About Gibson ES-335 Semi-hollowbody Electric Guitars
The Gibson ES-335 (along with variants like the ES-345 and ES-355) has proven to be one of the most versatile and successful electric guitar models ever produced. When originally introduced in 1958, it was intended as a crossover between the large, hollow body jazz guitars of the '40s and '50s, and the fairly recently developed solidbody electrics that were gaining popularity, such as Fender's Telecaster and Stratocaster (released in the early '50s), and Gibson's own Les Paul (introduced in 1952). While the large hollow body guitars had a rich, smooth tone, they were prone to feedback when amplified. The solidbody electrics, on the other hand, produced very little feedback under normal conditions with the smaller amplifiers of the time, but lacked some of the warm, round tones of the jazz boxes.
Gibson's solution harkened back to Les Paul's initial experiments with designing electric guitars, by constructing the guitar around a solid wood block running through the center of the body, from the neck to the tailpiece. The top, back and side edges were made of laminated tonewood. The left and right of sides of the guitar, then, were essentially hollow "wings" with f-holes. With a set neck (i.e., glued in, rather than bolted on), a hardtail bridge, and a pair of Gibson's newly-developed dual-coil humbucking pickups, the guitar was like nothing else before it. The humbuckers provided rich, warm tones and tons of sustain, without the susceptibility to electrical interference or the sometimes harsh and biting tones common to single-coil pickups. The semi-hollow construction gave it a more lush, rounded tone than a solidbody, but without the feedback issues of the hollow bodies, and the thinline profile made it more comfortable to play.
The ES-335 proved to be an incredibly versatile guitar, and soon became a favorite among jazz, blues and rock guitarists, and has been in continuous production since it was introduced. For instance, jazzer Lee Ritenour is a 335 fan, and Larry Carlton has become so closely associated with his favored axe that he is called "Mr. 335" Blues players like T-Bone Walker and Otis Rush got way down and dirty with their 335s, and BB King's legendary Lucille is a Gibson ES-355, basically an upgraded version without the f-holes. And rockers from Eric Clapton and Keith Richards to Alvin Lee and Joe Bonamassa have found the 335 to be just as brawny as it can be subtle.
Today, the Gibson ES-335 is available in a variety of configurations to suit any style of music. From the simply elegant 335 Dot Plain-top to the 1959 Reissue and the stunning Custom Shop Joe Bonamassa Signature 335, Musician's Friend has the sweet semi-hollowbody guitar that's waiting to take you anywhere your fingers want to go.
Previous Gibson ES-335 Models
Gibson ES-335 1959 Reissue
One year after its introduction in 1958, the ES-335 settled on its classic configuration. Many players prefer the 1959 rounded neck profile, which is a little heftier than the models produced after mid-1962, giving you plenty to hold onto. The fretboard dots--rather than the later bars--distinctively mark this Custom Shop re-creation as a 1959 model. Perfect to the last detail, this world-class semi-hollowbody is indistinguishable in every way from the 335s that rolled off the line in '59. It's even made on the exact same forms used then. This model benefits from Gibson Custom's 20th Anniversary Specifications, newly adopted for 2013. These include a one-piece rosewood fingerboard, Kluson Deluxe machine heads, hot-hide glue neck fit, a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing, accurate body and fingerboard binding color and new Custom Buckers modeled after the original PAFs.
Gibson ES-335 Dave Grohl Signature
Built to the specs of a great vintage ES-335, the Dave Grohl Signature model also exhibits visual characteristics of the Trini Lopez model of the 60s. It's a guitar that Dave has played on several Foo Fighter tours and recordings. The foundation follows the familiar laminated maple top and back, with a solid maple core with cedar rim liners, with characteristic diamond f-holes in the guitars top like the Trini model that inspired it. The mahogany neck is glued in with a historic large mortise-and-tenon joint, and has a hand-selected dark, one-piece rosewood fingerboard with acrylic split-diamond inlays and a Corian nut cut to perfection on the PLEK. A superb playing feel is assured by a neck profile with optimum comfort, with stand-out looks from the striking Firebird-style six-a-side headstock. Stellar tone from mean to mellow is assured by a pair of Grohl's preferred Burstbucker pickups, a #2 in the neck and a hotter #3 in the bridge, with the classic control assembly and hardware complement.
Gibson ES-335 Chris Cornell Signature
The original thinline semi-hollow electric is given a clever tweak. The Chris Cornell ES-335 from Gibsons Memphis division captures Cornell-certified looks and appointments in a great new ES-335 built with full Gibson quality and tradition behind it. The legendary and original thinline semi-hollow electric is given a clever tweak with a pair of Jason Lollar's Lollartron pickups, for that fat-but-jangly late 50s to early 60s humbucker-fired twang that fuels Chris Cornell's tone. From its superbly original tones to its stunningly distinctive looks, the Chris Cornell ES-335 is a powerful new performer from Gibson Memphis.
Gibson Custom ES-335 Custom 1963 Historic Block Reissue
The precision Gibson Custom Shop 1963 ES-335 Historic Block Reissue Electric Guitar is identical in every way to the original. In mid-1962 Gibson's fantastically popular thinline semihollow wonder machine adopted a thinner, faster neck profile and gorgeous pearloid block inlays to enhance the rosewood fretboard. The reissue Gibson 1963 ES-335 guitar is made on the original forms by some of the world's finest luthiers. This model benefits from Gibson Custom's 20th Anniversary Specifications, newly adopted for 2013. These include a one-piece rosewood fingerboard, Kluson Deluxe machine heads, hot-hide glue neck fit, a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing, accurate body and fingerboard binding color and new Custom Buckers created in the image of the original PAFs.
Gibson ES-335 Roy Orbison Signature
Roy Orbison covered a wide range of musical styles, from rockabilly to straight-ahead rock to soaring ballads. It's not surprising that he chose the Gibson ES-335 for it's versatility and reliability. This Roy Orbison 335 features the classic semi-hollowbody design and dual '57 Classic humbuckers that combine to produce everything from full-bodied growls to singing sustain. The Roy Orbison 335 also features a mahogany, thin tapered 1960s neck and rosewood fingerboard (24-3/4" scale), single-ply creme binding, nickel-plated hardware with vintage tulip tuners, ABR-1 bridge with TP-6 tailpiece, separate volume and tone controls, and a 3-way switch. Pearloid dot inlays on the fingerboard, a holly inlay on the headstock, and an engraved Roy Orbison signature on the truss rod cover complete the timeless look.
Gibson Custom Alvin Lee "Big Red" ES-335
A semi-hollow icon that shined at Woodstock. Lee's Gibson 1959 ES-335 sported a faster '60s block inlay neck and an added pickup in the center position. When he cranked out the scorching solo to "Going Home" at Woodstock, his iconic axe became preserved for all time on celluloid. Here it is in the flesh, reproduced with utmost precision right down to the cool stickers and faded cherry finish.