Up for sale, a 1965 Gibson ES-330TDC in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, finished in vibrant Cherry nitro lacquer and complete with an era-correct hardshell case. A well-kept vintage Gibson, the guitar is 100% original save for a carved bone nut and professional refret. Produced early in the '65 model year, this example of the ES-330 is one of the very last to feature nickel-plated hardware, along with a transitional nut width of 1.650", wider than examples from later in the decade (including 330s from later in '65).
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. The guitar is featherweight at 6lbs 1oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with appreciable heft and roundness as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .780" deep at the 1st fret and 1.005" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard has been refretted with vintage-spec medium jumbo fretwire, faithful to Gibson's wide/flat '60s fret dress with plenty of meat and showing no wear. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. An upgraded hand-carved bone nut measures 1.650" in width. On the headstock, there are some minor marks from light playwear on the edges, and the original Kluson Deluxe double line tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well.
The electronics are completely stock, with untouched solder joints and stock tone caps visible through the treble side F hole. The nickel-plated hardware is bright and clean, including the ABR-1 bridge with correct foundry stamp on the base and stock nylon saddles. The original nickel pickup covers and trapeze tailpiece round out the hardware, and the plastic parts are equally well-kept with black reflector cap knobs and the original wide-bevel five-ply pickguard which has a glossy sheen. The bold model stamp is visible through the F hole.
Cosmetically, the Cherry nitro lacquer finish is glossy and vibrant, completely unfaded and 100% original with no tan line beneath the pickguard. Cosmetic wear is limited to vertical lacquer checking and some microscopic nicks on the body as a whole, along with some light finish scratches central to the lower bout on the back. The smooth nitro gloss is retained on the profile length with just a few very shallow, small marks that aren’t distracting to the palm while fretting.
An era-correct vintage black tolex hardshell case with gold plush interior is included. The original handle is present, and all of the latches are functional.