This guitar (still in mint condition) was my grandmother's, purchased new in the late '60's. I acquired this guitar because I wanted to learn how to play and knew she had a guitar stashed back in a closet that I had never known her to even play. I asked to borrow it and when I went to a music store to ask about what I had they nearly fell on the floor. I know now what I have and appreciate more than I could have ever imagined. I didn't pay anything for it.
This guitar is a dream. Easy to play and sounds great. Soulful sounds come out of the full hollow body and it's great for playing blues or classic rockabilly. It's lightweight and holds in tune very well. It's a slimline case so it's very easy to handle.
The sound it makes is the sound you get. Being full hollow there isn't much you can do to change the sound of this instrument. Forget hard rock, country, surf, folk. This is a blues/jazz guitar and it is definitely made with one kind of playing in mind. I have also heard that because it has no real support for the neck (being full hollow) it won't take much abuse before it will "fold" where the neck joins the body.
It's a '69 Gibson. What else do I need to say? This guitar demonstrates why classic guitars are worth so much. Frets are perfect, tuners are solid. This guitar lay in its case for 20 years under tension before I picked it up without warping, bending or any other damage. Even being 35 years old, in terms of quality I'll put this guitar up against any found in 99% of the guitar stores out there.
This is my favorite guitar. I play Strats for other kinds of music but when I just want to play, this is the guitar I pick up.
The 330 was introduced by Gibson alongside the 335. Of the two the 335 became more famous because it was a more modern design. The 330 was designed to be more of a hollow body than a solid body like the 335 was. The 330 is pretty much a big hollowbody jazz box with a thin body. There is no tone block running down the center of the guitar. Also it did not come with the humbucking pickups that the 335 came with so it instantly looked more old fashion to people at the time. This combination of P-90s with the completely hollow body led to an interesting and cool tone from the guitar. The guitar has a maple body with a mahogany neck that has 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard. It has dual P-90 single coil pickups and each pickup has a tone and volume control. They are switched with a 3 way toggle switch. The hollow body has F holes in it to help increase resonance.
Most of these Big Gibson hollow and semi hollow guitars play very similarly because they were all designed at the same time. The big flat body means you kind of have to reach around the body to play them. A modern hollowbody design like the Vox 77 has an arched body that contours around your body to give it more comfort. The neck on these depends on what year you get but most of them have the 60s profile necks which are very easy to play. The frets are small and have a very vintage feel to them. Unless of course yours was refretted over the years.
The P-90s and the hollow body combine to give this guitar a very unique tone. The hollow body gives the guitar a naturally mellow and jazzy tone like what you would associate with a big jazz box. The P-90s have the agressive P-90 single coil tone. Together you get the warmth and smoothness of the body with the attack and clarity of the pickups. This means you will have more clarity than that of the 335 with its humbuckers. When playing Jazzy stuff you will get more bite on the chords than on a humbucker guitar. It is very easy to get a nice dirty tone on this guitar with the P-90s they naturally have a very aggressive tone. But remember this guitar is a full hollowbody so it will start to feedback when played loudly or with high gain. The point at which the guitar will start to feedback will vary from guitar to guitar but it will happen eventually it is just part of the design.
The Gibson ES-330 is a pretty unknown model. Not many people played these guitars which is funny because the Epiphone that was based off of the 330 was hugely popular. This means that with the 330 you most likely wont see another one being played out. You may have to explain to people that it isnt a 335 but this will just make you look cooler. If you are looking for a more aggressive sounding hollowbody guitar this is a nice piece that has been around many years.
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John Michael's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Semi-hollow, manufactured in the USA in 1963, like new, sunburst, with original case. 2 P90 pickups metal cover. Trapeze tailpiece. Junction to handle the cash box 17th. No beam extending the inning. A great instrument, so deplorable surpenante is rated (but whatever it is already a grandmother, and I intend to keep it much longer!)
The handle is ideal, so 1963 - Access to acute rather truncated (beyond the 17th box!) Very light and the shape of the body, an instrument with which we do that (like a saxophone).
The sounds are typed P90 vintage ("Revolution" by the Beatles, if you know?). The acoustic type sounds by mixing the pickups are interesting. How jazz, it sounds not bad either, while remaining more "dry" a humbucker. Larsen declined enough for a fully hollow guitar.
For over 10 years, bought this guitar to a collector I use to complete the catch in his home studio. The accompaniments very saturated, the P90 is more accurate and therefore more readable than the humbuckers.
On stage, it is a beautiful classical instrument, quite versatile.