Vintage Vault: 1967 Gibson ES-330TD
Here’s American-made glory: an excellent-condition 1967 Gibson ES-330TD teamed with a 1968 Fender Super Reverb. It’s a classic combination for blues, jazz, and rock tones.

A hollowbody thinline guitar with a sound that appealed to jazz players.

The groundbreaking double-cutaway thinline electric guitar series initiated by Gibson with the ES-335 in 1958 extended to both upper- and lower-end models by 1959. These included the higher-priced, gold-hardware-outfitted ES-345 and ES-355, as well as the student-level ES-330T, ES-330TD, ES-125TC, and ES-125TCD. (The “D” was used to denote a double-pickup model.) The ES-330 shared the same body dimensions as the ES-335, ES-345, and ES-355, but had a very different interior construction. Rather than having a semi-hollow body, the ES-330 was fully hollow, similar to the original 1955 thinlines like the ES-350T and ES-225. In spite of the ES-330’s low price, the high quality and deep sound made it a favorite of jazz guitarists. Grant Green was perhaps the most notable proponent of the ES-330 sound.

Rather than having a semi-hollow body, the ES-330 was fully hollow, similar to the original 1955 thinlines like the ES-350T and ES-225.

The 1966 Gibson catalog text describes the guitar, stressing the correlation to the ES-335: “A wonderful instrument with truly magical tone, available with twin adjustable pickups. The double-cutaway body and thin silhouette make it wonderfully easy to hold and play.” The catalog also outlines the basic appointments: “Constructed from the finest curly maple and rosewood. Chrome-plated metal parts. Slim, fast, low-action neck joins the body at 16th fret. One-piece mahogany neck, adjustable truss rod.”

Note the block inlays, chrome P-90 covers and trapeze tailpiece, and the sparkling burgundy finish—all era-perfect appointments of the 1967 ES-330TD. The “TD” stands for thinline, double-pickup.

The ES-330 pictured has the standard features for 1967, including a rosewood fretboard with block inlays (changed from dot inlays after mid 1962), two single-coil P-90 pickups with chrome covers (the original black plastic covers were changed to nickel-plated metal in 1962, and to chrome-plated by 1965), a Tune-o-matic bridge with nylon saddles, and a chrome-plated trapeze tailpiece. Sparkling burgundy was a standard color for that year, along with sunburst, and sherry. The 1967 list price was $365. The current value for one in excellent all-original condition is $3,500.

This thin-faced, beveled headstock and Kluson tuners are also signatures common to many low- and
mid-priced 1960s Gibsons.

The amp behind the guitar is a 1968 Fender Super Reverb. The front panel has a “normal” channel, with volume, treble, and bass knobs, and a “vibrato” channel with volume, treble, middle, bass, reverb, speed, and intensity controls. Two 6L6 power tubes push 40 watts through four 10" Oxford speakers. The 1968 list price was $429.50. The current value for the amp is $1,500.

Sources for this article include Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years by A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Shipment Totals: 1937-1979 by Larry Meiners, The Gibson 335: Its History and Its Players by Adrian Ingram, and Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years by John Teagle and John Sprung.

Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.

Read MoreShow less

Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.

Read MoreShow less

Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.

Read MoreShow less

The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.

Read MoreShow less