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gnappi

H555 vs. ES-355

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Ever since I first laid my eyes on a Gibson ES-355 (in the 60's) I've wanted one but alas, the buckazoids were never there and I always wound up with a 335. That's not a bad thing but it's kinda like dating the less pretty twin and the other is a beauty queen... high maintenance and waayyy out of reach :-)

Anyway, I still have that 355 bug and with the disparity between prices on 355's and H555's being so wide I've begun to seriously consider a 555. 

I know that if needed the Heritage brand is a tough sell over a Gibson product just because the "G" brand has such wide recognition, maybe this is the main reason for the price differences because it clearly cannot be due to quality :-)

For background, years ago I looked at Gibson reduced size semis and wound up with a Heritage Prospect and every time I play it I'm glad I shunned the Gibson. OTOH I was in the same position with the 175 and 575 and while they're not very similar and the 575 is a fine git the 175 in my hands works better for me.

So, has anyone here gone through the same decision making process on (555 vs. 355) these models?

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I got an Edwards 355 direct from Japan. It was $1100.  Should have gotten a Prospect deluxe with ebony, full binding, larger headstock with Eagle inlays and Throbaks. Might have cost like $4,000. Such is life.

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I have a 59 335 black beauty,a 69 es330, the 555 is a superior instrument, I bought mine used and put a lot of time and money in it,but that's another story,bottom line is,set up right,in a real players hands it can do anything...

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I got the 355 bug in '79 and picked up a new one.   Over the years, I've acquired 19 of them.    I love them all, but sometimes when buying used, I have to "re-do" the wiring modifications (done incorrectly) to go from stereo to mono.   Then, earlier this year, I thought I'd add an H-555 to my collection.   My current Heritage line-up is an H-575 Custom from late 90's as well as a THE ROSE/Johnny Smith, a Roy Clark model, a Kenny Burrell Groove Master, and a Sweet 16 (and formerly owned an H-550 now gone).    So of course........adding an H-555 made sense right?    That's when I discovered that Kalamazoo has discontinued that model.     Guess I'll have to go on a deep search to find one to bring into the fold.   But I know I'll find one, and based on my other Heritages, I'm sure it'll be great.

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I'd not worry too much about the comparison and take each on it's own. 

 

I picked up a MUTT of mutts '62 ES-355, had a re-neck + stop tail + ugly wine red refin in 1980 but the neck is killer, sounds/feels great and it still has the pat sticker PAF's yet probably cost me less than a new H555 would if they were still made. If you fish you can find a great 355 at a decent price, especially if you're not scared of repairs/etc. 

 

 

1 hour ago, LAUptegrove said:

  Over the years, I've acquired 19 of them. 

 

Oh my, would like to hear more!

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Haven't had a 535 (or 335), but I did have a 555 for awhile and wish I still had it. Aesthetics aside, the 555 should have a brighter, tighter sound due to the maple neck and ebony fretboard (similar to a 355). For rock, mine did a dead-on late '70s Alex Lifeson/Rush sound. For blues, you're going to get that piercing B.B. King sound. Neck pickup would be killer for clean jazz. You'd be better off with a 535 if you want a woodier, Larry Carlton tone.

Interestingly, however, my Millennium DC has a surprisingly similar tone to what my 555 did, which is partly why I sold the 555.

Edited by pro-fusion

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