Epiphone ES-335 and ES-339 review

The “Inspired by Gibson Original ES Collection” offers an all-time classic guitar design at a more accessible price, but does it have the tones and feel?

(Image: © Epiphone)

Guitar World Verdict

Epiphone’s new ES-335 and ES-339 models allow guitarists to enjoy the original ES semi-hollowbody experience at an affordable price that doesn’t sacrifice tone or playability.


  • +

    Superb, versatile instruments.

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    Big, fat tones and great sustain.

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    Quality build.

  • +

    ES-mojo at an affordable price.


  • -

    Limited finish options.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

A lot of great guitars were conceived during Ted McCarty’s reign as president of Gibson from 1950 through 1966, including the Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, Moderne, SG and Firebird. These solidbody models have withstood the test of time admirably, but in my opinion the greatest and most innovative achievement to come from Gibson’s McCarty era was the semi-hollow thinline ES-335. 

By combining the best attributes of solidbody and hollowbody designs, the ES-335 and its offspring (the ES-345, 355 and more recent 339) is somehow more than the sum of its parts. A perfect guitar for almost any style of music, the semi-hollow Gibson ES has been a favorite of a diverse crew that includes Chuck Berry, B.B. and Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen (in his early days), Ritchie Blackmore (ditto), Alex Lifeson, Johnny Marr and, more recently, Dave Grohl, whose Trini Lopez model is a direct offshoot of an ES-335.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.