Epiphone ES-339 Pro Review – 2021 Overview

Vlad
| Last Updated: January 26, 2021

In case you have tried the original semi-hollow guitar, you might be turned down as the size of such guitar was too large for you.

But, Epiphone has a solution for you that may feel tempting - semi-hollow body at the solid body size - Epiphone ES-339 Pro.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 22-fret fretboard for a warm and mellow tone
  • Laminated Maple body for durability and strength
  • D-profile neck for better thumb tracking
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Epiphone Limited Edition ES-339 Pro Electric Guitar, TV Pelham Blue

PROS

  • Coil-splitting included
  • The ES-339 that you can actually buy
  • Semi-hollow guitar in a solid body size

CONS

  • Semi-hollow lovers may not like the sustain

Epiphone ES-339 Pro Specs 

  • Type of Guitar: Semi-acoustic Guitar

  • Body Size and Type: Double cutaway semi-hollow ES-339 model thinline body

  • Number of Strings: 6-string model

  • Tonewood: Laminated Maple or Birch body with Gloss finish

  • Orientation: Available only for right-hand players

  • Neck Profile: Mahogany 1960’s Slimtaper D neck profile with 1.68 inches wide nut

  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro with mother-of-pearl fretboard with 22 Medium jumbo frets

  • Scale Length: 24.75 inches

  • Bridge: Locktone Tune-o-matic

  • Color: Cherry, Pelham Blue, Vintage Sunburst

  • Pickup Type: Alnico Classic Pro HH pickup configuration - also available with P-90 pickup setup

  • Weight: 7.2 lbs approx

Pros

Below are the main pros:

Semi-Hollow Guitar in a Solid Body Size

Many semi-hollow guitars are truly great looking pieces of equipment, but they all have a bit of flaw - the size is not so convenient unless you’re a big guy. That’s why models such as ES-339 seem to fill in the offer perfectly. 

They have about the same tone and all other features while the body remains close to the solid body size. This body size will also generate a bit tighter and punchier sound and bring the overall sound a bit closer to the modern vibe as there will be less body to resonate.

The ES-339 That You Can Actually Buy

Gibson ES-339 is a wonderful instrument, but also quite expensive. It’s well known that Epiphone is their sub-brand oriented towards budget-line products, but their ES-339 Pro seems to be everything except the entry-level product. 

It has an excellent build quality and some features that aren’t found even in the original model. The ES-339 Pro is one of the premium Epiphone models and a great example of how Epiphone is able to create a wonderful piece of instrument at a very low price.

Coil-Splitting Included

Most guitar players love humbuckers, that’s for sure. But, they wouldn’t mind having a single coil option if they don’t have to trade it for humbuckers, too.

That’s why the ES-339 Pro coil-splitting option will make a huge difference in real situations. Within a single basic push-pull on your knob, you can have both humbuckers a single-coil pickup sound on your guitar act. 

This feature provides you with so many tonal varieties that it’s safe to say that it almost brings another life to your instrument so you may end up playing this guitar a lot more than expected in the first place.

Cons

Below are the main cons:

Semi-Hollow Lovers May Not Like the Sustain

Yes, Epiphone ES-339 Pro is lighter in weight, and, yes, it is a bit easier to reach those higher frets because it has a smaller body size.  

But, because of such design, there is another side of the coin - the sustain produced on ES-335 will sound a bit better because of the surface size difference. The same goes for resonance, so, if you would like to play your instrument unplugged often, bear in mind that ES-339 Pro may not have enough volume content to do such a thing.

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who had the original Gibson ES-339 say that Epiphone looks exactly like the real deal and that the finish is spot-on and they really loved the wood grain. When placed aside, apart from logo difference, they couldn’t tell which model was five times more expensive. It is also reported to have an extraordinary build quality without any serious reporting filed.

Pickups are getting a bit of hype as well. Usually experienced players tend to advise you to upgrade pickups when you get the budget for it. Such tips can’t be found in ES-339 Pro reviews. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

Because of the fact that it has a coil-splitting option included, they consider this Epiphone to be a steal at this price as such an option makes this instrument much more versatile than a Les Paul for example.

But, because of the smaller body size, it is reported that the neck tends to tilt the guitar downwards and the factory setup is set too high for many users. Also, the sound is not so full, like on regular size semi-hollow guitars, but it’s a bit of a trade-off they are willing to take for the sake of having more comfort during play.

What Are the Components of the Epiphone ES-339 Pro? 

This semi-hollow guitar comes with a reduced size body also known as ES-339 body type. It’s made of Maple and it has a typical ES double-cutaway shape with f-shaped holes on the top sides.

