Very playable. great tone. Fit a finish is perfect as is the set-up. Very nice.
Very playable. great tone. Fit a finish is perfect as is the set-up. Very nice.
I've been entertaining the idea of an ES style guitar for quite some time. But, I didn't want to spend a couple grand not knowing if I would bond with it or not. After watching countless YouTube videos on the ES-335 Pro and the ES-339 Pro I decided to pull the trigger on the ES-339 Pro. Still thinking it was a stepping stone after learning how I would bond with the guitar. Fast forward to yesterday. I received it immaculately packed and unharmed from shipping. After careful inspection I found it to be flawless. Picked it up and strummed a few chords, and found it to be still in-tune. The neck on this guitar ranks up there in my top 5 out of my 34 guitars. Even better than my $3,500+ Les Paul. I love this neck! The setup on this guitar could not have been any better. The sound is simply great. In my opinion these pickups could fit in on any high dollar guitar. From Jazz, Country, Blues, and Rock this guitar is at home. I have a session tomorrow and I'm bringing this Epiphone with me. My only question is why I haven't tried an Epiphone before. Sure, the Gibson ES-339 could possibly be better. But, not a couple grand better.
Chris Goldbach and Sweetwater are the best. Very thorough and on top of their game. My first time ordering a guitar without playing it first. My first Epiphone. I was nervous about both. But, this was an amazing experience!
This was the perfect addition to the collection. With the coil tapping I can get a single coil sound. Not quite like a Strat but fully acceptable. The set up, the finish and the service were all more than expected.....by anyone except Sweetwater. I only needed a minor tuning and we were off and picking. It plays as well as any Gibson ( sorry guitar snobs ) I've ever had. The playability, the looks, the setup and the service were all TOP NOTCH. I know I've said thank you before Andy but associates like you are what makes Sweetwater what it is and will be in the future. From help with financing to personal service y'all are the very best. This makes a 6 pack from you in the last year and each one has been a beautiful instrument, each with it's own special purpose and sound.
While I received my new Epiphone ES-339 PRO last month, the Missus made me give it up immediately so she could wrap it for Christmas.(Heartbreaking!) But Christmas came yesterday, and today I took it for a close look, and an extended test drive. This the only guitar I ever purchased, sight unseen in my life. I always had to play a guitar, extensively, and still waffled back and forth then. The great reputation Sweetwater has built up over the years, all the backup of that rep from my pals over at Harmony Central convinced me I should take the leap. I not only have no regrets, I'm freakin' thrilled! The neck is fast, straight. The finish as close to perfect as one could hope for at this price range. The circuits are clean and quiet. Switching from pickup to pickup, from full 'Bucker to single coil smooth as silk...Just great tone, just great. She goes from deep,smooth mellow tones to full out growl and howl effortlessly. I'd play this guitar with confidence in any company...Bring your Gibby on..I got game with this Epi. Can't thank my Sweetwater connect Derek Kemp enough for giving me he extra boost to snag this Baby!
Great guitar, sounds great, I put Ernie Ball Hybrid Strings .46-.009
Love the sound & the action.
When I first started playing I was fortunate to have a Gibson ES 330, very similiar to a 335 except for the P90 pickups. I sold that guitar shortly after I got married (big mistake selling that guitar). Well as life goes on I acquired an Epiphone Dot, really nice guitar but, shortly after that the 339 came out and, I played one, had to have it. The smaller size is Great, bound neck and, body, upgraded pickups, coil tapping feature was all a +. I have a love for the Cherry Red so that's what I got. This guitar is absolutely wondeful to play and, sounds awesome! The guys in my band are always asking for that red guitar so it has become a regular in my lineup. I have a LP, Wildkat, and,a Sheraton which are all Superb instruments but, this one is an excellent addition to my collection. Highly recommend this guitar to just anybody beginner or Pro You'll love it.
Having played ES-335's in the 60's-70's, I wanted to get a hollowbody again. The fit and finish for an instrument at this price point is unbelievable, not to mention the sound is right on with the pickups right out of the box. Everything worked as advertised and arrived well setup and in perfect condition. The difference in volume level between the split coil settings is noticeable, but using the volume pot lets you balance the two while playing - something to get used to. Overall this has to be the best buy on a decent guitar on the market and due to the design can be modded up easily. You can't go wrong with this guitar and it is a great addition to any players collection.
First - the people that gave this guitar a markdown for the way it was setup - c'mom - everybody who has played for any length of time has a setup preference.
I had previously bought a Casino Coupe and liked it so much I bought the 339.
Everything in this 339 blends together to make a great guitar.
There is one problem however - I have 12 electrics and I just keep grabbing this one when I go play.
After traveling nearly halfway around the world, my ES-339 Pro arrived in perfect condition (as promised) and I absolutely love it!!! My Sales Engineer (Nick Grawcock) was great and really helped me through the purchase process. I explained to Nick that the guitar was going to be shipped to a military post office and that I was concerned that it might get banged up. He explained the manner in which the guitar would be packed and I was good to go. The guitar on arrival looked beautiful, was in tune, the setup was perfect and it sounds great. Boys and girls serving overseas, if you need musical gear buy from Sweetwater. APO/FPO/DPO no problem!!
