Gibson ES-330 TDC Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962)

Gibson  ES-330 TDC Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1962)

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Item # 7629
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Gibson ES-330 TDC Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, cherry lacquer finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is an amazingly nice all-original example of an ES-330 TDC from 1962, in superb condition with the transitional mix of features specific to that year. This guitar has a beautiful deep cherry red body and neck, which was just then becoming the most popular finish option for the model. The bound rosewood fingerboard shows the new-for-this-year pearloid block inlay, but the body still carries 1950s-style black plastic covers on the P-90 pickups.

The single bound body is fully hollow, unlike the semi-hollow 335-355 series, and the neck joins the body farther in at the 16th fret. The neck profile is the wide, flat "1960" style that would be changed back to a chunkier, rounder feel the next year. The headstock carries just a pearl Gibson logo and the tuners are individual enclosed Kluson Deluxes with plastic buttons. The P-90 pickups are mated to the standard Gibson wiring rig, with '60s style "capped" plastic tone and volume knobs and a white switch tip. The nickel-plated Tune-O-Matic bridge has bone saddles, a very short-lived experiment soon replaced by Nylon.

The ES-330 is a great sounding, very versatile guitar at home in many musical situations. Despite being intended by Gibson as an "amateur" instrument (the least expensive of the double-cutaway thinlines), the 330 has been heard on countless classic records in many styles of music since its introduction in 1959. Jazz great Grant Green used this model extensively on his most well-regarded early 1960s recordings. A number of period bluesmen have been spotted with this model as well, including B.B. King, Chuck Berry, and most notably Slim Harpo, who is nearly always pictured with one.

The 330 and its nearly identical sister guitar the Epiphone Casino were also featured in countless '60s British invasion bands, including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Manfred Mann, the Merseybeats and many more. This particular guitar is one of the nicest examples we have ever had, with a fantastic feel and the expected classic sound in spades!
Overall length is 39 3/4 in. (101 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) across at the widest point, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) deep. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This superbly preserved guitar is extremely clean overall with only some light dings, scuffs, and handling marks to show for its 55 years on Earth. It is completely original except for one replaced bridge saddle (the bone originals are sometimes fragile). The only alteration is the addition of a correct 1960s Gibson strap button to the sloped area of the heel, probably done when it was new (in 1962 ES-330s did not have a forward strap button as a stock fitting). There are some small dings to the top with a tiny touch-up and some very faint "curly cord burn" spots to the back, echoed in the case where the imprint of the offending cord is still visible. The fingerboard has some very minor wear in the lower positions, but the original frets show hardly any signs of use.

The guitar comes in the original 1962 yellow plush lined deluxe HSC that was designed for the ES-335/345 and 355 -- the 330 did not have a specialized professional-line case built for its shorter neck length! Someone shelled out a considerable extra spot of cash for this at the time; period 330s often were originally sold in a chipboard case. Included in the case pocket are the key in the envelope, the Tune-O-Matic bridge instruction sheet and adjustment screwdriver, and the original orange paper Gibson Sonomatic strings hang tag ("The strings with the magic tone"). Altogether a wonderful package of early-1960s Gibson goodness ready to wrap up with a bow! Excellent + Condition.