Now in its eightieth year of continuous production, the Gibson ES (or Electric Spanish series) carries a staying power rarely seen in the guitar market. Its wide array of classic models deliver a coveted warm, full-bodied tone that's become the signature sound of countless jazz, blues and rock musicians. The ES series has continued to evolve over the decades with new models entering the lineup and older ones reaching the end of their run.
Though radical in its design compared to its fully-hollow ES series cousins, the thin, double-cutaway ES-335 and its upscale counterparts, the ES-345 and ES-355, have enjoyed the longest continuous production run of any ES model. With two humbucker pickups and a solid maple centre block, the semi-hollow ES-335 and its siblings have delivered some of the most famous blues and rock riffs in guitar history, from "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry to "The Thrill is Gone" by B.B. King and “Room 335” by Larry Carlton.
The ES-335’s design and construction, revolutionary for its day, gave it a “best of both worlds” appeal that suited it to any imaginable genre of music, from jazz to rock, blues to country. This 1965 ES-335 accurately retains the original construction methods with the solid maple centre block, humbucking pickups and a fast-playing slimline neck.
But this one is a refinished guitar, so it comes to you at a substantially reduced price than if it was completely original. And of course, the finish in no way detracts from the fabulous gritty sound and excellent playability of this guitar.
It was purchased by the current owner from a well known Sydney vintage dealer back in 2010 in the same condition you see it today apart from a refret noted below. The refinish work was done sometime prior to 2010, most likely in USA, but we do not know by whom. It is a good job too, albeit that the sunburst we think is a little darker than original Gibson spec.
It has its original Patent Number Gibson humbucking pickups, which sound simply fantastic. Down low they are clear and harmonically complex. Turn ‘em up a little and you get that sweet crunch and articulate edge. And hit 10 to deliver that woody, sustaining, singing tone which is unique to the 335.
ES 335 enthusiasts will know that Gibson changed from a stop tailpiece to a trapeze unit in 1965, and this was often regarded as a detrimental step in the guitar’s evolution. So this one features a high quality Pigtail ABR style bridge and tailpiece which acts to restore this 335’s bold tone and natural sustain.
It has also had an excellent pro refret in 2011 by Sydney’s Frank Grubisa who also installed a new bone nut. Frank’s work is widely regarded to be of the highest level, and his efforts on this guitar are no exception.
It has had its tuners replaced with a set of period correct Kluson Deluxe units, which are working perfectly.
The neck profile on this one is a slim D shape, somewhat similar to the ES neck profiles of the early 60s. Nut width is 1 9/16”. Neck depth is 0.775” at the first fret and 1.055 at the 12th.
Weight is 8.0 lbs
The pickguard is missing but the original bracket is in the case. Oh yes, and the knobs are from a 70s Silverface era amp. But they look kinda cool.
It is 100% structurally intact. It has no breaks, cracks, splits or problems. Cosmetically there are signs of a musical life well lived, but apart from a few scratches & small chips, there is nothing to detract from the elegance of this 55 year old, already looking forward to decades more of excellent service.
Comes with a later fitted black tolex case in good condition.