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Backup Guitar

hankjmcc

New member
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
7
I have a great 2017 CME Spec Custom Shop Goldtop with the Colletti neck profile that is the only thing I ever play. I've toyed with getting it sent to Historic makeovers but I'd like to first get a backup guitar for gigs or a second guitar to cover me for waiting period . I'd like something a little different but still in the Les Paul Family or maybe a 335. Is a 57 3 pickup custom a bad option? I had a Custom Shop 57 TV Junior at one point but i couldn't live with the club neck. Is the neck on the Les Paul Custom as large and clubby as the Junior reissue?
 

Red Rogue

Active member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
167
Go and buy a 335! Very versatile, beautiful, full neck access and lighter weight!
But you should try a few. There are some muddy examples out there.
Look for a good fitting neck. Personally I like the thicker necks on the '58/'59 and '64 (less top end because nylon saddles) if you want to go the historic line.
To avoid the thick necks you should try a '63.

The 3PU 57 BB is a beauty, but in my opinion the middle pickup is in the way of the picking hand. The necks are clubby, although there are slimmer examples.
Maybe the '68 Custom (maple cap!) is an alternative. Sonically maybe too close to your Goldtop.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,382
Yeah an ES-3x5 sounds like a good option and gives you non-overlap still in the family.

If not Nashville Custom Shop... Check out the Memphis 'Custom' serial 63 Block 335s for a great option, they have the MHS pickups. Newer Nashville USA line have calibrated T-Types which are also enjoyable, look at those 345s too... parallelograms and multi-ply!

If Custom Shop, check out the 64 RI. Of course, you can't go wrong with any ES you try and enjoy.

The other recommendations for the CS carved tops (336/356) or small LP-sized ES bodies (339) are also very good options, but you've mentioned being open to a full-size semi-hollow ES-335, so explore that path first.

Good luck!
 
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Any Name You Wish

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Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
501
If you go the Custom Shop 335 route, I would get one with the classic 57 pups. You will have a screaming beast on stage, and at the end of a song you hit a big E major and turn to face your amp for the best feedback you will ever hear.
 

jb_abides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,382
If you go the Custom Shop 335 route, I would get one with the classic 57 pups. You will have a screaming beast on stage, and at the end of a song you hit a big E major and turn to face your amp for the best feedback you will ever hear.

Just FYI for clarity so OP knows, this requires you to shop used absent going Made-to-Measure, as all current era CS ES come equipped with unspotted A3 CustomBuckers.

That said, I do love the 57s in my Y2k 59 Dot Reissue.
 

hankjmcc

New member
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
7
I have a 339 which was my very first Gibson. I'm crazy enough to do the rewire myself to change pickups but the 57 classics are definitely great sounding in a semi hollow especially in the middle position and ended up back in the guitar. Unfortunately the neck shape causes fatigue very fast on my hands so I can't play it for long periods of time (it was the 30/60 profile). I've grown to like things in a slight V shape with less shoulder. Would a custom shop 335 be a big step up compared to a circa 2011ish 339? I would likely go Cherry red so either a 61 or 64. Does the 61 neck have a lot of shoulder to it?

I'd love to do the 3 pickup custom mostly due to my love of Peter Frampton but need to find a lighter weight one/try a few out to see if I can live with the middle pickup location. That's a good concern I need to decide before I commit to one. I like the idea of rewiring it to blend the middle pickup in but am not sure how much that adds tone wise or if I would be better off going the 335 Route.

Regardless of the backup I go with, I am going to flip the Phase on the Pickups on the Goldtop to help justify getting a second guitar with humbuckers.
 

Any Name You Wish

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
501
In general, the 60's 335 reissue neck profile is going to be slimmer. Typically a C shape with varying amount of shoulder. Unfortunately you have to play a few them to find one that works for you because they vary a lot. My '59 dot neck 335 RI had a big fat neck and it recently became harder to play. Instead of selling/trading it I shaved (sanded) the neck down myself to match the Carmelita neck profile of my R9, then I had the back of the neck professionally re-finished and it came out perfect. It sounds better now too, more lively. It is a treasure.