I bought this guitar after playing one at a store. I was blown away by the quality of workmanship. Let me say this, it has a perfect and comfortable neck that isn't too thick or thin. The setup was perfect. The sound goes from jazz to rock and with the split coil option, it is a jack of all trades. I wouldn't buy a Gibson with out playing it first but I'd buy this anyday sight unseen. The playability of the neck makes chording easy for jazz, roll the volume back to about 8 for jazz. The comfort is amazing and the size compared to a es-335 makes it a perfect for the couch player. It's seems to me the chinese makers have put this out as a testimony that they can make this guitar as good as most gibsons out of the box. Thank you sweetwater for my new friend.
Love the look and feel of this guitar. the toes are amazing with lots of range from jazzy, blues, rock and contemporary.Nice workmanship and excellent in action.
I wanted to pick up a semi-hollow without having to invest thousands. I was able to try several guitars in various price ranges at local dealers around town. I believe the Epiphone ES-339 Pro gives you the greatest value for your money. The construction is excellent, the pickups sound good to my ears, the coil splits add versatility to the sounds you can create. Truth be told, I was looking for something to experiment with slow blues and jazz. I did not expect the classic rock tone I got running it through my Marshall JCM 2000. The tone is very "open" and "airy." Tone is relative to each person, but I'm hearing a vintage AC/DC, Black Crowes tone. I cannot justify spending 3X the money for a Gibson. Obviously, a Gibson ES is going to be superior quality and tone, but this works for my tastes and there is 0 buyers remorse. I very satisfied with the quality, sound and value. This guitar could sell for a few hundred dollars more. Thank you, Epiphone for an excellent guitar at an outstanding value.
Once you decide what you want, buy it from Sweetwater. That's a no-brainer.
I hope this review helps in your decision.
First I should tell you that Sweetwater's customer service is incredible. My ES 339 arrived with a hole punched in the back by the shipper. Sweetwater's response was immediate. I had a replacement guitar in a matter of days. Fit & finish of my replacement guitar is excellent. I love the bell-like tone of the highs, and the bass comes through without muddiness. I have a variety of guitars - PRS, Gibson, Fender, etc. But this Epiphone 339 has demonstrated that I can get a good sounding, quality guitar for hundreds rather than thousands of dollars.
My Epiphone ES-339 PRO-Cherry is one beautiful & great-sounding
guitar! Very versatile sounds are produced via humbucking pickups with push/pull coil tapping. Perfect neck for playing barre chords, etc..
THANK YOU, Mike Soper (ext. 1342), for all your help, knowledge,
great advice, & friendliness! Very well-inspected, & quick shipping, as well. Mike: You are the guy I will deal with for all future purchases.
My first semi-hollow was the Dot Studio that I bought on a whim due to its price. I fell in love with feel and sound of semi's and also have another brand AS model that I love. This guitar is at a whole other level. It's smaller size is more comfortable, but that's just the beginning. The independent coil splitting creates some awesome sounds you just don't get when you split both p'ups with a single switch. The electronics allow it to cover many styles of music, and that's before you add any effects to it. I don't like setting up multiple guitars for a gig and won't need to with this one.
This is a high quality instrument, just not USA made. But hey, with all the automation used in manufacturing, cutting, measuring, routing, etc., it really doesn't matter where they park those machines. And these use high quality components to complete the package. They are set up in USA, then subjected to Sweetwater's inspection, so buy it with confidence.
This is an excellent guitar. I am very happy with the quality, the feel, and the sound. Read the other reviews.
Why buy a guitar from Sweetwater? They talk the talk about customer service but they really walk the walk as well. When they say they will do anything to make you happy with your purchase, that is exactly what they mean. This company is redefining doing business on the internet. I trust my sales guy, Nick (extension 1660,) more than any music store I have ever stepped foot in, even though I have never seen his face and he is half way across the country. These guys are serious about making loyal customers. If you haven't purchased anything on this site before, you can be confident you will wind up happy.
This is my first electric guitar, and I am so pleased with my Epiphone, I love it. I am just learning to play, and at my age probably won't be getting many more guitars, and that's why I picked this ES339. It can do everything I want it to do. The pictures don't show how beautiful it is in person. The finish and hardware are flawless. Sweetwater did a great job with my purchase and delivery. Customer service is something that has been "budgeted" OUT by most companies in this day and age. That is what makes Sweetwater a great company to do business with. They provide service that is way above the norm. If you're looking for a great looking, do it all guitar, you can't go wrong with this Epiphone.
I have 10 guitars from Les Pauls & Fenders to PRS and this has to be my favorite.The day I opened it up I couldn't put it down.Played it to my fingers got sore.Great for any music style you play plus in a smaller size than the ES-335.clear tones plus coil tapping Humbuckepro pickups.About the same neck as my Les Paul and very ez to play for hours at a gig..Sweetwater does a 55 point insp so it's ready to play right out of the box..Get this and you want be soory.And at a great price.
Received new ax ahead of delivery date and as usual the service from Sweetwater was outstanding. Unboxed guitar to find a beautiful well constructed instrument with a near flawless polished finish. The humbucker pickups are hot and the fret board fast and agile. This is my fourth guitar and quickly became my favorite. (Own a Yamaha , B.C. Rich , and two epiphones ) . The Epiphone quality construction and low price provide you a value that is near impossible to beat. Don't let the fact that these instruments are Chinese made deter you from considering one to purchase. They can compete with any American made brand.
