Superb Gibson ES-330TD from 1962 with rare combination of block inlays and black P-90 covers. The ES-330 is already one of our favourite Golden-Era Gibson models, add in an original early-sixties Selmer licensed UK Bigsby and amazing Crocskin Selmer Case and you have one very cool instrument.
After successfully launching the new Thinline ES range of guitars in 1958 Gibson expanded the lineup in 1959 to include a new more affordable student model. The newly released ES-330T and dual pickup version ES-330TD shared a similar silhouette to the Thinline range but were produced with a 16-fret neck joint and a fully hollow body. As such ES-330s share more in common with Gibson's earlier Thinline Archtop such as the ES-225T and ES-225TD, the model it succeeded in 1959. The ES-330 proved very popular for Gibson throughout its initial production run with the ES-330TD appearing in the catalog from 1959 until 1972 with the single pickup ES-330 being phased out in 1963.
This ES-330TD is a variation that Gibson only produced for a short while in 1962 as they transitioned from the earlier Dot fingerboard inlays to Block inlays and Black P-90 covers to Nickel, this gives these ES-330’s a distinctive appearance. In ’62 the ES-330 was available in Sunburst and Cherry Finish with 496 and 179 respectively shipped that year.
The guitar has been uncirculated since 1970 and has been very well cared for. Aside from one changed pot, is as it was in 1970. The guitar is in very nice condition throughout and apart from a few additional holes by the strap button is free from repairs.
The finish is excellent throughout and backlights with no issues. The Sunburst is unfaded and has the classic early-sixties silhouette. From certain angles there are a few small areas of expected age related checking but overall the finish is good. Hardware comprises of single-line Kluson tuners with plastic Kidney Bean Buttons, the original frets are in good condition and have plenty of life left, the wide bevel pickguard is good with minimal curl. the no-wire ABR-1 has nylon saddles the guitar has a Catalin style Switch tip fitted. The guitar has an original early ‘60s Selmer licensed Bigsby B6 fitted - Selmer imported Gibson into the UK in the early sixties and had been producing Bigsby Vibrato units under licence since 1961. The 1962 Selmer Catalog advertises various licensed Bigsby units for sale for 12 guineas. It’s possible that the guitar was originally sold in 1962 with the Bigsby fitted or it could have been added shortly after purchase. The two P-90 pickups are the powerhouse of the ES-330 and this guitar has two excellent sounding examples, the bridge pickup measures 8.2K and the neck pickup 8.4K. One pot has been changed but otherwise the electronics are tidy and consistent with two Sprague Blackbeauty caps and CentraLab pots with late 1961 date code.
The neck profile is the classic medium thickness early ’60s profile. The 2 single coil P-90 pickups sound snappy with bite and twang on the bridge and big, warm and rounded with the neck selected, the middle position a perfect blend of the two.
The guitar comes with the period correct Selmer Import ‘Crocskin’ No.298 Case also in exellent condition.