Gibson, ES-330 TD, 1964 - Ray Ennis


ES-330 TD
Serial Number: 
Laminated maple
Laminated maple
The Story Behind
Introduced in 1959, and phased out by 1972, the ES-330TD combined cutting-edge innovation with traditional design. The revolutionary double-cutaway thinline electric guitar series begun by Gibson with the ES-335 in 1958 expanded to both higher- and lower-end models by 1959. These included the upscale gold-hardware-bearing 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-solidbody, the ES-330 was fully hollow, similar to the original 1955 thinlines like the ES-350T and ES-225. The slim depth body is a delight for the player to hold. Greatly reducing feedback, the trim profile still retains the graceful lines of the classic Gibson arch-tops.  A fully hollow, double-cutaway guitar sporting either one (T) or two single-coil (TD) P-90 pickups, it has always been less popular than its semi-hollow, humbucker-equipped counterpart, the ES-335, which was unveiled in 1958 and has been in continuous production since. In direct comparison it doesn’t sustain as well or reject feedback as aggressively as the ES-335, and its 16th-fret neck-to-body junction does not provide unfettered access to the uppermost registers. Nevertheless the the ES-330TD remains among the most comfortable and versatile electric guitars Gibson ever made. And it was promptly used by famous players including B.B. King, Slim Harpo, Grant Green, Keith Richards, and Brian Jones.
This ES-330 TD is special in several aspects. On one hand it is one if not the only blonde all original finish produced by Gibson and also has an original brown case. On the other hand it was owned and used extensively by Ray Ennis. Ray was a member of the British Mersey-beat band The Swinging Blue Jeans. Ray replaced the factory fitted Bigsby with a standard bridge (which is still with the guitar). He can be seen playing this guitar in a number of videos. The guitar was also loaned to George Harrison. Indeed George Harrison refinished his ES-330 after Ray loaned him this guitar, this is recorded in George's early reminiscing.

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