• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Gibson ES335 (2021) - QC issues?

triodium

New member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
3
I pulled the trigger and I bought a new Gibson ES335 (2021 model) which at first looked perfectly although by looking at it I found a number of things that I'm not sure if those are "part of the magic" or may be it is worth to claim a replacement/reimbursement:
  1. Rough fingerboard that seems to be sanded with a thick grit. I've heard about this thing on several threads and videos and seems that it can be fixed by using 0000 steel wool or a very thin grit (attached pics of this)
  2. Bad painting on the neck in the upper part of the joint with the body
  3. Some minor things that I've noticed like small level difference between the neck and the binding
Aside of that, the guitar sounds awesome and all the rest is perfectly fine.
What do you thing guys? should I request a replacement?


 
Last edited:

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,134
Level difference between the neck and the binding? The neck is set at an angle and not parallel to the body. The binding follows the neck not the body.

Don't use steel wool. Any particles that come off that stuff will stick to the pickups. It's really hard to get that stuff off.

Just to head off another thing you might think is wrong but is correct for a 335 style guitar, The neck pickup angle does not follow the neck and string angle. The bridge side of the neck pickup is higher, closer to the strings than the neck side of that pickup. If it looks crooked to you, that's the way it's done on a 335.

Got any pics of the guitar other than what you put up for your first post? Congrats on the new guitar. Good luck.
 

triodium

New member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
3
Level difference between the neck and the binding? The neck is set at an angle and not parallel to the body. The binding follows the neck not the body.

I think I expressed myself bad on that point. When you pass your thumb just at the end of the wood and the start of the binding, it feels the knife cut at some portions of the neck (after the 7th fret portion of the neck it is perfectly smooth)

Just to head off another thing you might think is wrong but is correct for a 335 style guitar, The neck pickup angle does not follow the neck and string angle. The bridge side of the neck pickup is higher, closer to the strings than the neck side of that pickup. If it looks crooked to you, that's the way it's done on a 335.

I know that the neck is set on an angle. The action and playability on my one is perfectly fine and I do not have any complaints at all on that. The thing that I feel is wrong is that the painting in the visible part of the joint is weird (kind of opaque and worn out in relation to the rest of the guitar)

The thing that worries me most is to know if the ES335 fingerboard should be like that by design, or the one I got is just a bad quality one. I also have a LP 50s and the fingerboard is the complete opposite to this one (it is nicely smooth and well polished)


Got any pics of the guitar other than what you put up for your first post? Congrats on the new guitar. Good luck.

Here it goes, and thanks! regardless of the things I noticed strange, the ES335 is a fantastic guitar!

 
Last edited:

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,071
I have many Gibby's with orange peel poorly sanded at the neck joint and also the sides of the head.

Was a pet peeve for years.

Now I just play 'em...
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,436
I have many Gibby's with orange peel poorly sanded at the neck joint and also the sides of the head.

Was a pet peeve for years.

Now I just play 'em...
Orange peel is also an identification mark that it is a real Gibson . In this day and age of so many forgeries from the other side of the world . Orange peel is also one of those loveable ( I say that loosely ) features from Gibson that I expect .
 

gibsonjunkie

Active member
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Messages
137
It seems strange that dropping a couple grand on a guitar should get such inconsistencies, but that is not uncommon. If it plays and sounds good I'd leave it alone.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,206
The fretboard looks normal to me. After some playing time it'll be great.
The paint issue at the neck joint near the pickup is a thing that can be fixed with a little "Steinway touch-up" AKA black sharpie.
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,093
Some of us turn the neck pickup ring around. The thicker part is next to the fingerboard. that helps level out the angle of the neck pickup. I always take the pickup out and place it so the poles are still next to the fingerboard.
Is this a USA model or Custom Shop?
 

Guitar Whiskey

Active member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
2,734
The guitar looks great as is. I wouldn't worry about the rough fretboard; just put some fretboard dressing on there and enjoy.
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,071
The board does look a bit rough, but it will smooth out pretty quick with bends.

If it is not catching the strings it is no problem.

It IS nice and dark.

All else it looks like a keeper to me.
 

Arnold M.

Active member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
230
the fretboard looks they ran out of sandpaper that day, some people think it's ok but would have 100% passed on the purchase on that point alone . I have a $500 guitar with fretboard smooth as glass. to each their own I guess, not my cup of tea
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
126
I just returned THREE 2021 ES-335 figured models. Each of them had different defects.

