Hear the tone of a vintage Gibson ES-355 on Youtube! 

We recently acquired this 1961 Gibson ES-355 in a rare mono configuration with added Bigsby tailpiece. Our friend Browan Lollar came in to show us how it sounds!

Mono vs. Stereo:

The ES-355 was offered in both mono and stereo configurations starting in 1959. While most players opted for the stereo version due to its "fancy new technology," the mono version remained the favorite among most guitarists. This particular 1961 model is a mono example, making it a rare find.

Unique Features:

This 1961 ES-355 boasts several unique features that set it apart from other models. These include:

    • Bigsby vibrato: This is a modification, as the guitar originally came with a side-pull vibrato. The Bigsby offers greater tuning stability and can be easily removed if desired.
    • Slim neck: All Gibson necks got much slimmer in mid 1960. This is a typical example of the wide (1 11/16") nut and slim neck profile. 
    • Neck pickup: The neck pickup on this guitar is non-standard for a 1961 Gibson. It has slot screws and no PAF sticker, which is less common but does seem to happen from time to time. 
    • Reverse-wound neck pickup: Interestingly, the neck pickup is reverse-wound, which means it cancels hum when used in the middle position with the bridge pickup. This is an unusual feature for a Gibson guitar from this period.

    Sound and Playability:

    The video features musician Browan Lollar demonstrating the sound and playability of this rare guitar. His playing showcases the versatility of the instrument and its ability to produce a wide range of tones.


    This 1961 Gibson ES-355 in mono configuration is a rare and valuable instrument. Its unique features and exceptional sound make it a great choice for the player looking for a musical best friend and an appreciating asset. If you're a fan of vintage guitars, be sure to check out the video to see and hear this beauty in action.

    I would also like to add that if you own a vintage Gibson ES-335 and are curious about its age, you can use our guide to identify pre-1975 Gibson ES-335 guitars: https://truevintageguitar.com/blogs/tvg-blog/how-to-date-a-gibson-es-335-guitar

    John Shults

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