GIBSON ES-335 ES-345 ES-355
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ES-335

 

This is unusual for a 61. It has the long pick guard. There are 60 335's with the short guard-plenty of them but long guard 61's are not common at all.

This is unusual for a 61. It has the long pick guard. There are 60 335’s with the short guard-plenty of them but long guard 61’s are not common at all.

Spectacular late 58 blonde. Probably the prettiest blonde I've ever seen (other than  my wife)

Spectacular late 58 blonde. Probably the prettiest blonde I’ve ever seen (other than my wife)

The best artist series guitar Gibson has ever made. They really got these right (except for the pickup covers which they never get right). Feels like the real thing, sounds like the real thing.  Hard to believe these are ten years old already.

The best artist series guitar Gibson has ever made. They really got these right (except for the pickup covers which they never get right). Feels like the real thing, sounds like the real thing. Hard to believe these are ten years old already.

Later 60 but still a long guard, watermelon red and still stupid rare. Serial number is actually the FON on this one. Gibson did this for a short period in 1960.

Later 60 but still a long guard, watermelon red and still stupid rare. Serial number is actually the FON on this one. Gibson did this for a short period in 1960.

Red dot neck. 59 serial. 58 FON and a factory Varitone.   Probably the second red dot neck made (and the second one I've had)

Red dot neck. 59 serial. 58 FON and a factory Varitone.
Probably the second red dot neck made (and the second one I’ve had)

They made 50 blondes in 58. Rarest of the production TDN's. Not sure how many were bound neck and how many were unbound. This one lasted about an hour before it was gone.

They made 50 blondes in 58. Rarest of the production TDN’s. Not sure how many were bound neck and how many were unbound. This one lasted about an hour before it was gone.

You won't see another one of these anytime soon. I know of just two early block necks in factory blonde. The other is a lefty 64 that lives about 15 miles away from me. This is a 63.

You won’t see another one of these anytime soon. I know of just two early block necks in factory blonde. The other is a lefty 64 that lives about 15 miles away from me. This is a 63.

 

Real early (pre Mickey Mouse ear) unbound 58. This one still had its original uncollapsed thin ABR-1. Most of them collapsed within a year.

Real early (pre Mickey Mouse ear) unbound 58. This one still had its original uncollapsed thin ABR-1. Most of them collapsed within a year.

Star of the show once again is the 59 dot neck. These ran up a good 20% this year and show no sign of weakening in 2015 even with therapy exchange rates for European buyers. Flame tops are nice too but not a requirement for big bucks.

Killer 59 flame top. Not too many of these around and they are always dramatic and popular. This one came out of Kentucky.

ms60z

This flamey 60 was a great one as well. An early 60 with a big ol’ 59 size neck.

Near mint (really near mint) 59. No, the photo isn't loaded backwards. It's a lefty. Thanks to Alex.

Near mint (really near mint) late 58. No, the photo isn’t loaded backwards. It’s a lefty. Thanks to Alex.

Killer flame top 59. This had the big fat 59 neck even though it was pretty late in the year. It's pretty random once you get past A3100 in the serial numbers.

Killer flame top 59. This had the big fat 59 neck even though it was pretty late in the year. It’s pretty random once you get past A3100 in the serial numbers.

One of the very first ES-335s from the Spring of 1958. Pre Mickey Mouse ears, thin top, no binding and lots of hand craftsmanship. Earliest I've ever had and one of the top three 335's ever for tone. Really. $34000

One of the very first ES-335s from the Spring of 1958. Pre Mickey Mouse ears, thin top, no binding and lots of hand craftsmanship. Earliest I’ve ever had and one of the top three 335’s ever for tone. Really.

This is a factory black 1966 ES-335. It is a true one off factory custom with ES-355 7 ply binding on the top, bound f-holes and gold hardware. One of a kind unless you count the companion ES-330 that was ordered at the same time by the same buyer. I had that one too but now its gone. $16000

This is a factory black 1966 ES-335. It is a true one off factory custom with ES-355 7 ply binding on the top, bound f-holes and gold hardware. One of a kind unless you count the companion ES-330 that was ordered at the same time by the same buyer. I had that one too.

