Epiphone Ultra-339 Electric Guitar
Semi-Hollow and Hollow Body Electric Guitars
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Semi-hollowbody and acoustic sounds from a solidbody-sized guitar with USB output.
The Ultra-339 is for guitarists seeking the power of the Ultra-III's breakthrough electronics in an ES-style guitar, featuring Epiphone's legendary ES semi-hollow body construction in a reduced sized, the new Ultra-339 will take your guitar playing to the Ultra-level! Case sold separately.
The Birth of a Legend
First introduced in the late '50s at our legendary Kalamazoo factory, the ES series became an instant rock classic, bringing the look and feel of an archtop to a generation of players who had grown up playing solid body guitars like the Les Paul. The ES-335, the first in the ES series, was an instant success. But for many players who were used to smaller solid body guitars, the ES-335 felt too bulky to play on stage. The new Epiphone Ultra-339 is the perfect remedy, featuring smaller body dimensions while still retaining the bell-like tone the ES series is famous for. And best of all, the Ultra-339 is loaded with Ultra technology!
While the Ultra-339 is packed with cutting edge technology, it still maintains the same basic specifications that made ES-style guitars the choice of two generations of artists from Chuck Berry to B.B. King to Alex Lifeson. The Ultra-339 features a laminated maple body with a solid center block, classic f holes, and a comfortable 24.75" scale SlimTaper "D" profile mahogany neck, which is glued-in with a mortise and tenon neck joint. The 12" radius rosewood fingerboard has 22 medium jumbo frets just like vintage ES-style archtops, a 1.68" nut and mother-of-pearl dot inlays. The Ultra-339 comes in three beautiful color finishes: Cherry, Natural and Vintage Sunburst.
Two Great Pickup Systems in One Guitar
At the heart of the new Ultra-339 are two pickup systems. The classic pickup system features Epiphone's new ProBucker humbucker pickups”a ProBucker-2 in the neck position and a ProBucker-3 in the bridge position. Both are patterned after Gibson's famous BurstBuckers and are wound to the same specs as the Kalamazoo factory's legendary PAF pickups.
Epiphone's ProBuckers feature authentic 18% nickel silver base and cover, Elektrisola wire, accurate bobbins, slugs and screws and sand casted Alnico-II magnets to give you that classic "Patent Applied For" airy tone that defines rock and roll.
The second pickup system features Shadow Germany's patented NanoMag pickup embedded discretely at the end of the fingerboard. Featuring three samarium cobalt magnets, an air coil, and active electronics, this low-impedance pickup captures subtle body acoustics and string harmonics. Together, you get powerful humbucker-driven rock crunch as well as shimmering acoustic-like tones and everything in-between.
One-Of-A-Kind Electrics Built-in
Built discretely into the bridge pickup mounting ring is a full-function, chromatic tuner. Just push the ON/OFF button and sound is immediately muted when the tuner is activated. Eleven color-coded LED's identify the note and whether it's sharp, flat or in-tune. Also, to allow quick and seamless changes between each pickup system, the Ultra-339's NanoMag Volume control now doubles as an A/B switch. Just push it in and quickly toggle between ProBuckers, NanoMag or both pickup systems with no delay and no "pop." Two additional LED's on the pickup mounting ring provide a visual indicator of which pickup system is active (Red=NanoMag; Blue-Magnetic or Red/Blue=Both).
Hook-Up Directly To Your Computer
The Ultra-339 features three different outputs. By using the standard 1/4" MONO output, both the ProBuckers and NanoMag are mixed into one signal. Plug in an additional 1/4" cable into the STEREO output, and the ProBuckers are routed through one cable and the NanaMag the other. In this way, you can send the ProBuckers to your favorite guitar amp and the NanoMag to a PA or an acoustic guitar amp. Using the A/B switch, you can now change "on-the-fly" between the two outputs.
The third output is USB. Using a USB cable (included with the Ultra 339), you can plug directly into your computer and use guitar applications such as Native Instruments GuitarRig 4LE to play your Ultra-339 through a variety of simulated amplifiers and effects and listen through your computer speakers or headphones. GuitarRig also features a recorder, a metronome, a tuner and much more.
