Ebay ES of the Week #4

This weeks Ebay ES of the Week. It's a cherryburst '66 with all the usual 66 features. It's nice that it isn't a transitional one where it's got both 66 and 67 attributes. Those can be difficult to date precisely.

This week we’ll take a look at a ’66 ES-335 that caught my eye. You don’t see a lot of cherryburst 335’s and even fewer 345’s. First, they didn’t make all that many, although the very first ES-335 I ever saw had this finish. That was probably in 1965 when the cherryburst was first offered as a color option. My early 65 (“The Mexican” is a cherryburst as is my other ’65) The logs don’t differentiate between regular sunburst and cherryburst so there’s no way to be sure how many were made. While it isn’t my favorite finish (nor my second or third favorite), it isn’t my least favorite either. That distinction falls to the horrible “walnut” finish that Gibson thought they could save money with since it was a one step process (put stain on rag and wipe). As of right now it’s in the $2,000 range but I’m sure it won’t stay there. These are running in the $4K-$5K range lately. This is a no reserve auction which I always prefer because when you buy, you know somebody else out there wants it almost as much as you do so if it doesn’t speak to you, you know you can resell it. It’s only when you find something wrong that the seller didn’t mention (that you have to) that it goes wrong. Anyway, it looks to be in really excellent condition. It’s a Bigsby so I would ask if it ever had a trapeze-mostly because the holes don’t line up and you don’t want extra holes even if you can’t see them.  I prefer Bigsby’s to a trap but that’s just me.  Seller notes that the pickups are

Note the "non transitional" features: High inlay position, big bevel guard, reflector top hat knobs and big pointy ears. Nice.

NOT T-tops which I also think is a good thing. I find T-tops a little thin sometimes and they have very little character since they are virtually all the same due to automated winding. It has the old reflector type top hat knobs which look great in gold on a cherryburst and it has all chrome hardware which never tarnishes (but it does scratch).  It appears to have the wide bevel pickguard-this was the last year for that feature. It also has a very graceful cutaway shape-I call it the long pointy ear version which is the same as the 64’s. later, a stubby version shows up which is not nearly as graceful looking to me. It’s nice that this is so clearly a 66. So many of them have one or more transitional features that, in the absence of reliable serial numbers, are very difficult to date with any accuracy. It even has the high “flowerpot” inlay which is always a tricky feature-what with the lower version screwing up so many slam dunk 66’s and turning them into “maybe” 67’s. This one has all the 66 specs and none of the 67. It’s a strange world when the normal version seems to be the oddity but that’s Gibson for ya. The case is almost certainly an Ess and Ess which is fairly typical for this era. The spring latch is the giveaway here. So, on photos alone, this one gets my seal of approval as a good example of a cherryburst 66. It’ll be interesting to see where it ends up.

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