Cherry is surely your favourite Gibson colour and this stunning, 1 of just 98 1960 Gibson ES-330 TDC’s made, wears it so well.
Introduced in 1959 as the successor to the ES-225, the ES-330 bridged the gap between the new centre block thinking guitars and Gibson’s classic archtops of the previous decades, becoming a firm favourite with players such as BB King and Grant Green not to mention the rhythm guitar of choice for many.
Theres no hiding with this guitar round your neck. Early cherry finishes were a slightly lighter shade than what we generally know to be cherry red, and this is a great example of that from 1960, and is in fact one of only 98 examples produced in that, the first official year for cherry red. The finish has kept that deep colour both front and back and free from any knocks or wear. The colour really accentuates the grain pattern of the maple. There is a little crazing on the sides but the top has avoided this. The back in particular has some nice figuring.
The same can be said for the neck which has a few minor dings. the fretboard is excellent and the frets look unused thanks to the excellent and sympathetic refret that was carried out at some stage. The plastics are in great shape with only very slight warping of the pick guard. The hardware shows no signs of corrosion and still has that lustrous shine which is rare for a 60 year old nickel plated Gibson.
These guitars were shipped from the factory with just the single strap button at the tailpiece end and you were expected to tie your binder twine around the headstock behind the nut. Many people obviously added a second strap button and a former owner has done exactly that. The first on the edge of the upper horn (now filled) and a second where you would normally expect to see it.
Electronically the guitar has zero issues with the solder joints being untouched and both pickups undisturbed, strong outputs with original windings.
The guitar comes with its correct brown Tolex Lifton type hardshell case with pink lining. The handle on this example is a nice, almost Matisse like blue which they do sometimes turn to.
Acoustically this guitar has a pleasantly warm tone that certainly tips the hat to Gibson’s arch top heritage. Plugged in the guitar runs the gamut from warm neck pickup to a more honky, biting bridge pickup tone. The neck has with the slightly slimmer ‘60 profile (which this writer actually prefers to a ‘59), it is very comfortable a complete delight to play.
If 330’s are your thing and why would they not be, don’t let this one get away as it is a nightly fine example of this timeless classic and also a very rare piece..