As the golden era guitars from the fifties and sixties get more and more expensive, lovers of great instruments start to question their prejudice against the instruments produced by the big brands in the seventies. Granted, quality control was not always what it should have been and the specs were not always the most desirable, but many of these guitars have aged gracefully and have a sound that will please many demanding players.
This ES-335 was built during the Norlin era, a period that is often looked down on by Gibson aficionados. Norlin was a giant company from Ecuador specialized in beer and concrete who bought Chicago Musical Instruments, Gibson’s owner, in 1969. This financial move almost killed the Kalamazoo empire by releasing models unworthy of their prestigious heritage. But a few notes on that beautiful red lady will be enough to make any specialist seriously doubt their initial judgement. Not all guitars were affected by that drop in quality build.
Back then, Gibson had identified that Cherry Red ES-335 as something special since it has been stamped as a B stock, a factory second. Gibson works in mysterious ways since that guitar has absolutely no defect that would justify this weird classification. The neck has a light overspray, and the rest of it is in a beautiful state for a guitar that will soon celebrate its first half-century. Everything is original, including the famous pickups with the embossed Gibson logo, a spec that can only be found from late 1971 to early 1972. A great 335, in a timeless color (contrary to the walnut or the all-too red sunburst typical of its era), fully original, which aged gracefully. It is time to revise your opinion of seventies Gibson.