(SOLD) Gibson ES-335 Dot Figured Cherry 1995
Gibson ES-335 Dot, cherry red, made in USA 1995. This is a magnificent instrument. The ES-335 launched in 1958 and found favour with all sorts of iconic players over the decades, from Freddie King to Eric Clapton to Chris Cornell. This one dates to 1995... longtime Topshelfers will know we like a 90s Gibson around here, and it's because they're generally very good. It wasn't that long since Gibson was purchased back from overlords Norlin in 1986, and then-saviours Henry Juszkiewicz and David Berryman were making serious progress getting the quality control and catalog back on track. This particular example was originally imported to and sold in Japan by Yamano, but it has also spent some time in USA with the previous owner; I get the impression it was a hard-working guitar for quite some time. The bridge and capacitors were replaced at some point, and the original pickups were also swapped out. It's now blessed with a set of Jimmy Wallace PAF humbuckers. Mr Wallace is the brains behind one of USA's most prestigious vintage guitar stores, regularly trading in $100k+ vintage pieces that the rest of us can only dream of. His pickups are based on the original vintage examples, as many others are, but Jimmy's up-close-and-personal knowledge of how these guitars are supposed to sound allows a level of detail and nuance that you won't get out a mainstream pickup. The neck pickup is open, sweet and full, with a juicy body in the low end and plenty of dynamic range and zest in the highs. The bridge pickup is breathy, wide and eloquent, with a richness and punch through the bass and a generous dose of meat and gravy when played hard. It's hard to summarise the detail, depth and responsiveness of this guitar, it really does sound remarkable. There's some rewarding grain patterns on show in the figured top and back, and with a respectable dose of genuine playwear and aging on the clock, this has plenty of visual presence about it. If you've always wanted a cherry red 335, I'm confident that this one will be every bit as good and more as you imagined such a glory could be.
Model: Gibson ES-335
Made: USA, 1995 (serial 91395516)
Finish: cherry, gloss nitro, figured maple top/back
Body: maple/poplar/maple 3-ply top/back/sides, arched top, maple centre block, spruce bracing, 42mm thinline depth
Neck: one piece mahogany, rosewood fretboard, 24.75" scale, 12" radius, moderate C shape
Mods: pickups, capacitors and bridge replaced, originals not included
Pickups: Jimmy Wallace PAF humbucker x2 (more info here)
Case: Gibson brown/pink hard case, excellent quality and good condition
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some dimples on the end, a bunch of scuffs and marks on the front, scuffs on the top and bottom sides and a surface scratch near the serial. The neck has some notable rub wear on the back all the way up and down the neck, including some dimples, but dang, it feels good to me. The back has some dimples in the middle of the body, elbow area and bottom corner, as well as widespread minor scuffs and surface scratches around the whole body; no major marks. The sides have minor dimples and scuffs around the whole body but no major marks. The front has some dimples around the tailpiece and knobs, scuffs along the back edge and elbow area, some checking lines around a lot of the body and some normal play wear on the guard and horns. Overall: very good condition (7/10).
Playing condition notes: neck is straight, intonation is good, action is low, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. The frets have some normal wear, including minor pitting, but they're in reasonable order with no major buzz issues, 6/10 for life left. No headstock breaks. Wearing fresh 11/49 Moonshiners strings.