Gibson rocked the guitar world with the unveiling of its thinline, semi-acoustic ES-335 in 1958. The guitar was an overnight success, but for many players the most iconic ES-335 appeared in 1963 when the model was first updated—and became a true rock, blues, and jazz classic. Just mention “Clapton-spec ES-335” to any Cream fan, or check out the guitars played by Alvin Lee, Larry Carlton, or a myriad other legendary artists, and you’ll find an early to mid ’60s “block neck” ES-335 logging all those classic tones on stage and in the studio.
In recognition of this beloved rendition of the seminal semi-acoustic, Gibson Memphis introduces the 50th Anniversary ES-335, constructed in period-perfect detail to honor the archtop that rocked the world.
The 50th Anniversary ES-335 faithfully follows the unique specifications of the breed, including the arched, laminated maple top and back with spruce braces, cedar rim liners, and a maple center block with period-correct “window.” Its neck has an authentic ’63 profile and its dark, hand-selected rosewood fingerboard is inlaid with the pearloid blocks that distinguish it in the evolution of the 335. A pair of Burstbucker pickups, made in the tradition of the hallowed PAF humbucker, ensure classic tone; visually, the 50th Anniversary ES-335 looks just right in your choice of ’60s Cherry (50th Anniversary ES-335 TDC) or Historic Burst (50th Anniversary ES-335 TD), both in hand-sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer and treated to Gibson’s VOS process for a gently aged look. Vintage-correct aged binding, five-ply pickguard, and gold or black top-hat knobs (sunburst and cherry finishes, respectively) are the icing on the cake.
Relive the classic tones of the 50th Anniversary ES-335 today at your authorized Gibson Memphis dealer, and lay your hands on an overnight classic—50 years in the making.
Body and Neck
The 50th Anniversary ES-335 is patterned directly on the original guitars from ’63, with a body made from laminated maple with a solid, lightweight maple center block with correct “window.” Spruce braces and cedar rim liners complete the classic ingredients for plenty of warmth and resonance. The neck is carved from solid quarter-sawn mahogany to a period-correct ’63 profile, with a hand-selected dark rosewood fingerboard, block position markers, and vintage-style binding. The guitar’s nylon nut accurately represents guitars from ’63, while being cut on Gibson’s computer-controlled PLEK for optimum precision. The result is a guitar that both sounds and feels like a prized vintage ES-335 from the early to mid ’60s.
Pickups and Electronics
The 50th Anniversary 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 “Black Beauty” tone caps ensure an authentically vintage signal path all the way to the output.
To continue the historic accuracy of the 50th Anniversary ES-335, Gibson Memphis uses single-line Kluson™ tuners with double-ring tulip buttons, an ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge, and a lightweight aluminum stopbar tailpiece with old-style long-anchor studs—all nickel-plated and gently aged in Gibson’s VOS process. Period-correct ’63 five-ply pickguard and truss-rod cover, with historically accurate binding sizes and colors, are the finishing touches on an evocative vintage recreation.
Case and coverage
Every 50th Anniversary ES-335 comes protected in a black Gibson Historic hardshell case with yellow lining, and includes a Gibson Memphis Certificate of Authenticity as well as Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 customer service.