Top Navigation

ES-335, ’63

Cherry, Serial # 113991.

The Gibson ES-335 debuted in 1958 combining the best traits of solidbody and hollowbody guitars. The revolutionary new instrument was built using a solid center block of maple with hollow arched “wings” attached. This structure allowed for the attack and sustain of a solid body combined with some of the resonant properties of an acoustic archtop (but without the tendency to feed back). The ES-335 was a hit, and was soon followed by two fancier models with the same construction: the ES-355 and the ES-345. The text in the 1963 catalog shows how popular the ES family of guitars had become by the 1960’s: “Thin, double cutaway – a newsmaker from its first appearance, this model offers outstanding performance for ensembles, recording, radio and TV at an amazingly modest price.”

 

 

The 1963 ES-335 pictured has many features common to the model that year, including: patent number humbucking pickups (the original patent-applied-for pickups were still used arbitrarily until the supply was exhausted in 1964), block inlay markers on a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard (replaced dot markers in 1962), a short 3-ply black pickguard (replacing the original long pickguard in 1960) and a nickel plated Tune-O-Matic bridge. A stop-tailpiece was standard for an ES-335 at the time, but if there was a custom order for one with a Bigsby vibrato, the stop-tailpiece holes were covered by a “Custom Made” plaque. Another non-standard feature on this guitar is factory installed Grover Rotamatic tuners instead of the usual Kluson Deluxe machine heads.

Recent News

DGS 35th Anniversary Celebration
June 26, 2017 by Josh Walker

Blog