A detail-perfect tribute to one of the best years.
Few electric guitars have achieved such instant acclaim—across such a broad range of musical genres—as Gibson’s ES-335. Unveiled in 1958, the ES-335 was designed as a “best of both worlds” electric that married more than half a century of Gibson archtop tradition to the latest electric guitar innovations. Daring in both design and execution, guitarists recognized immediately that the ES-335 was a new type of guitar for a new type of guitarist.
To celebrate what is widely regarded as the most coveted ES-335 ever produced, Gibson Memphis presents the 1959 ES-335TD and ES-335TDN. These guitars have been painstakingly recreated from a pristine example of an original 1959 ES-335 with iconic “Mickey Mouse Ear” cutaways. Accurate digitization, combined with a complex matrix of measurements. created the basis for new presses dedicated to this superb reissue.
From this foundation, the use of the most accurate woods and components ever employed in the production of a recreated ES-335 makes the 1959 ES-335TD and ES-335TDN the closest experience possible to owning the original. The guitar is available in genuine nitrocellulose lacquer finish in either Historic Burst (ES-335TD) or Antique Natural (ES-335TDN), treated in Gibson’s proprietary VOS process for a gently aged look and feel.
Just for the 1959 ES-335, Gibson Memphis selected “blistered” maple veneer for the tops and backs, as seen on some of the most beautiful examples of these guitars in the late ’50s. Other historically accurate constructional details include quarter-sawn Adirondack Spruce braces; a solid, light maple center block with no “window”; cedar rim liners; and the use of hot-hide glue for all wood joints critical to resonance and sustain. A perfect recreation of the finest ’59 neck profile with gently rounded binding edges achieves that unparalleled vintage playing feel, while period-correct hardware and appointments, and of course a pair of great PAF-style humbucking pickups, complete the package. All together, the 1959 ES-335 is simply a stunning tribute to one of the world’s greatest electric guitars, and a must-have for the player and collector alike.
Body and Neck
The 1959 ES-335 is patterned more closely than any previous reissue after an excellent example of an original vintage 1959. The body is made from laminated “blistered” maple with a solid, lightweight maple center block, quarter-sawn Adirondack Spruce braces, and cedar rim liners, all joined with hot-hide glue for optimum resonance. The neck is carved from solid quarter-sawn mahogany to a precisely-measured full, round ’59 profile, with binding gently hand shaped, or “rolled,” into the hand-selected dark rosewood fingerboard with simple dot position markers. The result is a guitar that feels like it has been played on the great classic of blues and rock’n’roll for more than five decades.
Pickups and Electronics
The 1959 ES-335 is equipped with two of Gibson’s finest reproductions of the original hallowed PAF humbuckers--a BurstBucker 1 in the neck position, and a slightly hotter BurstBucker 2 in the bridge. Made with genuine Alnico II magnets and slightly mismatched, unpotted coils wound with 42 AWG wire, these pickups translate the guitar’s sonic splendor into the throaty warmth and singing overdrive of the finest ES-335s ever made. CTS™ potentiometers with “Bumblebee” tone caps ensure an authentically vintage signal path from pickups to output jack.
Hardware and Plastics
To continue the historic accuracy of the 1959 ES-335, Gibson Memphis uses single-ring Kluson™ tuners, a nylon nut, original “no wire” ABR Bridge, and a lightweight aluminum stopbar tailpiece with old-style long-anchor studs; this provides the additional wood-to-metal contact the originals had for optimum transference of string vibration to the body. All hardware is nickel-plated, and gently aged in Gibson’s VOS process. Period-correct ’59 pickguard and truss-rod covers, along with historically accurate binding sizes and colors, are the finishing touches on an extremely accurate vintage recreation.
Case and coverage
Every 1959 ES-335 comes protected in a historically accurate tan hardshell case with pink lining, and includes a Gibson Memphis Certificate of Authenticity.