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Through the course of more than five decades and myriad shifting musical styles, the ES-335 has remained one of the most popular electric guitars of all time. Its ingenious blend of hollowbody warmth and solidbody bite made it arguably the most versatile guitar available when Gibson introduced the model in 1958, and that design imperative hasn't changed today.
For some players more accustomed to the slimmer lines and more compact dimensions of a solidbody electric, though, the standard ES-335 can feel just a little large and unwieldy. Enter the Gibson Custom Shop's ES-339, a guitar built to the design ethos of its predecessor the ES-335, but fashioned to proportions closer to those of the legendary Gibson solidbodies such as the Les Paul and SG. The gently arched top with real f-holes, thinline semi-hollow body, solid maple center block to reduce feedback and enhance sustain, rounded symmetrical cutaways with unparalleled upper-fret access-all here, minus a little of the bulk and weight.
The End of an Era, the Beginning of a Legend
Whether you play blues, rock, jazz, or country, the Custom Shop ES-339 is one guitar that is entirely at home with any or all of it. A pair of Gibson's highly acclaimed 57 Classic humbucking pickups accurately replicate the sound of the legendary PAF humbuckers of the late '50s, with performance updates for today's demanding player. In the neck position, loaded into a guitar with the ES-339's sonic versatility, the 57 Classic provides a range of outstanding voices, from mellow jazz work with outstanding depth and definition, to a singing blues-lead voice with plenty of crispness and cut.
In the bridge, it gives you everything from biting twang to wailing, cutting rock tones with a little overdrive applied. All this, and the ES-339 uses Gibson's Nashville Tone Circuit to immaculately maintain highs as you roll back the volume controls. The classic pairing of a Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece provide solid anchoring and point-perfect adjustment at the body end, while a PLEK-cut Corian nut keeps it all sweet at the end of the neck-a hardware complement that works together to optimize resonance and sustain.
As for playability, the ES-339 offers the player a choice of superb neck feels. The rounded '59 profile replicates the slightly chunky yet fast carve of late '50s Les Pauls and ES-335s, while the 30/60 profile comes closer to the thin necks of the early '60s, but with an added .030-inches of depth for increased comfort and grip. Top it all off with a choice of thin Antique Red, Antique Vintage Sunburst, or Light Caramel Burst nitrocellulose finishes and throw in a plus-lined Gibson Custom hardshell case, and it's an unbeatable instrument, whatever kind of music you make. Check out the Gibson Custom Shop ES-339 today at your authorized Gibson dealer.
Body and Finish
The top, back and sides of the Custom Shop ES-339 are crafted with the same pressed-arch, laminated-maple with solid maple centerblock construction that was used by Gibson to produce the first ES-335s 52 years ago, but the ES-339 is made to more compact dimensions closer to those of Gibson's solidbody electric guitars.
The Custom Shop ES-339's neck and headstock are made in the classic tradition of several great Gibson models, including that of its larger predecessor, the original ES-335. Carved from a single piece of quarter-sawn mahogany and topped with a rosewood fingerboard, the design incorporates Gibson's lauded 17-degree back-angled headstock, which contributes greatly to the instrument's resonance and sustain.
Pickups and Electronics
The Custom Shop ES-339 is equipped with pickups and electronics that accurately reflect the original units of the most desirable ES-335s ever made, but with performance enhancements to benefit today's player. A pair of 57 Classic pickups capture that highly sought-after "PAF" style tone.
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