Gibson ES-335TD 100% Original with PAFs 1961 – Sunburst

$ 44000.00

This 1961 ES-335 is one of the finest guitars I’ve come across.  It was purchased from the second owner, who bought it in 1961.  I first received some pictures of the guitar and could tell it was a nice one, but I figured it would need some setup at the very least.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the guitar played better than just about any that have crossed our bench after receiving a full setup.  That’s not to say that we don’t set up guitars well, just that this is a really (really) good guitar!  It also comes with some colorful provenance.

In addition to the amazing playability, the guitar is in stunning cosmetic condition.  There are very few dings – only one on the front of the guitar that goes through the finish, for instance.  There is one chip out of the holly veneer on the tip of the headstock, the only serious ding on the guitar.

Take a look at the beautiful birdseye in the maple top and back, which really shines in the bright finish. 

The frets are in excellent shape.  The truss rod is fully functional and will allow for future neck relief adjustments.

All the hardware on the guitar is original with the exception of the tuners, but the originals are in the case.  The headstock was spared modification with the swap.  Two of the original tuner buttons decayed, with the crumbled button remnants kept in a bag by the previous owner.  In the bag are the original tuner bushings and screws as well.  One original knob has lost its gold “reflector” insert.  

Both pickups are PAFs.  Their covers have never been disturbed and the Patent Applied For labels are intact.  They sound absolutely amazing.

In the extremely clean, original case resides all the original hang tags and the instructions provided by Gibson that illustrate how to adjust the pickups and the Tune-o-Matic bridge.

Provenance comes in the form of a letter that the previous owner typed up for us, depicting his early days playing guitar and the story of his acquisition of this 335.  

Pieces like this rare ES-335 are hard to come by, especially with the complete case candy set and provenance.  This is one of just 466 ES-335s made in 1961, which is 55 fewer than Gibson made in 1959.  While a ’59 is more desirable in some ways to the ’61, the necks on a 1959 is often too large for players.  This guitar has a slim, early 60s neck profile, but the coveted 1 11/16″ nut that was the Gibson standard until mid 1965.  

An absolutely stunning guitar that basically plays itself.  

Mahar’s Vintage Guitars is a brick-and-mortar and web-based retailer. We are happy to talk with you before you make a purchase.   Please reach out if you feel so inclined! We cross market our items here and on our own site, so items are subject to sale elsewhere at any time (however we will never cancel a sale if it happens here first). See our profile here, our Google reviews as well as our 100% positive Reverb feedback. Also, Reverb limits us to only 25 pictures of our items. There is a good chance we have more. Contact us if you’d like to see them.

No sales tax for direct sale customers outside California. Reverb sales are always taxed.

  • Color: Sunburst
  • Weight: 7lbs 9.2ozs
  • Top: Maple
  • Body: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck Profile: See picture
  • Fretboard: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Inlays: Mother of pearl dots
  • Frets: Original
  • Fret count: 22
  • Nut: Original bone
  • Nut width: 1 11/16″
  • Scale: 24 3/4″
  • Radius: 10″
  • Neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.787″
  • Neck thickness at 12th fret: 0.852″
  • Action 1st String at 12th Fret: 2/32″
  • Action 6th String at 12th Fret: 2/32″
  • Total length: 41″
  • Lower bout: 16 1/8″
  • Waist: 9 1/4″
  • Upper bout: 11 3/8″
  • Body depth/thickness outside edge: 1 5/8″
  • String gauge: .010-.046″
  • Hardware Color: Nickel
  • Bridge Pickup/Brand: Gibson PAF Humbucker
  • Bridge Pickup Reading: 7.38k
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Neck Pickup/Brand: Gibson PAF Humbucker
  • Neck Pickup Reading: 7.79k
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Pickguard: Original
  • Bridge: Original
  • Tuners: Originals in case, reproductions currently installed
  • Switch: Original
  • Pots/Codes: Original
  • Case: OHSC
  • Notes:

Shipping policy:

Three day UPS air shipments will be automatic for buyers including these states and those to the east of them: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas.  Shipments will require signature on delivery, no exceptions.  If there is damage, the buyer must retain all packing materials intact and picture them immediately and send them to .  Less than 1% of our shipments are damaged in transit, and we are committed to making sure your item arrives safely, but we are taking these additional measures to make sure you are happy with your purchase.