* Smokin' Original 1960 Blonde Gibson ES-330 from OK Guitars *

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by sgt_steiner, Sep 2, 2017.


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  1. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    Massive thanks to Charlie Gelber at OK Guitars for helping make my dream of owning a legit vintage blonde Gibson ES-330 a reality.

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    If you're not familiar with Charile (or his killer ES-335.org website) he's largely considered the foremost authority on vintage Gibson hollows and semi-hollows in the world, having owned, played or sold somewhere in the neighborhood of SIX HUNDRED of them. That's right, my friends, not a misprint :) I've been conversing with Charlie and following his site for a couple years now, and when I saw this listing late one night, I knew my ship had finally come in.

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    One great thing about Charlie, he's about as straight a shooter as they come -- a man after my own heart. He ran everything down for me and with every detail my confidence grew. Was this, finally, gasp!, The One? Early '60's wide/thin neck profile. Monster screaming original P90's (9.2K bridge, 8.45K neck). Weigh = 5 lbs. 13 oz. (Hallelujah, yes!) Scale from 1 to 10, he estimated this beauty was a 9+. "Bright, lively and LOUD", was his description. "As good a 330 as he's ever had."

    And this is coming from a man not prone to exaggeration. Then, of course, there were her looks...

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    After decades playing and collecting everything under the sun, I fell in love with Gibson hollow/semi-hollows over the past year. Picking up a sick Warren Haynes 335 is what started the brushfire, and an outstanding '61 Cherry 330 is what hooked me on the hollow bodies. I'd forgotten how FANTASTIC vintage P90's sounds, especially in the neck with a little overdrive. The resulting cream factor is simply off the charts. Are they noisier than 335's with buckers? Hell, yes. Does it bother me? Not in the slightest. The trade-off? A guitar weighing approx. 6 lbs. instead of a 335's 8 lbs.

    Added bonus -- her rarity. Gibson only made 79 Blondes in 1959, and 215 in 1960. A grand total of just 294 of these heart-stoppers ever left the factory. As Charlie himself posted recently -- "The best example of a very rare guitar that is desirable but is vastly underpriced is a blonde 59 or 60 ES-330."

    (Full post -- http://www.es-335.org/2017/08/16/upside-down-market/)

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    What I really love about this guitar is that it was clearly well-played and well-loved over the past half-century. She has all the earmarks of someone's beloved #1, with a ton of honest playwear but zero abuse. IMHO, this is the best of all worlds for vintage pieces. If she wasn't a killer guitar, she never would've been played this much in the first place. As many of us have encountered, those decades of playing and gigging call forth a tone and mojo that closet queens rarely -- if ever -- possess.

    THANKS AGAIN, CHARLIE! You've helped yet another vintage gear addict reach unexpected heights, my friend :)

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  2. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    Amazing drop dead gorgeous guitar. I thought the Blond looks was
    limited to ES-335s. Makes sense that Gibson would also put some ES-330s out.
     
  3. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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  4. Jayyj

    Jayyj Member

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    Awesome. And yes, CG is the man when it comes to 335s - his blog has contributed a huge amount to general understanding of the 335 family and its quirks.
     
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  5. spaceman39

    spaceman39 Member

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    That's a true beauty! Congrats and enjoy that fine guitar.
     
  6. Tidewater Custom Shop

    Tidewater Custom Shop Performance Enhancing Guitarworks Supporting Member

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    I just love a blonde... and yours is simply incredible looking. The back of the neck checking is forgivable considering the vintage, and I'll bet the overall playability and tone is glorious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  7. slipbeer

    slipbeer Supporting Member

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    That is one very sweet guitar.

    You're a lucky guy to get that one.
     
  8. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    My god that's something. I would play the heck out of that. Well done!!
     
  9. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Supporting Member

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    Dude, you scored like a mofo. Congrats.
     
  10. telelion

    telelion Member

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    I salute you on this rare bird Sarge. I grew up with a vintage ES-335, my first exposure to a high quality guitar as my best friend had one and still does but I have never had the experience of playing/hearing an ES type with P90's. Your sound description is pretty much what I would envision which can't be obtained with any other pickup that I know of but with a ES type it must really be off the charts as you say.
     
  11. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, fellas. Just so we're clear -- this was no walk in the park. I had to move a Holy Grail guitar to get her, my franchise player, so to speak. But in the end -- given what I'm playing and plugging into these days -- it just made sense. Can't thank Charlie enough for making it happen.
     
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  12. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    Killer guitar: I believe I already a little drooling of my own over this one when Charlie put it up on his web site. I bet it sounds incredible.

    Charlie is not only a legit authority on Gibson ES guitars, he's also a good guy. He was very helpful and willing to share his knowledge when I was looking for advice before purchasing my 1968 335, even though he wasn't the seller. He has some great guitars for sale, though. Maybe one day I'll be able to visit his shop and commit an act of financial folly.
     
  13. TPC168

    TPC168 Member

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    Wow! Marvelous blonde! Play it in good health!
     
  14. mcuguitar

    mcuguitar Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Stunning guitar, and you weren't kidding about the original condition!
     
  15. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Awwwwwww...NICE!

    My first "good" guitar was a '67 330 and I was born in '60 so that's my holy grail "birth year" guitar right there. Congrats.
     
  16. sidekick

    sidekick Supporting Member

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    Wow! ... What a lovely example of a 'played but loved' classic vintage ES 330 Gibson guitar ... Used to own a cherry '60 335 with the 'wide-thin' neck which I felt was very comfortable and quite uniform in profile all the way up the neck ... No real need to say 'enjoy', as I'm sure you will ... :)
     
  17. EBW

    EBW Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh my, if I had just seen Charlie's listing before you did, I most likely would be making posts similar to yours. This beauty is one of a very few that that could temp me to break my 'no more guitars' rule! BTW, I'm sure my wife agrees!;) Congrats and enjoy!
    :beer
     
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  18. blackspider57

    blackspider57 Member

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    The great things about this guitar, is you can hang it on the wall and enjoy it's beauty
    and then take it down and play it.
    Try doing that with a painting!
    Just stunning!!!!!
    Play and enjoy it.
     
  19. sgt_steiner

    sgt_steiner Supporting Member

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    @EBW -- Suffice to say, I'm very, very, VERY glad I beat you to her :) And yeah, I had to break my own "no more guitars" rule to get her done. LOL. Thanks for the kind words, my friend!
     
  20. guitarman_1

    guitarman_1 Silver Supporting Member

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    That is one beautiful piece of history there!. How does it sound with the mighty 15 waters.
    Notice, I didn't mention the brands. LOL
     
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