The Gibson ES-335 was undeniably one of the most important new guitar designs released in the 1950s. It was the world’s first “semi-hollow body” electric guitar offering the best of both worlds, and curing the feedback problems that had plagued electric hollow bodies.

Gibson had first started offering ES guitars back in 1936, right in the midst of the Great Depression. ES stands for Electric Spanish, differentiating the guitars from the popular EH “Electric Hawaiian” series of lap steel guitars.

Above Video: This clip from Reverb shows the legendary Gibson ES-335 in action, showcasing its unique semi-hollow body sound.

The Gibson ES-300 debuted in 1958, it was similar to the hollow body ES designs that had come before, but it now had an internal solid maple center-block with two hollow sections on either side with sound holes.

This semi-hollow body design had a unique sound, and it soon became the go-to guitar for some of the greatest artists of the era, including BB King, Chuck Berry, and a young man named Marty McFly from Hill Valley who famously played one at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance in 1955.

The numerical designation after the ES prefix initially denoted the cost of the guitar in USD. So the ES-335 cost $335, the earlier ES-175 had cost $175, and so on.

The structure of the ES-300 series has remained largely unchanged in the decades since it debuted, with a three-ply Maple, Poplar, Maple top, Spruce bracing, a three-ply Maple, Poplar, Maple back, a solid maple center-block, a Mahogany neck with a Rosewood fretboard, and a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer.

The Gibson ES-335 Sixties Cherry model shown here has a classic nickel finish, vintage deluxe keystone buttons a calibrated T-Type rhythm beck pickup and a calibrated T-Type lead pickup at the bridge. It’s finished in “Sixties Cherry” with a single-ply cream binding and medium jumbo frets.

Gibson ES-335 Sixties Cherry Back

Sadly due to inflation, the days of the Gibson ES-335 costing just $335 USD are long gone, the model now retails for almost 10 times this much at $3,499 USD. It can be bought direct from Gibson who offer financing with Klarna if required, as well as a full 3-year warranty.

Visit The Store

Gibson ES-335 Sixties Cherry Side

Published by Ben Branch -