Gibson Custom ES-339 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar with 30/60 Neck, Light Caramel Burst Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Monday, August 29, 2011

Gibson Custom ES-339 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar with 30/60 Neck, Light Caramel Burst
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I went to a couple popular stores and tried every semi-hollow body they had.I got narrowed down to the 335 and the 339.I used a Fender 65 Deluxe reverb amp to compare all guitars.I kept coming back to the 339.Mine has the 30/60 neck.I found the 59 rounded neck a bit chunkier.I guess its the Classic 57 pickups that give this guitar its balls over a 335.So I hammered it and took it home.I play blues, classic rock, light coffee house jazz.I have no use for a distortion or gain pedals. The guitar is bigger than a Les Paul and smaller than a 335.It is very very comfortable to play.
OK now for any short comings.Thankfully I have done my own setups on my acoustic guitars for several years.The first to go are the so called Custom TUNERS to be replaced by Gotoh Vintage Keystone-style.These look the same but stay in tune.Next and its no big deal is set the intonation.When replacing the strings I put on a pre-slotted bone NUT from MoJo Supply and threw away the piece plastic.In looking at the guitar without rose colored glasses like when buying it i noticed the strings were shifted towards the high E string at the saddle quite noticeably at the end of the fretboard.Nice.Was the saddle posts put in 1/8 inch out of alignment or what?Boy this could be a major job to correct.No sense in calling Gibson.I decided to cut new string slots and move all the stings towards the low E string in the saddles.I will next replace the whole flimsy saddle assembly with a better one.Ok lets talk about the pickup angles to the strings.Mine were angled at least a 1/4 inch.In other words not parallel with the strings.Not even remotely close.Do I call Gibson and not get another call or email returned?Or buy new PICKUP MOUNTING RINGS that are flat and not SLANTED?I took the pickups out and sanded the rings down on one side so now the pickups set parallel to the strings.I have had to tightened the TRUSS ROD three times.It was sloppy loose from the factory.In final (I hope) I set the bridge that the strings go through all the way down on the body of the guitar.I read somewhere some like doing this for sustain maybe.I think it DOES make some slight difference.However when doing this the strings will hit the back of the saddle assembly before they make contact with the saddles.To fix this you start the strings in the opposite end of the bridge and they will wrap OVER the bridge raising them up enough to clear the saddle assembly.
FINISH.Thankfully my vintage sunburst was acceptable. I have seen photos from other happy 339 owners showing stain runs or sags the length of the back that were just finished over hoping someone would think they were grain lines.
OK thats all folks.This is my main work horse guitar.Having run Gibson "Custom" shop in the ground here I do love the guitar. The tone with the pickups is wonderful and the sustain is as good as using a compression pedal.Do not fear about buying one of these guitars because of my experience here.Just look at some things before your return policy is up.Buck for buck it is one of the best buys Gibson has at the moment. If it were lost I would replace it with another in a minute.

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Product Description:
The ES-339 is the next generation from the Custom Shop of Gibson's iconic ES electric guitars. It goes where no guitar has gone before with a bold, new semi-hollow tone that is rich with expressive, even stinging, overtones. The ES-339 has some exciting enhancements including Memphis Tone electronics, the 30/60 slender neck profile, and reduced dimensions and weight.Memphis Tone electronics Memphis Tone circuitry utilizes 500K audio taper pots that operate with an interactive load that preserves high end as you turn down the volume. The loading effect preserves the full-bodied tone with rich midrange and singing sustain from the '57 Classic humbuckers while adding a very sweet bite. Another difference is the volume is very smooth, rolling off in even increments along with the numbers on the knobs. Since they operate more like how we hear (logarithmically), the controls work the way the player thinks they should. So when the guitarist turns down the volume the highs are still there!30/60 Neck Developed in assistance from guitar guru Jon Schwartz. The 30/60 slender neck is a '60s style neck with an extra .030" front-to-back to preserve the semi-hollowbody tone, sustain, and feel while providing smooth playability (The rounded '59 neck profile is also available on the ES-339 '59 Neck - product #515255).Reduced dimensions and weight The ES-339 builds on the success of the semi-hollowbody guitars first introduced by Gibson in 1958 with the ES-335. Lighter and more compact than a traditional semi-hollow guitar, the ES-339 retains the distinct semi-hollowbody electric tone that powered so many hit records and landmark performances. Outer rim output jack Here's one ES players have been wanting: The output jack is mounted on the outer rim. No more cable crossing the body, spoiling the guitar's clean looks and and getting in your way.Two '57 Classic Humbuckers with 3-way pickup selection plus individual volume and tone controls provide the incredibly versatile sounds that mak

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