The top-of-the-line model in the semi-hollow Electric Spanish series, the Gibson ES-355 is the Cadillac of the electric guitar. Two humbuckers, Varitone switch, vibrato tailpiece, stereo wiring, bold pearl inlays, gold hardware, iconic and unmistakable cherry red finish: the ES-355 is a guitar that turns heads, commands respect, and backs it up with classic Gibson tone.
Although it sports a ’61 serial number, this Gibson ES-355TDSV conforms to 1960 specifications. Because of that, it has a Bigsby tailpiece, Grover Rotomatic tuners, and the earlier long pickguard that extends past its ABR-1 bridge. With two gold-plated P.A.F.s under the hood, this ES-355 absolutely smokes.
This ’61 ES-355TD features its original, unaltered Stereo wiring with Varitone switch. It is in excellent condition. It has some expected playwear and worn gold-plated hardware, but it is fairly clean all around with no significant cosmetic issues. As for repair, the neck has had some overspray, and its original pickguard has been reinforced, requiring a second drill hole next to the neck pickup (concealed by the pickguard when it is in place). As for non-original parts, it has a modern bone nut, and the 3rd-string saddle has been replaced in its original ABR-1 bridge. Apart from those two parts, everything appears to be original and matches ’60 specs. The pots date to the 27th week of 1960. This guitar plays well in spite of its original frets.
This 1961 Gibson ES-355TD Stereo & Varitone is a collectible piece of Gibson history. It includes its original “California Girl” case, which has a fairly worn handle but is clean otherwise. When it comes to vintage guitars, this ES-355 is about as cool as it gets. Why pay thousands more for a P.A.F. 335 when this one has so much more mojo? Hard to say if we’ll ever see another one as good as this one.
Please call (970) 728-9592 or send us an e-mail, and we’ll tell you more with the guitar in-hand.