Re: Weirdo Gibson ES-330TD

Posted by SGWM on Thu, 03/25/04 - 22:11:23.

: : My friend has a ES-330TD which he traded for a Fender Telecaster about 30 years ago with a friend whom bought the ES new from the store years earlier.
: : -2 chrome p-90 pickups
: : -neck joint at 15th fret (short neck)
: : -trapeze tailpiece
: : -kluson tuners
: : though..near to the cutaway below the white pickguard/scratchplate there is a fifth control : master volume control.
: : i've been crawling through the internet in order to find any info on this the manufacturing date and why this guitar has a fifth control...i can't find anything about this fifth control thingy!
: : any info is welcome !!

: I also have a Gibson ES-330TD and haven't been able to find out much about it. I received it as a wedding gift from a friend who had a flaky ex-roommate leave it behind as rent payment. This was over 10 years ago, I don't know it's origin before that.
: I don't have the original pick-ups and it's missing the pickguard.
: It does have the trapeze tailpiece and the short neck.

: The tuners say "S N deluxe"
: It does not have the fifth control.
: It has block inlays on the neck. Which is the original neck, as it has the ID # stamped on it. The only info I could find was in the Gibson Bluebook. It says they were made from 1959-1972 but that they had dot inlays.

: I'm sure it's not worth all that much because it's missing some parts, but it feels and sounds great and I'd like to know more about it.

: Does the fifth knob on yours look like original hardware or added later?

An ES330TD is a very nice wedding gift!
I bought a new bright blue ES330TD at Manny's in NYC in 1967 ($240--how times change), played lead guitar in a not-for-profit campus blues/rock band for a year or so, then sold it (big mistake) to a high school kid in 1970. True to the blue book, it had dot inlays on the neck. It had chrome pickups. The fifth control really is weird--mine didn't have it, nor have I seen it on other Gibsons, but I'm no guitar expert.
In the 1980's, a guitar shop owner told me my 330 was by then worth around $1500. I told him that was surprising, because mine, while pretty to look at, had been musically disappointing--it had a very bassy tone and limited treble for soloing, even when played through a Fender Super Reverb, an excellent lead guitar amp. Worst of all, it had bursts of screechy feedback when played loud. (My friend's ES335, with better pickups and better sound than mine, had the same feedback problem. He even tried stuffing rags into the f-holes to prevent it.) To be fair, my guitar had a pleasant tone (at moderate volume levels) and nice action, and would probably have done OK as a rhythm guitar--it just wasn't wired for soloing.
The guitar shop owner replied that my old 330 wasn't valuable for musical quality, but simply because Gibson had not made very many blue ones.
For what it's worth, an online guitar dealer has a cherry red 330TD pending sale for about 2 grand. (It has black plastic pickups, not chrome, which I think means it's older than my '67. Also, I think it has block inlays instead of dots.) So if you ever sell your old Gibson, get what it's worth. But if you like the way it plays and sounds, keep it; there are not many nicer guitars around.

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Re: Weirdo Gibson ES-330TD

Re 330's chrome covers were used on "67's but ALL "64+s ARE Block inlays NOT Dot..Blue is very rare..NO 330 had the 5th control only 345's & 355's with humbuckers...I Buy Gibson+Fender guitars mail my dgearATo(NOT Zero)
I will also give free advise on older gibsons,fenders & parts...Andy..

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