• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Gibson ES330 TD 1964, should I keep or sell??

Messages
1,334
Hey guys,
I recently acquired an original 1964 Gibson ES 330td that my dad bought extremely cheap from somone who just passed away. It has 2 P90's.

I haven't plugged it in yet, but playing it acoustically, it played like a dream.
It seems in despearate need of a fret dress form what I can see, but not much more.

I am not sure if this guitar will give me the tones that I am wanting these days.
I am looking for a guitar with some definite bite to it, but can play melodically. Think John Scofield or James Muller.
What do you guys think? Any advice would be great.
Thanks!!
 

skylabfilmpop

Member
Messages
554
If you need a player sell it, maybe drop $75 for a fret dress/setup. The money you make will get you partway to a good era (late 60's/early 80's) es-335 which is way more viable for the music you mentioned.
 

alanbass1

Member
Messages
1,166
My advice is try it through an amp and see if you like how it sounds. I wouldn't sell it until I gave it a run through. I have a '64 ES330 and it's great and very versatile; why stereotype guitars by saying you are better off with guitars / equipment that the people who play the type of music you play use. Trying something different will help you find your own voice within the genre.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,038
Jamming: Plug it in, plug it in to every amp you can find. I just last night got one, a '65. Being used to a 335, I was concentrating at first on the unplugged feel and sound, how it differs from the 335. Plugged in and forgot all about that stuff. It's the pickups ... as much bite or smooth as you'd care for. Now the question becomes how loud can I get this thing before it screams at me?

Give it a chance, really play it for a bit. If you find yourself loving what you hear, find it hard to stop playing the thing, chances are this is the guitar for you. And if it is, you'll find lots of ways to fit it into your music.
 

bizzwriter

Member
Messages
843
I bought a '67 ES-330 a year ago, and was thinking of selling it about a month ago -- I've got way too many guitars and have been thinning the herd. I hadn't really played it much -- just some noodling at home. So I decided to give it one last chance before ebay by bringing it with me to band practice. HOLY CRAP! What an unbelievably sweet, ballsy, gut stomping guitar! I will NEVER sell it -- it's a keeper.

If you need the $$$, sell it (but don't refret it -- just leave it all original so you maximize the value). You'll make some good money.

If you don't need the money, then try it first in a real-world situation and then decide. These '60s Gibsons are just going to keep going up in value.
 

Anthony M

Member
Messages
1,181
I love them so much, I have two: a Cherry red '67 and Walnut '71.

It's a no brainer. If it "plays like a dream" I would keep it. . They play like no other guitar. And don't let anyone tell you the Casino or 330 reissue are good replacement, incase you'd rather have the money and buy something like it and keep the difference for something else. I tried that as a back-up, but they're not the same at all. Your guitar has a life of it's own.

IT also depends on where you're at. My taste in music has changed through the years. 10 years ago, if I came across a ES-330, I wouldn't have been interested.

I hope you enjoy it. If not, I may be interested in having a third.

Good luck!
 
Messages
1,334
Thanks for the advice guys!! Lots of good things you guys said...
I am going to give it a shot for sure..I heard a guy play through this same guitar and to me, the sound was very weak and dry....although it could be how he liked it and the type of amplifier he was using...as long as I can get some bite out of it and some character, I am sure I am going to stick with it...I just don't want a lame "Jazz" guitar sound if you know what I mean...
 

Robal

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,418
I have a 1965 330 TD and it is not a "lame 'Jazz" guitar sound" when pushed through a good tube amp, like a vintage VOX. Old Gibson P90s can be great pickups. I did have to have the pickups wax potted to reduce feedback squeal, but perhaps my pickups were prone to that.
 

bizzwriter

Member
Messages
843
Thanks for the advice guys!! Lots of good things you guys said...
I am going to give it a shot for sure..I heard a guy play through this same guitar and to me, the sound was very weak and dry....although it could be how he liked it and the type of amplifier he was using...as long as I can get some bite out of it and some character, I am sure I am going to stick with it...I just don't want a lame "Jazz" guitar sound if you know what I mean...
Weak and dry? Oh, man -- you should have heard me at band practice last night! I had my ES-330 cranked through my '67 Princeton Reverb and original TS-808. It was ANYTHING but weak and dry. The electrical output of those old P-90 pickups is usually equal to or sometimes even more than a Gibson humbucker, and it drives an amp just as hard. Remarkable tone.
 

rastus

Member
Messages
1,531
I have a 60 330- I have used it in every way from really reedy blues tones to pure jazz lushness to Marshall halfstack feedback insanity. If I want to make it sound dry and tiny, I can. It can do just about anything, so my advice would be: get a fret dress, play it through a variety of amps, and don't look a gift horse in the mouth!

As an aside, I recently bought a 64 SG special from a young guy that had it given to him by a family member. He complained that the sound was "weak and thin" and wanted $$ for more of a "rock guitar". A week later the same guy calls-he spent the cash on a PRS McCarty. He still complained about the guitar sounding "weak and thin" I asked him about what kind of amp he had-his reply? "a really good one-Crate halfstack!"

Go Figure.
 




Top Bottom