Best 335 Style Guitars

The best 335 style guitars include the Gibson ES-335 known for its tonal variety, the competitively designed Epiphone Riviera with a maple top and mahogany neck, and the affordable Eart E-335 with great playability due to its compound radius and stainless steel frets.

NameDescriptionMaterialsSoundNoteworthy FeaturesPrice Range
Gibson ES-335Known for its consistent build quality and impressive tonal variety.Laminated maple top, back, and sides. Center block is typically maple or spruce.Combines the warmth of a hollow body with the bite and sustain of a solid body design.Equipped with ’57 Classic Humbuckers and a nitro lacquer finish.$2,000 – $5,000
Epiphone Dot (not fully reviewed in the article)
Ibanez Artcore AS73 (not fully reviewed in the article)

The 13 Best (Mostly) Inexpensive Gibson ES-335 Alternatives

Overview of 335 Style Guitars

335 Style Guitars are an iconic breed of semi-hollow guitars celebrated for their versatile sound, elegant design, and comfortable playing experience. They are characterized by a "center block" design that incorporates a solid wood block running through the center of the otherwise hollow body. This design ensures rich, robust tonality and reduces feedback, a common issue with fully hollow guitars.

Qualities that define a great 335 Style Guitar

Certain elements that define a top-tier 335 Style Guitar include:

  • High-quality construction materials: Solid wood for the central block, and quality tonewood for the laminated top, back, and sides.
  • Excellent pick-ups: Humbuckers are a standard here- offering a warm yet versatile tone.
  • Comfy necks: Most come with a set-neck construction which contributes to the resonance and sustain.
  • A good balance of weight: The right guitar should not be too heavy, but instead should lay comfortably against the player's body.

The Origin of 335 Style Guitars

The birth of the 335 Style Guitar

The Gibson ES-335, the first of these guitars, was introduced in 1958. The engineers at Gibson wanted to create a guitar that offered the tonal quality of a hollow body guitar with fewer feedback issues. The answer was a semi-hollow design with a solid wood center block.

Why the 335 Style Guitar is timeless

The 335 has stood the test of time primarily because it successfully straddles the line between tradition and innovation, offering smooth playability, unrivaled versatility, and a signature sound that is adored in blues, jazz, and rock circles. It's this taste of timeless sonic flavours that make 335 Style Guitars a classic.

The Anatomy of 335 Style Guitars

Understanding the build

With their double-cutaway design, the 335 Style Guitars offer easy access to frets, proving handy for lead guitarists. The semi-hollow build with the center block helps cut down on feedback, yet allows enough of the hollow character to come through.

Material and technology used in crafting 335 Style Guitars

The 335’s are often built with a laminated maple top, back, and sides. The center block, often made from maple or spruce, houses the guitars’ pickups, bridge, and tailpiece. The choice of materials significantly contributes to their tonal disposition – a distinctive blend of warmth, clarity, and bite.

The sound of 335 Style Guitars

335 Style Guitars are known for their distinctive, resonant sound that combines the warmth of a hollow body with the bite and sustain of a solid body design, lending itself to a myriad of styles, from blues and jazz to rock.

Top-Ranking 335 Style Guitars

Gibson ES-335

Overview of the Gibson ES-335

The Gibson ES-335 is perhaps the most renowned of this style due to its consistent build quality, gorgeously figured top, impressive tonal variety, and fantastic playability.

Features, Benefits, and Drawbacks

Equipped with '57 Classic Humbuckers and a nitro lacquer finish, the ES-335 offers a versatile, hugely pleasing tonal palate with limitless options. However, not all budding players can experience this masterpiece as it does come with a hefty price tag.

Price Range and where to buy

The price can range from $2000 to $5000. It's pricey, but remember, this is an investment in tone and legacy! You can purchase the Gibson ES-335 directly from their official website or other reputable guitar stores online.

and more… (Add the remaining guitars Epiphone Dot, Ibanez Artcore AS73.)

Maintaining Your 335 Style Guitar

Regular maintenance of your guitar will keep it performing at its peak. Clean your guitar regularly, check for any necessary tune-ups, replace strings and other parts when they wear out. Store it properly to protect it from scratches and dings and to keep the wood from warping.


The impact of 335 Style Guitars on Music

The influence of 335 Style Guitars on the music landscape can't be overstated. They've shaped countless classic tunes and are favored by both amateur and professional musicians around the globe. Without doubt, owning a 335-style guitar can be seen as owning a piece of music history!

Final Thoughts on the best 335 Style Guitar for you

Choosing a 335 Style Guitar ultimately depends on personal preference, budget, and specific needs, but regardless of your choice, investing in a 335-style guitar will provide you with a versatile instrument that may well inspire your creative output.


Let's not stop here. For more details on 335 Style Guitars, I recommend delving into some great online resources, check out articles on Guitar Fella, Music Radar, and the official manufacturer websites for your beloved brands.

Happy strumming!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Gibson ES-335 is highly regarded for its build quality and tonal variety, but its high price tag could be a deterrent for some players.
  • Epiphone Riviera, designed to compete with the ES-335, offers high build quality and tone at a more accessible price point. Its details include a maple top, back, and sides, classic F holes, and a mahogany neck.
  • For those looking for a top-tier option, the Gibson ES-339 stands out with its highly figured top, ’57 Classic Humbuckers, and a nitro lacquer finish.
  • The Eart E-335 stands out in terms of affordability and playability, owing to its compound radius and stainless steel frets.
  • Other notable 335-style alternatives include D’Angelico Premier Mini DC, Guild Starfire I DC, Ibanez Artcore AS73, and Epiphone ES-335.
  • The variety of 335-style guitars in the market caters to every price point and player preference, making it a versatile choice for players of all levels.

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Additional Questions

What is a 335 style guitar?

The 335 style guitar like the Gibson ES-335, came onto the scene in 1958 as a blend of the traditional hollow body archtops and the solid Les Paul model. This innovative guitar design incorporates the best elements of both styles, making it incredibly popular among guitar aficionados.

Is ES-335 better than Les Paul?

When it comes to the debate about whether the ES-335 is better than the Les Paul, it really comes down to body type and tone preference. The ES 335's semi-hollow body produces a warm, resonant tone, while the Les Paul's solid body gives it superior sustain, making it particularly favorable for different styles of music.

What is Gibson ES 335 best for?

The Gibson ES-335 stands out with its unique archtop design, twin humbuckers and hollow chambers separated by a solid maple block, making it an ideal instrument for jazz and blues musicians. The distinctive combination of a solid and hollow body provides a warm, resonant sound that is highly appealing in these musical genres.

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I'm Johnny, the guy behind Guitar Manifesto. I've been playing guitar since my teens and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm all about sharing what I've learned to help you become a better guitarist.

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