ES-355 TDSV Guitars

1964 Gibson ES-355 TDSV

Color: Cherry, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 01508)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

A Near Mint 1964 ES-355TDSV With Two Original PAFs.


1964 Gibson ES-355 TDSV.


One of just one hundred and ninety-eight ES-355TDSVs made in 1964. This near mint guitar weighs 9.80 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Laminated maple body with semi-solid construction and maple central block, one-piece mahogany neck with a medium profile, and bound ebony fretboard with 22 original jumbo frets and inlaid pearl block position markers. Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and pearl five-piece split-diamond inlay. Two-layer (black on white) plastic truss-rod cover with "Stereo" engraved in white. Serial number "181493" impressed into the back of the headstock. The body of the guitar is multi-bound on the top (seven-ply) and the back (three-ply). Individual Kluson 'Waffleback' tuners with tulip-shaped metal buttons. Two 'original PAF humbucker pickups (each with a small black rectangular label on the underside "Patent/Applied For") with strong outputs of 7.50k and 7.75k. The black plastic surrounds are stamped on the underside "MR 491 / M-69  7" (neck) and ""MR 490 / M-69  8" (bridge). Tortoiseshell pickguard with five-layer (white/black/white/black/white) plastic binding. Four controls (two volume, two tone) plus three-way selector switch for pickup selection and six-position Varitone rotary switch for tonal settings, all on lower treble bout. Black plastic bell-shaped "Bell" knobs with metal tops and a gold circular plate with the numbers in black around the Varitone switch. ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic retainer bridge with nylon saddles and Gibson Vibrola tailpiece with "walrus-tooth" tip. With the original orange oval label inside the bass f-hole with style "ES-355TDC" and the serial number "181493" written in black ink. All hardware gold-plated. This guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition, with the bare minimum of light finish checking (mainly on the back) and some very slight 'cord burn' on the back. There is also some very slight discoloration to the gold-plated pickup covers - but generally speaking the gold hardware is fresh and bright. There is almost no wear to the original frets and there is absolutely no fading whatsoever to the rich cherry color. This 'under-the-bed' guitar has hardly been played and has spent most of its life in its original case. Complete with the original Gibson hang-tag, the Humbucking Pickup Adjustment sheet, the original Tune-O-Matic Bridge instruction sheet, and the original gray stereo cord. Housed in the original Gibson five-latch shaped black hardshell case with orange plush lining (9.25).

The great surprise (bonus) with this guitar was the discovery of the two original 'untouched' PAF pickups. It is well known that the original 'PAF' pickups were used from 1957 through to early 1963. However gold-plated part guitars are sometimes found with PAFs (or one PAF and one Patent# pickup) as late as 1965.

"The ES-355T (at first no final D) was perfected in the second half of 1958 as a deluxe variant of the ES-335T. By 1959 the model was commercialized in two versions: the ES-355TD fitted with a regular mono wiring and the ES-355TD/SV equipped with the Stereo Varitone circuitry pioneered on the ES-345T. During the 1960s the stereo model outsold the mono one which was ultimately phased out in 1970, while the ES-355TD/SV remained cataloged until 1981...The ES-355TD/SV is identical to the mono version in every respect save for its Stereo Varitone circuitry...On the SV model the two pickups are wired separately for stereo effect and require a special Y-cord to the amp. The Varitone is a 6-position rotary switch which, combined with the regular toggle switch, permits to pre-select 18 different tone settings. On the early ES-355TD/SV the circular plate of the Varitone switch is painted black but gold plated 'rings' became standard by 1960. Until the advent of walnut in 1969, the great majority of 355s (whether mono or stereo) were released in cherry red" (A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics -- The Classic Years, pp. 237-238).

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