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1972 Gibson ES-335 TDC Vintage Semi-Hollow Guitar Cherry w/ Embossed T Tops, Hangtag & Case


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Up for sale, a 1972 Gibson ES-335 TDC in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, retaining the original pair of patent # T Top humbuckers and hangtag. Visually striking with a bold and glossy Cherry nitro lacquer finish, small block inlay, and rare Gibson-embossed pickup covers only offered from 1971-72, this ES-335 is a well-kept example, 100% original save for a modern set of nylon saddles.

This Gibson delivers the goods, with the big barking acoustic voice, yielding the immediacy and snap of maple, and the open, airy quality of the semi-hollow construction. The T Top pickups are a perfect compliment to the 335's construction and tonewoods, with a bridge pickup that is clear, defined, and plenty warm, offering a surprising amount of chime. With both pickups engaged it's easy to dial in an ideal rhythm tone that has percussive cut and roundness, and with the neck pickup singled out, things fatten up nicely, yet stay clear. The guitar balances well on a strap and weighs 7lbs 14oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, we've strung this ES-335 with roundwound 11-49 strings and dialed in the action and intonation.

The three-piece mahogany neck has a very slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with appreciably more shoulder and chunk up the fretboard, measuring .755" deep at the 1st fret and .965" at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearl small block inlay, and the original medium jumbo frets have fairly flat crowns and good meat, exhibiting only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-6. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut width is 1 9/16", which is the more slender width used by Gibson from '65 through the 1970s on most ES models. On the headstock, the guitar retains its original set of Gibson Deluxe double line double ring tuners with greened tulip buttons. The guitar was fitted with a different tuner set in its lifetime, with some small, cleanly doweled tuner mounting holes just inset from the original Gibson Deluxe gears. This is also one of the last Gibson headstocks of the 335s original run to feature the dotted "i" in Gibson.

All of the electronics work as they should, and the T Top humbucker pair has untouched solder on the rare Gibson-embossed pickup covers and patent # waterslide decals on the baseplates. The wiring harness features original pots and tone caps, and visible through the bass side F hole, the Norlin-era "Union Made" label is intact. Hardware includes the patent number ABR-1 bridge, which has the correct patent number and foundry stamp on the base, fitted with a fresh set of vintage-spec nylon saddles. The original trapeze tailpiece is also present, and plastics comprise a quartet of witch hat knobs and the narrow bevel four-ply pickguard.

The gloss Cherry nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, framed by deeply ambered binding. There is light wear in the clear coat on the treble side cutaway, likely from a previously removed sticker, and cosmetic wear is otherwise limited to one finish scratch on top (not through the finish) just north of the bridge, light buckle rash on the back, and some additional minor marks on the body as a whole from light, careful use. The guitar also has a moderate smokey smell.

The original hangtag/manual is included, along with a vintage (non-original) hardshell case. The case is similarly smokey and is currently being aired out.