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Gibson ES-330 1967 Factory Black


Vintage factory-black Gibsons are a rare and precious find, as that colour was generally only available on special order. As a result, it gives a new look to models that we thought we knew from every angle. So, this impressive ES-330 has a unique look, and for good reason: it is the only one that exists.

Three other ES-330s were produced in factory black. One of them belongs to Bernard Butler of Suede, and the other two are in Keith Richards’ collection. Richards is also obsessed with black finishing, but those models date from the early ‘60s and therefore have P90s with black pickup cases. This 1967 model is the only one to feature the chrome cases typical of the latter half of the sixties, and they stand out remarkably on this extraordinary finish. Luckily, the musician who originally ordered it chose the short neck typical of the first ES-330s, rather than the much less balanced long neck that was more common at the time it was made.

The ES-330 is not just a less expensive version of the ES-335, it is a model with a very different personality due to its completely hollow body (no central beam) and its P90 pickups (whereas the 335 has humbuckers). Its rounder, woodier grain has won over many musicians, whether in its Gibson form or its Epiphone equivalent, the Casino. This original 330 is as inspiring to listen to as it is beautiful to behold, which is really saying something.

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