No, this is not the little brother of your ES-335, although the general look at model designation might lead you to think so.  The ES-330 was the next step after the ES-225 and was not supposed to be a more accessible 335.  The 330 differs from the 335 in three main ways: fully hollow instead of semi, P-90 pickups instead of humbuckers, and the neck meets at the 16th fret instead of the 19th.

This ES-330 came from a gentlemen in California who had bought it new in '68.  The serial started with a 0 and combined with the other features indicated a manufacture date of late '67.  This guitar was spared of the gigging lifestyle and was played lightly throughout its years.  It was brought along with the owner while he was in the Navy.  The guitar accompanied him on the USS Hornet to the Apollo 11 splashdown.  The original owner was a communications officer and was chosen to go on the trip.

Undervalued in the vintage guitar market

In my opinion, the ES-330 is very undervalued in the vintage guitar marketplace.  A '59 Gibson ES-335 retails around 30 grand while a similar condition ES-330 would retail for about 6 grand.  It doesn't seem fair does it!  I think the reasons for the value differences are:

1.  More prone to feedback at high volume since it is fully hollow and has P-90s
2.  Less celebrity appeal
3.  Outdated design when it came out compared to the center block semi-hollow 335

This model is more prone to feedback at high stage volumes because of the fully hollow design.  This was more of an issue in the 60s with the PA technology that was available.  A small club would rely on large amplifiers cranked way up instead of micing a smaller amp through the PA.  With modern technology this is less of an issue but still something to consider.  Since the stage volumes at my couch are much lower I don't have this problem.  In fact, the fully hollow design is one reason I love this guitar so much.  It is very light and comfortable on the couch.  Even the acoustic tone is to die for.  The P-90s are all I'll ever need to drive my tube radio/guitar amp conversion to the brink of blues bliss.

Do you have one of these that you would like to sell?  I'm looking for another.  Please email me about what you have for sale.

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