Released by Gibson as part of their ES (Electric Spanish) series in 1958, the ES-335 was introduced as the world's first commercially-available semi-hollow electric guitar. Musicians in the late '50s, jazz, blues and rock musicians in particular, craved a guitar that combined the power and sustain of a solid-body with the dark, warmer tones typical of hollow-bodies. Gibson listened and the ES-335 guitar was born. It wasn't a solid-body and it wasn't an archtop- the ES-335 was (and still is) a semi-hollow six-string that bridged the gap between two of Gibson's most-popular product offerings.
While the ES-335 may visually appear to be quite similar to its legendary archtop counterparts, its construction is actually quite different. ES guitars are made with laminated tops - meaning multiple layers of word are pressed together to form a single solid top. The "wings" of the ES-335 are hollow with a solid center block that connects the upper and lower halves. Finished with a pair of PAF style humbuckers and solid neck/body binding, the ES-335 represents both the past and the future of the semi-hollow electric guitar.
Now that we've got the specifics out of the way, let's check out a few of the beauties that grace these pages. New for 2016, the Gibson 2016 ES-335 Studio Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar is a prime example of a quality Gibson guitar at a price point that's reasonable for most musicians. Its appointments include a C-neck profile that fits perfectly into the palm of your hand and a locking stop bar tailpiece that gives you even better sustain when you hit the stage. If you're looking for truly vintage tone, the Gibson 1963 ES-335TD Semi-Hollow Electric may be the guitar for you. From its "Black Beauty" capacitors and its slim horns to its MHS humbucking pickups and its no-wire ABR-1 bridge, everything about this private reserve guitar is an aficionado's dream.
And while we have no problem talking your ear off about the ES-335, we thought it best that you see (and hear) for yourself what put these best-selling Gibson guitars on the map. There are lots of options here to choose from with models for every budget, style and skill level. Whether you opt for a reissue like the Gibson Custom 2015 1963 ES-335 Historic Block Reissue Electric or decide to go all out with an authentic vintage model, there's no doubt about it - ES-335 guitars are classics through and through.