1976 Gibson L-6S Custom, 1978 Guild B302F bass, 1967 Fender Coronado guitar
1976 Gibson L-6S Custom1978 Guild B-302F1967 Fender Coronado
Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search   
     VintageGuitarAndBass on Facebook FlyGuitars on Twitter

pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?
Vintage guitar parts for sale

Classic Motorcycles For Sale
Classic Cars For Sale
Vintage guitars for sale

Gibson 335-S Guitar

Early 80s solid body Gibson electric guitar

335S description | Catalogue appearances | Part list

The 335-S was Gibsons solid-body version of the semi-acoustic ES-335TD. Although it was approximately the same shape, it was actually smaller and thinner, though the same scale and with the same controls as a 1980 ES-335TD. It was first demonstrated at the Chicago NAMM fair of June 1980. There were three models as detailed below.

  Gibson 335-S Deluxe Gibson 335-S Custom Gibson 335-S Standard
Model Gibson 335-S Deluxe Gibson 335-S Custom Gibson 335-S Standard
Available 1980-1982 1980-1981 1980-1981
Pickups 2 x "Dirty Fingers". Two volume and tone controls, pickup selector switch. Coil tap switch. 2 x "Dirty Fingers". Two volume and tone controls, pickup selector switch. Coil tap switch. 2 x humbuckers. Two volume and tone controls, pickup selector switch.
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Solid mahogany. Length 17 1/8", width 13 7/8", thickness 1 1/2". Solid maple. Length 17 1/8", width 13 7/8", thickness 1 1/2".
Neck Three piece mahogany. Width at nut 1 11/16". Bound ebony fingerboard with dot inlays. 22 frets. Brass nut. Pearl inlaid headstock logo. Three piece mahogany. Width at nut 1 11/16". Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays. 22 frets. Three piece maple. Width at nut 1 11/16". Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays. 22 frets.
Hardware Chrome plated throughout. TP-6 tailpiece. Chrome plated throughout. TP-6 tailpiece. Chrome plated throughout.
Finishes Tobacco sunburst, Silverburst, Cherry. Natural mahogany. Autumn maple.
ProfessionalCustomno entry
Standardno entry
Deluxe335-S Deluxe
FirebrandCustom335-S Custom
Standard335-S Standard
Deluxeno entry
SonexCustomno entry
Standardno entry
Deluxeno entry
Gibson 335-S - A Shape You
1980 advertisement for the Gibson 335S range - A Shape You've Seen. The Sound You're Looking For.

Around the middle of 1980, Gibson were planning changes in their distribution, specifically with regard dealer authorisation. Models were to be placed in a 'series'; either Professional, Firebrand, or Sonex [Not to be confused with the older models of the same name]. There had long been a waiting list to become a Gibson dealer, and the Sonex series was to be a separately authorised line, (and branded as Gibson Guitar Co. rather than just Gibson) simply to allow wider distribution, without upsetting existing dealers. Each series followed the good (Deluxe), better (Standard), best (Custom) concept. So theoretically any instrument could have nine versions. This system was never fully adapted, but it does explain why, in the case of the 335-S, the Custom (traditionally the top of the range) is a lesser instrument to the Deluxe, and why many 335-S have the word PROFESSIONAL on the truss rod covers.

On its launch in mid-1980 it was described as follows:

Gibsons new 335-S Series combines a familiar shape with the playability and sustain of other legendary Gibson solid bodies. Shaped much like a diminutive ES-335, these double cutaway instruments allow players added sustain capabilities due to increased body mass and density.

Individually, the 335-S Standards contoured maple body features two high output Gibson Humbucking exposed coil pickups with one cream and one black coil. A rosewood finger-board is mounted to a three-piece maple neck. Gibsons new Autumn maple finish, available only on this model, exudes an earthiness that separates it from all other guitar finishes.

The Custom version of the 335-S utilizes the unmatched power of Gibsons "Dirty Fingers" pickups with a coil tap switch mounted in a sculptured mahogany body. The three-piece mahogany neck features a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and corresponding side dots. Gibsons incredible TP-6 tailpiece insures fine-tuning capabilties with fingertip ease. An outstanding Natural Mahogany finish tops this high energy instrument.

The 335-S Deluxe is offered in Tobacco Sunburst, Cherry or Silverburst finish on a mahogany body with a neck that features a bound ebony fingerboard. Pearl inlayed Gibson peghead, "Dirty Fingers" pickups with coil tap, TP-6 tailpiece, the new-ultra safe Gibson "Posi-Lok" strap button, and polished brass fingerboard nut for added sustain.

Launch prices were $499 (Standard), $599 (Custom) and $699 (Deluxe). Perhaps a Professional series 335-S Standard or Custom would have been manufactured, had the instrument been more sucessful. The Standard had disappeared from price lists by April 1981, and the Custom by June 1982. No 335-S models were shown in the January '83 price lists.

The current owners of Gibson reissued this guitar briefly in 2011.

Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment

Gibson 335-S for sale

# # #
There are 3 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Firebrand335 Comment left 20th February 2012 18:06:58
I bought a Gibson Firebrand 335 from new back in 1981. Played a lot of shows up and down and she never let me down. I would love to have that guitar again
underfoot Comment left 25th March 2012 21:09:30
Those 335 solid Gibsons are just too cool. Especially the silverburst gone green. Are they kalamazoo or nashville (specifically the silverburst)?
Chris Saunders Comment left 21st November 2016 21:09:21
I bought mine new in 1980 - Firebrand 335S Custom ... and I still have it and still gig with it. It is my preferred guitar - even over my 10 year old Les Paul Standard. The neck is a dream (36 years of playing-in!), and the pick-ups fantastic for all styles of playing and will drive any amp as far as you want from break-up to dirt. Coil-tap means you can thin the sound and get Strat/Tele sounds(ish) when required. I used to get asked what it was in the eighties ... and I still do. Play through Marshall TSL122 and Blackstar S1 45, and both amps love it. Never been re-fretted, and everything is original ... plays like a dream.

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - to catch web robots

How many legs does a spider have?