1960 Gibson ES-335 with factory installed out of phase pickups? On YouTube
Posted on October 11 2019
This super clean vintage 1960 Gibson ES-335 guitar has just come in from the original owner but there was a surprise when I finally plugged it into a real amplifier: the pickups are out of phase from each other in the middle position! I inspected the entire guitar closely to determine if this was the way it was made. I found that all solder joints appeared to be original and untouched and that not a single part on the guitar had been messed with:
The standard configuration for an ES-335 is to have two humbucking pickups that are magnetically in phase in the middle position. However, the standard configuration of stereo ES guitars including the ES-345 and ES-355 is to have the pickups magnetically out of phase from each other. This is achieved by having the magnet polarity of one pickup facing the opposite direction than the other pickup. It's simple to change but requires disturbing the solder to remove the cover on a Gibson humbucking pickup.
All of the solder on this clean, unmodified, and uncirculated 1960 Gibson ES-335TD exhibits no signs of having ever been disturbed. That's why I'm describing this guitar as being out of phase from the factory. It seems to happen rarely on Gibson guitars through what was likely a mistake in the manufacturing process.
I'm always looking for clean examples of vintage Gibson ES-335 guitars. Do you have on that you're looking to sell? I'd love to check it out. Click the red "Contact Me" button in the lower right corner of your browser to send me a message about your guitar. I can't wait to see it!