First introduced in 1959, the Gibson ES-330 was initially introduced as a replacement for the ES-225 single cut model manufactured by Gibson from the mid '50s. Though its popularity is often overshadowed by the semi-hollowbody models of the time like the ES-335, Gibson ES-330 guitars are fantastic and often fairly under appreciated, with a sound that is unique among vintage guitars. This 1961 ES-330 is a wonderful example of an early '60s, dot inlay version of the model, with a highly figured Maple top unlike any we have seen on an ES-330 before.
The lack of a centre block gives this guitar a woody, acoustic resonance that when combined with the original P90 pickups gives a unique tone. The clean sound is warm and rich with plenty of dynamic response, and when played through a driven tube amp this ES-330 gives an unmistakable '60s garage rock tone that is only really found on these guitars. This guitar is also currently wired out of phase, adding a real character to the middle position. This ES-330 features the original black pickup covers and tailpiece, although it is without its original pickguard. The pickups and electronics appear original and are fully functional, with the exception of the bridge volume pot, which has been replaced. The bridge pickup rout has previously been slightly widened, with four screw holes now filled, presumably to accommodate a humbucker at some time. This however is not visible with the original P90 pickup cover in place. The original tuners have been replaced with single line Kluson period correct equivalents, and the bridge is a Gotoh metal saddle repro. This guitar also includes its original hard case.
This guitar is in very good condition, with some minor play wear and plenty of lacquer checking. The real standout feature is without question the highly flamed Maple top, which is particularly unusual to see on these guitars.
As with all vintage instruments, this 1961 Gibson ES-330 has been given a full service and appraisal by the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty.