Like any other guitar, you will only know whether the pickups suit you when you play it for a while. Some guitarists tend to avoid guitars like the Dot because they mistakenly feel the large body would be awkward to play compared to say a strat. While the Epiphone Dot is based on the ES-355, this review will not try to compare the two. Stunning design. Our version, the Epiphone Dot makes this icon guitar available to players everywhere. You can check out the Dot Studio’s features and photos here but I would question whether the cuts in features are worth it. Comparing a sub $300 guitar with a $3,000+ guitar is an unfair comparison so let’s focus on whether the Dot is a good guitar on its own. Versatile with very usable tones. The cleanly applied finish is flat and consistent, save for some lacquer build on the inner edges of the f-holes. Not only that it looks almost identical, but also feels in hands in the same way. In this respect, the term semi-acoustic is a slight misnomer, as it is, in fact, semi-solid. I had great fun jamming to some B.B. This instrument is very easy to play. This feature has been retained on Gibson and Epiphone thinline semis to this day, although in this case it's made of maple. Bridge: LockTone Tune-o-matic StopBar 8. We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, The body isn't that much fatter than a Strat's. Lovely stuff. Here is my Epiphone Dot review to see what this guitar has in store for you. I own a cherry Es 335 pro and epiphone Dot in the blueburst and will be buying the Aquamarine dot soon . This guitar really shines when you add a bit of dirt to the signal. The Epiphone Dot’s pickups (especially the neck pickup) produces a nice round and smooth tone that fits perfectly with a mellow jazz feel. Body: Laminated maple 2. © Before I plugged the Dot in I strummed around for a bit to hear the sustain and acoustic tone. It has a 22 fret rosewood fretboard with dot inlays. Well-built and cool-looking. This means the Gibson ES-335 uses higher quality components and should produce a far better result. In this scenario, their relative lack of power is a bonus fore bluesers, throwing an emotive Freddie King-esque hue on proceedings. King, Eric Johnson, Dave Grohl, Chuck Berry, Josh Homme, Chris Cornell, Eric Clapton, T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Noel Gallagher. The Dot is a fantastic guitar that allows guitarists to have a great experience with an ES-335 style guitar without having to spend four figures. Pulling the Dot from its box, you're greeted with a solid and weighty feeling guitar that points reassuringly towards good, sturdy construction. These are fantastic guitars at great prices I love mine and I owned a few Gibson’s before . You won’t have any problems playing the neck on the guitar. My thoughts before trying the Dot out were that it would suit styles like blues or jazz, but wouldn’t suit much else due to the hollow-body. One aspect often overlooked on cheaper guitars is the nut. Younger children may have problems playing while seated, but for most adults, it’s not a problem. So I can confidently say what I am saying and outside Gibson custom shop guitars they are mass produced like Epiphones and have issues often . The Epiphone Dot pickups are Alnico Classic Humbuckers which are designed to produce a more vintage sound. Our advice is: go and play one! While the Dot is versatile, it definitely isn’t suitable for a high output signal. I would definitely avoid buying the Epiphone Dot used. The block used in the Dot is made of maple – same as the body and top piece. Yes you could replace the pickups, but wouldn’t it be better to buy a different guitar better suited to the style you want to play? Neck: Mahogany 4. The reality is that this is a very comfortable guitar to play. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Near the beginning of that range is 'The Dot', based on the timeless and legendary Gibson ES-335. The good thing about this style of guitar is that you don’t have to look far to find guitarists who use one. This case will fit The 335 Dot, Casino, Sheraton and the Gibson ES335. ES-335 owners may strongly disagree, but for this price it’s a very well made guitar. Until now, modern Epis such as the Casino, Sheraton and Supernova only came with block inlays. It is simply one of the best deals today for guitar players who want the classic sound of an ES-335 at an accessible price. King then move across to some Freddie King or T-Bone Walker, then move across to other guitarists such as Dave Grohl or Tom DeLonge. That’s a great sign because it means the Dot is a great guitar on it’s