The Gibson ES-335TD was not an instant hit (though it did better than the Flying V launched at the same time), but sales grew steadily throughout the 1960s (peaking in 1967) and continually doing well too. Obviously there were fluctuations but sales never dropped below 1500, even in the difficult recession years of the mid 1970s. The graph to the right shows the shipping figures for each colour 335 (click to expand)
Gibson ES-335 specification sheet. Control details for the 1978 model
Shipping figures for the years 1958-79
The basic design of the ES-335 remained largely unchanged throughout its years - in 1963 the stop tailpiece was replaced by a trapeze, and in 1977 when a coil tap switch was fitted. The Gibson ES-340TD was launched in 1969 as an ES-335TD body with modified 'in-phase/out-of-phase' electronics - and a laminate maple neck. The coil tap added to the 335 in 1976-77 and the change in neck wood (1975) made the late seventies 335 even more like an ES-340
1958 Announced 03/58, launched 08/58 - price $282.50|
Available in Sunburst or Natural finish - see the 1958 Gibson Electrics catalogue
1959 price sunburst $279.50, natural $295
1960 Smaller scratchplate, neck shape change - price sunburst $279.50, natural $295. See the 1960 Gibson Guitars and Amplifiers catalogue.
1961 Prices rose from $2** for the sunburst finish to $300 by September '61. Cherry finish now available - initially $295, rising to $315. Natural finish discontinued
1962 Dot inlays replaced by blocks, though this is not shown in the 1962 catalog. Price Sunburst $300, Cherry $315. See the 1962 Gibson Guitars and Amplifiers catalogue.
1963 Stickers on pickup undersides changed from "Patent Applied For" to "Patent Number". Neck shape change. See the 1964 Gibson Electrics catalogue. Price Sunburst $300, Cherry $315
1964 Price - Sunburst $340, Cherry $355. See the 1964 Gibson Electrics catalogue.
1965 Trapeze tailpiece becomes standard. Nut width changes from 1 11/16" to a 1 5/8". Metal parts are now chrome. Price - Sunburst $340, Cherry $355.
1966 Fretboard is now Indian rosewood as opposed to Brazilian. Price - Sunburst $365, Cherry $380. See the 1966 Gibson catalog
1967 Peghead angle reduced by 3 degrees to 14 degrees. Sparkling burgundy listed as a finish. Price - $395, all finishes
1968 Nut width reverts to 1 11/16". Walnut finish listed for the first time. Around this time, the one-piece necks were being replaced by three-piece laminate necks, though still mahogany. All finishes $430. At least one piece of '68 literature suggest the availability of a the 335 in Natural Birch finish, with 5-ply maple neck, at extra (though unspecified) cost. This would be a precursor to the ES-340 TD launched in 1969. Shipping stats do not mention this variant.
1969 price - $455. Sparkling burgundy no longer listed as an option. All finishes $455|
1970 price - $475. Volute added and 'MADE IN USA' stamped on all headstocks. Orange serial number labels no longer used in the body cavity
1971 price - $495
1972 price - $515
1973 Price - Cherry, Walnut $540, Sunburst $560
1974 Price - Cherry, Walnut $540, Sunburst $560
1975 Nut width changes to 1 9/16". The catalogue lists necks as being maple from this catalogue. Price - Cherry, Walnut $599, Sunburst $629. Check out the Gibson 1975 thinline catalogue
1976 Price - Cherry, Walnut $629, Sunburst $659
1977 Coil tap switch added
1978 Nut width reverts to 1 11/16". See the Gibson 1978 Quality / Prestige / Innovation Catalogue
1979 Price - $849
1980 Price - $949. 1980 was the final catalogue appearance of the ES-335TD
1981 Price - $1049, then discontinued
1982 launch of the ES-335 dot