First shipped in 1958 but officially released in 1959 the ES-355 was the flagship guitar in Gibson’s new Electro Spanish range. The ES Series went from the simple, student single pickup model (ES-330T) through the ES-335 and ES-345 to the range topping ES-355 TDSV with its gold hardware, custom appointments, multiple binding, 6-way Varitone and stereo wiring.
The model would remain in production until the early 1980’s when the ES-355’s Varitone and Stereo wiring would become less appealing to players of the time. The model was reintroduced in the mid-90s and has been released in Custom Shop and regular production runs since.
This Custom Shop example is in excellent condition with a striking figured maple top and back it has little to no marks to the deep cherry finish. The guitar features the appointments and specs you would associate with a range topping instrument including the aforementioned gold hardware, Custom appointments, multiple body, neck and headstock binding, Diamond headstock inlay, genuine ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays and a ’59-’60 style bound tortoiseshell pickguard. Like the majority of late ‘50s examples Gibson has paired an ABR-1 bridge with a gold plated Bigsby vibrato. Pickups are two excellent Gibson ’57 Classic humbuckers wired to the standard Gibson 3-way switch and independent volume and tone controls. Unlike the majority of late ’50s early ‘60s examples Gibson has wired the guitar mono instead of stereo and removed the divisive Varitone circuit. Tuning duties are handled by the ever dependable Grover Rotomatic tuners.
Overall the guitar is in superb condition for a 10 year old instrument and although having been played the condition is as good as it gets. it shows next to no wear to the cherry finish with no rub through or oxidization to the gold plated hardware.
The guitar comes with its original Gibson Case, Custom Shop Certificate, and Warranty card.