First let me say that I have quite a few guitars including 8 hand made guitars with some worth as much as 25K, so I am very discriminating when it comes to guitars. That said, I was VERY pleasantly surprised in the quality of this instrument, especially at this price point. In the past I have owned two Gibson ES-347s. Both of these Gibsons did not play as well out of the box as the Epiphone (maybe because they both were purchased in the 80s???). The set up on the Epiphone out of the box was acceptable. I did have my guitar tech do some minor leveling and then dressing of the frets to make the set up absolutely perfect. The 2 Gibson ES-347s I previously owned needed much more work on the frets when I received them to achieve an acceptable setup. The pickups on the Epiphone are great. I was thinking I would replace them at them time I made the order but this as it turns out is not necessary. It is a Great Guitar at any price and an unbelievable deal at $399.
Wow!! $399 for a guitar this good. The finish was flawless. Playability was great. I still had a setup done, as I have for all my production guitars. Rivals a Gibson in quality, tone. looks and playing. Very comfortable size. Love the Cherry finish! Definitely worth 4x the selling price. The coil taps add a myriad of tonal colors; jazz, rock, blues etc.
This ES-339 PRO is an Awesome Guitar!!!Well constructed, plays GREAT!!!!This guitar is a GREAT addition to my collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Sweetwater is the place to buy all your supplies!!!!They treat you like a KING!!!!!Thanks to my Sales Associate Chris Lewis for all his help!!!!!!
The love of a guitar is like the love of a girl - you may love her today but will you love her tomorrow. (I waited a couple of weeks to write this.) I had been thinking about a semi-hollowbody guitar (my first) for a few months. I did my homework and after narrowing it down to 5 possibles, decided that the ES 339, in terms of sound, size, and weight was the one that i would go with. A Fender Strat has been my main machine, but i wanted something a little more throaty and resonant without the bulk. The ES 339 was a good fit and when i compared the price of Gibson 339 and Epiphone 339 the Epiphone was a no brainer. I am not a fan of Chinese made guitars - - but the fit and finish of my Epiphone ES 339 cherry pro were shockingly good and the sound was what I had expected. Why Sweetwater? Three words - selection, inspection and service . I was not disappointed at any stage of the process and my man Andrew Plassman handled everything.
I am just a beginner at 51. I have owned guitars in the past as a kid with no trainer. Thank the Good Lord for the Internet. I really like how you can change the sound on this guitar. Gives the cool 50's sound when used with a Peavey 258 RAGE amp. Very nicely priced! You cannot beat the customer service that Sweetwater provides, they are friendly and professional in every way.
I am so very happy with my recent purchase of this Epiphone ES339. It looks great, really nice Cherry finish. It plays nice and sounds great. It may have been made in China, but with it's looks and playability who cares. If you are thinking about getting one I say do it. You wont be sorry.
This is one of the best buys out there. I wanted a hollowbody that was more comfortable than the 335 I have and this one is just that. The Chinese manufacturing has really improved and the quality is very high. Contrary to what I had read about this guitar, the coil splitting is really a very usable feature on this guitar and provides a fairly wide variety of very usable tones for a hollowbody. Sweetwater does the best job in the business of ensuring that the guitars they sell are set up to factory specs and that there are no other problems and this one was perfect right out of the box. Jon Gillespie (Sales Engineer) followed up to make sure this was the case as he has done on previous purchases. Sweetwater is the best in terms of service whether its an expensive guitar or a less expensive one like this one.
I checked out a Gibson 339 at a local store. Considering this was a custom shop guitar and just under $3000, I was appalled by it's condition. There were many flaws in the fit and finish, namely lots of overpaint on the binding and tons of splinters, finish residue and crap on the neck. It sounded and played great, and I know a "handbuilt" guitar is not supposed to look perfect but this was a case of poor qc. The issues wouldn't be a deal breaker had it not been a $3000 custom shop Gibson guitar. It boggles my mind that they let this thing go out like this. I also think the retailer bears some responsibility for making sure what gets hung on the wall is up to par. They had 3 Epi's in stock. The first ones' neck was badly twisted, and again I blame the store for putting it on the rack. The second was o.k. but not quite right. The third one was a gem and instantly spoke to me. I snagged it, took it home and gave it the treatment, and WOW! It has the same tone unplugged that grabbed me when I played the Gibson. The only words I can find are "woody" and "Airy". I LOVE how it sounds unplugged. There is something about the open B and the B 8va that just "sympathizes" with the wood. They just pop! I keep finding specific chords that do the same. Due to the fact that I have 2 Epi's and 3 Squire Custom Vibe guitars that match or beat ANYTHING I've EVER played without any mods except the nuts I make, I am officially DONE with expensive guitars. My playing will impress no one. Why should I try to impress anyone with the label on the headstock of my guitar?
In looking for something similar to the old ES-335, I spotted the Epi 339 PRO and began to research it. In general it has all the features I was looking for in this style guitar; thin hollow body, humbuckers, coil tapping and thin neck for my small hands.
