The Gibson ES-335 debuted in 1958 with a revolutionary new design: a double cutaway, thin solid body with hollow wings electric guitar. The thin body of this guitar was constructed of a laminated Maple arched top and back but had a solid center Maple block running down the center of the body. The resulting guitar had a warm tonal response but limited the problem of feedback at high stage volumes that many artists had at the time. The new ES-335 was fitted with Gibson’s Humbucking pickups and became a success. Eric Clapton used a 1964 ES-335tdc (serial 67473) extensively with Cream and later sold it at a Christie’s auction in 2004 for $847,500.
This 1964 Gibson ES-335tdc with factory Bigsby and “CUSTOM MADE” plaque with factory drilled stop tail studs has been played but is ready to go back to work. All parts appear to be original except for a new bone nut, refret, small piece of spliced in neck binding, and two replaced knobs with vintage knobs. The original nickel plated patent number humbuckers show no signs of having their covers off. The cherry finish is original and shows wear/worn through in the forearm area, back of the neck, and belt buckle area. The neck is straight and the truss rod functions properly. There’s a small hairline crack on the side of the heel that we inspected thoroughly. It doesn’t move and doesn’t require further attention according to our luthier. We think it’s likely a result of wood being dynamic and not the result of an impact or something more sinister. The neck pocket is undisturbed. The original nickel ABR-1 bridge appears to have been installed backwards and played that way throughout its career. We’ve elected to leave it that way for the next owner.
Serial number 66120, 1347 serials earlier than Clapton’s, came to us via the son of the original owner. He said his father played it in church and in local bands all his life. We’re confident that you’ll find it a lively and properly playing guitar with lifetimes of music ahead of it.