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Heritage Prospect/Blues Deluxe vs. Gibson ES339


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#1 Gitfiddler

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 10:54 AM

OK.."ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE?!"

Heritage has come out with several innovative, small-bodied semi-hollow bodied models over the years, noteably the Academy Custom, Prospect, Blues Deluxe, as well as the incredible Millenium series.  Now Gibson's Custom Shop has a new small-bodied semi called the ES-339, a lower priced, laminate version of their upscale CS-336/356.  The ES-339 has been receiving great reviews and appears to be a sweet guitar...but which would win in a head-to-head challenge with the Heritage models mentioned, for tone, quality build and looks?

Any thoughts?

http://www.guitarcen...255-i1322707.gc
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#2 GuitArtMan

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 12:59 PM

Well I haven't played either, but I do own a G word CS-336.  If you're looking for a true 335 tone, it wont deliver.  The best description I can say is it is like a super resonant Les Paul.  The tone is nice, but much brighter than a 335.  Compared to my H-535s unplugged, the CS-336 sounds like a cigar box.

There was at least one "post honeymoon" post about the ES-339 over at The Gear Page.  The guy mentioned that he appreciated the smaller size and lighter weight, but the 339 did not sound as full or warm as a 335.  A good guitar yes, but not a replacement for the 335/535.
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#3 Dick Seacup

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:11 PM

I think I'd rather have a Millennium DC in lieu of a 339, for the simple fact that the top, back and sides are solid woods (with a hand carved top) and it has the HRW pups and real MOP inlays.  The binding on every edge is a nice bonus, and the gold hardware adds to the bling-i-fication quotient.  I don't know what the specs are for the neck on mine, but it's wide, flat, straight and plays like very few guitars I've ever held. 

The 339 is an interesting package, and the price, for Gibson anyway, seems reasonable.  It just wouldn't be my choice for a semi-hollow, small-bodied double-cut. 
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#4 Gitfiddler

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:46 AM

Thanks for the comments, guys.  I've always wanted to check out a Millennium to do a comparison to the CS336/356 as well as the new 339. 

I agree with GuitArtMan that the 336/356's are a sonic hybrid of a Les Paul's chunky girth on steroids and a slightly brighter 335.  When the 339 came out it looked like another great small-body, semi-hollow concept...that had already been done by Heritage as well as Ibanez '80s 'AM' series.
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#5 dblazer

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 09:11 PM

I got a Heritage "Blues Deluxe" a few years ago, I ended up selling it because it didn't sound much different than my H-140. My thought is that the hollow or semi-hollow acoustics probably work better with a full sized guitar, so if I get another one I'll get an H-535 or H-550.
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#6 skydog

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 08:16 AM

I agree w/ Dblazer in that until you get up in size, the diffs between a semi-hollow and a solid body are minimal. I'm sure the dimensions on 335/535's were well thought out before production.
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Heritage Guitars; When a Gibson just isn't good enough

#7 Gitfiddler

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 10:10 PM

I agree w/ Dblazer in that until you get up in size, the diffs between a semi-hollow and a solid body are minimal. I'm sure the dimensions on 335/535's were well thought out before production.


Correct.  The original 335 concept was to get the full sized, feedbacking L5 body squished down from 3" depth solid body down to about 1"+ laminate body, and add a tone block to the semi-hollow body to allow higher volume playing without feedback.  Great concept!

Fast forward to the present and the 339, Prospect, Academy Custom all have the smaller, more ergonomic 'betweener' size.  (Between a small solid body and larger semi-hollow)
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#8 dblazer

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:11 AM

Correct.  The original 335 concept was to get the full sized, feedbacking L5 body squished down from 3" depth solid body down to about 1"+ laminate body, and add a tone block to the semi-hollow body to allow higher volume playing without feedback.  Great concept!

Fast forward to the present and the 339, Prospect, Academy Custom all have the smaller, more ergonomic 'betweener' size.  (Between a small solid body and larger semi-hollow)


Very true, in my case the "Blues Deluxe" was apparently too small to really get any kind of acoustic overtones. Next time I'm going bigger, probably REALLY bigger, like a 550 or 575.
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#9 Windstring

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 10:13 AM

Correct.  The original 335 concept was to get the full sized, feedbacking L5 body squished down from 3" depth solid body down to about 1"+ laminate body, and add a tone block to the semi-hollow body to allow higher volume playing without feedback.  Great concept!

Fast forward to the present and the 339, Prospect, Academy Custom all have the smaller, more ergonomic 'betweener' size.  (Between a small solid body and larger semi-hollow)

This reminds me of the craze for smaller and smaller laptop computers, until somebody realised that they want to see the screen! :o Anyway, I agree with you and others that one ultimately needs to have a larger body on the guitar in order to move more air (to create sound). Having said that, it is interesting that most Heritage guitars are slightly swallower than their G***** counterparts without sacrificing much in acoustic tone or volume. Cheers.
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#10 Thundersteel

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 02:40 PM

swallower


Um...no comment on this one!  ;D
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#11 Heritage4

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 11:56 PM

Very true, in my case the "Blues Deluxe" was apparently too small to really get any kind of acoustic overtones. Next time I'm going bigger, probably REALLY bigger, like a 550 or 575.


I have to disagree. I have a Prospect and it is one of the most responsive sounding guitars I have. I also have two 535's, a 555, three Guild Starfire 5's, and two Fender Starcasters, and the Prospect to me sounds more acoustic that all of them.

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#12 soybean

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 07:18 PM

I think the "blues Deluxe" was not actually a Heritage model. It was a name a Las Vegas dealer came up with for their version of the Prospect that had a solid block (as well as some other features) instead of Heritage's "floating" block (as in the Academy). This option could be ordered by any dealer from Heritage, but not called a blues deluxe. I've owned both Prospect and Blues deluxe. The prospect has more acoustic qualities but you might not notice it unless you are playing loud enough. They are both more responsive than a solid body guitar. I like Gibby 336 style guitars, but the necks are not as comfy as Heritage and the cutaways are really tight if you try to get your hand all the way up to the 22nd fret. This feature is much better on a Prospect. Sound wise, the 336 and (probably the 339) are closer to a real 335.

I happen to think the Prospect is one of H's most beautiful shapes. If you want a rock or blues type of sound, go with the Blues Deluxe or whatever Heritage's name for that guitar. The Prospect i owned was very in tune and played like butter, but i felt the sound was kind of bland and colorless… a bit anonymous. Blues Deluxe has more sustain and less dynamics.

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#13 dblazer

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 11:37 PM

I have to disagree. I have a Prospect and it is one of the most responsive sounding guitars I have. I also have two 535's, a 555, three Guild Starfire 5's, and two Fender Starcasters, and the Prospect to me sounds more acoustic that all of them.

Heritage4


I can only talk about the one I had. There wasn't any apparent difference in the sound, except the H-140 has Seymour/Seth P.A.F.s and the Blues Deluxe had Schallers. It was nice looking, but very uninteresting soundwise. I haven't heard yours, so you know best there, for sure.
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