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AMAZING Golden Era ’50s/’60s Gibson Semi Hollows!

Adam Leaver: June 23, 2023
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Hi Sam from Guitar Village here and today we’ve got a really cool collection of five different Gibsons to check out we acquired these recently from a one owner collection he’s had for over 30 years and they’re all 300 series Gibsons from the late 50s all the way through to the early 60s we’re going to be checking out a 330 all the way up to a 355 so there’s an incredible range there now for some of you guys out there who aren’t really that up on your 300 series they were originally released in the late 50s and I think you know into the format we know today they kind of transition between sort of 58 all the way through to sort of 63 64 with various different specs some of the players that have used them over the years as well is incredible you’ve got guys like BB King You’ve got Eric Clapton you’ve got Larry Carlton some more modern players as well like Noel Gallagher you’ve got people like Dave Grohl as well using them so the range of music you can play on these guitars is also incredible right let’s grab the first one up so this is a 61 ES330 in cherry

now with some of these models they will come with some letters after them so for example this one would be an ES330 TDC that means thin line so the body is part of the Thin Line series like all the 300s the d stands for double pickup if it doesn’t have the D you’ll have a single pickup which would kind of be like a neck middle position so it’ll be here but just slid back a little bit and then the C stands for the color cherry now if it was a natural it would be TDN and so on although they don’t seem to do it for the Sunburst so we would probably say Sunburst is the default color for a Gibson sort of jazz or Arch top or thin line model the things that make this a 61 model are kind of just a few little touches so we’ve got dot inlays which the earlier dot ones are getting pretty rare now from sort of late 62 onwards they went to the block inlays and also the saddles on here as well at that point they would have gone for some of the nylon Saddles which a lot of people like because they smooth out some of the top end when you dig in hard on the top few strings it’s also got dog ear black P90s which are really incredible sounding pickups um later on they decided to go to some Chrome covered ones instead which they look okay but not quite as good as these ones also got some really cute little white button cluesome tuners on there so inclusion Deluxe tuners and being a 61 it’s got a skinniest neck as well I don’t think it’s quite as skinny as some of the 60 models that I’ve seen but very cool also as the 330 is completely hollow body it’s also really lightweight too yeah better [Music]

now the next one we’re going to have a look at let’s jump over to a three three five [Music]

so when these were originally released they would have been somewhere around the 300 sort of dollar Mark which is quite cool I mean I think with a lot of these Gibsons we always have this idea that you know a 335 would have been 335 dollars when it was released but then when we look at some of the other models the three four five and the three five five they actually would have been a lot more they would have been selling more in the region of like 670 odd dollars you know back in the day now the 335 what makes this different so this is kind of a jump up really from the 330 it’s got a center block that runs down the middle making it a little bit heavier along with that big speed too this one being a 63 model actually has the nylon Saddles I was just saying that the 330 didn’t and you can see these lovely block inlays on there as well now this guitar plays really nicely it’s had a refret on there which has made it super playable and the back of the next been refinished as well so it looks a little bit more pristine than maybe the rest of the guitar does the neck profile on this one is typical as to what I would expect for a 63 model it’s very comfortable in the hand it’s quite tapered so down at the first fret it’s pretty skinny but as you get up to the 12th fret it gets a bit chunkier it’s also got some original paths in there too which sound incredible [Music]

[Music] now let’s check out one of the three four fives next now we have two of these in this is the first one so this is a TDC with a Bigsby

the thing that makes the es345 a bit more expensive and different to the 335 it’s still got that center block we’ve got these gorgeous sounding paths in there as well but also you’ve got the split parallelogram inlays giving it a kind of really nice look you’ve got Gold Hardware throughout and you get extra top binding too which I think a lot of people are going to like it’s you know it’s a really classy looking guitar this is a 63 model as well and what I’ve found from a lot of the the kind of 60s three four fives and three five fives They Don’t Really follow the patterns of some of the uh the three three fives and the Les pools they kind of all tend to have skinnier necks which are Super playable and really comfy [Music] foreign

now let’s have a look at this other three four five we’ve got kicking around the back here

this one is an even earlier one so this is a 1960 es345

it’s in a gorgeous Sunburst finish which Gibson are doing a really good job at the moment of recreating through their custom shop where it’s really kind of dark and Vivid up here with the Sunburst and then as it gets down here it really Fades out nicely again Gold Hardware throughout but this time no Bixby it’s got to stop bar making it a little bit more desirable as well

okay now the last one we’re going to have a look at this really is a top of the tree this is an es355 TDC

thank you [Music] now this is a step up really from the three four five yet again so we have an ebony fingerboard instead of Brazilian rosewood like the last four we were looking at it’s got big block inlays it’s got that lovely split Diamond headstock inlay you’ve got binding around the headstock it’s got seven ply binding around the top even the pickguard’s got binding on it as well it’s got this great Factory gold Bixby on there two paths which again like all the others just sound unreal in this guitar and just looking at some of the figuring on the top here it’s got this gorgeous kind of Bird’s Eye Maple top to it and on the back it’s actually got a flame Maple back which I think looks absolutely incredible [Music] foreign

this is probably the most impressive collection of Gibson’s we’ve had in a long time and it’s been great fun checking each one out you know learning a little bit about its individual personality for me the 335 was definitely my favorite guitar it was only because I really really loved the televibe coming from the pickups and also the jumbo fret wire makes it really really nice to play I am a little bit gutted that the 355 is sold already but it’s going to a really really good customer of ours who’s a really passionate collector so he’s going to absolutely love that guitar now if you do want to find out any more about these all the links will be in the description below and it’d be great to hear which one of these was your favorite as well so make sure you write that in the comments thanks for watching


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