2015 Gibson ES 335

2 Reasons Why The Gibson ES-335 Knocks My Socks Off

Music Equipment

If you’ve ever found yourself tworn between an acoustic and an electric the 335 might be just up your alley.  The Gibson ES-335 was released by Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1958. This particular model was the world’s first commercial thinline archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. It is part of the Electric Spanish (ES) series.

The Gibson ES-335 is neither hollow nor solid. Rather, it offers a solid maple wood block which runs through the center of its body and side “wings” which are hollow. The top features two violin-style f-holes over the hollow chambers. Before this guitar’s release, Gibson only produced hollow-body guitars. However, these are prone to feedback when sound is amplified loudly.

dot vs square markers
dot vs square markers

By 1958, the company was producing more solid-body models which offered much lower feedback. Unfortunately, these models did not offer the warmer tone and unamplified body that hollow bodies provide. The ED-335 was the company’s first attempt to find middle ground between hollow bodies and solid bodies. In 1962, the guitar received its first major update. The most visible change was made to the markers on the neck. Earlier models featured dots while later models had blocks. This led to the two versions being nicknamed “dot neck” and “block neck.”

Gibson ES-335 Models

Blonde Vintage Gibson Gibson ES-335 Model Guitars
Blonde Vintage Gibson Gibson ES-335 Model Guitars

There are a variety of special ES-335 models including the ES-335 Pro, ES-335TD CRS and CRR models. Each of these were equipped with Gibson “Dirty Fingers” humbuckers. This offers a significantly higher output than the standard pickups. Some of the ES-335 models also feature a coil split switch. This allows the humbuckers to produce a “single-coil” sound. A number of signature ES-335 models have also been produced. One of the most famous is the Trini Lopez-inspired model, produced between 1964 and 1970. It offers narrow diamond-shaped soundholes which replace the traditional f-holes, slashed-diamond inlays and a Firebird-style headstock with all the tuners located on one side. Another more recent signature model is the Gibson DG-335 which was designed in collaboration with Dave Grohl in 2007. It is a variation on the Trini Lopez Gibson and has a stopbar tailpiece and the new Burstbucker humbuckers. Some of the other more popular signature models include Alvin Lee “Big Red” 335, which is heavily customized.

2015 Model Updates

gibson es-335 guitarThe Gibson ES-335 2015 model offers a few new features, including:

  • Grover Milk Bottle Rotomatic tuners in a Retro style with modern features for improved tuning accuracy
  • F-Hole emblem engraved truss rod cover
  • Historic truss rod
  • Rolled neck binding to comfortably fit the contours of the guitar player’s hand
  • Block inlay fretboard
  • Burstbucker 1 & 2 pickups calibrated for each position
  • Capacitor changes
  • Locking stop bar tailpiece which increases resonance and makes string changes easier
  • Low profile frets for smooth playability and accurate intonation
  • Redesigned neck dimensions with added thickness to Peghead transition for greater strength and stability
  • Bone nut for smooth tuning
  • New finish colors including vintage and new colors

The ES-335 is an extremely popular model, as evident in its use in a wide range of music including rock, jazz and blues. If you are looking for a durable, high quality and iconic guitar to add to your collection, you should certainly consider the Gibson ES-335.

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12 thoughts on “2 Reasons Why The Gibson ES-335 Knocks My Socks Off

  1. I’ve been playing around on some of the ES guitars at guitar center. They sound killer for blues licks.

  2. I love this guitar too. I couldn’t imagine life without this design. Just about every popular electric guitar maker has this model now. Great looking guitar so I can see why.

  3. Great guitar. Gibson really did a good job producing these. Some of the knock-offs aren’t as good, so I can see why some people might not like them if they played a cheaper off brand model. Some really top bands have used these to produce incredible songs.

  4. I remember my first hollow body guitar back in the late 1980s or early 1990s (don’t remember the exact date anymore). I still have it under my bed in a case. After reading this I’m going to take it back out and start playing again.

  5. One of the coolest models. Don’t know who came up with these but making what is basically one of the coolest acoustic electric guitars on the planet. Nothing compares.

  6. I ordered an ES 335 guitar without having even seeing one before. I was just curious how they sounded. I drove down to my local Guitar Center to pick it up and it looked great out of the box. The one I purchased weighs right at 7.5 pounds (I couldn’t believe it). The string it comes with I didn’t care for. The frets are not polished, the fingerboard is rosewood instead of baked maple and everything sounds great right out of the box. No adjustments needed.

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