Up for sale, a 1960 Gibson ES-330 TD in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, featuring a stunningly well-kept Sunburst nitro lacquer finish and complete with the original brown Lifton hardshell case. Originally introduced in 1959, this very early example of the ES-330 boasts the model's introductory features including dot inlay on the fretboard, black plastic pickup covers, nickel hardware, and a no-wire ABR-1 bridge with original metal saddles.
Highlighting both the clarity and note attack of maple and the smooth, airy quality of the fully hollow construction, this Gibson has a sweet natural acoustic tone that translates well through the pickups. The P-90s have a glassy sparkle and dynamic, percussive cut with a rich, textured midrange character and plenty of bark when you dig in. And while the bridge pickup has a snappier, slightly more aggressive quality, the neck pickup is big and broad, retaining the articulation necessary for complex chording. Featherweight at 5lbs 12oz, this ES-330 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a very slender, effortless C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with a very gentle increase in overall heft as you travel up the neck, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .890" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark, tight-grained cut of this tonewood, bound and an early example with pearloid dot inlay. The original medium jumbo frets have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing only faint wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4, extending beneath the B and High E to fret 8. The guitar plays cleanly in every register with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nylon nut measures 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuners are intact and extremely clean, turning smoothly and holding pitch well with stock white plastic buttons. There is a tiny "2" on the top back headstock edge, referencing some tiny cosmetic flaw imperceptible after 60 years.
The electronics are completely stock, with untouched solder joints and P-90s which meter at 8.18k ohms in the bridge position and a hearty 9.4k at the neck. The nickel hardware is positively gleaming, including the very rare no-wire ABR-1 bridge with metal saddles. The original trapeze tailpiece rounds out the hardware, and the plastic parts are nigh flawless with black pickup covers, amber bonnet knobs, and the original wide-bevel five-ply pickguard which has a bit of requisite pick scuffing across the guard, with pick wear extending faintly to the selector switch and above the pickups. The "ES-330 TD" stamp and R-prefix factory order number are very bold, visible through the F hole.
Cosmetically, this guitar is jaw-dropping in its presentation. The Sunburst is bold and rich with zero fading or aging of the nitro lacquer, exhibiting just a few light finish scratches and pinhead-sized nicks on the back, primarily at the bass-side waist. The nitro gloss on the neck profile is practically perfect.
The original Lifton hardshell case with brown mottled exterior and pink plush interior is included. The case presents very well and does show a bit of wear on the edges, with functional latches and the original handle which retains some of its leather on the metal handle frame.