It has to be said that the Gibson ES-335 guitar is still perceived as one of the most exceptional models ever to grace the guitar world. It was one of the first semi-acoustic electric guitars to be designed, offering a whole new realm of sounds. In 1958, Gibson introduced the first ever ES-335 which was truly innovative for its time. Nearly 60 years have passed since the first ES-335 came out, so Gibson have brought it back to life following the original, historical specifications to produce an accurate yet modern version for 2016.
CLASSIC 58 SHAPE
Many guitarists are of the opinion that there is nothing quite like the ES-335 of 1958, that it is truly one of a kind. Gibson have reexamined all the original specs of the first model and created a 2016 version which is historically accurate. A stand-out feature of the original was its “Mickey Mouse ear” horns which form the cutaways at the top of the body. The famous Ted McCarty championed the idea of employing a solid block of maple through the body; this formed a sonic partnership with the “hollow wings” of the guitar, hence it’s semi-acoustic feel.
For the 2016 1958 ES-335, 3-ply maple / poplar / maple makes up the top, back and rims of the guitar, and weight is relieved thanks to the light maple centreblock. In keeping with the traditional build of the 1958 guitar, Gibson use hot hide glue for the quartered Adirondack spruce braces and for joining the rims to the guitar. Like its predecessor, the new 1958 guitar is given a 58 Burst nitrocellulose finish which is also given VOS treatment which gives it that slightly aged appearance.
MAHOGANY “DOT” NECK
Like the body, the neck is also constructed to accurately match the historical specifications of the 1958 guitar. A one piece mahogany neck is securely fitted to the body of the guitar, again using hot hide glue to reinforce it. With a traditional “C” profile and historic tubeless truss rod, the resonance and sustain is consequently improved.
Married to the neck is a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, which is unbound, just like the original 1958 model. The early semi models also carried dot inlays traditionally, hence the 2016 guitar features dot fret inlays. The fret wire is set to the vintage, period-correct specs of .100” x .045”, providing you with an authentic 58 playing feel.
To ensure that you get the wonderful tones first heard on the original 1958 model, Gibson have employed MHS (Memphis Historic Spec) humbucker pickups. An Alnico III magnet powers the neck pickup, offering a fat, vintage output. The bridge pickup is powered by an Alnico II magnet, offering some sizzle that breaks up when given a little overdrive. Both pickups are historically accurate following the PAF design and are slightly underwound.
The 2016 1958 ES-335 has two volume and two tone controls with matched 550k potentiometers, guaranteeing you that real vintage tone.
HARDWARE AND FINISH
The new 1958 guitar is equipped with a die cast alloy no wire ABR bridge joined by a lightweight stop bar tailpiece. These components work fantastically together to increase sustain and intonation. Just above that, Gibson have added a multi ply black long ES-335 V.O.S. pickguard with a bevel at a 45 degree angle, protecting the body against scratches.
Needless to say, the 2016 model of the 1958 ES-335 V.O.S. electric guitar is a historically accurate rendition of an absolute Gibson classic. To enable you to protect it for years to come, Gibson include a Certificate of Authenticity and a period-correct hard shell case which is tan with a pink interior lining.
Manufacturer Gibson Memphis Model 2016 1958 ES-335 VOS Electric Guitar Top Material Maple / Poplar / Maple Body Material Maple / Poplar / Maple Neck Material Mahogany Neck Profile Traditional “C” Fingerboard Material Rosewood No. of Frets 22 Pickup Configuration HH Bridge/Tailpiece No Wire ABR / Lightweight Stop Bar Position Inlays Pearloid Dot Active/Passive Passive Tuners Kluson Single Ring Tulip Button Pickups MHS Humbucker Controls Lead Volume Lead Tone Rhythm Volume Rhythm Tone Pickup toggle switch Finish 58 Burst Included Accessories Gibson Hardshell Case; Tan and Pink Gibson Memphis Certificate of Authenticity
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