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1974 GIbson ES-355 TDW Vintage Semi-Hollow Guitar w/ T Tops, Varitone, Case


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Up for sale, a 1974 Gibson ES-355 TDW in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. The top tier of Gibson's trio of thinline semi-hollow ES models, the ES-355 features a host of premium features including multi-ply binding throughout, an ebony fingerboard, gold-plated hardware including a long frame Maestro vibrola, stereo functionality, and a six-position Varitone.

Featuring a gloss Walnut finish over the semi-hollow maple body, this ES-355 has a sound with both breadth and immediacy, yielding crystalline trebles and defined wound strings. The untouched factory wiring is still set up for stereo operation, and the Pat # embossed T Top humbuckers deliver a bevy of traditional Gibson tonalities, with more midrange growl and cut in the bridge position, and round, bell-like warmth at the neck. Via the six-position Varitone rotary switch, the range of sounds that one can coax from this ES-355 is quite remarkable. The guitar weighs 9lbs 7oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, slinky action and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with an increase in overall substance and shoulder up the fretboard, measuring .815" deep at the 1st fret and 1.020" at the 12th. The bound ebony fretboard features pearl block inlay, and the original medium jumbo fretwire has good meat and Gibson's wide/flat fret dress of the era, exhibiting moderate wear, primarily beneath the plain strings on frets 1-5, with wear growing fainter beneath the plains until fret 9. The guitar plays cleanly in every register up the 24 3/4" scale, the neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and adjusted for ideal relief. The nut measures 1 9/16" in width, and on the headstock, the guitar has all the hallmarks of a top-tier Gibson, with split diamond pearl inlay, multi-ply binding, and the original "Stereo" truss rod cover. The Grover Rotomatic tuning machines function smoothly with metal keystone buttons.

The original wiring harness is untouched, still wired for stereo operation, and the pair of T-Tops have Patent #-embossed baseplates, with untouched solder on both covers. The original multi-ply bound pickguard is (surprisingly) fully intact and still structurally viable, exhibiting very little of the off-gassing that can plague these guards over time. Due to pickguard off-gassing, the gold pickup covers show some patina through the plating. Hardware includes the original Patent # ABR-1 bridge and Maestro "lyre" Vibrola tailpiece, and stock plastics include the pickup rings, quartet of witch hat knobs, and the rotary chicken head knob on the Varitone.

The Walnut nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, exhibiting vertical
lacquer checking on top, particularly concentrated around the pickguard. Cosmetic wear is limited to light buckle wear at the bass-side waist, and just a few minor dings and finish scuffs on the body as a whole.

The original black tolex hardshell case with gold plush interior is included.