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Thread: Collings I-35 Deluxe vs Gibson ES335

  1. #1
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    Collings I-35 Deluxe vs Gibson ES335

    Recently went looking for a 335 to see if I could re-live the vibe of my old '61 ES335 that I unfortunately unloaded in '67. Tried at least 20 335s in L&M stores in Toronto, Oshawa and Ottawa. All of them had issues. Frets were too tall, workmanship was poor, sound was muddy, pups were low gain. At $2999, I expected better. Then tried a Collings I-35 and was blown out of the water. Now that's how a 335 should sound. Yes, it cost me $5800, but it's worth every cent. Has anyone else been fortunate enough to try this absolutely perfect 335-style axe?

  2. #2
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    I had an I35 and really liked it. Body size closer to a 336 and sound wise, quite different from a 335. I'd like to own another someday.

  3. #3
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    Nice to hear about your new find in a Collings.

    I have a 355 Alex Lifeson model and this thing is perfect. Workmanship is beyond reproach and sound is perfect (to my ears). I do agree with you though on Gibson's varying workmanship; I always have to keep working on my Les Paul Std. as I find it high maintenance.

  4. #4
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    When I win a lottery, a Collings I35 Standard for me.
    "Your body is not a temple. It is an amusement park" Anthony Bourdain

  5. #5
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    For $5800.00, I think I would have me a very wonderful custom guitar with quite a bit of extra change left in my pocket.

    Custom neck........$450.00
    Custom body.......$600.00
    Pickups x 3.........$400.00
    Electronics..........$200.00
    Saddle...............$100.00
    Nut...................$ 25.00
    Bigsby...............$125.00
    Tuners..............$200.00
    Misc.................$100.00
    Paint & Finish.....$500.00
    Total................$2700.00

    I would also save all that time looking around guitars shops and could do this online in about 3-4 hours at most.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlipFlopFly View Post
    For $5800.00, I think I would have me a very wonderful custom guitar with quite a bit of extra change left in my pocket.
    Not the type of guitar you can duplicate making a premium partscaster...


    "Your body is not a temple. It is an amusement park" Anthony Bourdain

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert1950 View Post
    Not the type of guitar you can duplicate making a premium partscaster...


    Sorry, Robert, but I very easily could. Price out those parts and all you have left is wood. The mark up on the guitar mentioned is way above and beyond what an average guitar fetches. The reason is, is that many people believe that it is really worth it. The truth is, it isn't. Regards, Flip.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlipFlopFly View Post
    Sorry, Robert, but I very easily could. Price out those parts and all you have left is wood. The mark up on the guitar mentioned is way above and beyond what an average guitar fetches. The reason is, is that many people believe that it is really worth it. The truth is, it isn't. Regards, Flip.
    http://www.collingsguitars.com/
    "Your body is not a temple. It is an amusement park" Anthony Bourdain

  9. #9
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    A couple of things to consider- there's no labour calculation in those numbers (other than the 'paint and finish') and there are very few people who could tackle a homebuild on a bound set neck hollowbody. So, if you can't do it yourself you've got to pay someone else to do it... someone who has overhead and needs to make a profit. That price starts jumping up pretty quickly.

    Good luck buying a premade 335 style bound, semihollow body... no one offers them. Your numbers make some sense for a person who wants to buy a bunch of high quality, bolt together parts and make a strat/tele/whatever but you're not going to make a 335 that way. Period.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
    Recently went looking for a 335 to see if I could re-live the vibe of my old '61 ES335 that I unfortunately unloaded in '67. Tried at least 20 335s in L&M stores in Toronto, Oshawa and Ottawa. All of them had issues. Frets were too tall, workmanship was poor, sound was muddy, pups were low gain. At $2999, I expected better. Then tried a Collings I-35 and was blown out of the water. Now that's how a 335 should sound. Yes, it cost me $5800, but it's worth every cent. Has anyone else been fortunate enough to try this absolutely perfect 335-style axe?

    Totally agree with you David......the only guitar that completely cops the feel and tone of an original ES.

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