I wanted an archtop. Partly because I wanted something as different as possible from my Telecaster as possible, and partly to have something I could lay unplugged and still get a reasonable volume. After much research and sitting down in a booth at Andertons for over an hour, it came down to this or a dot. The more comfortable dimensions, higher tolerance for distortion, bound neck and location of the amp input socket won out. I also have to say that the Sheraton II (dot with a party dress!) looks AMAZING in person.... ;)
Onto the Epi ES-339. This guitar has proven so popular, the price rose soon after I bought mine for £299. Other Epis stayed the same. The finish is almost flawless. The setup from the factory was dead on. The action nice and low, without buzzing. Intonation for harmonics is easy. Runs and licks are seamless and even barre chords are not a chore.
The 12" rosewood fretboard is a synch for bends. The mahogany construction means sustain goes on for days. I got mine in a nice two tone sunburst that sets the grain off nicely. The D shape neck fills the hand nicely. This is not a shred machine, but something to savour as waves of vibration travel through your body!
Both humbucking pickups have coil taps - and usable ones at that. A feature you won't find on the Gibson version that costs FIVE times the price. The pickups are really, really powerful when you add some dirt. The bridge HB can go a little indistinct and muddy if you don't balance it out with a treble booster. Having said that, for blues it is wonderful. I wouldn't ever think of swapping the pickups out for anything else. They are seriously high quality for a guitar of this price point.
The vintage tuners work very well. Thanks to the greater size and weight of the body, you're never at any risk of neck diving the way you might be with an Epi SG or Flying V. The only thing I don't like about the es339 is the top hat knobs and the selector switch, all of which feel very cheap and flimsy. The good news is, you can swap those out cheaply and easily.
All in all, if you are looking for an Archtop that can handle overdrive and is comfortable to play, I honestly can't think of a better option without going above £500.
Versatile with the split coils and plays amazing. Always been a strat player until I played this. Comfortable,great tone,can cut through or be mellow. Solid,great sustain. Affordable. Light. Just love it!
I had always wanted an Epiphone Sheraton but when I found my es339 for only 250$ I just couldnt skip it. At first I was turned off by the small size, but immediately changed my mind once I played it and felt how comfortable it was. I absolutely love using it with my fuzz pedal or pro co Ratt on heavier songs. Great for shoe gaze and SSPU type music.