adjustable saddles for intonation, instead they used a 12 string bridge with 6 adjustable saddles. This saves a few bucks but really compromises the intonation of the other six strings. I would have gladly paid more for the guitar if it had a 12 string adjustable Tune-O-Matic (ABR-1) bridge. Other than that, Hats off to Gibson Memphis for building a nice guitar. My Engineer Kurt Martin has been a trusted source for years and the Sweetwater 50 Point Inspection of the guitar was excellent, they didn't miss a thing resulting in another great purchase from the gang at Sweetwater. Thanks again guys.