Red59Dot is my user name on a number of sites. I chose it because I had been on a search for one of the elusive “not supposed to exist” red 59s. It’s like Bigfoot. Someone swears they saw one and it winds up being a moose or something (or a 60). This one is for real.

 

This gorgeous unbound 58 belongs to a loyal reader who wishes to remain anonymous (so don’t go to his house and steal it). And who can blame him. Nice birdseye. 58’s have a thinner top which makes them unique among 335’s.

 

This really pretty 61 dot neck comes from reader Steve N. Note how different the red is compared to the 59 above it with the “watermelon fade”. Gibson changed the red dye so it wouldn’t fade so much (same one they used on Les Paul bursts which faded as well).

 

A 61 dot neck in red. Played but still rockin’ after 50 plus years. Just like me.

 

 

This is a really great 62. It came from the factory with a sideways trem so no holes in the top. Excellent condition and a bigger neck than most 62s. Not quite a 64 size but pretty big. Sideways is in the (not original) case. PAFs, too. This one went to the UK.

 

Check out the flame on the back of this 61 dot neck I found in Montana recently. Too bad the front doesn’t have the same wood. This one’s got a couple of issues but it’s a great player in beautiful shape. It’s my current favorite, so don’t buy it yet.

 

 

Here’s a 62 dot neck-one of the last of them as they switched to blocks in early 62. This one had the misfortune of being painted candy apple red or it could have gone back to Gibson to be refinished in “Sparkling Burgundy” which it could definitely be. This was an astonishingly good player.

This ’61 Dot Neck hasn’t been played for 48 years. It has sat in its case in a closet since 1963. I put new strings on it. I could have saved the old ones but that’s just going a bit too far, don’t you think? This one comes from Indiana

So, it’s got a headstock repair. It happens. get over it. Still a very cool fiddle and a great, great player. This one came from Phoenix.

“The Mexican” An original stoptailed 65 in cherryburst. Ever seen another? Found this one in old Guadalajara

Here’s a 62 I owned for awhile and really enjoyed. It had early PAT# Pickups and the “custom made” plaque

Here’s the same ’62 with the plaque and Bigsby in place

ES-335 63 Block Neck Historic Reissue 2009 Excellent and Very Close to the Real Thing

Here’s a Pretty Cool 1964 ES-35. Serial number is only 23 away from Claptons which sold for over $800,000. Shipped the very same day: May 20, 1964.

I love 64s and I love guitars with a backstory. This 64 belongs to my friend Andreja who lives in Serbia-these guitars don’t always stand still for 45 years. This guitar is supposed to have belonged to Denny Laine (Wings) at one point back when every Brit had to have a 335 in his arsenal.

Same guitar as above. This must be a good one. A well worn 335 almost always is a good playing good sounding 335. Otherwise, it wouldn’t get played so much.

145 Responses to “ES-335”

  1. Amilcar says:

    Hello,
    I’m about to buy a Gibson es 335 Kalamazoo – 1981.
    I wish, if possible, you help me identify if it is a true or fake instrument and if the guitar parts looks authentic.
    The site with the pictures are:
    http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-243438781-gibson-es-335-td-1981-kalamazzo-vintage-linda-actrocas-_JM

    Thank you.

  2. OK Guitars says:

    emails sent. It’s real.

  3. Chris Hudson says:

    Wow … a website devoted to 335’s! I have one that I have a couple of questions about. Of course, one is the dating issue … I bought it used in 1975, and I know it is post 1970, but have been unable to pin the exact year. The serial no. is 176224. Any thoughts? Also, the body is cherry, but I’ve always been puzzled by the different color of the neck … which appears to be almost mahogany in hue … was that normal or do you think the neck was changed?

  4. OK Guitars says:

    Send me a photo (okguitars@gmail.com) The neck and body often don’t match on cherry 335s because the maple body and mahogany neck don’t take the red dye the same way.

