This is one of the most beautiful thinline Gibson guitars as has ever crossed our path. It is blonde, it's is two-pickup, it was made in the first year of issue, and it is in extraordinary condition. It's design is so original and so seldom seen that whenever anybody has sauntered into the room in which it is on display all conversation with them ceases while they marvel silently.
The notion of the thinline guitar at Gibson Guitar Company, then in Kalamazoo, Michigan occurred in 1956 when they introduced the model ES-225T. This guitar preceded by one year the similar model called ES-125T. The full depth body ES-125 electric archtop had been extremely successful and Gibson decided that they should also have a thin-bodied version that holds closer to the body, as does an electric solid body guitar. Their original electric solid body called The Les Paul Model had come out as early as 1952. The ES-225T had a single sharp cutaway design – to increase the amount of access that a sophisticated player had to the upper frets. The ES-125T was a non-cutaway instrument (that means that the neck joined the body higher up on the neck on both sides), since some players were more comfortable with this design. When we say “electric archtop” we mean a guitar whose top is not flat, like a folk guitar, but rather it is carved or pressed into an arch, sort of like a violin, but not at as steep an angle. Archtop guitars are generally made with twin open lower-case “f” shaped soundholes and an electric archtop has been routed (by the manufacturer) to accept either one or two electromagnetic pickups that “pick up” the electrical impulses created by magnets imbedded in a plastic or metal frame and convert them back to audible sound when played through a powered speaker.
The first double-cutaway electric archtop guitar to come on the market at Gibson was the famous ES-335 model in the spring of 1958. This is one of the most valuable and collectible of all Gibson thinline guitars. It featured twin “humbucking” pickups which have two rows of magnets instead of the earlier one row, whose effect it was to “self-cancel” the hum that emits from a “single coil” pickup, called a P-90, which this model guitar has, and most of the earlier electric archtops made prior to mid-1957 have.
These ES-335 model guitars are called “semi-hollow” because they have an internal maple block that extends through the underside of the top – originally running from the tailpiece to the end pin, but later elongated to extend through the inside of the body. A website called www.instrument-musical.com says “they each had a solid block of wood set down the center of the body. This was intended to increase sustain and prevent unwanted soundboard vibration from causing feedback as in the hollow bodied style. The aim of the guitars was to blend the sustain qualities of a solid body electric with the warmer, more mellow sound produced by an acoustic instrument.” This instrument is not a semi-hollow – it is a traditional hollow-body, it has no neck block under the top. Interestingly, there are only two thinline fully hollow-body Gibson guitars – the ES-330TD and the short-lived “Crest” which was made only from 1969 to 1971.
The ES-330TD was debuted in 1959 as a thinline with crème plastic body binding on top, back and three sides of the rosewood fingerboard. Said fingerboard was inlaid with 10 pearloid dotmarker inlays – your guitar has nine (the inlay at the 15th fret is missing). It had the postwar script “Gibson” logo at the top of its ebony overlaid glossy finished headplate, and below that there is no further decoration, just a white bordered black bell-shaped truss rod cover held in plate by two roundhead Phillips screws. This model has the twin rounded cutaway and also a shorter length neck than the ES-335 had. The scale length is approximately 24 ½” nut to saddle, the width of the fingerboard at the nut is 1 11/16th” with an E-to-E string width at the saddle of 2”. It has an elevated black plastic pickguard whose edges are laminated with white-black-white border. It has twin black plastic “P-90” pickups which have a “dog ear” on the bass side but a squared side on the treble. It has a tune-o-matic bridge, meaning that it is fully adjustable both vertically and individually adjustable both forward and backward. The Model ES-330TD was discontinued in 1972.
THIS BEAUTIFUL CREATURE IS NOW ON SALE - FOR nearly $1750 less than it used to be. IT WAS $9274 with a Cash Discount Price of $8995, but now it is much lower at: