When Gibson first released the ES-335 guitar in 1958, they were looking to bridge the gap between the large hollow-body jazz boxes of the period with their newly-redesigned solidbody Les Paul model. The result was the first thinline semi-acoustic guitar commercially available. The ES-335 (the ES stands for Electric-Spanish) was an instant success, and has been in continuous production ever since. The basic semi-hollow design differs from a true hollow body (like the Epiphone Casino used by John Lennon) in that the semi-hollow features a solid wood block running through the center of the body, with hollow side "wings." The solid wood block greatly enhances sustain and reduces acoustic feedback when plugged in to an amp, and the hollow side sections provide a mellower, rounder tone to the guitar than generally available with a solid body guitar, as well as greater volume when playing unplugged.
The basic ES-335 design featured an arched-top laminated maple body with maple center block, a glued-in, or "set" neck of mahogany (as opposed to Fender's bolt-on neck designs) with a rosewood or ebony 22-fret fingerboard, a fixed Tune-O-Matic bridge, and two humbucking dual-coil pickups, for warm, rich tones with plenty of sustain. More expensive models featured more elaborate electronics, body binding and fret marker inlays, while the lower-priced units simply used dot markers and other standard appointments. Due to the crossover design, the guitar proved to be very versatile, and quickly became a favorite of jazz, blues and rock players alike. For instance, blues players like T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown were known to favor the 335, and jazz master Larry Carlton, nicknamed "Mr. 335," has his own signature model. Numerous rockers have used 335s to great effect through the years, including Eric Clapton in his Yardbirds and Cream days, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, and Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.
By the 1990s, Gibson's lower-priced Epiphone subsidiary released the Epiphone Dot, based on the classic Gibson design - an affordable, high-quality semi-hollow in the grand tradition, without the grand price of the domestic Gibson models. The Epiphone version has proved to be as popular and durable, and has been in continuous production since its release. Currently available models range from standard models in Natural, glossy Black and nostalgic Cherry and Vintage Sunburst finishes, to a stripped-down Studio version with a laminated mahogany body, and the Limited Edition Epiphone Dot Royale, with upgraded hardware and eye-catching body binding. Top-notch players like Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures have been known to sport a Dot on stage, so you know it can deliver the goods. Order one today and see what it can deliver for you!