own. The Dot™ 335 is Epiphone's version of the historic ES-335 Dot™, has been wowing guitar players all over the world for over four decades. The bridge pickup does give a bit more edge and clarity and it’s clear why this guitar is so versatile. In addition to my own experience with the Dot, I’ve read nothing but raving reviews online from other guitarists which is a great sign that if you buy one, you can expect a great quality guitar. To give you an idea of the versatility of this style of guitar, here are some well-known guitarists who have used the ES-335: Alvin Lee, B.B. Near the beginning of that range is 'The Dot', based on the timeless and legendary Gibson ES-335. Pickups: Alnico Classic Humbucker (neck) and Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker (bridge) 6. Epiphone is the lower-cost brand of the Gibson Guitar Company. King songs with this as it’s far easier to get the right feel and vibe with the Dot compared to any other guitar. The reason is that the quality of the Dots have improved over the last decades and it’s well reported that the Epiphone Dot from the 90s is a completely different guitar to a Dot manufactured today. "The cost cutting measures are the right ones, as they affect neither the playability or sound to any great extent". To these eyes, vintage sunburst isn't the most attractive option, as it appears slightly abrupt where the dark brown turns to black. While the Epiphone Dot is a fantastic guitar, keep in mind that they did need to make some concessions to bring the cost down. If you want the ‘real deal’, then check out the Gibson ES-335 Dot below: See information on pricing, availability and other reviews here. Epiphone stayed with the original lineup and rightly so. In between the 22, well finished, medium frets lies the primary reason why vintage Dot-neck 335s are worth so much more than their block-inlayed brethren. For those beginner guitarist looking for a beautiful, semi-hollow body electric guitar, this Epiphone Dot Archtop review will interest you. In this case, Epiphone opts for the thinner, elongated design and scripted logo, all adding to the Dot's charming vintage character. Top: Laminated maple 3. The most useful of which are the Alnico Classic Humbuckers, not only are these upgraded from the Epiphone ES 335 DOT but they’re splittable via the volume pots, unlike the Gibson’s Burstbuckers (although you or your guitar-tech can carry out this mod later if you want to). So whether you buy a Dot manufactured in Korea or China (or any other country in the future), the chances are very high you will receive an excellent quality guitar. The Dot features two Epiphone-designed Korean humbuckers, Epiphone opts for the thinner, elongated design and scripted logo, all adding to the Dot's charming vintage character. Even if you currently only focus on one particular style, you’re going to appreciate the Dot far more when you learn how to use it across different styles. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. This instrument can be had for anywhere between $300 and $500 depending on your preferences. 1. It becomes immediately apparent that this style of guitar is hugely versatile. They make excellent guitars for various musical styles. And the thinline semi-acoustic range is no exception. The Epiphone Dot Studio is a clone of the classic Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody electric guitar. As an example, Tom DeLonge’s and Dave Grohl’s signature guitars are both based on the ES-335 – and of course the pickups will be different, it’s clear that this style of guitar works well for a range of other styles. The Dot's fixed neck is finished in vintage sunburst, too, perhaps disguising the fact that it's made of maple. Epiphone Dot Review by Bluesmannus. The neck, while by no means clubby, feels substantial in your palm, probably due to the 43mm width at the nut. Please refresh the page and try again. The result is that it does work to a degree. These four semi-hollow electrics are no doubt inspired by, or at least share some of the character of the ES-335. The Dot has been manufactured in Korea and China over the last couple of decades. When plugged in, I started experimenting with blues and jazz improvisation on a clean tone and it’s immediately clear why this guitar perfectly suits those styles. Epiphone Elitist 1963 335 Dot Electric Guitar Reviews:: Epiphone Guitar Reviews fully professional-quality non-professionals can afford Fully professional-quality guitars non-professionals can afford, the Elitist line from Epiphone combines over 125 years of instrument building experience and expertise with the finest materials. Again, we're not talking mega-output, but to our mind that makes for a much more musical experience. I love the style of this guitar and couldn’t imagine paying $3,000+ for the ES-335 so if you don’t like that price tag either then the Dot is right for you. In conclusion, once you take care of the nut and jack, you have yourself a very nice professional instrument that looks like a million dollars, and sounds like two. