Gibson ES 330
Hollowbody Spanish Electric Guitar!
Gibson ES 330It was never the most popular of Gibson’s ES line of hollowbody guitars.
But Gibson's ES 330 holds a special place in the hearts of many players who remember it from early in their careers.
You see, given the fact that the ES-330 was discontinued in the 1970s, it must have something special or people wouldn’t still be talking about it.
Since its deletion, a few reissue versions have come from the Gibson Custom Shop, but the original model itself is relegated to history.
Interestingly, around the same time this electric Spanish guitar came out, Gibson’s low-end subsidiary Epiphone issued its Casino model, a fairly faithful copy of the ES-330.
Even more interestingly, this cheaper version found more favor with players than its inspiration.
The superior place in history for the inferior guitar may be largely due to the Casino model’s use by The Beatles members John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney.
In fact, McCartney still plays his on stage.
Despite being pulled from the market around the same time as the ES-330, Epiphone has issued a number of Casino reissue models, too.
So what’s the deal with the ES-330?
Why do people remember it despite it not being a top seller when it was pulled from the market?
The Gibson ES-330 was a hollow-bodied thinline model that looked a lot like the Gibson ES-335.
Unlike the 335, however, it was completely hollow.
The ES-300 also had either one or two simple single-coil P-90 pickups, not the humbuckers associated with the other model.
These two major differences meant major sound differences between the models as well.
Both a single pickup and a dual-pickup version of the ES-330 were produced.
The dual-pickup ES-330TD had its P-90s in the standard positions, but the single-pickup ES-330 had an interesting difference.
The pickup was placed about halfway between the end of the neck and bridge in a unique position that’s different from both the usual neck and bridge pickup positions.
So why do people remember this model?
It’s partly due to so many being still available used.
And it’s partly because of its two-steps-removed connection to The Beatles.
And it’s partly because people simply like the way it looks and the simple sound it produces.
The Gibson ES 330 is a part of electric guitar history that continues to insist on inserting itself into the present.
Have you noticed that good instruments have a way of doing that?
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