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Introduced in April 1958, the ES-335 was the first of the double cutaway, semi-hollow ES-series models to debut.  The top-of-the-line ES-355 a mid-line ES-345 followed in 1959.  Despite its economy status, the ES-335 proved to be the most popular model since its lack of stereo outputs and Varitone tone control made it simple and easy to use.  A major design feature of the semi-hollow ES-series is the center block of wood that runs from the neck to the tail.  This reduces feedback and increases sustain while creating a relatively lightweight guitar.  The neck joins the body at the 19th fret for easy access to the upper frets.  Combining the features of a hollow body and solid body guitar with Gibson's relatively high output humbucking pickups made the ES-335 a formidable and versatile guitar.  Its specifications changed slightly over the years, but it is the earliest version from 1958 and 1959 that remain the "holy grail" of ES-335s. The example shown here is a Historic Series reissue built to 1959 specifications which include a body with big "ears" (dubbed "Mickey Mouse ears" by collectors), a long pickguard, PAF-spec pickups, and a chunky neck profile as found on Gibsons from that time period.  The TDN suffix to the model name denotes "thinline, dual pickups, natural finish".  Only 71 original '59 ES-335TDNs were made making them quite rare and highly desirable to collectors.

GIBSON ES-335TDN '59 Reissue (1999)

Body:  Semi-hollow; laminated 1-piece flame maple top and back, and laminated flame maple sides; single bound top and back

Finish:  Natural,  nitrocellulose lacquer

Neck:  1-piece mahogany, set-in; holly headstock overlay with pearloid logo and crown inlay

Fingerboard:  Indian rosewood, single bound; pearloid dot markers

Number of Frets:  22

Pickguard:  5-ply black-white plastic laminate

Bridge:  Tune-o-matic with stop tailpiece, nickel

Nut:  Plastic

Tuners:  Reproduction Kluson Deluxe, enclosed, nickel

Pickups:  Two, Gibson PAF reissue humbucking with adjustable pole pieces, nickel

Controls:  Tone and volume controls for each pickup, 3-way pickup selector

Scale Length:  24 3/4 inches

Neck Width at Nut:  1 5/8 inches

Body Width at Lower Bout:  16 3/8 inches

Body Depth:  1 7/8 inches

Weight:  n/a 

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