Welcome to Gibson ES Thinlines
The Golden Era of electric guitar design in the United States was the 1950’s. In 1948, the Fender Electric Instrument Co, debuted the first solid body electric Spanish guitar, the Fender Broadcaster. It had a neck bolted on to a flat slab of Ash wood. The Gibson Company’s response to this innovation was the Les Paul model, an arched top solid body built of more traditional woods, mahogany and maple, with a carved top and a glued in neck. Throughout the remainder of the 1950’s, Gibson would continue to evolve the Les Paul design as well as create a number of additional models that set the standard for electric guitar design. These include additional solid bodies like the Flying V, the Explorer and the Les Paul Junior and Special.
In 1958, probably the most innovative design of all appeared, the Gibson ES-335. The ES-335 was revolutionary in several ways, and has become one of the more sought after vintage Gibson guitars ever. This was the very first double cutaway guitar and was a true hybrid of the solid body and the more traditional hollow body guitars made previously. It had a solid center block with hollow wings and an arched, laminated top and back, the first true semi-hollow instrument. Players could achieve the amplified volume and sustain of solid body instruments, and yet retain the warmth and character of traditional hollow instruments. The Gibson ES-335 was an immediate success in the market and has been in continuous production ever since. An entire family of guitars, the Gibson Thinlines, sprang from this original design, including the ES-345, ES-355, and much later, the ES-340, ES-347, ES-336, CS-336 and CS-356. But the simple, elegant ES-335 remains the heart and soul of the family and is still considered one of the most innovative and useful guitar designs of all time.
Most players agree that the finest examples of the Gibson ES-335 were made between 1958 and 1964. Original, unaltered examples of vintage Gibson thinlines have become collector’s items with clean Natural finish examples selling for as much as $100,000, and, along with 1950’s Broadcasters, Telecasters, Stratocasters, and Les Pauls, are the most sought after of collectible electric instruments.
If you have examples of these fine vintage Gibson ES-335s, or any other vintage Gibson thinlines that you want included in this site, be sure to contact me.