I love the low action and the perfect intonation up and down the neck, the cherry finish and oh, yeah.....the price was right.
What I failed to notice before I ordered mine was the reduced body size. That was a welcome surprise. Being small of frame I enjoy that feature more each time I pick it up – which is quite often.
I've been playing since the 50s and, considering electric guitars, have historically leaned toward Fender products, but the 339 caught my eye and after much review checking I thought I'd take a chance it. I'm glad I did. It's now a permanent part of my modest collection and I'm looking forward to featuring on my demos.
I've played guitar for 28+ yrs. and have owned most of the good stuff. I just received the Epi ES 339 Pro from Sweetwater and I'm blown away by the quality of workmanship, the tone and the Pickups! If you blindfolded me and I played this guitar I would swear I was playing a Gibson ES339, except the Gibson doesn't have coil splitting and costs $2100.00 MORE. Great job Epiphone & Sweetwater.
Thanks Dennis K.
Excellent for the money. I wrote to Gibson years ago about having Epiphone offer an affordable version on the Gibson ES-339 and was excited when they came out. I had just purchased a Fender Modern Tele Plus (also excellent for the $) so I put off ordering one of these. When the price dropped to $399 I caved in and bought one. A gorgeous cherry red with a great neck and great tone. Well done Epiphone/Gibson, Well done!
Keeping in mind that I paid 399 for this guitar. I am giving it 5 stars based on the price and what you are getting for the price. I am blown away by the quality. I have some decent guitars in my stable: Fender Strat American Std, Rickenbacker 620, Gibson Les Paul Std. I also have owned some crappy Squiers from the 1990's and too many other guitars to name, so I know when something is decent or just plain crappy. My main daily guitar is the Strat, so I was looking for a semi-hollow humbucker guitar to add to the mix. This Epiphone ES-339 has really exceeded my expectations. It is made in China, however there is nothing wrong with the neck, it is straight. The frets are good and smooth, the nut is decently cut. The bridge is also decent. The soundhole is clean, there isn't any woodchip/crap inside as I have seen on other low-priced gear. The neck feels thicker than my American Strat, but thinner than my Rickenbacker. It is not hard to get used to the neck. My only big complaint is that the volume and tone knobs do not line up the way I like. So I had to pull them out and line up the numbers the same. The neck pickup is good for mellow stuff like jazz. I will keep it. The bridge pickup will be the first thing I replace when I get the chance. The bridge pickup just doesn't scream enough for blues/rock/metal leads. The coil splitting option on this thing for switching between single coil and humbucker is a nice to have, however I don't think I'll be using it often. I find that the single coil sound on this Epiphone really cannot compare to the wonderful cleans that you can get out of a Fender single coil pickup. Epiphone's attempt at a single coil sound really does not do it for me. I do think this guitar is best when used in humbucker mode only, because that thick meaty sound is what the Epiphone humbucking pickups are meant for. I want to also mention that the cherry color is very classy looking-- the color is dark, but transparent enough to see the wood grain underneath.
As for the service from Sweetwater, it was excellent as usual. The guitar came double-boxed and it was ready to play straight out of the box. I didn't have to adjust the action. I literally took it out and plugged it into my amp. After my initial test runs, all I did after that was change the strings out to my favorite flatwounds and I'm happy as can be. Thank you Dennis at Sweetwater!
Seriously, plays as good as any of the three Gibsons I own, right out of the box. It was practically in tune on arrival, no adjustments needed.
I really enjoy this guitar the sound is amazing. Play ability is very good the finish is perfect. I did have to take to my favorite guitar shop and have the set-up done. Sweetwater rep worked with me very closely, they are super nice people they gave me a feeling that I was buying from the right place. Loved the pictures they sent me of my guitar with the serial number.
I would have given this guitar a 5 star except that I think the control knobs are a bit high off of the body. there seems to be at least a quarter of an inch gap between the body of the guitar and the control knob caps. Otherwise the guitar plays great and looks great.
My ES-339 arrived today and waited the required 4 to 6 hours for the guitar to acclimatize itself to the environment after being in the sub 30 degree weather.
Let me tell you I was anxious to get it out of the box and play with it. I ordered it with an epiphone case and thought they would be shipped with the guitar in the case, one package but it came in two separate boxes. No big deal. It was packaged well to protect from Mr. Clumsy the delivery driver.
After pulling it out of the box and looking it over there was only one small, minor problem I could see--the volume and tone controls were almost a half inch above the body. I own a Gibson Midtown semi hollow body guitar and the knobs do not stand as high. Perhaps the difference is the coil tap on the es-339 and they adjusted the tone controls so they were similar with the volume knobs.
I will take it to the local GC to see if they can adjust them down since they kind of stick out like a sore thumb. Gonna change strings and try to lower the bridge as well.
All said and done, I think it is a great guitar with lots of potential. I would recommend this guitar to any one. It is about $1000 cheaper than my Gibson Midtown. Save some money and get the ES-339 as others have said.
I'm really loving my new 339. It sounds fantastic and I love the smaller size body. Brad at Sweetwater was and always has been real easy to work with and is genuine and professional with any purchase. The guitar arrived in perfect condition and played great right out of the box. Couldn't be happier!