The first one had the treble side of the ABR-1 all the way down to the body and the action could now be lowered. At the 12th fret, the high E was at 5/64 and could not go lower. RETURN.

The second one had a bad rattle on the low E string when played open. Very obvious that the nut was cut too low. When playing fretted notes, it was OK. They wanted to replace the nut but would not guarantee that they could touch up the nitro so that the repair could not be seen. RETURN

The third one had two problems. First, the G,B and E string buzzed from the 12th fret - 22nd fret. The D, A and low E were fine. The action at the 12th was 4/64 on the treble side. I had to raise it to 6/64 to get it to play cleanly. ALSO, the corner of the headstock was oversanded on the back tip of the bass side. Three corners had sharp points, as they should. The one corner was rounded. It was so noticeable that my wife, who does not play guitar, asked me, "Why is this corner round?". RETURN

Now, I have a Custom Shop 1959 ES-335 Reissue on the way. It was more money, obviously. But, I hope the quality is much better than Gibson USA.
 
  • Like
Reactions: C-4

wmachine

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
247
I just returned THREE 2021 ES-335 figured models. Each of them had different defects.

The first one had the treble side of the ABR-1 all the way down to the body and the action could now be lowered. At the 12th fret, the high E was at 5/64 and could not go lower. RETURN.

The second one had a bad rattle on the low E string when played open. Very obvious that the nut was cut too low. When playing fretted notes, it was OK. They wanted to replace the nut but would not guarantee that they could touch up the nitro so that the repair could not be seen. RETURN

The third one had two problems. First, the G,B and E string buzzed from the 12th fret - 22nd fret. The D, A and low E were fine. The action at the 12th was 4/64 on the treble side. I had to raise it to 6/64 to get it to play cleanly. ALSO, the corner of the headstock was oversanded on the back tip of the bass side. Three corners had sharp points, as they should. The one corner was rounded. It was so noticeable that my wife, who does not play guitar, asked me, "Why is this corner round?". RETURN

Now, I have a Custom Shop 1959 ES-335 Reissue on the way. It was more money, obviously. But, I hope the quality is much better than Gibson USA.
Thanks, that is a very specific report. Much more meaningful than most complaints. And those are what I would call "real" issues.
When production moved from Memphis, the higher end models were to come out of the Custom Shop and the lower end from Gibson USA. So any reissues now comes out of the Custom Shop.
So it is of great interest (at least to me) to see where the quality levels go with that split-up. I would not expect a lot more out of the Custom Shop in that Memphis was doing really great going into their closing, and what were Nashville Custom Shop "made" started life in Memphis (where the needed equipment was) and were just finished in the Custom Shop. More concern about the lower end models that were relegated to the regular production of Gibson USA.
 

C-4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,748
I just returned THREE 2021 ES-335 figured models. Each of them had different defects.

The first one had the treble side of the ABR-1 all the way down to the body and the action could now be lowered. At the 12th fret, the high E was at 5/64 and could not go lower. RETURN.

The second one had a bad rattle on the low E string when played open. Very obvious that the nut was cut too low. When playing fretted notes, it was OK. They wanted to replace the nut but would not guarantee that they could touch up the nitro so that the repair could not be seen. RETURN

The third one had two problems. First, the G,B and E string buzzed from the 12th fret - 22nd fret. The D, A and low E were fine. The action at the 12th was 4/64 on the treble side. I had to raise it to 6/64 to get it to play cleanly. ALSO, the corner of the headstock was oversanded on the back tip of the bass side. Three corners had sharp points, as they should. The one corner was rounded. It was so noticeable that my wife, who does not play guitar, asked me, "Why is this corner round?". RETURN

Now, I have a Custom Shop 1959 ES-335 Reissue on the way. It was more money, obviously. But, I hope the quality is much better than Gibson USA.
I stopped looking at production Gibsons a long time ago. You should be happy with your CS 335. While they do vary naturally due to all the hand work, I have not had a problem, and I have to buy mine, as many do, over the net, since I don't live near any dealer who has any.

I currently have a ML M2M '59 355 with a 10-12 month wait on order.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
126
The new CS 1959 ES-335 arrived yesterday. I was surprised immediately when I opened the shipping carton. The guitar is in a Lifton styled case! The Gibson lit says brown case. I love that look regardless of which case is "better".

