Posted on by ZooKeeper

1960 was an incredible year for musical instruments; many iconic models that are collectible today were built that year, and now that it is 2010 we get to enjoy the 50th Anniversary models that are being rolled out.  1960 was the last year for the Les Paul Standard, but the ES-335 was just getting warmed up.  It’s just a great guitar, at home in blues, country, rock, jazz – you name it.  That’s why it was been in continuous production for over 50 years now.  Contact us for pre-order information, we’ll be seeing these.  Follow the jump to read the official press release on the 50th Anniversary 1960 Gibson ES-335TD.


Iconic Model One of the Most Legendary Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars in the World

For Immediate Release:  Nashville, TN…February 11, 2010

Gibson Guitar, the world’s premiere musical instrument manufacturer and leader in music technology, is proud to announce the highly anticipated arrival of the 50th Anniversary 1960 Gibson ES-335TD. Back in the late 1950s, Gibson was boldly pushing the envelope on electric guitar design. The effort resulted in several models that were just too far ahead of their time to sink in with players of the day—the Flying V and Explorer being cases in point — and were gone from the catalogue by 1960. The ES-335 however was an instant classic, embraced by blues, rock, country and jazz players the world over. By 1960, this model was hitting its stride though it was certainly a year of transition for the iconic model.

In the beginning of 1960, the ES-335TDs were built to the same specs as the 1959 versions and were offered in only Natural and Sunburst finishes. By about midyear, neck specs began to change to a thinner and more elliptical feel and ultimately, production of the Natural ES-335TD would cease and the Cherry finish would take its place in the latter part of the year. It is this later version that many argue the 1960 ES-335TD’s features had settled into their optimum form. With a fast new neck profile, striking new “insert” or “reflector” tone and volume knobs, the ES-335TD still retained early-spec details such as the dot fingerboard inlays, a double cutaway profile, full-length maple centerblock, and nickel-plated hardware that players have long seen as indicative of the model’s zenith.

All these and more are brought back to life in the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD, a reincarnation of one of the most legendary semi-hollow electric guitar of all time, handcrafted by Gibson Custom’s Memphis division to celebrate the model’s “golden anniversary”. For this celebration, Gibson Custom is offering the later 1960 “fast neck profile” version, the most unique of the year, and is available in three finishes Antique Vintage Sunburst, Antique Faded Cherry or Antique Natural, all aged in Gibson’s acclaimed VOS (Vintage Original Specs) process, and loaded with period-correct hardware including “insert” volume and tone knobs, double band tuners and a pair of accurate PAF-style 57 Classic humbucking pickups. The Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD is equipped with pickups and electronics that accurately reflect the original units of the most desirable ES-335TDs ever made. A pair of ’57 Classic pickups capture that highly sought-after “PAF” style tone, noted for its unparalleled blend of warmth, richness and clarity, while quality CTS potentiometers with “bumblebee” tone caps and a Switchcraft selector and output jack translate the signal in pure vintage style

Additionally the neck features a holly head veneer, tortoise shell side dot material and has been completely re-tooled with accurate truss rod channel depth and profile based on scans by the Gibson Custom Shop Engineering Team. The Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD is the closest today’s player can come to obtaining the look, feel and tone of an original dot-neck 1960 ES-335TD.

The original ES-335TD (“TD” for “thinline, double-pickup”) was a huge hit simply because it addressed so many different guitarists’ needs in one new design. The arched top and f-holes appealed to jazz and dance-band players who were still attached to the look of traditional Gibson “jazz boxes”, but who appreciated advancements such as a thinline, double-cutaway body. The maple center block that ran from neck tenon to end pin reduced feedback and provided the sharper, snappier tone that rock and roll and country players demanded, and also enabled the use of Gibson’s solid new Tune-o-matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece pairing, which further aided tone and sustain. In one form or another the ES-335TD (and its siblings, the ES-345 and ES-355) would land in the hands of Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Larry Carlton, and countless other groundbreaking guitarists.

With its historically accurate tone woods, electronics, and hardware, the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TD packs all the tonal versatility of the original, and proves once again why the design has remained a favorite of guitarists from every genre of music since its introduction half a century ago. All Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 ES-335TDs come with a silkscreened Gibson Custom Shop hard-shell case, a Certificate of Authenticity and a full complement of “how to” literature.