Gibson ES-335 1963 in Chicago, Illinois
Posted on June 22 2022
I've just returned from a guitar buying trip to Chicago, Illinois to buy this 1963 Gibson ES-335 from its sole owner since the early 1970s! It's a factory stop tail example with two PAF stickered pickups. 1963 is a fantastic year for the Gibson ES-335 with great features including the wide neck, nickel parts, stop bar tailpiece option, and mickey mouse ear shaped horns. This one is completely original throughout and has survived with no breaks or repairs.
As a Gibson guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of 1950s and 1960s Gibson ES-335 guitars. If you've inherited a vintage Gibson ES-335 and are curious about dating it then check out the Gibson Serial Number Lookup. Or if you're interested in selling and looking for help with value and pricing check out Sell a Gibson.
Gibson ES-335 Values
The value of a Gibson ES-335 guitar is heavily affected by a few different factors: exact year, condition, and tailpiece style. The ES-335s made from 1958 until 1962 are the least common and the most desirable. They can be identified quickly by the dot style markers on the fretboard instead of the large block style like this one has. The most significant year which affects their value is 1965 since this is the year that the neck width was slimmed from 1 11/16" down to 1 9/16". The late 1965 and later ES-335s with skinny necks are generally worth far less than the wide nut examples. You can check out Gibson Serial Number Lookup for help finding the year of an ES-335.
It may come as a surprise to many, but the tailpiece style also heavily influences the value of Gibson ES-335 guitars. The stop bar tailpiece, like the one on this 1963 ES-335, was the standard tailpiece for the model from 1958 until 1965. Many players at the time preferred to have a vibrato tailpiece like a Bigbsy or side pull, so tailpiece modifications are very common. Guitar collectors are more likely to buy factory stop bar tailpiece ES-335s with no extra holes so their values are generally higher than comparable examples with vibrato tailpeices or holes from previous tailpeices.
Sell a Gibson ES-335
My goal for this site is to make it easy for owners to sell a Gibson and other fine vintage guitars. If your ES-335 is from my favorite years (1958-1964) then I may be able to come to you for an in person sale. I want you to feel completely confident in what your guitar is, what features or repairs effect its value, and how much you can sell it for. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson.