1961 Gibson ES-330 TDC, Cherry

By Gibson

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Stunning Gibson ES-330TDC from 1961 in fantastic condition. The ES-330 has always been one of our favourite golden era Gibson guitars here at V’n’R and this guitar is no exception.

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. 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.

The guitar is in excellent condition throughout, the Cherry Red finish has minimal fading and retains a deep gloss finish. There is next to no lacquer checking. The top has a pleasant figure to the maple with hints of flame and blister to the grain. The back is likewise in excellent condition with only a very small area of finish worming and a small ding worth noting. Similarly the neck is in fine condition, minimal fading to the Cherry, smooth and free of bruises or dents. The headstock front is crisp and the serial number reads easily. Overall this is one of the cleanest examples we have seen.

The hardware is in equally good condition with no corrosion or tarnishing to the Nickel plating. The tuners are individual Pat No. Single-line Kluson, the original frets have been played and profiled but have life left, the wide bevel pickguard is good with minimal curl or lift, the No-Wire ABR-1 has Nylon saddles and the ‘Diamond’ trapeze tailpiece is correct and the only tailpiece fitted. The nut is a replacement bone nut that has been well fitted.

Electronically the two P-90 pickups are the powerhouse of the ES-330 and this guitar has two excellent sounding examples, the bridge pickup measures 8.34K and the neck pickup 8.11K. Pot codes date to the 20th week of 61, the loom is tidy and consistent with two Sprague Black Beauty capacitors present.

In use the guitar is excellent, weighing a scant 5.6lbs it feels extremely lively both acoustically and plugged in, the neck profile is the standard early 60’s C shape. The neck is on the larger side in depth compared to many of the 60-61 Gibson guitars we have had and as someone who gravitates towards larger neck profiles I find this guitar very enjoyable to play. The original fret wire has been dressed and the guitar plays well, with notes ringing clear and true. The two P-90's are strong and balance better than most ES-330’s. The bridge pickup has a pleasant cut to the amplified tone with the neck pickup having a wonderful warmth and compression. The guitar has a loud, resonant acoustic voice.

The guitar comes with an original early 60’s Yellow lined plush case and would be the perfect instrument for the player or collector alike.