Gibson Custom ES-330 Long-Neck
This thinline, hollowbody guitar was made in conjunction with the Gibson Memphis Custom Shop, and incoporates “best of” qualities from previous models and enhancements never before found on an ES-330.
The revolutionary launch of the Gibson ES-330 in 1959 represented a turning point in the field of hollowbody electric guitars with its unique combination of value and musicality.
Gibson first introduced the guitar with a single pickup as an alternative to the single cutaway ES-225. The single pickup version was eventually phased out in 1963 though the ES-330 remained in production until 1972. Since then, Gibson has continued to develop the instrument and the newest incarnation of the ES-330 embodies superior craftsmanship and acoustic character.
Famous Musicians Who Have Played the Gibson ES-330:
1. Grant Green, jazz guitarist, played a sunburst dual-pickup ES-330
2. B.B. King, bluesman, used an ES-330 in the late 1960s
3. Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones played an ES-330 in the late 1960s
4. Keith Richards used one in studio sessions and in concert in 1968 and 1969
5. Elliott Smith, singer/songwriter used an ES-330 in concert
6. Bernard Sumner of New Order plays a sunburst, mid-1960s Gibson 330TD
Gibson Custom ES-330 Long-Neck Electric Guitar Features:
Sustain and Musical Feedback. The ES-330’s lightweight body construction produces impressive resonance. More acoustic in nature than other electric guitars, the Gibson ES-330 guitar provides a balanced voice with more power than other hollowbody guitars. The sum and difference of the top and back create an explosion of acoustical energy with a midrange that exhibits a sweet spot at every fret. This results in an ability to produce a wide dynamic range of musical feedback. The ES-330 starts feeding back at a lower volume threshold so players have tremendous control over that feedback and can incorporate it into their tone library.
Long neck. The Gibson ES-330’s 30/60 long-neck profile increases malleability for vibrato. It’s made from one piece of a preferred, Honduran mahogany. The neck has a long, narrow tenon for extra strength and resonance.
P-90 Pickups and Three-Way Switching. The ES-330 guitar has vintage-style, dog-ear P-90 pickups in both the bridge and neck positions with independent volume and tone controls for each. A three-way pickup selector switch allows the selection of either pickup independently or both pickups combined. The ES-330 has the same great pairing of features–dog-ear P-90 pickups and hollowbody construction–as the Epiphone Casinos used by the Beatles to provide the punch on recordings such as “Taxman” and “Paperback Writer,” and most of the electric guitar tracks on Sgt. Pepper.
Modified Bridge Pickup Placement. The bridge pickup is a fraction of an inch further from the bridge than on some of the iconic ES-330s and Casinos, Epiphone’s counterpart. This minor change increases tone and volume according to vintage guitar expert Dave Carpenter of Musician’s Friend’s Premium Stringed Instrument division. “My team believes that the bridge pickup is a primary reason the guitar sounds so great. The pickup position is superior to some of the earlier guitars. This feature along with the pickup riser helps to solve some of the pickup performance disparity between the bridge and neck pickups as found on the vintage ES-330 and Casino guitars.”
Laminate Top. The ES-330’s top is crafted from plies of maple-poplar-maple and shaped on the same laminate press with which Gibson crafted the original 1959 ES-330 and its successors. The one-of-a-kind heat press applies significant heat and about 2,000 pounds per inch pressure in a proprietary process unequaled in the world of instrument building. Today, Gibson uses the same unique machine and exclusive proprietary process they have used since the 1940s.
Bridge Posts Threaded to Guitar Body. The Gibson ES-330 Guitar is the first fully hollowbody Gibson guitar with bridge posts threaded directly into the top, giving the strings’ vibrating energy a much more direct path to the resonant top.
Spruce Contour Brace. The Gibson ES-330 guitar was also the first production hollowbody electric guitar to use the unique spruce contour brace (developed for the newly created ES-335) giving the guitar unique acoustic properties.
No Center Block. The ES-330 dispenses with the maple center block found on earlier incarnations. This adds more resonance while reducing the guitar’s weight.
Similarities Between the ES-335 and ES-330:
The ES-335 and ES-330 in general incorporate the same technology in the top, back, and sides of the body. Both share an ABR-1 bridge, considered one of the most musical electric guitar bridges. The bridge posts are threaded directly onto the top of the guitars.
Both guitars have independent volume and tone control for each pickup and a three-way selector switch.
Hardware was nickel-plated on both models between 1959 and 1964, changing to chrome plating during 1965.
The control layout has generally been the same for both guitars over the years, although the internal wiring scheme and exact components have changed over the years.
Not officially a “reissue,” the Custom Shop ES-330 Long Neck will apparently be adorned with period-correct extras like black plastic dog-eared pickup covers and a 17° angled headstock, while also sporting a number of new enhancements.
Unique features are expected to include a period-correct 1-11/16″ Corian nut (for extra strength, durability, and sustain,) a set of premium tulip button tuners, and of course the instrument’s namesake long neck profile.
Resonant Hollowbody Design & P90 Tone
Unlike its close brethren––the ever popular ES-335––the ES-330 features a full hollowbody design with no center block, making for one seriously resonant instrument (and yeah, highly prone to feedback.) It also breaks the mold with a pair of dog-eared P-90s, wired up with Gibson’s Memphis Tone Circuit, which allows for consistent tone at any volume level.
Strangely, in spite of the fact that it’s basically the exact same instrument, the ES-330 has never gained the popularity and mystique of the Epiphone Casino… an instrument probably best known for its use in the hands of 60s era George Harrison, John Lennon, and even Keith Richards.
ES330 Long Neck Specs
Other features will include a plain maple laminated top, back, and rims (in Beale St. Blue, Vintage Sunburst, or Antique Red,) an ultra-thin nitro finish, single-piece Honduran Mahogay neck (with long neck tenon,) a 30/60 neck profile, Rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, and small block pearloid inlays.
Hardware will include an ABR-1 bridge, Trapeze tailpiece, Kluson-style tulip tuners, dual volume & tone knobs with ’60s-style reflector tops, 3-way pickup switching, and 500K Ohm audio taper pots.
Custom Shop Hardshell case included