The Custom Shop 335 is probably going to be a step up from your 339. Play them back-to-back and see what happens. You never know. Gibsons are weird that way.
 

hankjmcc

New member
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
7
In general, the 60's 335 reissue neck profile is going to be slimmer. Typically a C shape with varying amount of shoulder. Unfortunately you have to play a few them to find one that works for you because they vary a lot. My '59 dot neck 335 RI had a big fat neck and it recently became harder to play. Instead of selling/trading it I shaved (sanded) the neck down myself to match the Carmelita neck profile of my R9, then I had the back of the neck professionally re-finished and it came out perfect. It sounds better now too, more lively. It is a treasure.

The Custom Shop 335 is probably going to be a step up from your 339. Play them back-to-back and see what happens. You never know. Gibsons are weird that way.
That's a great idea. I'll try somethings out and if I can't find anything I like neck wise but like the guitar I will have the neck shaved down to match the Goldtop.
 
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1allspub

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
199
3 pickup Black Beauty 1957 RI LPCs look amazing, but I, like some others, find the middle pickup troublesome for picking. I got myself the 2 pickup BB7 as a result… and love it. I also the all mahogany body and the feel (and look) of the ebony fretboard. A 1968 LPC RI or a regular LPC (ie, not a RI) will have a maple cap if you prefer that (and probably a bit thinner neck than a 57).

Otherwise, a 335 variant or even a Les Paul Special or Junior w/ P90s would be good options for a back up.
 

charliechitlins

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Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
1,047
My back up is a $99 Epiphone.
Every now and then, I'll put down my #1 Lester...or '65 Firebird...or '74 Tele Custom...or '59 ES225...and pick the Epi up because it catches my eye.
It's so light and plays and sounds so great...more often than not, I'll finish out the gig with it.
Great guitar.
And I can carry it in a gig bag, which I wouldn't do with a valuable guitar.
Makes load in/out just that much easier.
 

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Jethro Rocker

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Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
284
Since you have a 339 already, I will go out on a limb here.
Try a used L6-S. While a very thin, narrow seeming neck, they play superb and have many tonal options and are fairly light. No overlap at all with what you currently have!
Otherwise a 60s neck 335 since you can't do the 339 for long periods.
 

hankjmcc

New member
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
7
I was able to Try a 61 reissue and a Frampton Sig at a shop yesterday. I was surprised that I didn't have any issues with the middle pickup and the necks of both guitars felt remarkably similar. I think a 61 335 in Cherry will be my move after I try a few more at shops. The neck felt great and since it feels so different, I don't have the issue of feeling like its not as good as the Les Paul I already have. The 335 felt like a giant step up in feel and tone over the 339.

Thanks for all y'alls help with ideas.
 

Jethro Rocker

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
284
I was able to Try a 61 reissue and a Frampton Sig at a shop yesterday. I was surprised that I didn't have any issues with the middle pickup and the necks of both guitars felt remarkably similar. I think a 61 335 in Cherry will be my move after I try a few more at shops. The neck felt great and since it feels so different, I don't have the issue of feeling like its not as good as the Les Paul I already have. The 335 felt like a giant step up in feel and tone over the 339.

Thanks for all y'alls help with ideas.
I found no real hardship going from LP to 335 either. I like slimmer necks.
 

MattD1960

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Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
754
Id go for the 3HB Black Beauty, I recently got one after toying with the idea for years.... i should not have waited. i talked myself out of the BB for so long because i thought the middle pick up would get in the way i lowered it a little and its great and that middle position out of phase tone with the bridge pick up is super cool and comes in handy quite a bit. as far as the neck shape the 57 reissue i have has a pretty slim neck by r7 standards very comfortable
 
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