1965 ice tea sunburst ES-330 with a mix of nickel and chrome parts plus a transitional nut width makes for a striking package. Paired with a Vibrola that does stay in tune, and you have a very cool piece...
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For those of you out there who can’t get enough of the sunburst this stunning 1965 Gibson ES-330 TD with factory fitted vibrola surely fits the bill.
Introduced in 1959 as the successor to the ES-225 and the budget thinline alongside the ES-335, the ES-330 bridged the gap between the new centre block arch top guitars and Gibson’s classic arch tops 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.
1965 was an interesting and seminal year for Gibson. It marked the crossover for a number of features, most notably the change from the 43mm nut width to the 41mm width and the change from nickel plated hardware to chrome plated hardware. This particular one has what some people refer to as a transitional nut width of 42mm and has a mixture of nickel and chrome parts.
Theres no hiding with this guitar round your neck. The ice tea sunburst finish (first official year for this) has kept that those exquisite hues with the brighter two tone contrasting wonderfully with the darker back. Both front and back are free from any knocks or wear. The colour really accentuates the grain pattern of the maple. There is a little crazing but nothing too substantial.
The same can be said for the neck which has a few minor dings. The fretboard is excellent and the frets have plenty of life left in them. The plastics are in great shape with only very slight warping of the pick guard.
The hardware is possibly the most striking thing about this guitar. The mainly nickel with some chrome shows no signs of pitting and the factory fittedLyre Vibrola looks new. A stunning addition.
Electronically the guitar looks to be correct with the solder joints being untouched and both pickups undisturbed with original windings.
The guitar comes with a 70’s Gibson black tolex hardshell case with purple lining.
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. Though the vibrola may not be your go to vibrato unit, it works well here and provides just the right amount of wobble without throwing the guitar out of tune.
If 330’s are your thing and why would they not be, don’t let this one get away as it is a mightly fine example of this timeless classic…
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