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2003 Gibson Memphis ES-335 Block 1963 Yamano Limited Edition Cherry w/ Case & Tags


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Up for sale, a 2003 Gibson Memphis ES-335 "Block" model in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the hardshell case and hangtags. A rare model with pearl small block inlay on the rosewood fretboard, this ES-335 was a very limited run produced exclusively for Gibson's Japanese distributor, Yamano (signified by the "Y" on the ES-335Y label visible through the F hole). Gibson's USA-made guitars distributed via Yamano are often considered among their best, featuring the highest quality woods hand-picked for Gibson's discerning Japanese audience.

This guitar was crafted at Gibson's lauded and now shuttered Memphis, TN factory and captures many iconic specs of the ES-335. Tonewoods include maple semi-hollow body construction with a maple center block, paired with a one-piece mahogany neck. The Burstbucker Pro 1 & 2 PAF humbuckers give this ES-335 tight low end, a complex and balanced midrange character, and sweet highs, consistent with Gibson's golden era vintage "Patent Applied For" pickups. The pickups have ample clarity and power, with a slightly hotter bridge pickup and a sweet and smooth neck position humbucker that has great bloom and dense harmonics.

Weighing 8lbs 8oz, this ES-335 Block has a defined and balanced acoustic voice that translates well through the pickups, and it's easy to see why the ES-335 has historically been one of Gibson's most versatile models, adopted by a wide range of genres for its ability to provide everything from nuanced cleans to rich, powerful drive. We've had this ES-335 professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender, 60s-style C-shaped profile carve with just enough roundness in the shoulders and lightly rolled binding edges, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .890" at the 12th. The dark rosewood fretboard features pearl small block inlay and vintage-correct .100" x .45" fretwire, shy of medium jumbo yet offering ample crown. The frets are practically perfect, with just a hint of wear beneath the B string on frets 1-4, and the guitar plays easily in every register up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width, and the headstock is fitted with nickel Grover Rotomatic tuners.

On the body, all of the electronics work as intended, with dedicated Volume and Tone controls for each pickup. The Burstbucker Pro PAF waterslide decals and additional model stickers are intact on the baseplates, and the neck pickup route reveals the vintage-spec long tenon joint. The nickel-plated hardware includes an ABR-1 bridge and stopbar tailpiece. All original plastics are accounted for as well.

The Cherry gloss nitro lacquer finish exhibits very light buckle wear central to the lower bout on the back, a few small dings localized behind the bridge on top, and sparingly little additional wear. The gloss on the neck profile is flawless.

All of the original Gibson/Yamano factory paperwork is included, along with the black tolex Gibson-branded hardshell case.