1968 Gibson ES-330 TD, Sunburst

By Gibson

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1968 Gibson ES-330TDC in vibrant, unfaded Sunburst finish. One of the long neck versions of the 330 produced in the late 60’s it features a body/neck joint at the 19th fret giving more access to the fretboard just like a ES-335. Otherwise it’s the same popular ES-330 recipe of a lightweight, fully hollow, thinline body and two great sounding P-90 pickups.

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 is one of 1223 ES-330’s shipped in Sunburst during 1968 and is in very good overall condition. The Sunburst finish has minimal fading and retains its deep gloss finish with next to no lacquer checking. Similarly the neck is in fine condition with minimal fading to the lacquer. The dark Rosewood fingerboard has pearl block inlays with bound edges. The serial number dates the guitar to 1968 and the guitar still features the earlier pearl inlayed Gibson logo. The hardware is in equally good condition as the finish 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 good 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. The reflector knobs are a replacement for the period correct Witch hat type used from 67 onwards. The nut and the frets are original to the guitar, the frets have been played but have height remaining. The undisturbed electronics are nice and tidy with the Gibson P-90’s measuring 7.83K and 8.45K 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. Sneaking in at just under 6lbs this guitar feels resonant acoustically and amplified, the bridge pickup sounds snappy with bite and twang, the neck pickup gives up big, warm and rounded tones and the middle position a perfect blend of the two. The neck shape has the standard later 60’s slim C profile with a nut width of 39.64mm and a depth at the 1st fret of 21.35mm.

Often unfairly overlooked, later sixties long neck ES-330’s offer a different playing experience to their earlier sixties stablemates, not only do you have less restriction to the fretboard but the guitar feels proportionally more evenly balanced whilst offering the same lively, lightweight instrument. Comes complete with its original Golden lined Victoria Case in equally good condition. A superb example.