|Gibson advert from 1972 BB King plays his Gibson ES-355 TDSV - The Man and the Woman|
|By the 1970s this guitar was so heavily associated with BB King that he was featured in numerous Gibson advertising campaigns and on the front cover of the 1975 catalogue (below) more about BB King and his ES-355-TDSV|
Other famous users include Chuck Berry, Freddie King and Alex Lifeson of Rush
check out pictures of ES355 in action
The Gibson ES-355TD SV is a variation on the Gibson ES355 or ES-355TD guitar (ES standing for Electric Spanish, and TD Thinline Doublecut) with the addition of Stereo output and six-position varitone (SV).
The following description is taken from the 1966 Gibson catalogue
This magnificent stereo jazz guitar reflects all the beauty and skill of the guitar maker's art. With tone ranging from a clear treble to a throaty bass, with thrilling vibrato and instant response, it offers the accomplished artist a truly amazing range of sound. The Gibson Vari-Tone control provides six preset tonalities. The ES-355TD-SV stereo guitar can be played through a stereo amplifier, two channel amplifier or two separate amplifiers. Special stereo wiring and "Y" cable provide complete separation of tone.
and this comes from the 1970 Gibson thinline catalogue
A magnificent stereo guitar with bound "f" holes, the ES-355TD-SV offers the accomplished artist an amazing range of sound. Tone ranges from a clear treble to a husky bass - with thrilling vibrato and instant response. It can be played through a stereo amplifier or two separate amplifiers. Special stereo wiring and "Y" cable provide complete separation of tone.
The 355 was the top of the line 300 series Gibson. Although it featured the same basic construction of the Gibson ES335 and Gibson ES345, it was fitted with a vibrato, stereo circuitry and gold-plating throughout.
It was a popular guitar, associated with Chuck Berry and BB King, though considerably more expensive than other thinline ES guitars.
ES-355 TDSV chronology
- 1958 ES-335 launched in August, the 355 about 2 months later . 10 Instruments shipped in 1958? . Bigsby vibrato. Cherry finish as standard
- 1959 First instruments shipped 
- 1961 Side to side vibrato
- 1963 Gibson deluxe vibrola. The 355TDSV also graces the cover of the 1963 Gibson electrics catalogue
- 1969 Sunburst and Walnut finishes available 
- 1970 Sunburst finish withdrawn 
- 1972 The ES-355TD-SV is included in Gibson's "guitar of the month" showcase series - a separate brochure for each model in the series
- 1975 Cherry finish is replaced by 'Cherry wine' which is renamed in '77 as 'wine red'. BB King plays a walnut 355 on the cover of the 1975 Gibson thinline catalogue
- 1978 Sunburst and antique sunburst finishes available 
- 1979-80 Vibrola replaced with the TP-6 tailpiece
- 1980 Sunburst finish discontinued 
- 1982 Model discontinued