Released in 1959 as the successor to the ES-225, the ES-330 was an instantly popular model sharing styling cues from the recently released Thinline ES Range. On release unlike the ES-335, ES-345 and ES-355, the ES-330 was a fully hollow instrument with a body/neck joint at the 16th fret. This gave the ES-330 a different feel and sound to the rest of the Thinline range. Like the ES-225 it was available in single (330T) and double (330TD) pickup options The model was popular throughout the sixties, selling well for Gibson with the model regularly out performing the rest of the Thinline range. During it’s initial production run the ES-330TD would appear in the catalog from 1959 until 1972 with the single pickup ES-330 being phased out earlier in 1963.
This guitar was produced in 1967 at the height of the ES-330’s popularity and is an excellently preserved example in great overall condition. The Sparkling Burgundy finish is rare to see on an ES-330 and is much like Fender's Candy Apple Red: a solid Metallic base coat with a Translucent Red coat over the top. The finish is still vibrant and strong and with the exception of some characterful lacquer checking is in excellent condition. The neck has dark Indian Rosewood fingerboard has pearl block inlay position markers and still retains its original frets and nut. The serial number dates the guitar to 1967, the serial number is sharp and can still be easily read. The hardware is in very good condition with no corrosion or tarnishing to the Chrome plating. The tuners are individual Pat No. Double-line Kluson Deluxe with plastic buttons, the 3-ply bevel pickguard is in great shape with minimal curl or lift, the ABR-1 has the original Nylon saddles and the ‘Diamond’ trapeze tailpiece is correct and the only tailpiece to have been fitted. As previously mentioned the nut and the frets are original to the guitar, the frets have been played but have plenty of height remaining. The undisturbed electronics are nice and tidy with the Gibson P-90’s measuring 7.92K and 7.84k in the neck and the bridge respectively.
The lightweight, hollow construction is a big part of the 330 sound with a loud acoustic voice and a lively amplified tone. Weighing in at 6.2lbs the guitar feels resonant acoustically and amplified, the bridge pickup sounds snappy with bite and twang, the neck pickup giving big, warm and rounded tones and the middle position a perfect blend of the two that just favours the neck. The neck profile is the standard later 60’s C shape with a nut width of 39.59 and a depth at the 1st fret of 21.mm.
Still one of our favourite models at V’n’R and for a long time under appreciated the ES-330 has become a popular staple of the vintage market in the last 5 years and continues to be one of the more requested guitars here. This Sparkling Burgundy example does not disappoint with two great sounding P-90s to thank in part for that. The Sparkling Burgundy finish really sets this one apart from the others out there with a limited amount produced compared to the standard production Sunburst and Cherry finishes.