Epiphone DOT ES-355 Reviews
I've been playing quitar for over 45 years, yikes! I was a full-time working pro for over 25 years and now part-time playing blues clubs once or twice a month. I have been primarily a strat player but bought the first Epi Dot a couple of years ago to cover Freddie, B.B. Albert sounds. I liked the Dot so much I recently bought another that stays in open D tuning for slide. I played many newer Gibson 335's before 'settling' for the Dot. They didn't come close to justifying the extra $2,000 plus.
I bought both my Dots at a smallish music store in Atlanta called Ken Stanton. They are both limited edition 59 es-335 models that differ from the standard in that they have bound necks, Gibson shaped pick guard, old style 'tulip' tuners and nickel hardware (as opposed to chrome). This model is only available at AIMM dealers so you can't get it at the on-line stores. Other than those differences, this model is the same as the current Chinese made Dots and has the same great playability and tone. The limited edition model I bought was $449.00 as opposed to $399.00 for the standard Dot. To me the bound neck and other unique features are definitely worth the extra $50.00
These guitars have GREAT tone! I did side by side comparisons with Gibson 335's and while the Epi Dot sounds a little different, it is not inferior in my opinion, a little more hollow and woody sounding. The same basic tone and vibe is there and sustain is 100% as good with the Epi Dot. Both of my Dot's play as well as the Gibsons I tried. In fact, a couple of the Gibsons had such sticky, poorly cured nitro-finished necks that they were unplayable for me.
While the Dot's finish is great, it is not as great as Gibson, especially around the f holes. It is a minor difference IMO. The plastic nut provided was poorly cut and had to go immediately for a properly cut bone nut. But I would have had to do the same with the Gibson. The wiring and pickups on the Epi Dot have gotten much better recently, but I have to say that Gibson '57 classic pickups are a bit clearer on the bottom end, so I replaced the stock Epi pickups with these to make the great sounding Epi Dot even better. I also like 50's style wiring on Gibson-like guitars to fix the loss of treble when turning volume pots down, so I did that on mine. All in all I have about $800 in the Dot including pickups, wiring and nut. Still a couple of thousand less than a comparable Gibson. I think the Epi Dot is the BEST deal available for a professional quality semi-hollow guitar at a sane price.
Construction is solid, fit is great, finish is good. This guitar shines in playability and tone. The frets are level, no sharp edges, no fretting out with big bends, everything I look for. The chunky 50's style neck suits me to a T.
Absolutely great value. Great tone, construction and and playability. I bought the Dot to cover the semi-hollow blues tones of musicians like B.B. and Freddie King as well as Eric Clapton circa 'From the Cradle' - think 'Third Degree' and 'Reconsider Baby'. Through a good cranked tube amp, the Epi Dot just nails that vibe. I couldn't care less what name is on the headstock.Matt M.
rated this unit
Paid AU$800 at Guitar World on the Gold Coast. It is the first new eliectric I have bought since I got a Squier Strat about 12 years ago.
This is just so different to my faithful Squier. Where the strat has a trebly attack, the DOT is really versatile. I have grown up playing punk rock in a local band but have started to experiment with different sounds and styles and this guitar is fantastic to da that on. The neck pickup is so warm and the bridge has a real bite, however, what I really like is the balance between bass resonse and treble. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy the feel and the sounds I can get out of it.
Not much at all. Any problems I have had have been a result of playing an unfamiliar guitar. Feels totally different to a fender with a flatter fingerboard. This is something I was initially put off by but have grown to like. There are no other real dislikes about the sound or feel.
The fit and finish is quite good on this unit. I have compared it to the Ibanez Artcore series guitars and think they are possible a bit better but this is close to perfect. I guess you also need to realise that they are made to be played and won't look brand new forever. The DOT seems well put together and solid and that is what matters.
Great guitar.... go get one.John S
rated this unit