ES-335td – THIN – DOUBLE CUTAWAY – a newsmaker since its first appearance, this model offers outstanding performance for ensembles, recording, radio, and TV at an amazingly modest price. It offers all the advantages of Gibson’s thin body design with its ease of handling, easy fingering, and fast action… Its sparkling sustaining tone and instant response. Semi-solid body construction. Beautiful curly Maple arched top and back, pearl dot inlays, and nickel plated metal parts. ES-335td — $297.50” — Gibson catalog, 1960

Make and Model: Gibson ES-335tdc

Year: 1961, serial 26xxx

Specifications: Thinline arched top with solid Maple center block, two PAF humbucking pickups, dot inlay fretboard, 1 11/16″ nut width, .8″ neck depth at the first fret, .88″ depth at the 12th, factory Bigsby tremolo tailpiece, 8lbs 8oz.

Originality: All original parts except professional refret, one replacement saddle, and the potentiometers were replaced in 1962. Potentiometer date codes: 1346244 (134 = Centralab, 62 = 1962, and 44 = 44th week. The spring in the original Bigsby is likely a replacement.

Condition: Very good with only light fade. Finish checking is present with a spot of pick wear under the strings next to the pickguard. The original Kluson tuners work well. One of the buttons shows significant shrinkage. The binding appears to have most of the finish scraped off.

Playability: 100%! This is a monster player. It’s just been professionally refretted without disturbing the wear on the fretboard. It’s got all the look and feel of a proper vintage fretboard but plays like new.

Notes: Gibson’s ES-335 model has a mystique all its own. The dot fretboard examples from 1958 until early 1962 are some of my favorite guitars to ever come out of the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, MI. The ES-335’s thinline body with solid center block can trace its origins from Les Paul’s “log” guitar in the 1940s to Ted McCarty’s design genius in the late 1950s. McCarty and company’s experiments with tone wood combinations on solid body guitars were shooting for good sustain but without the harsh brightness – the solid Maple block with hollow wings was exactly that. Throw in what many guitarists would agree is the finest guitar pickup ever made – the PAF Humbucking pickup – and you’ve got what many would call a Burst Killer at almost a tenth of the price.

This dot neck ES-335 is one of 406 TDC (Thinline, Dual pickup, Cherry finish) examples made in 1961 according to the Gibson shipment ledgers. I invested 22 hours drive time to retrieve it along with a 1963 Fender Precision Bass. I’m confident you’ll love this prime example of Gibson’s dot neck era ES-335 model.