Just received the guitar today. To be honest my expectations were not that high. It arrived in perfect condition and the setup is very much to my liking. I guess my preconceived notion was that a Chinese made guitar would be low end. The quality on this one is very high. Fit and finish are dazzling. I am impressed and believe me that doesn't happen to often. Picked this over a similar Peavey model with a similar price. I am glad I did. Doesn't come in a gig bag however I intend to order a hard shell case to protect this. At this price one should not expect a bag or case. If my opinion changes I will write more at a later date. I think this will be perfect for playing the Blues...
Just a quickie review after spending a few hours with my new ES-339, starting with the (mildly) negative: first, I've never been a big fan of the Gibson/Epiphone necks. They always feel a little too 'chunky' to me; but then I have been playing Fender and PRS guitars for a long time, so I think it's more about preference and being used to a certain feel than a knock on the Gibsons & Epis. The only other thing I could complain about is the somewhat rough finish on the frets. I'm not sure if this is from the neck being finished after the frets were installed, or if the fret material is just not polished enough, but it is noticeable and can be felt when you are bending strings. Fortunately they do seem to polish up pretty quickly; after just a couple of hours of playing I could see (and more importantly, feel) the frets starting to smooth out and see the polished area where the strings were rubbing. I have only purchased a handful of new guitars in my life (electric and acoustics), but have never noticed this in any other new guitar I've owned.
Other than those minor gripes, I am extremely pleased with this guitar. After replacing the factory strings (.10-.46 I believe) with some proper electric guitar strings (.09-.42 ;-) ) the action feels very nice; not quite as good as my PRS (Custom 24 SE) or Strat (Mexi w/maple neck), but very nice nonetheless. More importantly, the guitar has a wonderful full, clean yet warm tone that is exactly what you would expect from a quality semi-hollow electric, and continues to sound very smooth and clear as you turn up the gain. Cranking the gain way up really shows the versatility of this guitar; it can get nice and crunchy with great sustain, almost up there with my Duncan-equipped PRS. The pickups are about as good as I've heard on a 'second-string' guitar; I expected I would immediately be looking for replacement pickups for this guitar as I did with my PRS and Strat, but I think I may just stick with the Alnico Pros - for a while at least.
I'm also very impressed with the general fit and finish of the instrument; the finish is nearly perfect, the binding is smooth, the frets are fit perfectly. The hardware is solid and nicely finished, the Grover tuners are great looking and very smooth, and the neck nice and straight. All in all it has the feel of a much more expensive guitar. Epiphone definitely has a winner here.
Took me awhile to find my sound. For my playing style, I absolutely did not like Dr's on this one. I tried a set of D'addario's 9's and this tone fits the guitar perfectly. I like a brighter sound with a bite and with these strings and the volume knobs pulled out, I get that tone; think, Nowhere Man solo. The action is and easy to set up and intonate. No fret buzz and has a good feel. the electronics are high quality and it stays tuned fine. It feels good in your hands. It does not hurt you back like the es-335 does when standing with it for an hour at a time. My advise is to go to a store and run one through the motions; then come back to Sweetwater and buy it!
Bought this guitar with some skepticism thinking it would be a bit cheesy but to my surprise it rocks right out of the box has nice action and plays and feels good, the fit and finish is really nice, has a good feeling neck and tuners seem really responsive and tight, all in all the quality is much more then one might expect out of a guitar of this price. Definitely no disappointment here. I had just purchased a Gibson Les Paul Studio faded 2016 T and it really wasnâ€™t any nicer then this at all! If I had to pick one word for this 339 Pro it would be ( Sweet )
4.5 because I'm 60 and rarely blown away by any musical gear. That being said, I am extremely happy with my new cherry 339. I did not buy it at Sweetwater by the way, although afterwards I did order the Epi case from Sweetwater. Good looking case, fits perfectly. Great service, as usual.
I'm 60, which means I've been playing for nearly 50 years. My teacher says I'm making good progress. I started with a 2nd hand Harmony Sovereign when I was 11, which I still have, and most recently bought the 339. I was planning to take a Gibson pickup into my tech and get his advice on installing it in an MIM Strat, but my plans changed and having time on my hands I thought I'd stop in at the LMS to check out a used Gibson LP Custom they'd advertised.
The LP was nice enough, but not $3000 nice. But, they had a couple of Epi 339s on display. I'd heard good things about them so I thought I'd check them out. Now, I previously had a Gibson 339, as well as a very nice 335, so I have some background to draw on. (And some lovely and expensive guitars over the years before that). And I have a Sadowsky J Hall and a Kirn Tele at the present.
No, the Epi is not as good as the Gibsons. The fretwork was not perfect. The pickups were a little thin. Not a fan of the coil tap option. The Epi seemed lighter than the Gibson. But, overall the build quality seemed vey good. The action was a tad high and it needed a setup. I'll likely take it in to my tech, have him set it up and maybe replace the nut while he's at it. At some point, I'm likely going to replace the neck pickup with a Duncan, but that's not too pressing. Playability was excellent. I like the Epi headstock. I'm pretty confident the Epi epsilon will fall off the pickguard before too long and I'm good with that.
