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Gibson ES-330 TDC Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1961)
Gibson ES-330 TDC Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1961), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 38819, cherry lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.
This guitar is a lovely example of an early cherry-finish ES-330TD, from the second year of production for these flashy red thinlines. When first introduced in 1959, the ES-330 was offered only in sunburst or natural -- Gibson's traditional choices -- but the crimson tide of the swingin' 60's soon swept through Gibson's line. Once the 330 was offered in the striking red finish, it quickly became the most popular option.
Besides the finish this guitar has all the early features of the 330 including a bound, dot inlaid rosewood fingerboard, rounder "Mickey Mouse" cutaway horns, and black plastic P-90 pickup covers. The single bound body is fully hollow, unlike the 335-355 series and the neck joins at the 16th fret. The tuners are single enclosed Kluson deluxe with plastic buttons. Two P-90 pickups are mated to the standard Gibson wiring rig, with the new style 1960's style black plastic "bonnet" knobs with a metal cap and white switch tip. This one has a low 5-digit impressed serial number on the back of the headstock indicating shipment in mid/late 1961, and comes in the new style black-covered HSC just introduced that year.
Early ES-330's are great sounding, extremely versatile guitars and this one is a perfect example. This model has been heard in many styles of music since the instrument was introduced. It is limited only by the acoustic resonance of the fully hollow body, which renders it relatively unsuitable for adventures with very high-volume overdriven amps.
Jazz great Grant Green used this model extensively on his most well-regarded early-1960's recordings, as did Emily Remler in the 1970's. The 330 and its nearly identical sister guitar the Epiphone Casino were featured in countless 60's British invasion bands, including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Manfred Mann and many more.
We feel the ES-330 is one of Gibson's greatest designs despite its original midline intentions, and are always thrilled to find such a prime specimen!
Overall length is 39 3/4 in. (101 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This is a very clean original guitar, with some extremely light finish wear and moderate checking overall.
The only oddity is the bridge is set up with three of the rare original bone saddles on the treble side, and three old metal saddles on the bass. It appears to have been this way for nearly all of its life and the guitar plays and sounds so good we see no reason to alter it! The frets show some light wear and there is a period Gibson strap button added to the heel-all else is as it was in 1961.
This is one of the nicest looking 330's we have had in a while, with a deep unfaded cherry finish, and one of the best sounding as well. Excellent - Condition.
Item # 7783
This item has been sold.
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