Gibson 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335

Gibson celebrates the 50th anniversary of the '63 "block neck" ES-335 with a high-end replica for modern players.

Gibson 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335

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The new 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335 mimics the instrument that helped define the semi-hollow rock sound, as used by Clapton in Cream, Alvin Lee and Larry Carlton to name a few.

First introduced in 1958, the ES-335 gained its popularity in rock, blues and jazz when the first updated model was released on 1963. Now Gibson Memphis, the division tasked on producing ES style guitars, decides to bring back this version with "period-perfect detail to honor the archtop that rocked the world".

The guitar comes with a laminated maple body carved into the familiar "Mickey mouse" double cutaway shape. The top is arched like the original and it features a lightweight maple center block. Gibson used cedar rim liners and spruce braces to ensure that the guitar is a worthy tribute.

The neck is carved from quarter-sawn mahogany, and strictly follows the '63 neck profile. It is topped by a hand-selected dark rosewood fingerboard, which features block fret markers - a distinguishing mark of the 1963 ES-335. The nut is made of nylon to accurately represent those found on the original, while the fretboard and the body is wrapped with vintage-style bindings to further emphasize its shape and aesthetics.

The guitar comes with a BurstBucker 1 in the neck and a slightly hotter BurstBucker 2 in the bridge position. These pickups are made from Alnico II magnets and slightly mismatched to mimic the PAF humbuckers found on '60s era vintage Gibsons. The coils are unpotted and wound with 42 AWG wire, to reproduce the throaty tone associated with this semi-acoustic guitar. To make the electronics vintage correct, the guitar comes with CTS potentiometers and Black Beauty tone caps.

The guitar's nickel-plated hardware also strictly adheres to the design used on vintage instruments. Gibson Memphis opted for single line Kluson tuners with double-ring tulip buttons, an ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and a lightweight aluminum stopbar tailpiece. The hardware used are all gently aged using Gibson's VOS process. A period-correct five-ply pickguard and truss-rod cover wraps up the guitar's features.

The MSRP for the Gibson Memphis 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335 is $5,292. It is currently available in two finishes, Historic Burst and 60's Cherry. Visit Gibson for more details.

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