Overall, I'd rate the Epi very highly. For the money, it's an excellent buy. It will not hold you back and, once you've made a few modifications to suit your tastes, you won't have to "upgrade" (although there's no reason why you shouldn't get Sweetwater to send you a nice new Gibson if that's what you want).
The LMS had a couple of 339s on display. I tried them both. They were nearly identical playing-wise, but one was $50 more. The store said they'd give me the the lower price. Then they said they'd give me nearly $100 more in trade for my Strat than I paid for it. Then they said they had a BNIB in the back. I could try it and take the one I liked the most. Not a bad deal.
After deciding I needed a hollowbody to go w my modest collection, I tried everything - bunch of Gibsons, old and new Ibanez, everything Epiphone, several PRS, couple of Gretsch and Eastman, pretty much everything experts recommend as a cheaper 335. Then I watched dozens of YouTube reviews. Cost is always an issue, but I decided if my ear required spending $1000-$2000, I'd do it. I didn't want to under-buy and be irritated from the first note. Fortunately for me, while the sound and tones are different w every guitar, to my ear, they weren't significantly better than this 339. Very, very pleased w this guitar (as w everything Sweetwater) right out of the box. Plays like a dream. Gorgeous finish. Stays in tune. Humbuckers and switches offer a giant palette, allowing me to pretend for a minute I'm John Lee Hooker or Billy Gibbons or Ry Cooder...I don't know how they produce a guitar this nice and this price point. Gave 4.5 because there has to be something I don't like about this guitar - but so far, I can't find it!
My ES-339 (purchased from Sweetwater 18 months ago) has been a delight. It has the beautiful proportions of a Gibson archtop (I think of it as the anti-telecaster shape) combined with absolutely PERFECT finish - if it weren't for the Epiphone emblem (also beautifully executed - not a cheap print job) on the headstock, I'd think it was a genuine Gibson. And it plays like a dream - the action is light, quick, and clean, with the bonus option of that single-coil sound that takes old-timers like me back to our first experience with electric guitars.
So why doesn't my 339 earn five stars? It's because it arrived with the distance between the nut and the first fret one-half millimeter too long. It doesn't sound like much, but this error makes perfect intonation impossible. For an experienced guitar geek, this problem is easily diagnosed and remedied with careful application of a file (also an opportunity to install a TUSQ replacement nut - worth every cent for the additional ease of tuning). But for the typical guitarist, this problem would result in hours of trying to figure out what was wrong with the tuning machines, the saddle adjustments, the strings, or who knows what else.
In my case, I was happy to trade a couple hours of setup work for this beautiful guitar's satisfyingly low price - but it's important to remember that when you buy an expensive guitar, you are also paying for the time it takes a technician to check for, and eliminate, problems like mine. The moral of this story is: take the time to really learn how your guitar works. It's not rocket science, and the payoff is your ability to take almost any inexpensive guitar and make it play like one costing thousands of dollars more.
First of all, I've been a pro working guitarist for 49 years. Second, I've been a certified guitar technician for the past 40 years. I've owned or played or worked on about every style & brand of guitar & bass ever made. From Pre-war Martins to '59 Bursts to '54 Strats & '52 Tele's. BTW: if you want to play all the historic and cool guitars without the expense of owning them, study up & practice to become a HIGH QUALITY PROFESSIONAL guitar tech. Those instruments will flock to your bench :)
This review covers the guitar as I received it 'right out of the box'.
Before I begin, let me make a general statement to all the newbies and inexperienced guitar mechanics out there. NO guitar will come out of the box adjusted to your liking. I constantly wrestle with brand new $9K+ Custom Shop Les Pauls just to get them playable. Just as you need to move seats and adjust mirrors in a new car, guitars need to be setup to your personal taste. All reviews that summarily condemn an instrument because it arrived needing adjustment aren't worth the bandwidth it took to post them.
With that being said, I've repaired several GIBSON ES-339's that needed an unreasonable amount of setup (re-cut (replace) the nut, level, recrown & polish the frets, refinish Gibson's abysmal sticky necks. Gibson's quality is simply down the tubes.
This 339 came out of the box needing a fret polish, a truss rod adjustment, new strings [that's a given] and THAT'S ALL. UNBELIEVABLE.
The sound of it's pickups are subjective but they're better sounding that older Epi PUPs. They've stepped up their game. How do they sound? Everyone has different expectations and 'target sounds' so I won't comment on that. It's like asking someone if they like Chocolate or Vanilla ice cream. There is no wrong answer. They're either 'for you' or 'not for you'.
For the price I paid for the guitar and case, it was a steal of a deal. The finish work (especially around the f holes..mine were near perfect]) is superior to a Gibson instrument. Yes, it's poly vs. lacquer, but we're not talking a future collectible or an heirloom instrument I found zero finish flaws. Frets are satisfactorily level, well seated & finished. Even the nut was cut perfectly!!! Whoever set this guitar up was having a GREAT day on the bench. And let me tell you, when it comes to setups, I'm a real nit picker about the quality of work and playability.
