1960 Gibson ES-355td Stereo Varitone

John Shults

Posted on October 26 2019

Vintage 1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV electric guitar

The top of Ted McCarty's Thinline Electric Spanish family of guitars debuted in 1959 as the ES-355td Stereo Varitone. It featured all top of the line appointments including humbucking pickups, Ebony fretboard with large pearl block inlays, custom headstock overlay, gold plated hardware, and thick multi-ply binding throughout.

Around the same time, there was a teaching studio in Hawthorne, NY called the Hawthorne Guitar Studio. Irving Kessler ran the studio and operated as one of Gibson's teacher agents. He custom ordered a few special instruments including a L-5CT Special, TB-250 Special, Special A-40 (mandola), TG-25 Octave Mandolin, and an ES-355td Stereo Varitone. Irving played his ES-355tdsv very sparingly throughout the years and kept it in its original case with original case cover. He passed a few years back and his instruments went to his grandson. We acquired the collection from him.

This Gibson ES-355td Stereo Varitone, registered in the Gibson log books on November 16, 1960, has survived in near mint condition with rare paperwork, case, and case cover. It is one of only 189 registered that year in the log books. It exhibits no signs of previous repairs or modifications. All parts appear to be original to the guitar. The frets and neck remain in excellent near mint condition. The electronics too remain in excellent working condition in their original stereo wired state. Associated original case candy includes: the Mr. Dealer card, the Professional's Attention card, hang tag with serial number, case key with packet, humbucking pickup adjustment and Tune-O-Matic bridge adjustment instructions with flat head screwdriver and packet, stereo sound instructions, Varitone instructions, and hand written card from the original owner with records of order numbers, dates, and price. It's ready for the stage, studio, or collection. We're confident you'll love the condition, tone, and playability of this truly uncirculated 1960 Gibson ES-355td Stereo Varitone guitar.

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV with tags

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV headstock

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV with Bigsby tailpiece

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV back of neck, Grover tuners, with hang tags

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV in original case

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV original Patent Applied For Humbucking pickups, PAF pickups

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV Mr. Dealer card

1960 Gibson ES-355 TDSV fretboard

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