The guitar is absolutely beautiful and certainly has the appearance of an older guitar. I have two R9 VOS Les Pauls, so I knew what I should expect with that. The main thing, there is not a flaw anywhere. It was setup correctly right out of the box. Every single note on the board plays cleanly without any buzzing or fret-outs. There are no dead spots. Very clear bell-like tones when played acoustically.

The one thing I worried about, because of online reviews, was the size of the neck on the "59". This neck feels wonderful. It measures .877 at the first fret and .966 at the 12th fret. This actually just very slightly smaller than my 2 R9's. Those are about .881 at the first fret. You really can't feel the difference.

I have not had the chance to plug it into an amp. I will do that later today. But, so far, this looks like a keeper.

It really is a shame that you have to go to Custom Shop to get a guitar that is made correctly without flaws/defects. Gibson USA should be ashamed of some of the stuff they are shipping out to dealers. I have gotten some that were fine, but the ratio of bad to good is really heavily weighted toward the bad.

I will update after plugging in and giving it an amplified test run.

And, thanks to Derek White at Private Reserve for all his patience through this. AND for a great price too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: C-4

triodium

New member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
3
The new CS 1959 ES-335 arrived yesterday. I was surprised immediately when I opened the shipping carton. The guitar is in a Lifton styled case! The Gibson lit says brown case. I love that look regardless of which case is "better".

The guitar is absolutely beautiful and certainly has the appearance of an older guitar. I have two R9 VOS Les Pauls, so I knew what I should expect with that. The main thing, there is not a flaw anywhere. It was setup correctly right out of the box. Every single note on the board plays cleanly without any buzzing or fret-outs. There are no dead spots. Very clear bell-like tones when played acoustically.

The one thing I worried about, because of online reviews, was the size of the neck on the "59". This neck feels wonderful. It measures .877 at the first fret and .966 at the 12th fret. This actually just very slightly smaller than my 2 R9's. Those are about .881 at the first fret. You really can't feel the difference.

I have not had the chance to plug it into an amp. I will do that later today. But, so far, this looks like a keeper.

It really is a shame that you have to go to Custom Shop to get a guitar that is made correctly without flaws/defects. Gibson USA should be ashamed of some of the stuff they are shipping out to dealers. I have gotten some that were fine, but the ratio of bad to good is really heavily weighted toward the bad.

I will update after plugging in and giving it an amplified test run.

And, thanks to Derek White at Private Reserve for all his patience through this. AND for a great price too.

Good to know that you have finally a great ES-335, congrats. I managed to request a replacement that it is expected to be shipped in mid-june, so let's see how things goes.

It is a shame that the only reliable way get a good Gibson is to aim on the CS-zone.
 

C-4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,748
The new CS 1959 ES-335 arrived yesterday. I was surprised immediately when I opened the shipping carton. The guitar is in a Lifton styled case! The Gibson lit says brown case. I love that look regardless of which case is "better".

The guitar is absolutely beautiful and certainly has the appearance of an older guitar. I have two R9 VOS Les Pauls, so I knew what I should expect with that. The main thing, there is not a flaw anywhere. It was setup correctly right out of the box. Every single note on the board plays cleanly without any buzzing or fret-outs. There are no dead spots. Very clear bell-like tones when played acoustically.

The one thing I worried about, because of online reviews, was the size of the neck on the "59". This neck feels wonderful. It measures .877 at the first fret and .966 at the 12th fret. This actually just very slightly smaller than my 2 R9's. Those are about .881 at the first fret. You really can't feel the difference.

I have not had the chance to plug it into an amp. I will do that later today. But, so far, this looks like a keeper.

It really is a shame that you have to go to Custom Shop to get a guitar that is made correctly without flaws/defects. Gibson USA should be ashamed of some of the stuff they are shipping out to dealers. I have gotten some that were fine, but the ratio of bad to good is really heavily weighted toward the bad.

I will update after plugging in and giving it an amplified test run.

And, thanks to Derek White at Private Reserve for all his patience through this. AND for a great price too.
Very happy to hear your 335 is what you wanted and expected! The CS is really the only way to go for a more real experience, imho, once you have played a great 3X5, and want to be realistically sure you will get a great guitar upon ordering one.
 
Top