As a writer, I appreciate it when words are spelled correctly. As a writer who is a terrible typist, I’m guilty of plenty of spelling and punctuation errors but that’s not actually what this post is about except to say that when a guitar rings out, it is resonant NOT resonate. It resonates (verb) but it IS resonant (adjective). This is probably the most misused word among guitar enthusiasts. So let’s talk about it. By design, a 335 isn’t terribly resonant. That was kind of the idea-to make what looked like a hollow body sound like a solid body and thus avoiding the bugbears (great word) of the hollow body electric; those bugbears being feedback and lack of brightness for the kids playing that rock and roll music. It helps to understand that a pickup isn’t a microphone. It doesn’t exactly “hear” what your hear when you play the guitar unplugged on the couch, annoying your wife while she’s trying to watch “Dancing with the Stars” which you only watch for the women’s costumes anyway. The pickup “feels” a disturbed magnetic field and turns that into the tone sound of the guitar. The concept behind pickup function is based on Faraday’s Law of Induction. Simply put because even I don’t quite get it, a changing magnetic field causes an electric field to be set up in a nearby wire, causing a current to flow. And I am not one to go around breaking laws. That brings me to the idea of how resonance in a 335 affects the amplified tone of the guitar. It also brings me to a more common question which is why some 335s are pretty resonant and others aren’t. As I’ve discussed before, the center block of a 335 exists in two forms (for the early models anyway). They either have a cutout under the bridge pickup or they don’t. This was started as early as 1962 (although I swear I had a late 61 that had it) but the transition occurred over the course of 3 or 4 years. I had a 65 stoptail that had no cutout. All 345s and 355s (even monos) have the cutout to accommodate the Varitone chokes. The reason they added the cutout to the 335 was to make it easier to get the harness installed without having to stuff it through the f-holes (don’t try this at home). There are other factors that will affect resonance in a 335 as well. The qualities of the wood involved are another. Some wood simply vibrates better than other wood. Fortunately, maple seems like a fairly consistent wood and 335s are, if nothing else, fairly consistent in resonance, at least in the early days. But what about the difference between a cut out center block and a non cut out one? My personal preference was for the ones that weren’t cut out until recently. I thought they sustained better. Now that I’ve owned a larger number of 335s/345s and 355s, I find that to be less true. In fact, I’m not even sure I can tell the difference between a cut center block and an uncut one every time. What I can hear is when a guitar vibrates and, yes, resonates more than another. Folks talk about “woody” and “airy” tone and some 3×5’s have it in spades and others less so. They all have it to some degree-most would agree that a vintage 335 is a pretty “woody” guitar (insert joke here). I don’t think that little air pocket under the bridge pickup has much, if anything to do with it. I think the physical properties of the wood itself is more responsible. And by the wood, I really mean the center block; the guitars “box” doesn’t really resonate all that much. I’ve played Les Pauls that are louder unamplified than some 335s. There just isn’t that much moving air in a 335 due to the center block (and perhaps some crude construction). Sit on the couch next to your wife playing an unamplified ES- 330 (no center block) and she’ll tell you to turn it down. The larger question is how the pickups actually perceive this resonance since they aren’t microphones. For the answer to that, you’re going to have to consult a physicist or Seymour Duncan, who I’m sure knows. I do know that a resonant 335 generally sounds better to me amplified or un than one that is less resonant. More complex, more articulate, more, uh, woody. And that resonates with me.