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1981 Gibson ES-335 TD Semi-Hollow Guitar Tobacco Sunburst w/ Tarbacks, 1 11/16" Nut


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Up for sale, a 1981 Gibson ES-335TD in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original manual and hardshell case. 100% original save for a professional refret, this ES-335 model boasts a full 1 11/16" nut width and original four conductor Tarback humbuckers.

Tonally, this Gibson delivers the goods, and the bridge pickup is clear, defined, and plenty warm, with a surprising amount of chime and punch. 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, yet stay clear. The two-way global coil tap on the cutaway adds further versatility with sparkling single coil snap. With semi-hollowbody maple body construction and a three-piece maple neck, this Gibson has a warm and full-sounding natural acoustic tone with the articulation and note attack of maple augmented by the inherent breadth and sweetness of the semi-hollow body design. The guitar balances well on a strap and weighs 8lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with roundwound 11-49 strings, accurate intonation and low action.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with notable heft and roundness in the higher register, filling out to a baseball bat-worthy shape from the 7th fret and beyond, measuring .820" at the 1st fret and .890" at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearl small block inlay, refretted with fretwire just shy of medium jumbo in size, offering plenty of meat and showing just a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The guitar plays well in every register with a straight neck and optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut width is 1 11/16", the full width associated with pre-1965 Gibsons and subsequent reissues (yet quite uncommon on models from this era). On the headstock, the guitar features an extremely clean set of original nickel-plated Gibson "flower" tuning machines with metal tulip buttons.

All of the original electronics work as they should, with original Tarback humbuckers and individual Volume and Tone controls for each pickup. The Tarbacks have ink stamps on the baseplates, dating to March and April of 1981. The wiring harness features original pots and tone caps, and visible through the bass side F hole, the original Norlin-era "Union Made" label is intact. The hardware includes the original Nashville bridge and trapeze tailpiece, both of which have notably clean chrome plating. Plastics include the original pickguard and quartet of near mint witch hat knobs.

The nitro lacquer Tobacco Sunburst gloss finish is notably well-kept, and cosmetic wear ls limited to a small spot of rack rash on either side of the nut, some light finish scratches localized on the lower bout on the back, and just a few additional minor marks on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is clean and smooth, free of palm wear.

The original black tolex hardshell case with red plush interior is included, along with the original manual. The case has functional latches, the original handle, and gold Gibson silkscreen on the lid.