Gibson Custom Shop unveils1960 ES-335 TD

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-02-17)

Gibson Custom Shop unveils1960 ES-335 TD

Think of B.B. King. What guitar is he playing? That's right: the Gibson ES-335. There aren't many guitarists who don't appreciate the versatility of the ES-335, and Gibson is giving connoisseurs a chance to snag a very special one, although at a high price: the Custom 50th Anniversary ES-335TD.

The original ES-335TD (“TD” for “thinline, double-pickup”) was a raging hit simply because it addressed so many different guitarists’ needs in one new design. The arched top and f-holes appealed to jazz and dance-band players who were still attached to the look of traditional Gibson “jazz boxes”, but who appreciated advancements such as a thinline, double-cutaway body. The maple centerblock that ran from neck tenon to end pin reduced feedback and provided the sharper, snappier tone that rock and roll and country players demanded, and also enabled the use of Gibson’s solid new Tune-o-matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece pairing, which further aided tone and sustain. In one form or another the ES-335TD (and its siblings, the ES-345 and ES-355) would land in the hands of Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Larry Carlton, and countless other groundbreaking guitarists.

With its historically accurate tonewoods, electronics, and hardware, the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD packs all the tonal versatility of the original, and proves once again why the design has remained a favorite of guitarists from every genre of music since its introduction half a century ago. All Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TDs come with a silkscreened Gibson Custom Shop hardshell case, a Certificate of Authenticity and a full complement of “how to” literature.

Body and Finish
The top, back and sides of the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD are crafted with pressed-arch, laminated-maple with solid maple centerblock construction used by Gibson to produce the first ES-335s 52 years ago. This unique combination, a Gibson first, provides the blend of clarity and warmth for which this model has long been famous. Guitars are finished in VOS-aged nitrocellulose lacquer in either Antique Vintage Sunburst, Antique Faded Cherry or Antique Natural.

Pickups and Electronics
The Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD is equipped with pickups and electronics that accurately reflect the original units of the most desirable ES-335TDs ever made. A pair of ’57 Classic pickups capture that highly sought-after “PAF” style tone, noted for its unparalleled blend of warmth, richness and clarity, while quality CTS potentiometers with “bumblebee” tone caps and a Switchcraft selector and output jack translate the signal in pure vintage style.

Neck and Headstock
The guitar’s neck and headstock are made in the classic tradition of the original 1960 ES-335TD. Carved from a single piece of mahogany with a maple spline, and topped with a rosewood fingerboard. The design incorporates Gibson’s lauded 17-degree back-angled headstock, which contributes greatly to the instrument’s resonance and sustain.

As befits a Custom Shop Anniversary model, the 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD is equipped with Gibson’s most accurate, period-correct reproduction hardware. Particulars include green-button Kluson-style tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece both made from the correct metals and plated in nickel, and Gibson’s original aluminum strap buttons, all of which contribute to the vintage look and tone of the instrument.

The Gibson Custom 50th Anniversary ES-335TD is available now. MSRP: $5,645 for Antique Cherry and Antique Vintage Sunburst; $6,115 for Antique Natural.

Compiled from information on the Gibson website:

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