Up for sale, a 1976 Gibson ES-335TDW in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Finished in the original gloss Walnut nitro lacquer and featuring the original pair of Gibson's "Tarback" humbuckers, this is a particularly clean and soulful vintage Gibson. The guitar is also 100% original aside from a substituted era-correct Gibson "harmonica" bridge and Schaller-made Kluson-style tuners.
Tonally, this Gibson delivers the goods, and the bridge pickup is clear, defined, and plenty warm, with a surprising amount of chime and punch. The Tarbacks are potted for excellent feedback rejection, working well with higher gain and still providing a sparkling, dynamic response. With both pickups engaged, it's easy to dial in an ideal rhythm tone that has just enough percussive cut and roundness, and with the neck pickup singled out, things fatten up nicely with a bold wooly sweetness that still is quite clear. With semi-hollowbody maple body construction and a three-piece maple neck, the tone balances the immediacy of the center block and crisp top end of the maple with the soft attack and bloom of the semihollow construction. The guitar balances well on a strap and weighs 8lbs 3oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, we've strung this ES-335 with roundwound 11-48 strings and dialed in the action and intonation.
The three-piece maple neck has a slender, fast-feeling C carve at the nut with appreciable heft and shoulder as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .800" deep at the 1st fret and .990" at the 12th. The bound fretboard features pearl small block inlays, retaining the original wide/flat Gibson fretwire which is remarkably clean, showing just a hint of wear on the crowns of frets 1-3. The guitar plays easily in all registers with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nut measures 1 9/16" in width, the more slender width used by Gibson from '65 through the 1970s on the ES models. On the headstock, the guitar features Schaller double line double ring bolt-bushing tuners, matching the original footprint and button-style of Kluson Deluxe gears.
All of the electronics work as they should, with original Tarback humbuckers and individual Volume and Tone controls for each pickup. Additionally, the guitar has a two-way coil-tap switch for the pickups located on the treble side body horn. The wiring harness features original pots and tone caps, visible through the F hole. The hardware includes a Gibson "harmonica" bridge and corresponding baseplate, and the installation of this bridge was cleanly done, with the bridge mounting plate inset into the top, sitting flush with the surrounding maple. The chrome hardware is positively gleaming, including the pickup covers and original trapeze tailpiece, while the plastic parts are also notably clean, save for some light pick scuffing across the guard, including a quartet of witch hat knobs and pair of cream switch tips.
Cosmetically, this is a remarkably clean vintage example. The Walnut gloss nitro lacquer finish is extremely rich and dark, 100% original with no touchup or overspray. Wear is limited to one spot of light targeted buckle rash at the bass side waist on the back, and just a couple additional minor marks on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless and free of palm wear. As the photos show this is an extremely well-kept and complete vintage example, and this ES-335TDW has been dialed in to play its best.
The original hardshell case is included and equally as clean as the guitar with a plush purple interior, functional latches, and original leather handle. The original factory paperwork is also included.