The neck on ES-339 is the same as found on ES-335 and it’s made of Mahogany and has a SlimTaper D-profile shape. It comes with standard 24.75” scale length and usual 22 medium jumbo frets on the Pau Ferro fingerboard. The nut is made by GraphTech and it’s 1.68” wide while the 18:1 ratio Epiphone Deluxe tuning machines and the rest of the hardware have a Nickel coating 

What Pickups Does an Epiphone Casino Have?

ES-339 Pro has a dual humbucker Alnico Classic Pro setup with an enormously handy split-coil pickup option along with a 3-way switch selector placed next to the pickguard.

Pickups volume and tone are controlled individually by a set of knobs. This way, if you use a middle pickup position, you can blend them into your personal favorite. Just, please remember to avoid dialing any volume knob at zero as it will mute your guitar completely.

What Strings Does Epiphone Put on Epiphone Casino?

Epiphone delivers D’Addario string set at .010-.046 string gauge for all their guitars.

What Types of Music is the Epiphone ES-339 Pro Best For?

Epiphone ES-339 Pro is a semi-hollow guitar. This means it shares the features from both hollow body and solid body guitars and this reflects in a more versatile tone that will match many genres. The ideal placement is still in jazz and ‘50s rock music, but because of semi-hollow body type, we can find it useful for all genres that use distortion effects moderately such as pop, blues, country, indie rock, or even some punk music.

If you plan to experiment with the sounds you may find this model much more creative than a solid body guitar as well.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Epiphone ES-339 Pro Suitable For?

This model may suit everyone. It’s good enough for professional players as they will know how to utilize the single coil-splitting option. And because of body size, it will be good for beginners especially as it won’t be so much bigger than a regular solid body guitar they had a chance to play. 

That being said, the younger population can play this guitar as well as it’s not as big as ES-335 Pro is for example. But, you have to be a bit careful as it might be too heavy for some ages.

Where are Epiphone ES-339 Pro Guitars Made?

ES-339 Pro is made in Qingdao, China.

What Makes the Epiphone ES-339 Pro Stand Out From the Competition?

Epiphone ES-339 Pro is probably the most versatile semi-hollow guitar at the moment. It has the best quality Epiphone has to offer at the solid body size. So, if the Gibson ES-339 is out of your budget, you should be aware that although the price may confuse you, there is nothing wrong with this instrument. 

And while Epiphone pickups may not match the quality of the Gibson original pickups, those differences may be easily traded for coil splitting options not found in Gibson models. It’s a feature that every single guitar with HH pickup should have these days.

Comparison Overview 

Let’s see how Epiphone ES-339 Pro stands against other similar instruments in both price and look:

Epiphone ES-339 Pro vs Dot

Both are semi-hollow guitars and have a lot in common regarding physical appearance. But, Epiphone Dot doesn’t come with a coil-splitting option which goes in favor of ES-339 a lot. On the other side, Epiphone Dot is a larger instrument that eventually leads to better sustain and resonance and heavier body weight so there is no clear winner here. 

That being said, unless you’re a large person, ES-339 Pro might be a better ergonomic solution for you. It may be a bit easier to reach higher frets on such a model as well. 

If we had to pick, our vote would go to ES-339 Pro because of extra pickup options and overall quality.

Epiphone ES-339 vs ES-339 Pro

As you can tell by the name, these two guitars should be about the same, so the only difference is the coil-splitting option. It may be a small difference but it dramatically improves the tone options you will have with your guitar.

As both guitars are about the same price in many stores, it’s a no-brainer to pick up ES-339 Pro instead. On the other hand, if you love your guitar without the color finish, the ES-339 has a Natural finish for you.

Epiphone ES-339 Ultra vs Pro

Bear in mind that Ultra models are no longer being produced so you can find it either used or. But, it seems to be a quite interesting guitar that allows you to plug in your guitar directly by using a USB cable. Besides that, it also has a dual output which allows you to route ProBuckers and NanoMag pickups separately and activate it via an A/B switch. NanoMag is there to wire the acoustic tone aspect of your semi-hollow guitar so it may be suitable to use directly into PA or mixing desk. There is a clear visual LED indicator that shows you which pickups are being used.

That being said, we must say that it’s quite a shame that ES-339 Ultra is no longer in production, so if this sounds interesting to you, the best option is to buy it on a used market or try to find some music shop leftovers.