  5. Mike Caplin says:

    I’m looking at a blond 1979 es 335 TD stop tail, w/o the coil switch. Completely original. Serial number 70589072 looks legit from the research I’ve done, used by an old blues man from the south side of Chicago who used to play with Muddy Waters, Junior Wells etc.
    Can you tell me how many were made in ’79? Should be able to purchase for about 2K.
    Any insight you can give me?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  6. OK Guitars says:

    They made a lot of blonde 335s in 1979 but I don’t think they broke out the numbers of the blondes. They made 2076 sunbursts, 235 reds, 240 wine reds and 1295 walnuts. That’s a pretty big year especially if you add in another 1300 335 Pros. $2000 is a decent price if you like the way it plays. 70’s 335s can be heavy, so check out the weight if that’s a concern.

  7. Mike Caplin says:

    Generally speaking, are there historically more or fewer blonds produced than the other colors?

  8. OK Guitars says:

    Generally far fewer. From 58-60, they made a little over 200. From 61-68, they made none (except the occasional special order) In 69, they started making the ES-340 in blonde and made 240 in 69-70. I have no numbers for the 70’s although you see a lot in 79. By the time they released the dot reissue in 1981, they were back to making blondes in fairly large numbers. Blonde 81-85 ES-335 dots are very common. After 85, they continued making them under the new management and have continued until the present.

  9. dennis jones says:

    Just fouind your site …. today I ordered hmedium flat wounds and am going to get my 335 fixed up … it’s been instorage too long, i’m putting down my bass and it’s back to guitar. 2nd owne rof a 1965 (I think) cherry TDC … pretty good shape…. I’ll send pictures soon. Oh yes I want to get an aftermarket HSC …. any recomendations. The original is in very good shape and I want it to stay that way! thanx dj

  10. OK Guitars says:

    Pretty much all of the modern cases are good. I have a TKL that I use for shipping and also an SKG for airline travel. Both were cheap and are well padded.

  11. Gaston says:

    Hello,
    I’m French and I do not write very well. I want you to help me if it is possible.
    I’m about to buy a Gibson 335 1965 or 1966, I’don’t know.

    I wish, if possible, you help me identify if it is a true 60′ 335 and the year ?

    I do not understand why this is indicated ES 335 TDC on the label because it seems to me that this is a TD ?

    The site with the pictures are:
    https://plus.google.com/photos/109820219530081048330/albums/5894217006837448849

    Thank ‘s so much
    Regard’s
    Gaston

  12. OK Guitars says:

    There’s a lot to talk about here. The serial number indicates ’65 but there have been some changes made-not all of which are good changes. It has a Nashville bridge instead of the correct ABR-1. It looks like the bridge posts were changed as well which means you can’t just drop the correct bridge in. You would have to pull out the Nashville bridge posts and fill the holes and reinstall the correct posts. You could also use the Nashville posts using an ABR-1 with Nashville spacing but it wouldn’t be a Gibson bridge. The knobs are not original. The tuners are newer and are the type that require enlarging the shaft holes-also not a good thing. The fact that the label says TDC could indicate either an error at Gibson-which is not unusual- or a refinish. I can’t tell from the photos which it is. The finish looks authentic but it’s very hard to be sure without seeing it in person. There’s more-the pickguard is from 67 or later and the case is from ’70 or later. I would pass this one by unless it’s dirt cheap. There are too many questionable changes made to it.

  13. gaston says:

    Thank you very much for your help. I had not seen much of a problem. The seller did not mention. This is not correct I think it is better to continue my research.

    Congratulations on your website and thank you again.
    gaston

  14. gaston says:

    I do not see the problem with the pickguard, what are the differences with a 65 pickguard?
    thank you again
    Gaston

  15. OK Guitars says:

    The bevel edge on a 65/66 should be wide. The 67 is narrow. Read this:

  16. Gaston says:

    Indeed, thank you for your help.
    I learned many things thanks to your website.
    This 335 has been too much change. I will continue my research.
    Regards
    Gaston

  17. Greg says:

    I have a Tokai ES-335 copy. The input plug on the top of the guitar is loose. Is that an easy fix? and what should I do?

