Before 1952 Gibson produced only hollow body guitars, which are prone to feedback when amplified loudly. That year saw the introduction of their first solid body, the Gibson Les Paul, based on Les Paul's experiment, "The Log," which was merely a fence post with a neck, hardware, and pickup attached.
By 1958 Gibson was making a few solid body models which had much lower feedback and better sustain but lacked the darker, warmer tone and un-amplified volume of hollow bodies. The ES-335 is an attempt to find a middle ground: a warmer tone than a solid body with almost as little feedback.
The ES-355TD (Thin line, Double pickups) was at the top of Gibson's range of thin line semi-acoustic guitars. It was manufactured from 1958 until 1982.
Though semi-hollow bodies like the ES-335 are essentially a compromise of earlier designs, for the same reason they are extremely flexible as evidenced by the ES-335's popularity in a wide range of music, including blues, jazz, and rock.
The Gibson ES-335 guitar with its semi-hollowbody construction is an incredibly versatile instrument. The solid maple block down the center of the body minimizes feedback, but the hollow body wings gives good sustain, tone and weight. Its ingenious body design structure plays a major role in Gibson's history and paved the way for numerous legendary Gibson guitars later on.
This guitar has all the typical specs of the 1967 - early '68 models, with a one-piece mahogany neck, tune-o-matic bridge with nylon saddles and a very comfortable neck and fretboard made of rosewood. The body has a mild-figured maple top and an even more beautifully figured maple back.
Everything is original including: chrome hardware includes the trapeze tailpiece, the tune-o-matic bridge and the Kluson "double line - double ring" tuners. The two humbucking pickups are absolutely original and untouched, with intact cover solderings. The knobs are the "witch-hat" style, the fretboard has pearloid block inlays, and both the Gibson logo and the crown inlay on the headstock are of real mother of pearl.
The best-known user of this guitar is probably B.B. King, whose trademark guitar, Lucille, was the basis for a 1981 signature model. Johnny Marr (The Smiths), though normally opting for Rickenbackers and Telecasters in the studio, used a 355 fitted with a bigsby vibrato for most of his early live performances with the band. Another well known user is Noel Gallagher (Oasis) who began using a 355 for live performances in 2002 and it has since become his main guitar.
This Vintage 1968 Gibson ES 335 TD with Sunburst is in exceptional condition for its age as there are only light pick scrapes, scratches and dents on the finish, additionally there are a few minor finish bubbles on the lower bout of the top as seen in the detailed photos below. We have provided a Gruhn appraisal of this instrument which can also be seen below. It has only very moderate fretwear and includes the original hardshell Gibson case