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. King’s iconic guitar called ‘Lucille’ was based on the later model ES-355. Cranking up the amp produced either a raw and edge tone from the bridge pickup or a smoothed out and wide sound I can’t produce from my other guitars. Its medium-sized frets are lightly polished and well shaped, the neck joint is clean, the hardware robust, and the finish is flawless. Before plugging in, listen to Ronny Jordan, then Noel Gallagher, then BB King, then George Harrison and John Lennon. 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During the same time those guitars were being designed and constructed in Kalamazoo, the ES 335, first introduced in 1958, became a favorite of blues, rock, country, and pop acts for its elegant design and wide array of colorful tone combinations. Fingerboard: Rosewood with dot inlays – 24.75″ with 12″ radius 5. The brilliant BB King, for instance. Or, if you feel like modding and hot-rodding to make it your own, Epiphone guitars are a great choice that won't break the bank. There are plenty of alternatives to the Dot so I’ll stick to the closest alternatives you have available if you like what you’ve read but are looking for something just a little bit different. ", Cyber Monday M1 Macbook Air and MacBook Pro deals we didn't think we'd see, Roland MC-707 and MC-101: two Grooveboxes that are just getting better with age. To many, Alvins’ 335 was ‘the’ epitome of this instrument, but of course, there were other great guitarists as well. Instead of plinking the block straight on top of the back, a Gibson's arched back is filled with thin strips of wood, then planed flat. Since then the ES 335 'Dot' has been a must-have guitar in every arsenal. At no point did I feel like this was a cheaply made guitar. Vintage without the price: if you love vintage style gear but don’t like the idea of paying four figures to get an ES-335, then the Dot is right for you. You will receive a verification email shortly. It "needs" nothing (though I prefer '50s style wiring and may make that mod). That said, it doesn't affect the external appearance, and it isn't audibly detrimental to the sound of this Epi. Adding the tiniest amount of gain - especially if there are valves involved - lets the pickups sing that much more. Epiphone's 'plenty of guitar for sensible money' philosophy means you can get your hands on a well-constructed, professional instrument without selling your vital organs for medical research. When Ted McCarty designed the Gibson ES-335 back in 1958, he included a solid piece of mahogany through the centre section, just wider than the pickups and surrounds, to improve sustain and help eliminate feedback. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to play an ES-335 so I can’t comment on the differences with the Dot, but this is an obvious alternative if you want the best and money isn’t an obstacle. Check out the price and details of the Epiphone Dot here (link to Amazon). This all maple body does contribute to the nice acoustic sound produced. I have quite a few guitars hanging on my walls but as soon as I put up a Cherry Red Dot on my wall, it was clear how striking this guitar really is. From its inaugural appearance in 1958, Gibson's ES-335 set an unmatched standard. it has a responsive and neck which is perfect for both rhythm or lead guitar playing. If you fancy something different, Epiphone also offers heritage cherry sunburst, cherry, ebony and natural as options. So I experimented with different styles and tones. I found that the guitar played how wanted it right out of the box. As this Dot arrived with a set of heavy-gauge strings, complete with a wound third, we wondered if Epiphone sees this as one for the jazzers? Regardless of who actually makes the case, it has to meet Epiphone's manufacturing standards so it's got to be good. To our minds, that's value for money indeed. The body is quite large but it’s slim at the same time so you don’t feel like you’re playing something like a bulky acoustic. Its slightly flattened C-profile increases marginally in depth further up the neck, making for a suitably vintage feel. The neck does feel quite wide in