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Looking for the ES-295 sound (AR380CE or ES-135)
Old 12th August 2022
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Looking for the ES-295 sound (AR380CE or ES-135)

I've long sought after the sound of an ES-295, particularly as it's used by a few of my favourite guitarists in a rock setting.

I can't afford what the originals are going for - and the Epiphones don't come up often. Neither do the reissues, which aren't much cheaper than the originals.

A few options i'm considering are the ES-135 and Eastman AR380CE.

Although not fully hollow with it's balsa wood block, can a 135 still kop the tone of the ES295?

The AR380CE is fully hollow, but has humbuckers.

Which leads me to the question; what contributes more to the 295 sound, the pickups or the body?

Which would you go for out of the above? Both fall within my budget of around Β£1-1.3k
Old 13th August 2022
  #2
Gear Nut
 
lumpfish's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Like you I wanted a ES-295. I saved hard and found a good deal on a well used 1956 about ten years ago. Try to save up and stay on target because these are pretty unique but very rewarding.

The things that make the difference in my opinion are: 1950’s P90 pickups, Trapeze bridge, overall construction and the attitude these have.

I tried the Epiphone before that. It is nothing like a 50’s ES-295. It is an OK guitar in its own right, but miles off target. Even after changing everything on it.

Never having played an ES-135 I could only speculate. I think it would be off target too. Sorry.

Hold out, raise the budget and save for what you really want. It does not need to be in collector condition. To my way of thinking, a well used guitar will sound better than the shiny chocolate boxes the collectors are drawn to. Take a look at the one I found. People were laughing at me for buying it.
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Looking for the ES-295 sound (AR380CE or ES-135)-bathtime-1956.jpg  
Old 13th August 2022
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Larry Mal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
All three of these guitars are pretty different. I guess you could get the Eastman and then put in some kind of P-90 in the PAF form factor, though.
Old 14th August 2022
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Lumpfish, I really wish i could afford the original, or have the patience to save up for it...just not an option
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
lumpfish's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeebles ➑️
Lumpfish, I really wish i could afford the original, or have the patience to save up for it...just not an option
I was in the same position as you for many years. Then I switched my mindset to it actually being an a possible option. I also decided that I am not rich enough to carry on buying cheap equipment.

By the way, I am pretty sure the Epiphone 295 was made at the Eastman factory. The original feels much tighter and way more responsive. You would think an old guitar would relax with time and mellow out, but in comparison to the Epi, the orginal has a huge bite when you need it.
Old 16th August 2022
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Totally agree with the lumpy fish.

Save up and be ready to pounce when ya spot a real deal basket case and make it an awesome player.
Old 20th August 2022 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
The answer to finding an es295 alternative ...get an es295.
Cheers guys.
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