Epiphone hardware is the best in the business and the Ultra-339 features Epiphone's patent-applied-for LockTone locking Tune-o-matic bridge and Stopbar tailpiece for increased sustain and string changing ease as well as quality Wilkinson 14:1 ratio vintage style machine heads with tombstone buttons for tuning accuracy and stability.
- Compact ES-339 body style
- Great tonewoods with laminated maple body
- Two pickups systems: ProBucker and NanoMag
- Seperate and combined pickup outputs
- Advanced electronics with tuner and USB audio output
- Case sold separately
A great-sounding, great-looking Epi electric at a great price.
Ultra-339 Electric Guitar Specifications:
Body Type: Reduced-Size Classic "ES" Style with F-holes
Species: Laminted Maple body with Solid Center Block
Binding: 1-ply Cream
Adhesive: Premium Titebond
Profile: Slim Taper„¢ "D" 1960s
Truss Rod: Standard
Adhesive: Premium Titebond
Joint: Mortise & Tenon
Adhesive: Premium Titebond
Joint Angle Tolerance: +/- .015"
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Scale Length: 24.75"
Inlays: Mother-of-Pearl Dot
Binding: Single -ply White Binding
Material: PVC Imitation Bone
Type: Classic Epiphone Sloped Dovewing
Logo: Mother-of-Pearl '60s Era Epiphone Logo with "Crown" Inlay
Truss Rod Cover: Kalamazoo Era "Bell Shape" with "Ultra ES-339" Engraving
Model: Wilkinson„¢ Vintage with Tinted Green Tulip Buttons
Tuning Ratio: 14:01
Type: Locktone„¢ Tune-O-Matic
Knobs: Black Top Hat Knobs with Metal Inserts and Points
Pickguard: Black with Classic "E" Epiphone Insignia and Black/White Binding
Pickup Mounting Rings: Black
Strap Buttons: Die-cast steel, Nickel Plated
Strings: .010 - .046, Swedish Steel "Hex" Core
Neck Position: ProBucker-2„¢ (Alnico II)
Bridge Position: ProBucker-3„¢ (Alnico II)
Fingerboard: Shadow„¢ NanoMag„¢ Humbucker (Cobalt)
Potentiometers: 2 Volume Controls, 2 Tone Controls
Back Controls: NanoMag„¢ Gain
NanoMag„¢ Treble EQ:
NanoMag„¢ Bass EQ:
Coil Wiring: Hand-soldered and Machine Wound
Toggle Switch: 3-way Toggle with White Cap
Chromatic Tuner: On/Off Switch
A-G LED Note Indicators
# LED Indicator
In-Tune LED Indicators
Output: 1/4" Mono (both signals blended)
USB (Computer supplies power to Ultra-III when connected):
Power: 9 Volt battery (except when connected to computer USB)
REVIEW SNAPSHOT®by PowerReviews
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
- Built in tuner
- Ease Of Use And Play
- Fun To Play
- Good Feel
- Solid Electronics
- Wide range of tones
- Rock Concerts
- School Bands
- Small Venues
Comments about Epiphone Ultra-339 Electric Guitar:
I was looking for a "do it all" guitar. I mainly play for recordings and small gigs. This guitar provided everything I needed and then some for a reasonable price (albeit above what I usually expect from Epiphone).
Build & Finish: The Sunburst finish model came beautifully done, I spotted no issues with fit or finish. Sound hole not bound but is painted with a darker lacquer - which is nice. Neck and body have a consistent and smooth coat. Hardware is well produced and installed.
Electronics: The magnetic PUs are what you get to expect from Epiphone - nice, warm (a bit too warm-ish to my taste) humbucking sound. Good, consistent but not brilliant. I have played other 600-800$ guitars with better PUs. The kick is of course the additional gizmos - the "acoustic" PU set provides a bright, electric-acoustic set of sounds with some tweaking abilities and a combination of both sets - mono or in (and that's really cool for studio work) stereo. Knobs, switches and controls are OK, nothing fancy. Switching from "acoustic" to "electric" and both is a breeze. The built-in tuner is a nice and VERY useful feature.
