Since the year 2007 I’m the proud owner of a 1965 Gibson ES335TDC. I bought the guitar in a small guitar shop called Charlee Guitars in Panningen, the Netherlands. Since I first started buying/collecting guitars, I already knew of the existence of the guitar because it was always lying under the table of the repair shop of luthier Ley van den Beuken. After saving up ( a lot) of money from gigs and selling some of my old guitars I could finally purchase this Cherry Red beauty!
The Gibson ES-335 is the world’s first commercial thinline archtop semi-acoustic elctric guitar. Released by the Gibson Guitar Corporation as part of its ES (Electric Spanish) series in 1958, it is neither fully hollow nor fully solid; instead, a solid maple wood block runs through the center of its body. The side “wings” formed by the two “cutaways” into its upper bouts are hollow, and the top has two violin-style f-holes over the hollow chambers.
The ES-355TD (Thinline semi-hollow, Double pickups) was at the top of Gibson’s range of thinline semi-acoustic guitars. It was manufactured from 1958 to 1982. The headstock has a split-diamond inlay rather than the smaller crown inlay on the 335/345, in addition to a multiple-layered binding. The fingerboard inlays are inlaid mother-of-pearl blocks, beginning at the first position of the fretboard. In addition to the headstock, binding is also applied to the fretboard and both the front and the back edges of the body. Rather than the rosewood fretboard on a 335 or 345, both variations of the 355 have an ebony fingerboard for a ‘smoother’ sound.
The best-known user of this guitar is probably B.B.King, whose trademark guitar, Lucille, was the basis for a 1981 signature model. It has the optional stereo wiring and Varitone circuitry as standard. It differs from the ES-355 by having a maple neck instead of mahogany, the name “Lucille” on the headstock, and the lack of an F-hole on its top. (wikipedia)