Up for sale, a 1962 Gibson ES-335 TDC in excellent condition and perfect working order, complete with a Patent # pickup pair and hardshell case. This golden age Gibson ES-335 has many of the model's most coveted features, with rounded "Mickey Mouse Ear" body horns, small block inlay on the bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard, a one-piece Honduran mahogany neck with long tenon joint, and nickel hardware.
Lightweight and lively at 7lbs 11oz, this guitar has exquisite projection, with a natural spank and treble cut that’s distinctive to this particular 335 (and we’ve had a few from 1961-63 as of late). At the heart of this guitar are a pair of early patent stickered humbuckers, both retaining their original windings and metering at 7.29k ohms in the neck position and 7.42k ohms at the bridge, and the snappy, natural authority of the semi-hollow body translates faithfully through the pickups. The direct descendants of the venerable PAF and identical in construction, these humbuckers have stunning clarity and a vital, expressive quality. The neck pickup has a woody, percussive cut, and distinctive open, airy character. The sound is sensitive to picking dynamics with ample warmth and breadth and a harmonically-rich treble register. The bridge pickup has just enough growl and authority, with an upper midrange sweetness and plain strings that are sparkling and present without ever being strident. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, we've dialed in this ES-335 TDC with fresh 11-49 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with an effortless, fast feel at the nut, gently increasing in overall depth with more shoulder and roundness in the higher registers, measuring .800" deep at the 1st fret and .875" at the 12th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard retains the original medium jumbo frets which show only very light, uniform wear beneath the strings on frets 1-5. Ostensibly leveled and crowned in the past few years, the frets are very flat and low, yet play cleanly in every register (a refret can be arranged via our in-house Service Dept at buyer discretion). The guitar plays cleanly in every register with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. A new hand-carved bone nut has been installed, measuring 1 11/16" in width. The headstock retains the original double ring single line Kluson Deluxe tuners with clean, sharp-edged keystone buttons. There are faint halos of different tuner bushings on the headstock face, with the original tuners and bushings now reinstalled with no additional mounting holes.
While the body finish is all original, the neck profile has been flawlessly refinished in Cherry nitro lacquer, perfectly matching the body finish in tint and saturation. The headstock joint also has a cleanly repaired V-shaped split at the which favors the bass side and doesn’t extend to the instrument’s face.
All of the electronics function as intended, and both humbuckers retain their original windings with clean patent stickers on their baseplates, and a pair of modern, aged nickel covers. The wiring harness features the original Sprague Black Beauty tone caps and CentraLab pots which date to the 32nd week of 1962. The guitar is fitted with a genuine vintage nickel ABR-1 bridge with the correct foundry stamp on the baseplate. The bridge has a few additional tiny holes in the base below the saddle slots for additional retainer wires to anchor the saddles (the bridge currently has just one vintage retainer wire). The bridge is paired with a more recent aged nickel tailpiece, and original plastics comprise the wide bevel pickguard (with some modest upward deflection that's out of the pick path), black reflector cap knobs, and white switch tip, along with a set of modern pickup rings. Visible through the F hole, the original oval label is intact with an inked serial number matching the number on the headstock, dating to 1962.
The bold, rich original Cherry nitro lacquer gloss is intact on the body, showing some finish wear on the treble-side lower bout edge and to a lesser extent central to the lower bout on the back. There are a couple extremely faint repaired splits on either side of the input jack, with very fine shattered glass lacquer checking on top, and slightly broader, more prominent checking on the back. The guitar exhibits a spot of light buckle rash at the bass-side waist, and some additional minor marks and finish scratches consistent with careful use on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is clean and smooth.
An era correct hardshell case is included and incredibly clean with smooth black large pebble exterior, gold interior, functional latches, original handle, and small Gibson badge.