NGD: 1963 Murphy Lab Gibson ES 335 Pelham Blue M2M (Updated with new photos)


I’ve been hunting for a unique and glorious ES 335 for a while now, running the digital racks all over the world. In my travels I decided I didn’t want a red/cherry version, or a black one- I wanted something a little different. I’m not a relic fan but I kept coming back to this Pelham Blue Light-aged Murphy Lab edition in a store in Germany. I actually bought the guitar through reverb, then got cold feet called the store and cancelled the order and got a refund. The idea of a relic just put me off. Then I had this terrible sense of remorse and FOMO and called the dealer and repurchased the guitar!

Thank goodness I did.

This guitar is wonderful. The colour is superb, the relic job adds something I just can’t explain. It makes you want to play the absolute cr?p out of it. The execution of the checking is brilliant- it looks like a beautiful old guitar and plays like a modern masterpiece.

The neck feels wide and thin to me, the finish texture on the neck provides a useful ‘guide’ for the left hand.

The setup is the best in any guitar I’ve purchased, the action super low with no buzzing.

This is an elite-level instrument and I absolutely love it EXCEPT….

The Custombuckers…they are A3 magnets. I find them way to polite and lacking in harmonic content and grunt. I lined them up against a few of my favourite guitars and I found them bland and quite muddy for low output PUs. This is my second experience with Custombuckers - they didn’t last a week in my R9.

After some research and a chat to Wolfe I installed Wolfetone Marshallheads (A5) front and rear and coil splits.

This guitar is now an absolute all rounder. I can get freaking awesome single coil sounds that border on P90 territory, the full grunt of a HB bridge, and a neck pickup that can handle sweet clean tones at 7, and Slash solos at 10.

I love this thing.

Here is a quick photo I took on the fly- I’ll upload better ones later.

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That's a gorgeous guitar. I just very recently purchased a new '64 ES-335 reissue in Vintage burst, and I've never had a better sounding guitar.

I on the other hand really really like the Custombuckers, so one's mileage may vary :) I did also try a couple of other ES-335 models, and e.g. the '59 I tried was dark and honky. Too much so, for my liking, same pickups.

Daniel C

Congrats! Love it! I dig the Custombuckers but really loved the Memphis-line HBs. Wish they'bring those back.


Welcome to the club. I recently received a watermelon red M2M '59 355 ultra light aged Murphy Lab. I waited almost a year from when I ordered it, until I received it.

Your Pelham blue 335 is gorgeous. I hope you truly keep enjoying it. :)


Silver Supporting Member
Personally I’m not usually into blue guitars but that looks really nice!

I recently got a Murphy Lab SG and I too was not crazy about the A3 Custom Buckers. Still searching for just the right set of humbuckers for this guitar.

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