Ease of play: Being a Fender player for most of my life I find the Gibson'esque feel and neck a bit cumbersome and thick but that's again well whithin what one should expect of an Epiphone. I took down the action to its lowest possible point. Intonation was kept perfect but there is some fret-buzz (does not influence amplified tone) as a result of the a-typically low setup I did. Anyway - it works for me and the slight buzz is worth the extra-playability a Fender guy can appreciate.
Sounds: this guitar offers a broad (I mean BROAD) range of tones, and this is where it shines: from warm jazzy stuff (neck PU with slightly rolled off top on the tone knob) to biting rock sounds (bridge PU with the tone cranked up) to a good basic distorted sound (both PUs)or searing solos. Acoustic tones are nice and when finger-strummed are even more convincing. Combinations of both offer unusual tones and some creative flexibility and as I mentioned above - stereo effects can be cool. With some learning , trial and error one can really claim this is truly a do-it-all guitar.
To sum up: a beautiful to look at, classy feel, good (but not brilliant) tone machine with near-endless possibilities and flexibility. Highly recommended for those looking for a Jack-of-all-trades solution rather than a specialized tone machine.
Comments about Epiphone Ultra-339 Electric Guitar:
First, I bought a Pelham Blue Ultra 339, returned it, got a natural finish one, and would return it if my wife hadn't lovingly bought me an Epi case for it... I don't want to go through the return thing again, but for the $$, the guitar doesn't measure up. As I write this, there are 6 returns (in various colors) available... I can see why there are so many - despite the short amount of time these have been available.
I'm not a negative or picky guitar player or person. I've had VERY few Epis that weren't satisfying. I don't like writing negative reviews, but feel I must, in this case (as I did with the Charvel Desolation DC2).
The NanoMag pickup and the AlNiCo humbuckers are sweet! I love the momentary on-on-on-ness of the pickup switch (one of the knobs - just click it and it goes from piezo to piezo-and-magnetic to magnetic!)
I love the built-in tuner and the fact that I can see the mode in which I'm playing.
I really like the lighter weight of this guitar (compared to Dots, Sheratons, and ESs).
The neck is a nice shape. Narrow-ish, but substantial enough to hang on to.
I like the genuine Gibson Deluxe tuners and most of the quality of the electronics.
I like the look (really love the Pelham Blue).
The appointments and features are nice.
The price seems a little high to me. It's approaching the territory of USA faded Studio Gibson solid-body guitars.
What's Not Good:
* The paint on the first one wasn't even cured. It was sticky around the f-hole and smelled like enamel paint.
* The paint on the second one LOOKed fine, but touching it reveals that the neck, back, and sides are covered with overspray. LOTS of overspray... the hook of the horns is as rough as sandpaper.
* Both the blue and the natural have VERY HIGH string height - I guess in an attempt to correct the severe string buzz.
* The radius of the fretboard is poorly executed. It looks like a neck twist when viewed up the neck from the lower bout.
* Both guitars: all 6 strings buzz up the entire neck when you pick or pluck even a little bit aggressively. It feels and sounds like you're playing "7s" on a short-scale guitar.
* The natural one has problems with the strength of the piezo/NanoMag. The blue one was clearly stronger. Turning the gain all the way to 10 doesn't help much. I have to use a tube pre to get a decent sound out of the NanoMag (on the natural one).
* The electronics are nice, but the three-way pickup selector4 is not Epiphone's usual "Switchcraft-style heavy-duty switch." The selector is a cheap box switch. These are usually on $99 guitars.
In summary: I'm a serious gear-head and a recording artist. I really wanted this guitar to give me some interesting tonal chops combined with that great-feeling fit-and-finish of the higher-up Epis. I was let down twice.
On the bright side, Music123 has been fabulous! Their sales and support have been extraordinary. They've got business with me in the future!