Weight: 6.2 lbs
Not to be confused with regular ES-330 gloss versions which are stamped "Made in USA" stamp on back of headstock and 8 digit serial number, these are in a league of their own.
The Gibson Memphis ES-330 59 Reissue was built from 2009 to 2019, when the Memphis plant closed. This remarkable instrument re-creates the original 1959 version of the ES-330. This design was much better known in its later Epiphone form – the ES-230 Casino used by a number of influential British musicians.
This Gibson Memphis ES-330 59 Reissue has a formal model number “ES30VNNH1”. This indicates the 330 style, vintage spec, nickel plating and natural finish. It is in excellent condition with very minimal signs of use, comes in original case which has slight damage on tip and a latch missing but perfectly functional. Certificate of Authenticity is present.
When introduced in 1959, the ES-330 offered appearance of the recently launched ES-335 models, and similar materials. The body is Maple laminate and the neck is Mahogany with a Rosewood fingerboard. However, there are significant structural differences. First, the 330 has fully hollow construction with no solid center block. Second, the neck joined the body at the 16th fret, with the cutaways not offering very much access past that. In 1968, the neck joint changed to the 19th fret, allowing more access and making the guitar longer.
While still a full 24.75 inch scale, the 16 fret neck joint (like the 12-fret neck on steel string guitars) offers advantages to players who don’t spend a lot of time in the higher registers. The guitar is physically shorter, and the fretting arm does not have to reach as far. And, it’s easier to use this format in a smaller space (including a couch). The shorter neck also reduces weight somewhat and the guitar is under six pounds .
The P-90 pickups deliver a full, rich and fat tone with great response. While ‘underwound’ they are fairly loud.
As the 1960’s progressed, the dramatic rise in amplifier power and stage volumes made hollow guitars like the ES-330 impractical, and they went out of production around 1970.
However, at low and moderate volumes, these are fantastic instruments. In fact, the ES-330 works very well completely unplugged. Acoustically, it’s quite a bit louder than any solidbody and in a small room can be used with a quiet to moderate voice.