Gibson ES-339 vs Epiphone ES-339 Pro

While this comparison may not be fair because of the price difference, we have to say that Epiphone might offer you much more bang for the buck than Gibson, especially because it has a coil-splitting option which Gibson for some reason doesn’t have. It’s a shame to see a $2,000+ guitar not having a simple option that $500 guitar has.

Besides this flaw, Gibson ES-339 is a clear winner with better pickups, craftsmanship, and overall build quality. But when you check the price it may be questionable if the sound difference between those two guitars is so huge to pay so much for it. 

We have to say no and the proper piece of Epiphone ES-339 Pro will be a good enough solution for most users.

Common Issues With Epiphone ES-339 Pro

Here’s some basic troubleshooting for Epiphone ES-339 Pro:

Epiphone ES-339 Tuning Problem

If the guitar goes out of tune easily, check string wounding first. You may need to learn how to lock the strings once you wind them up. Some other suspects could be string bindings in the nut slot, so applying nut grease could solve this out.

And in the end, if everything else fails, perhaps one of the tuners is simply not working properly. They can be swapped easily and if you have a warranty such demand shouldn’t cost you at all.

Epiphone ES-339 Pro Action Too High

If you feel that the action of the guitar is set too high, you can re-adjust it and get a bit better playability out of your instrument. 

Just bear in mind that adjusting the truss rod is one part of the equation - the other is setting the saddle at the correct height. You should experiment with different actions as it’s all about personal preference.

Epiphone ES-339 Electronics Issues

If the tone sounds scratchy when you try to dial in the volume or adjust the volume try applying some deoxit spray first. But, if the tone is weak or distorted, especially when you switch between push and pull pot positions, checking up the wiring connection is recommended.

For pickup dropping out problems, try applying some cleaner to the switch selector first. 

Epiphone ES-339 Input Jack Drops Into the Body

On some models, the input jack might be a bit loose so it may drop inside of the body eventually. If this occurs to you more than once, you should know there are longer input jacks available at a real cheap price and it’s quite easy to replace it as it requires only two wires to solder.

Conclusion 

We hope that you may break your beliefs about Epiphone guitars as they have improved a lot regarding its build quality. With the coil-splitting included Epiphone ES-339 Pro may be a nice showcase of how good Epiphones can actually be and save you a lot of money.

People Also Ask

Now that we have covered all the necessary info about ES-339 Pro, let’s put some additional content regarding famous artists with this guitar, acquiring info from the serial number, maintaining it in perfect condition, and also explain to you what is coil-splitting and how does the push-pull system works in general.

What is Coil Splitting?

Coil splitting is an option found at humbuckers pickups. As every humbucker pickup is made out of two coils, this option allows you to disable one of those coils and use it as a single-coil pickup instead. This way, you can get a bit of single-coil guitar sounding even without having a single-coil pickup installed.

What Do Push Pull Pots Do on Epiphone ES-339 Pro?

HH pickup setup found on Epiphone ES-339 Pro has a special coil-splitting feature which is performed by pushing or pulling your knobs. This trait significantly improves your guitar tone variety as you can switch between a single-coil and humbucker option while using the same pickup.

Is the Epiphone ES-339 Pro Hard to Play?

Not at all. Unlike the ES-335 Pro model, ES-339 Pro is coming at a smaller body size which will be much more suitable for everyone while leaving the rest of the features including the neck profile the same. If your hands are a bit smaller or you’re short in height, ES-339 Pro may suit you much better.

How to Care for an Epiphone ES-339 Pro Guitar

Doing maintenance on ES-339 Pro requires no special procedure. Clean it with a dry cloth, ideally after every use, and store it in a bag after you’re done because of the dust that can get into the holes quite easily. Fret polishing should be done once you start to feel your strings a bit different.

How to Date an Epiphone ES-339 Pro

Epiphone guitars have a serial number on the headstock back. This number can help you locate more manufacturing info on your instrument. Because the concept number varied through the Epiphone history, we would advise you to type in the serial number of your guitar on this website.

Who Are Some Famous People Who Play the Epiphone ES-339 Pro?

Epiphone ES-339 Pro is a budget-line version of Gibson ES-339, so the upcoming list will show you a list of Gibson players instead. These two guitars share the most features so you may get an idea of what sound you can expect:

  • Slash

  • Noel Galagher (Oasis)

  • Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)

  • Kelly Johnson (Stereophonics)

  • Alana Haim

What Size is the Epiphone ES-339 Pro?

Epiphone ES-339 Pro is a semi-hollow body guitar with reduced body size. It’s ideal for all those who find regular semi-hollow guitars too big to handle. ES-339 Pro is much closer to the size of the regular Les Paul so it may suit solid body lovers much better.

Vlad

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.