your hands but that also depends on what you’re used to. This model definitely has the flavor of the original. This is due to the solid block through the center section of the guitar behind the pickups. I have read reports of guitarists unhappy with the Dot and it turned out it was simply because they bought a used Dot that wasn’t taken care of properly (eg: fret damage). The body isn't much fatter than a Strat, for example, and standing or sitting, the Dot feels comfortable to hold and play. It's all a matter of taste, but we love the simplicity and function that dots breathe over the guitars they adorn. The action is near perfect; not too high to make complicated runs a problem, not too low to be detrimental to the tone. I know some people will be looking to buy an Epiphone Dot used, but I would advise against a used Dot. It has a mahogany top, back, sides, and a set in place neck. Start with some B.B. The Epiphone Dot is a semi-hollow archtop electric guitar manufactured by Epiphone, a subsidiary of Gibson.It was introduced in 1997 as a more affordable version of the Gibson ES-335, at the high end of entry-level pricing. This feature has been retained on Gibson and Epiphone thinline semis to t… The pickups aren’t designed to give you a metal tone so you shouldn’t buy this guitar is your main style of playing is metal. We've heard many players say they didn't think they'd get on with a big semi, because they're too, er, big. Then I turned to a solid state amp set to a metal style distortion to see how versatile the Dot really is. When Ted McCarty designed the Gibson ES-335 back in 1958, he included a solid piece of mahogany through the centre section, just wider than the pickups and surrounds, to improve sustain and help eliminate feedback. With the Epiphone dot you get a partial hollowbody by having a solid piece of maple running down the center of the body dividing the hollow cavity into two. This Epiphone ES335 PRO has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO Electric Guitar Cherry at Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, The Dot is well made. Bath This Dot is no exception: the pickups, while not packing the punch of the USA PAFs, offer everything form smooth and moody, front-position mellowness to screeching, bridge position rawk. The Epiphone Dot is made of a laminated maple body and top, a set maple neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and chrome hardware. Guitar Gear Finder is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,,, or, How to get the most out of the Epiphone Dot, How to get the most out of the Epiphone Dot, Check out the price and full details of the Epiphone Dot here, Check out the different Epiphone Dot options at Sweetwater here, Check out the price and details of the Epiphone Dot here, See information on pricing, availability and other reviews here, Fingerboard: Rosewood with dot inlays – 24.75″ with 12″ radius, Pickups: Alnico Classic Humbucker (neck) and Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker (bridge), Controls: 2 volume and 2 tone knobs with a three-way pickup selector, Color: available in Cherry, Ebony, Vintage Sunburst and Natural (left handed only available in Cherry), Very versatile guitar suitable for a wide range of styles, Very affordable while still retaining quality, A few different color options to suit your tastes, Excellent track record for quality over the last two decades, While the Dot is versatile, that doesn’t mean you should buy it regardless of what style you play. The Epiphone ES 335 Pro needs to be as close as possible sound wise to the original. Of course when I moved away from the metal distortion and aimed for a more straight-forward rock or punk tone, the Dot excelled. The Epiphone Dot is an affordable archtop guitar based on the Gibson ES-335 Dot which was originally released in 1958. Epiphone Dot Review – A Cheap Alternative. If you want to know why a Gibson ES-335 costs over a grand more, you'll find some clues by looking here. The cost cutting measures we've mentioned are the right ones, as they affect neither playability nor the sound of this cool guitar to any great extent. In this respect, the term semi-acoustic is a slight misnomer, as it is, in fact, semi-solid. If you're still wondering why it's called the Dot, look at the rosewood fingerboard. The middle position offers a definite 'clang' to the tone, and strummers will find all they need here. While we're on the subject, this is the one constructional area of the Dot that obviously reveals its budget constraints. When I look at the Dot Studio, it looks like a bland version of the Dot. Let's