The stock hardware is very acceptable. As a guitar tech, I always upgrade ALL the hardware to components of different metallurgical composition (my secret recipe) to get the most acoustic response out of the instrument. My 339 will get a Gotoh bridge, a Kluson ZINC stop-bar tailpiece, Nickle plated Brass tailpiece studs, a bone nut and Grover 18:1 Sta-Tite tuners (w/conversion bushings). PUPs will be upgraded to Lollar Low Wind Imperials and the pots to USA made CTS's and pup selector switch upgraded to a USA made Switchcraft, as will the output jack. Strap-locks? Of course as they should be mandatory equip on ALL guitars.
So, all I was expecting for the ridiculously low price was a 'good' platform instrument to upgrade.
What I GOT was a quality instrument that wouldn't be unfairly priced at twice it's street price. It was gigable right out of the box.
I usually play my instruments for 4-6 months with only minimal required adjustments so they can 'settle in' before I begin my upgrades. This one will be a joy during that time as, other than my PERSONALLY DESIRED mod's, it needs nothing.
And, buy the case. It's a quality case and has a vintage vibe look to it.
But most of all, it will provide superb transport protection and that's what a case is TRULY about....not looks.
For new Sweetwater customers...you're in good hands. These folks KNOW how to pack a guitar for survivable shipping. BIG TIME KUDOS to the cats in the Shipping Dept. And my Sales Tech, Aaron? Thank you sir. You're a true professional :)
I wanted a semi-hollow body and did not want to spend a lot of money. I have to say, for the price this guitar delivers in every way! You will have to be willing accept that not everything on the guitar is going to be the best quality. For example, the "E" logo on the pick guard fell off on day one. No big deal really. Looks better without it. Also, the cheap plastic nut really robs sustain and tone. I ordered and installed a Tusq nut, put on new strings, set the intonation and NOW this thing sounds great. I strongly recommend doing that upgrade - you can get a Tusq XL pre-slotted for Epiphone and it required minimal sanding to fit. I have no desire to change the pickups...the Alnico Pro's get the job done for me. A lot of versatility and great tone in all pickup positions. Of course the team at Sweetwater was great. This was my first time buying a guitar before playing it and I would not hesitate to buy from Sweetwater again.
For a $400.00 semi hollow body it is great. The quality of the paint, the binding, the Grover tuners, the whole package pleasantly surprised me. The only thing I needed to change was the height of the action. That was simple. It plays very well. For a small jazz box about the size of a Les Paul it sounds great. The Epiphone neck pick up has a sweet mellow tone but drop it to the bridge, turn up the gain and shred away. You won't be disappointed.
This guitar plays and sounds great. It is really we'll made. The body and finish are flawless. The neck is the right thickness and is very easy to play. You defenintly want to replace the strings as soon as you get it, I was told by my sales engineer Dustin that they come with Gibson 10s but they're terrible strings. I replaced them with Ernie Ball Cobalt 9s and the guitar really came alive. If you're looking for a very affordable semi hollow guitar this guitar is definitely the one.
I've had mine for eight months and I am very pleased with it. I like the size and shape and the cherry finish is beautiful and flawless. The feel is right and it's very comfortable to play. It provides the classic open tone. It feels solid and well made. The tuners are silky smooth and there is no string slippage at the nut whatsoever. This guitar is easy to tune and stays in tune. The neck shape and thickness is familiar and comfortable as I've played old Les Pauls for many, many years.
It arrived well packed and in flawless condition. I did replace the strings after a few days with my own and did some minor tweaks to the setup and aside from that have no plans nor need to upgrade anything. There was a thin layer of scale on the new frets which quickly polished away from playing the guitar. My action is low enough to be very fast but high enough to make for easy bends. I have no issue with string buzz or fretting out.
The pickups are on the mellower side but express the open tone all right. I always use the bridge in full humbucker mode and usually keep the neck in single coil mode, and that keeps a nice contrast and balance. This guitar works well with a clean setup, overdriven, or heavily distorted.
I'm very happy to have this guitar and i would buy it again in a second. I appreciate the ability to view the photos online at Sweetwater. I don't know if I just got lucky but this one has definitely exceeded my expectations. I've had it and played it every day so we're out of the honeymoon period. This one's a keeper. I play it every day.
I have a Gibson LP and a Fender Deluxe Strat but I was looking for something light weight with a nice fat blues sound that didn't break the bank. This guitar is just what I was looking for. It's my first semi-hollow body and it's not much larger than my solid body guitars so it felt comfortable right out of the box. The humbuckers deliver a rich full sound and the coil taps give you more tonal variations if you need them. I rarely use them but you never know. This is the first non-American made guitar that I have purchased and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fit and finish of this guitar far exceeded my expectations. It's beautiful! I couldn't find any imperfections on it. A few of the frets needed a little polishing and the input jack needed snugging up but so far those are the only problems I've encountered. The guitar stays in tune very well despite my bending the strings a lot. I think that this guitar is a great buy.
Guitar had extremely low action out of the box.
I had to adjust to Epiphone/Gibson suggested action of 6/64" bass and 4/64" treble side at 12th fret.
Rosewood fret board wood was speckled.
Pickup height was way too low out of the box.
Bang for buck. A cheap Gibson 339.
Full and even clean tone
Thick rock tone
Pleasing chime on the bridge pickup
Pickups get rid of hum very well
Overall this guitar is very hard to put down and I love it. If you get it, make sure you have the tools to make adjustments because SW will not do it for you.