  18. cgelber says:

    You can try to simply tighten the nut but be careful that you don’t turn the jack because you will short it out. I sometimes am able to hold the jack in place with a narrow screwdriver inserted into the jack to hold the mechanism in place while I turn the nut.

  19. Terry says:

    I ‘m interested in buying a Historic Custom Shop ES 335 ’63 Reissue Block Inlay made in Nashville and was wondering what one is worth in good condition? As I can’t afford a 60’s era original I’d like to own an play a quality 335. Which year would be a good one or does it matter?

  20. Pat Tucci says:

    I recently bought a new ES-335 with P90 pickups at Guitar Center. It feels, plays, and sounds great, and the price was something that I could afford. These 335’s don’t show up on the Gibson site (at least I didn’t see them). What can you tell me about them? I realize that they are not going to sound like vintage ones from the early 60’s, but how would you compare them? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

    Pat Tucci

  21. cgelber says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t played one yet. I do like P90s a lot and I like my ES-330. I can’t imagine a P90 equipped ES-335 not sounded pretty great, especially with Gibson upping it’s build quality lately

  22. Tom Bellmann says:

    Have perfect all original (with papers and photos when I bought it) ES-335 red serial 176276. What was Clapton’s serial number and if his is close to mine, does that impact value? I played this professionally for some years and stored in original case for last 25 yrs. Thanks. Tom

  23. cgelber says:

    Claptons was 67473, so nowhere near but still you have a valuable guitar. My feeling is that unless it was shipped the same day as Claptons, it doesn’t matter. Even then, it’s kind of who cares. Your serial number could be 64 or 65. It’s easy to tell if I have a photo. I’d be interested in buying, if you’re interested in selling. Email me at okguitars@gmail.com

  24. John Soto says:

    Well I have a 1959 Gibson ES-335 That I would love to sell, the guitar has the case and it is in amazing condition. if you are looking for one. Please Contact me. email at info@johnsotomusic.com or sotico77@gmail.com or you can call me 678-663-2731 Thank you so much! I need to sell it at retail, not wholesale. Thank you again!!!

  25. cgelber says:

    Email sent

  26. manny says:

    hello, very good and interesting page, I have some 60’s thinline, specifically I wanted to comment on a 65 335 in cherry with bisgby, with serial number 324. xxx. this guitar has complete 1 11/16 nut and all parts of nickel, which was what I wanted, but I found that I had to receive 14 º and 17 º angle of the headstock, I do not care.
      Recently I asked a salesperson for another 65 with serial number 339.xxx. with 1 10/16 nut and parts, I’m not sure but I think I think chrome and had 17 in the angle of the headstock, is this mix of characteristics is common? thanks and regards

  27. manny says:

    I wanted to say, apparently this is possible, find a 65 with a big neck, nickel parts, and 14 in the angle of the headstock, while another 65 with a higher but very close number serial, chrome parts a more narrow neck and 17 º of angle? this is common? best regards

  28. cgelber says:

    This very common. I don’t think the headstock angle makes much difference but the wider nut certainly does. I’ve had many 65’s in that serial number range (330xxx-340xxx). Some had 1 11/16″, some had 1 5/8″. Some had 17 degree but most had 14 degree.

  29. manny says:

    thank you very much, the truth is that quitarra sounds great and plays very comfortable, I have no problems with the 14 º instead of 17 º.
      would want to consult you about a 355 TDSV 64 with serial number 69.xxx, selling in my country, the guitar is in very good condition almost exc, gold lost a bit, but has a refretted, and someone had the “happy idea “of change part or whole, do not be, wiring-condensers varitone because he said they were dry, which you think might be the value of this guitar, Also would be worth 355 plus a TD, a 64 TDSV both , many thanks and greetings

  30. manny says:

    sorry for my English, I wanted to say is if they have the same market value: one 355tdsv and 355td, on equal condition both made ​​in 64, best regards!!

  31. cgelber says:

    A TDSV will be worth less than the mono TD version assuming the condition is the same and they are original.

  32. manny says:

    thanks you very much!