hope not, because as good as it is for that style, this is a much more versatile instrument. Flick to the bridge pickup, pile on the dirty stuff, turn your stack to 10 and the combination of gain and its semi-solid construction transforms the Dot into a monster. A new red Epiphone ES-335 Pro for $349. What I recommend to get the most out of the Epiphone Dot is to go through guitarists who use one and try to match their tone and learn their songs. I believe a guitar should stand on its own rather than assess it based on what it is trying to copy. The cream, plastic edgebinding is neat, looking suitably 'yellowed' and authentic against the vintage sunburst finish. Visit our corporate site. BA1 1UA. The Epiphone Dot is a nice alternative to the more expensive ES-335… In fact, at no point did I ask myself “I wonder what the ES-335 feels like compared to this”. Online you can find people raving about the Korean builds and saying the Chinese builds are rubbish and you can just as easily find people saying the opposite. It has alnico mag pickups that aren't overly high output, 500k pots, decent hardware, a nice sized neck and plays and sounds nice! Check out the different Epiphone Dot options at Sweetwater here. This is a vintage style guitar so you should expect a slightly flattened neck that does feel fatter as you move up the neck. I started off playing a EHX Soul Food (read my review here) through a valve amp and the tone was buttery-smooth. I bought an Epiphone 335 Dot Elitist 1963 while working at a local music store for $300.00 from a kid and my other guitar player had a gibson 335 and mine sounds better and plays better so I can say that was $300.00 well spent. Epiphone is long famous for its own original semi-hollowbody models from the 1950s Kalamazoo, Michigan era, including the Riviera and the Sheraton. The hardware is chrome plated, which won't tarnish as nicely as nickel, but again, its down to cost. Featuring Alnico Classic™ humbuckers, Grover® Rotomatic Machine Heads, and a Flame Maple Veneer top and body in new Aquamarine and Blueburst color finishes. So check out the guitarists I listed earlier and find the songs they used the ES-335 on. While you definitely shouldn’t buy this guitar for metal purposes alone, if you do have a wide range of tastes in styles, then it will work. Don’t take talk like that too seriously because unless you have access to hundreds of guitars from each country to do a direct comparison, there’s no way to find out if one country does produce better quality guitars than the other. This review will look at whether the Epiphone Dot is a good guitar. Splendid sound and look, superb value: what more could we ask of Epiphone? I would also avoid buying an Epiphone Dot on eBay for the same reasons. Guitarists looking for a high output guitar: I had to scratch my head when I read reviews from other guitarists saying this guitar nails a good metal tone. It really was great fun. The Epiphone Dot Archtop, first manufactured in the 1990’s, is a more affordable version of the Gibson ES-335 “Dot”. This was designed in the original ES-335 to improve sustain and remove feedback. It looks fine, sounds great and plays great. The arched, inside-back doesn't marry exactly with the straight, solid block, revealing small gaps along its entire length. Our Epiphone Dot™ is no exception. The Dot is a gem. Color: available i… It features twin Humbucker pickups and the Tune-o-matic bridge/Stopbar tailpiece combo more great tone and sustain. The last Epiphone I played was an Epiphone LP Special II (read my review here). A poorly cut nut causes huge playability problems and frustration, bus as with this Epi's general setup, it's glitch-free and player friendly. Open position chords a la Gallagher sound massive, while single-note work benefits from that wonderfully satisfying onset of musical feedback. The joint certainly looks and feels solid enough to withstand years of faithful service, as does the scarfed joint under the first and second fret securing the headstock. The neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard. Of course, the Epiphone Dot Deluxe has the pedigree, the Mickey Mouse ears, orange Gibson sticker in the f-hole, and can use the name. Pulling the Dot from its box, you're greeted with a solid and weighty feeling guitar that points reassuringly towards good, sturdy construction. Check out the price and full details of the Epiphone Dot here (link to Amazon). If you don’t like the style of music typically played with this guitar, there might be better choices out there for you, Dot inlays do look a bit bland (my personal view). Dot Deluxe honors the immortal ES-335, the thin semi-hollowbody archtop with “Dot” inlays that brought archtop class to the rock era. Sometimes when I play clone pedals I get the feeling that the effect is merely a poor imitation of the pedal it’s trying to copy. