Gibson ES-335-12 1968
Posted on April 11 2020
This vintage 1969 Gibson ES-335-12 guitar came through the shop a few years ago. It was a fine playing and spectacular sounding twelve string guitar. I'm always on the hunt for nice examples of Gibson ES-335 guitars from the late 1950s and 1960s. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.
You can get help with how to find the year of a Gibson ES-335 here: How to date a Gibson ES-335 guitar.
The Gibson ES-335 debuted in 1958 with a revolutionary new design: the thinline semi-hollow body archtop electric body. 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 ES-335-12 wasn't released until the popularity of the 12 string electric began to rise in 1965. This guitar was the exact same construction as the six string version except with a larger headstock, different tailpiece and nut. The production run lasted until 1969.
This guitar has remained largely unplayed its entire life and the condition of the finish reflects that statement. It's nice and soft without the typical finish checking. All parts are original to the guitar except for replaced the volume and tone knobs. Many 1960s Gibson 12 strings have problems with a shallow neck set but this one has had the necessary neck reset in order to correct that. Now that action is low across the neck with plenty of saddle height to adjust it. The neck reset was expertly done. The only other work required was a light fret dress. Since the nut width on the ES-335-12 is the same as it is on the six string version, one can just as easily play this guitar as a six or twelve string. The pickups are full and warm and allow for great tonal experimentation with the drone strings. All electronics are original and function like they should (edit: sold!).