Gibson ES-335TD Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962)

Gibson  ES-335TD Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1962)
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Item # 9098
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Gibson ES-335TD Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 80394, cherry lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a stunningly clean and original example of one of Gibson's absolute classic electric guitars -- an ES-335 from 1962. It is one of 610 cherry finish ES-335s shipped in that year, which was the first in which the more traditional sunburst finish was outsold by the new-for-the-'60s bright cherry livery. As the '60s progressed, this flashier finish became the popular look most associated with the model.

Besides its gleaming red finish, this ES-335TD shows features typical for 1962, most notably a fingerboard inlaid with small pearloid blocks. This feature had just recently been introduced as a style upgrade when this guitar was built. The neck profile is fairly wide and flat with a soft "U" profile, a later version of the famous "1960 neck" which replaced the deeper, chunkier 1959 style at the dawn of the new decade. By 1963 this would evolve to a deeper, rounder profile again.

All the hardware, including pickup covers, tailpiece, ABR-1 bridge, and pickguard bracket are nickel-plated. The pickups are a PAF in the neck position and a "Patent number" humbucker at the bridge, which except for the sticker on the bottom are technically identical. These are original and undisturbed, have never had the covers removed, and sound spectacular. This is an original stop tailpiece guitar which has never had a vibrato.

Overall this cherry gem is just a fantastic guitar, looking only minimally played, and it sounds amazing for everything from straight jazz to funky blues to flat-out scream. Even not plugged in it has a real ring. It is housed in an early example of the pebble-grained gold-lined black Gibson case that had been recently introduced at the time.
Overall length is 41 3/4 in. (106 cm.), 16 1/8 in. (41 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

While we wouldn't go so far as to call it near mint, this is a VERY clean guitar, and 100% original and unaltered. Is it perfect? Well, no, the frets have had a light G&P at some point, and there are a few tiny dinks on the headstock. The most notable wear is to the nickel plating, mostly on the tailpiece and pickups. The cherry lacquer finish has only very light scuffing, and some tiny dings around the jack from some missed plug-ins over the years. Other than these, the finish shows just some very light scuffing overall.

The cherry color is superbly rich and bright with virtually no fade. We'd rate this guitar as played but extraordinarily well-cared for. There is a slight kick-up at the very high end of the fingerboard, which could easily be dealt with through some fretwork, but we will let the next owner decide whether to have this done...if you don't play above the 17th fret it is not an bothersome issue.

This guitar comes in the original HSC, which has some outer wear but is also is very well-preserved. Inside is a lovely note detailing its history as belonging to a music teacher who played gospel songs on it, roughly the guitar equivalent to the car only driven by the little old lady to church on Sundays. A stunner all around and one of the nicest 335s we have ever seen. Overall Excellent + Condition.