Shopping Cart


Your shopping bag is empty

Go to the shop

1990 Orville by Gibson ES-335 Dot Semi-Hollow Guitar Cherry w/ Case & 490 Pickups, Japan


+ shipping

Up for sale, a 1990 Orville by Gibson ES-335 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Made exclusively for the Japanese market and rarely seen outside its country of origin, this rare Orville is an official Gibson licensed guitar and a result of a partnership between Gibson USA and their Japanese distributor Yamano Gakki. Named after Gibson's founder, Orville Gibson, the "Orville by Gibson" guitars were branded as such because they were the highest tier instruments made under the Orville banner and included USA-made Gibson pickups. Made in the Terada factory in Japan, this ES-335 benefits from the incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship of Japanese manufacture, and all the finer points of a golden era ES-335 are faithfully recreated, with semi-hollow all maple body construction, a one-piece mahogany neck, and nickel hardware.

Strung with 11-48 roundwound strings, this guitar has a big, barking acoustic tone which translates well through the original pair of Gibson 490 humbuckers. These pickups feature Alnico II magnets and braided leads, and the sound is both fat and sparkling, interacting well with high gain amps and wax-potted to provide excellent feedback rejection. The pickups deliver an articulate array of tones that can be bright and growly or thick and punchy with the flip of a switch, all with the immediacy of the maple body, and the airy, warm quality of the semi-holllowbody construction. The guitar weighs 8lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and accurate intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender 60s-style C-shaped profile carve at the nut with a bit more shoulder and overall heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .835" deep at the 1st fret and .945" at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard is a particularly dark and tight-grained cut, and the original slender frets have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing just a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The guitar plays cleanly in every register, and the guitar conforms to traditional Gibson spec with a 24 3/4" scale length and a 1 11/16" wide nut. The headstock features the original set of Kluson-style tuning machines which hold pitch well and turn smoothly.

All of the electronics function as intended, with dedicated Volume and Tone knobs for each humbucker capped with gold bonnet knobs. The nickel-plated hardware shows uniform patina on the pickup covers, ABR-1 bridge and stopbar. The Cherry finish is vibrant and glossy, highlighting faint bubble maple figuring, especially on the back. There is some requisite pick scuffing across the guard, and wear is otherwise limited to a few light finish scratches and minor marks on the body, mostly relegated to the lower bout on the back. The neck retains its smooth gloss, with just a few shallow marks on the profile length, mostly on the bass-side shoulder and central to the carve behind frets 1-3.

The original black tolex hardshell case with pink interior is included.