Where are the Deals? Ask Mr Lopez.

Here's my first Trini in some very good company. It's a nickel hardware wide neck 65 hanging out with a 60 345 and a 61 dot neck. All three have gone their separate ways but that Trini held its own against it's company here.

I get a lot of emails, which I enjoy answering, asking me about the best “bang for the buck” 335 out there. With more than 50 years of 335’s to choose from and imports from at least 3 countries that qualify, that’s a lot to choose from. ¬†Everybody has a price range and I’m not going to try to cover them all but I’ll cover that middle ground that seems to come up in so many emails. Most players are comfortable spending somewhere between $2500 and $3500 for a high grade 335. There are an awful lot of choices in that range but a couple seem to rise to the top. Much as I like the Historic line from 2004 or so until 2009, they aren’t my top pick. Not because they aren’t great guitars but because I prefer vintage and there are some great vintage 335’s in the same price range. With most folks dreaming of $5,000 plus for their 65-68 ES 335’s, it is very hard to find one in that $2500-$3500 range. Nearly impossible if you want a no issue guitar. But folks don’t seem to ask quite so much for a guitar that is every inch a 335 and vintage to boot. And pretty cool, if you ask me. The Trini Lopez Standard from ’64-68 or so. You probably won’t find a 64 (there were only 4 shipped) or a 65 in that range because they had the wider neck and seem to command a premium. But there are 66’s (with nickel hardware) in the $3500 range and 67’s (with chrome hardware) at just about $3000. The construction is identical, the electronics are identical and the tone is, to my ears, identical. If you absolutely can’t stomach the slash f-holes or the Firebird headstock, then you’ll have to make further compromises. But for my money, the Trini is the real deal. The Deluxe is a completely different beast and not for you if you want a 335. If you’re willing to accept a few issues, you can probably find one below $3000. Try to get one with the original case because the headstock is longer than stock and a correct case is going to be really tough to find. EB-2 bass cases will work but they aren’t exactly plentiful either. A 335 12 string case will also work. Good luck. Trinis came in red (common) Sparkling Burgundy (fairly rare) and Pelham Blue (really rare). The last SB I saw went in the $4500 range and the mint PB I had went for well over $10K. Then there’s the hip factor. Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) loved these guitars and was rumored to have bought up a lot of the PB ones (not mine, although his tech inquired about it). We all know that Firebirds are very cool guitars and so are 335’s…so what could be cooler than a 335 with a Firebird headstock? I loved my first Trini (a 65) which I bought at a time when I was only buying guitars to keep forever. Even though that has changed, I still think there is no better choice for money.

How's this for rare? A Pelham Blue Trini with a Varitone. I know where it lives if you're interested (No, it isn't mine)

This is one of the four 1964 Trinis. I had this one about a year ago. It had a 64 serial number and mid 64 pot codes. I sold it for $4000. Where are you going to find a 64 335 for 4 grand?

2 Responses to “Where are the Deals? Ask Mr Lopez.”

  1. Henric says:

    Been looking for a Pelham Blue Trini Lopez for a while. Do you know where I might find one?

  2. OK Guitars says:

    I’ll find another eventually. I’ve had only two in the past so they’re out there they just don’t come up very often.

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