I have owned the Gibson version and many ther Gibson Les Paul's etc. This guitar for the money is hands down one of the best values in guitar world. It plays just as good as the Gibby. The finish, fit, and out of the box set up was as good as any Gibson I have owned.
However, the electronics are not quite up to par. The 57 classic pups are one of my favorite sets and while close...these aren't quite there. I will upgrade the electronics here. With that said, Epi has upped their game. These are way better than the pups I had on an Epi les paul i bought 10 yrs ago. The coil-splitting is serviceable. While not quite strat tones, the neck pup gives some nice clarity and definition. Great blues tone. More P-90ish. The bridge does nothing thing for me in coil-split.
I do miss the Nitro laquer smell! But seriously, unless you just have to have the prestige of the Gibson logo across the headstock...both guitars are laminate maple...this is worth every penny and gig worthy out of the box.
Just a wonderful size and weight to play. Great feeling neck and versatility in spades. And the tone through my Mashall is very good...even with the Epi pups.
BEAUTIFUL GUITAR,FUN TO PLAY,BUT JUST NOT LIKE A FULL SIZED GUITAR,STILL GIVE IT 5 STARS
Guitar was set up perfectly with strings of my choice. Love the finish and feel. The pick up selection options is great. Love the size and weight for long gig times. Preferred it over the Gibson version after playing both. Just wish you could get it in the ginger finish. Sweetwater is always customer service oriented more than any other musical instrument dealers, online or otherwise.
Beautiful guitar. Great fit and finish. Easy to play and sounds great!
Take an Epiphone Dot, put in a dryer for half an hour and you have an ES-339. Add in coil tapping and decent electronics and you have a playable guitar right out of the box. All I did was change the strings, I always do that, lower the string height a small bit, and adjust the truss rod. All the screws were already tightened and the tuners fully functional, probably thanks to Sweetwater. No, it's not a $3000 Gibson, but I only paid 1/10th of that for a good workingman's guitar.
The fit and finish are good. There are some things that need attention when the instrument first arrives. I did a setup and put new strings on it and the playability and tone improved dramatically. For the money, this is just what I expected and it will work nicely as a carry-around jam guitar. I am happy with it.
While the guitar looks, plays, and sounds great - that is not the way it came out of the box. In my opinion the guitar was assembled but not set up. Fortunate for me that I do my own setups which I did on my newly purchased 339 including leveling and crowning of the frets and adjusting the Bridge both for height and intonation. The nut was good and need no adjustments. After I finished with the setup I was very pleased with this guitar as it has the sound of a semi-hollow body with awesome sustain and the size of a Paul with out the weight and now perfect intonation.
Ok for the money but it is basically a sub $450 chinese hollow body guitar. Looks great, sounds good for what it is but do your self a favor save a couple of extra ben franklins and buy something alot better. After reading all the glowing reviews & wanting a hollow body guitar I decided this was the one. I have always been a humbucking and gibson fan & have a Epi 1960 tribute which is fantastic so thought this one would be the ticket.When it came the action was horrible. I dont know who did the 55 point evaluation but I would never of sent a guitar to a player with the action like this. The 3 way toggle had a short in it from day one. I sprayed some tuner cleaner on it & that seemed to take care of that problem. I set the action up and it was a big improvement but still not great. My 60 tribute has the 57 classics & sounds as good as any Gibson. These alnico classics in this guitar while OK do not hold a candle to the gibson classics. The neck is more of a rounded C instead of a Slim D as described. The frets are rough especially on the edges. Have been playing since 1974 & maybe I got a lemon. But am not impressed with this offer from Epiphone.
Submitting a revised review, as I am not able to edit my original.
After spending almost a month playing this guitar I have to say I am less impressed now than I was initially. There have been a couple of small issues, some of which you might expect in a lower end guitar, but I was hoping this one would be the exception. First, the little Epiphone emblem on the pickguard started peeling up within a few days of getting the guitar. No big deal, it doesn't really ad anything so I just peeled it the rest of the way off. But still... Then, while changing strings the second time (did I mention I've played this quite a bit?) I noticed the tuner for the high E string was becoming harder to turn than the others. It still turned, but the difference was noticeable. I emailed SW tech support to ask about it, and the tech, who was very helpful, suggested I try loosening the tension screw, and if that didn't work he would send me a replacement (I can do many guitar repairs myself, so was going to return it just to replace a machine head). I couldn't find what he was talking about, but did remove the tuner and gave it a good oiling, which seemed to resolve the problem. Now the E string tends to go out of tune more often, but that could be because I unwound/rewound the string, so I'm not ready to call that a failure yet. Now, just in the past few days, I've started noticing the pickup selector switch is making an 'static' noise when switching pickups... Again, none of these are huge problems, but taken together point to a bit of lack of quality IMO. Maybe I was just expecting too much from a sub- $500 guitar. I can honestly say, if I hadn't already thrown out the box I would probably be returning the guitar. As it is, I will hang on to it, fix the things that need fixing, and resolve to only buy used high-end instruments in the future (although to be fair, I am extremely happy with my MIM Strat and SE PRS guitars, so maybe this one is the exception).
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