The Gibson ES-335 bass is/was a limited run, semi-acoustic bass from their Memphis factory.
It is/was available in three colours: Vintage Sunburst (bound), Vintage Faded Cherry (bound), and Ebony (no binding).
A quality product. It looked awesome just sitting in it's case!
The action was set a bit high when I got it, but I've sorted that now by lowering it at the bridge. Thankfully the neck relief was ok after I stuck some (low tension) Thomastik-Infeld JF344 flatwounds on it. (Nothing wrong with the roundwounds that came on it, I just like flats.)
Had to adjust the pickup heights a little too.
I am pleasantly surprised at how well balanced it is, being hollow bodied and full scale. No neck dive at all, unlike Thunderbirds I've owned before!
It actually feels like a medium scale bass to play, despite the full scale neck.
Access to the upper frets is dreadful, but I never go there anyway, so it won't worry me.
I'll need to get used to the thickness of the body and the binding, my upper wrist has grooves pressed into it the way I am currently playing it after 10 minutes or so. I'll need to start bending my wrist at a more acute angle to avoid pressure on the edge of the binding. That and maybe playing it slung a bit lower and wearing a sweat band in that pressure spot on my wrist.
Sound? I've always loved the sound of semi-hollow basses through valve amps and this one doesn't disappoint. It's awesome! Lovely "honky" edge to it with plenty of balls!
At the moment I'm digging the finger-plucked sound more than plectrum plucking. I'll use this bass mainly in the country-rock band. Should suit it down to a tee both sonically and visually.
Unlike a lot of other semi-hollow bodied basses, including some other Gibsons, this bass has surprisingly good sustain. The notes ring out for a similar time to a solid body.
These basses were a limited run by Gibson a few years ago and are no longer being made. I really had to hunt around to find this one, at it's reasonable price. There's not many left in the wild out there!
More to come!
Gibson ES-335 bass
A semi-acoustic, double humbuckered, limited run gem from Gibson.