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1969 Gibson Melody Maker guitarHarmony H22 bassVox Ultrasonic guitar, with built-in effects
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Gibson ES-355 TDSV Specifications and Shipping Data

PART 1 description and chronology | PART 2 specifications and shipping figures | PART 3 BB KING | Other users
The Gibson ES-355TD-SV

The Gibson ES-355 TD SV was available in several standard colours, as well as a number of custom colours. From left to right; 1961 sunburst, 1969 cherry, 1975 walnut, 1978 wine red, 1979 sunburst, 1980 antique sunburst. Note the ebony block tailpiece which occured in some early sixties models, and the TP-6 tailpiece of the newest instrument.

1978 spec sheet for the ES-355TD-SV
1978 spec sheet for the ES-355TD-SV


Curly maple top, back and rims (rims are spruce after 1980) with solid maple centre block
Slim, fast, low-action neck joins body at 19th fret (1958-1962) and from then on at the 20th fret
One-piece mahogany neck (1958-1969?) Laminated maple neck (1970-1982)
Ebony fingerboard, pearl block inlays
Gold plated hardware throughout
Tune-O-Matic bridge
Twin Humbucking pickups with separate tone and volume controls
Three position toggle switch
Vibrato tailpiece. TP-6 from 1979/80
six-position Vari-Tone control
16" wide, 19" long, 1 ¾" thin; 24 ¾" scale, 22 frets

The varitone gave increasing depth notch out of midrange frequency. An explanation of all controls can be seen in the ES-355 control description sheet, issued in 1978

Gibson String advert from 1970? BB King plays his Gibson ES-355 TDSV - wailin on Gibson strings
Gibson String advert from 1970? BB King plays his Gibson ES-355 TDSV - wailin on Gibson strings

As well as the cherry, walnut, sunburst and antique sunburst, shipping figures also show small numbers of white, ebony and natural instruments shipped in the 1970s. There were most likely more shipped in the 1960s, however pre 1969 shipping figures do not always specify color. There is no mention in any Gibson literature of the availablilty of these colours

  1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
ES-355TDSV 123 189 174 148 97 198 127 137 198 174 147 96

  1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
ES-355TDSV             3    
ES-355TDSV - Cherry   113 172 89       3  
ES-355TDSV - Ebony         3 3 3    
ES-355TDSV - Natural         3 3 1 3  
ES-355TDSV - Tobacco Sunburst           8 12 6  
ES-355TDSV - Walnut 37 119 161 102   124 139 112 66
ES-355TDSV - White 9       79       1
ES-355TDSV - Wine Red         69 166 116 122 70

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There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Hal Kerr Comment left 24th February 2015 08:08:53
Do you have production numbers for 1980?

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