Introduced in 1959 as the successor to the ES-225 and new thinline cousin of the ES-335, the ES-330 bridged the gap to Gibson’s classic arch tops of the previous decade. Seen in the hands of players such as BB King and Grant Green, not to mention the rhythm guitar of choice for many, the 330 is still hugely popular.
This particular ES-330 is what is referred to as the 'transition model' having block inlays and black P-90 covers. 1962 was the only year this happened.
There's no hiding with this guitar round your neck. The finish has kept that deep colour both front and back, really accentuating the grain pattern of the maple. There are hardly any knocks or bumps, this guitar has been well cared for and is in vibrant, near MINT condition.
The same can be said for the neck which is in great condition. There is a patch of wear around the first fret but elsewhere its in great shape. The fretboard shows some wear and the newer frets have plenty of life left in them.
The plastics are in great shape with only very slight warping of the pickguard. The hardware shows no signs of corrosion and still has that lustrous shine which is rare for a 60 year old nickel plated Gibson. The current owner added the shim under the bridge pickup to better balance the pickup outputs.
Electronically the guitar has zero issues with the only solder joint to have been disturbed being that of the bridge pickup. Elsewhere solder joints look to be untouched and both pickups have a strong output with original windings.
The guitar comes with its correct black Tolex hardshell case with yellow lining.
Acoustically this guitar has a pleasantly warm tone that certainly tips the hat to Gibson’s archtop heritage. Plugged in the guitar runs the gamut from warm neck pickup to a more honky, biting bridge pickup tone. The neck has the slightly slimmer early 60s profile which is very comfortable and 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 mighty fine example of this timeless classic and also a very rare piece..