1968 Gibson ES335-12C

Here is a vintage 1968 Gibson ES335-12C semi-hollowbody electric guitar. This 100% all original example, serial number 907062, is in very excellent condition. This incredibly attractive ES335-12 features a very unique hand-rubbed rich cherry finish that appears accentuated by the stunning grain pattern of the maple beneath. While this guitar may not conform with the definition of mint condition, it is quite clear that this example is extremely clean and very well preserved. Mid-late 1960’s, “Orange Label,” ES-335s are quite expensive and very popular, and the ES335-12 is identical in ever respect aside from the extra-large headstock with the extra 6 strings, so take advantage of this incredible bargain, and buy an amazing ES335-12 for a fraction of what the regular 6-string version is worth!

This no-issues guitar is a strong 9/10. This ES335-12 is perfectly intact with no originality issues, no breaks, no repairs… no nothing. While it is impressively well-preserved, it would be a shame if this guitar wasn’t owned by a player, because this guitar is about as good as they get: it sounds incredible and the neck feels great!

This particular ES335-12 features: a beautifully rich unfaded cherry finish, (2) Patent No. sticker humbucking pickups, a high-grade maple body construction, a 1-piece mahogany neck with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, chrome hardware, a Gibson 12-string Tun-O-Matic bridge with nylon saddles and original retaining wire, original witch hat knobs, original double-line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines with attractively yellowed plastic buttons, original trapeze tailpiece, and a thick 4-ply (b/w/b/w) pickguard. This guitar plays amazingly well, sounds fantastic and looks beautifully crisp.

The era-specific slim taper neck profile feels great. If the mid-late 1960′s less-wide nut width is too thin for some players, the 12-string versions offer slightly wider dimensions, providing enough room for comfortable chord fingerings without feeling crammed. While it is clearly not 1 11/16″ wide, it is wider than 1 5/8″, which seems to be a fantastic compromise for this type of guitar. Additionally, many players sometimes only string six of the twelve strings up, which results in an orange label 335 with a slightly better neck profile and more sustain from the extra mass of the headstock.

Both Patent No. black sticker pickups are loud, efficient, rich, yet articulate and pronounced. The guitar weighs an average 8 lbs 11 oz. The cherry finish is still very vibrant and rich, while the binding has aged to a beautiful creamy patina. There is a subtle series of weather-checking over the entire instrument. As can be seen in the photos, the finish has not faded in the slightest. There is almost no wear on the guitar other than some odd nicks on the headstock and some minimal surface texture wear that looks like it was caused from improper storage on the back of the guitar and neck. Some of the weather checking, where the strumming arm would rest, appears pronounced due to moisture, and has revealed a lesser rich cherry finish underneath. Though fairly common and barely visible, it is worth noting.

All of the original chrome hardware is very excellent and does not exhibit any oxidation. Although the case is an early ’70s Gibson case, it is possible that it is original to the guitar, as the guitar could have been bought later than 1968, or possibly have been bought without a case and a few years later the owner paired it with an early ’70s era case. Either way the vintage case fits the Gibson ES335-12 perfectly.