Gibson ES-335 1963 Red
Posted on July 30 2021
This Gibson ES-335 1963 in Cherry Red finish with stop bar tailpiece came through the shop in 2019. The Gibson ES-335 model is unique because it has a thinline, semi-hollow body with hollow wings and solid Maple center block. Gibson ES-335 guitars from 1963 were made during the golden era of ES-335 production from 1958 until 1965 with wide neck width, top mounted bridge studs, and nickel hardware. These are my favorite guitars so you can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.
My favorite Gibson ES-335 guitars are the ones with the fixed stop bar tailpiece, but the Bigsby tremolo ES-335s can be great too. I love the tuning stability that comes with having a fixed tailpiece since the strings can't move at the anchor like a tremolo tailpiece. Most, if not all of the Gibson ES-335s made between 1958 and 1965 will have the inset threaded bushings necessary to mount the stop bar studs to the top. Gibson usually installed the bushings early on in the manufacturing process which is why many of the factory installed Bigsby ES-335s have the plastic engraved "Custom Made" like this one.
Further reading about the Gibson ES-335: The Gibson ES-335: Its History and Its Players.
How to date this Gibson ES-335
It takes a bit of research to know how to date this Gibson ES-335 accurately, which is why I've written an entire post on the subject (check out How to date a Gibson ES-335). Gibson serial numbers during this time are a little inconsistent, so we need to look further in order to date this Gibson ES-335. The 5 digit serial number impressed in the back of the headstock starts with 95xxx, so it could have been made in 1962 or 1963. The neck profile measures 0.82" deep at the first which is proper for 1962 or 1963 as well. The metal parts feature a nickel finish; the Kluson tuners have a single line with brand name, and the stop bar tailpiece is the only tailpiece it's every had.
The next place I would look for more information on how to date this Gibson ES-335 would be the potentiometer codes. The potentiometer codes were etched into the part when it was made at its manufacture, long before they were shipped to Gibson and installed in an ES-335. These codes indicate that the potentiometer was made during the 2nd week of 1962. This is another supporting piece of evidence that helps us date this Gibson ES-335 to late 1962 or early 1963.
What is my Gibson ES-335 worth?
Now that we've accurately dated this Gibson ES-335 to 1963 we can start to find out how much it's worth. My opinion of the proper way to find out how much a Gibson ES-335 is worth is by comparing it to the market for similar Gibson ES-335 guitars that are currently available. You may also want to factor in how much risk you're willing to take (like shipping) as well as how much work you'd like to put into marketing your Gibson ES-335.
If you're looking for where to sell a Gibson or Gibson ES-335 collectors, I may be the person you're looking for. I am looking for nice examples of Gibson ES-335 guitars from the late 1950s and 1960s. I fly all over the US to buy good vintage Gibson guitars, so if you're looking for a local sale then I may be able to make that happen for you. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.