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? An acoustic strum issues forth a pleasing, resonant ring. They were straight HH setups for the pickups. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The Epiphone Dot is twice the price of the LP Special II and I can easily say that the extra cost is well worth it. Epiphone's Dot brings new looks, new functionality and new affordability to Epi's wide array of semi-hollow body electric guitars. And the thinline semi-acoustic range is no exception. Go through the different styles the ES-335 has been used in and get a feel for how you can use the guitar in different styles. That guitar was designed as an entry-level option for beginners and I was surprised by the quality for such a low priced guitar. It has two Vintage Alnico V plus pickups and a 3 way selector switch with a … The Epiphone Dot 335 is the perfect choice for beginners looking to pick up their first jazz-style guitar with this affordable semi-hollow classic. Controls: 2 volume and 2 tone knobs with a three-way pickup selector 7. The pickups simply don’t compete to the high output pickups used in guitars designed for rock or metal, but it still works. It resonates very well. The Epiphone Ltd. Ed. As I’m used to and prefer slim necks this did take some getting used to but I can definitely see why many guitarists prefer a fatter neck. Anyone who knows anything about guitars knows that the Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II has a much thicker body than the 335 Dot. But other guitarists do seem to enjoy using it so if you’re looking for a basic version of the Dot, this is one to consider. Intonation, too is good, although swapping for some lighter strings, the plain third required a slight adjustment to make it ring in tune all over the neck. If you fancy a no-nonsense semi with more than a whiff of background and expertise, cast your eyes in Epiphone's direction. The ES-335 (ES stands for Electric Spanish) was the first commercially available thinline artchtop semi-acoustic and has been an incredibly popular guitar with a massive following. So a blonde '59 Dot-neck 335 will set you back around £20,000; a brand-new version of the same, somewhere around £2,000 and this Epi will leave you plenty of change from £300. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Original ES-335 models cost a real fortune, so we could easily agree that the price is Epiphone Dot’s strongest point. Weight is a moderate 7.5 lbs. Remember that the Epiphone Dot is based on the Gibson ES-335 Dot. There are two Epiphone design, Korean humbuckers, a tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece and a set of modern-looking machineheads. The dot comes with a maple body with a set maple neck. Blues, jazz or similar styles: if you enjoy playing any style of music where this style of guitar is commonly used, then the Dot is an excellent choice. We'd wager that the Dot's all-maple construction has got something to do with that, but more obviously, the hollow bouts bolster the acoustic tone, inducing wry smiles to those listening. Check out the price and full details of the Epiphone Dot here (link to Amazon). The action and intonation were quite good and didn’t need any adjustment out of the box. The ES semi-hollow body guitars from Gibson first appeared in 1958. Played clean, jazzers will love the neck position; roll the tone off a little for instant Wes Montgomery, turn it up for a more defined sound that remains warm throughout. All rights reserved. These areas would benefit from more careful finishing, yet bear in mind that this guitar costs less than £400, not £1400-plus. This style of guitar has been used by countless guitarists and B.B. There was a problem. The Epiphone Dot Studio is a stripped down version of the Dot at a lower price. The strings that came with the guitar had the third string wound so if you prefer a lighter set you would need to adjust the intonation on the third string. With the Dot it never felt like an imitation of something better. I’ve read reports from many guitarists who love these pickups while others upgraded their to suit their own specific needs. Available for a limited time only. This Epiphone ES 335 Pro review looked at the playability as well. Just don’t expect an out-and-out Dot clone. 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2020 epiphone dot 335 review