1963 Gibson ES-335 TDC, Cherry

By Gibson

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Super player's Cherry ES-335 from 1963 with 'Mickey Mouse ears,' two great sounding Pat No. pickups, block inlays and stop tailpiece. One of 807 ES-335TDC's to have left the Gibson factory in 1963. This one dates to the earlier part of the year, weighs a featherweight 8.3lbs and thanks to a recent refret and nut plays excellently.

As a player's guitar, this one has seen some repairs and modifications over the years. A factory Bigsby instrument, the guitar has been set up with studs and stop tailpiece with the earth modified accordingly. There is no silhouette from the Bigsby being attached and the finish is uniform indicating it has been set up in this configuration for some time. The ‘Snakebite’ holes have been filled but should the next owner want, a Bigsby could be sourced and Custom Made plaque added to cover the Stud holes. The guitar has previously had a repair to the headstock - it was this way when the previous owner purchased the guitar and as such is an old, stable repair. The neck has been fully over sprayed, and inside the neck cavity the tenon has been re-glued, likely as a result of when the damage occurred to the headstock. Again the work appears to have been completed some time ago. Tuners have been changed for a gold set of Grover Pat Pending Rotomatics. The pickups are the Gibson Pat Pending humbuckers used during this period, the bridge pickup has had the cover removed but the neck pickup's solder is original. The previous owner had the guitar looked at as the bridge pickup didn’t sound right. The cover is back on and we suspect either a partial or full rewind. Pickups measure 7.27K and 7.88K in the bridge and neck respectively. A peek inside the F- hole shows a Centralab pot with a date code of early 1962. Two Sprague Black Beauty caps are present and correct. The pickguard is the correct wide-bevel 3-ply short guard used between ’60 and ’67. The bridge is a Gibson reproduction ABR-1 with nylon saddles.

The neck has a great profile being on the slimmer side of a medium ‘C’ it measures 20.33mm at the 1st fret and fills out to 23.91 at the 12th. The nut width is a full width 42.37mm. Excellent to play, the guitar has had a recent nut and refret and plays cleanly across the board. This is one of the lighter 335's we’ve had through and it certainly comes across in how it sounds with a lively acoustic voice and a lighter amplified tone. The pickups have the sound you want from a good early sixties Humbuckers: balanced, airy, harmonically rich with great sustain. The neck pickup is warm and woody with good detail while the bridge pickup offers more cut whilst retaining the same woodiness and harmonic complexity.

Cherry ES-335s from this period have always been hugely desirable instruments for good reason. The full width 1, 11/16th nut, Nickel parts, ABR-1/stoptail configuration, fuller neck profiles (compared to the less desirable, slimmer earlier '60s profiles) and PAT sticker pickups tick many boxes for both players and collectors alike. As prices for collector grade instruments continue to soar finding good, player grade examples is getting harder and harder, so this is a great opportunity for someone looking for a golden era 335 on a tighter budget.

The guitar comes with a later purple lined Gibson ES-335 case with a replacement handle.

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