  33. Paul Seitz says:

    I have a 1968 all original sunburst ES 335 appraised to be in “exceptionally fine” condition. More info at http://www.paulseitz.net/gibson.html

    Thanks, Paul

  34. cgelber says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll look at it.

  35. Dave says:

    hi there
    Ive come across a 335 DOT in cherry that has a 657XXX serial number that suggests its 1970s
    I thought it might be an ’81 reissue -before I saw the 6 digit serial – but wouldnt it have an eight character serial # if that was the case?
    any info would be helpful!
    thanks
    Dave

  36. cgelber says:

    81 should have an 8 digit. Send me a photo-ok guitars@gmail.com and I’ll figure it out.

  37. Bob says:

    Hi,
    Really nice to find this site. I appreciate your knowledge and enthusiasm. I’ve had an ES-335 TD from 63 or 67 (sn 120426) and the sun burst finish has crazed. Is it something I should have repaired or is it valuable the way it is. I’ve had it since early 70’s and going to do a complete setup and polish on it. But before I get carried away, is there any way to know its market value so I’m not risking making it less valuable?

    Keep up the good work!
    Bob

  38. bob says:

    Great site…love it:)

    BTW… i have a ’68 335 (walnut tailpiece). It’s in excellent shape. i bought it in 1982. Though, it’s missing the original pickguard and bridge pickup. How do you recommend finding a replacement for these items?

  39. cgelber says:

    Ebay for sure. Pickguard should be less than $100 for a narrow bevel 68. A bridge pickup would likely be a stickered T-top and cost under $300.

  40. cgelber says:

    Not common but not unheard of either.

  41. Mike Wolter says:

    Hello,

    I am looking to buy a es-335 and am hoping you might be able to give me a solid lead on a good place to look. I live in Chicago and am willing to travel throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota to find the right one. Any help you can give would be much appreciated!

    Best
    Mike Wolter

  42. cgelber says:

    Lots of reputable dealers in the midwest but I know more about 335’s than they do. Buy one from me and I guarantee you’ll get a good one at a good price. My prices are almost always lower and I go through everything and disclose all issues no matter how small. You get 48 hours to approve. You can take it to your local dealer and have them go through it.

  43. Ken Rosser says:

    Hi – fantastic site!

    One of the 335’s I own is an ’87 in sunburst with an ebony fingerboard…I’ve found almost no information out there about how extensively ebony may have been used – I’ve personally only seen one other and it was also an ’87

    It’s a great sounding and playing guitar, even if a bit of a different bird

  44. Victor says:

    I also have a blonde 1987 Gibson ES 335 with an ebony neck. It plays beautifully and is a tone super monster. Not many Ebony Neck Es-335’s around.

  45. Marty says:

    I have a cool flame maple 335 dot 1984 with a Kahler vibrato-Trem assembly. How many were made ??

  46. cgelber says:

    No Idea. They don’t publish shipping totals for individual features like a Kahler. Not many, I’m sure. I’ve seen five or six in the past few years.

  47. Eric says:

    I just bought an “unplayed” 2014 custom ES-335 Memphis Bourbon Burst and got a decent price. However after I got it everything checked out COA etc. but the serial number came up as being made in Nashville. After hours of checking on the internet I called Gibson customer service 800-444-2766 and after they finished ranting about the dater programs out there they confirmed that it was indeed made in Memphis. FYI if the last three digits are 700 or above it is from Memphis, and if you have any questions just call Gibson.
    Cheers…

  48. Jon says:

    I have a Gibson ES 335TD with a SN of 506579, any idea the year?

  49. cgelber says:

    65 or 68. They re-used that serial. Email me a photo at okguitars@gmail.com and I’ll nail down the year for you.

  50. Ray monhinnett says:

    Hi, great pics, beautiful guitars, being a Pro Guitar player and 335 Collector for over forty years. I’m writing with reference to the guitar you say possibly belonged to Denny Lane. I think this could possibly be – not Denny’s guitar-the cherry 335 belonging to Denny’s Wings Bandmate Henru McCullough which was stolen from the case at an Airport. The guitar was gone when picked up at Baggage collection..

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