Gibson ES-355TD-SV and Barney Kessel
1962 Gibson Guitar and Amplifier Catalogue Page 7
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Gibson 1962 guitar and amplifier catalogue. Page 7. The Gibson thinline series continues with the highly appointed ES-355TD (and ES-355TD-SV with it's stereo wiring). The 355 was a high end guitar, initially aimed at jazz guitarists, but finding favour amongst rock, and especially blues guitarists - most notably BB King. The guitar shown has the Gibson side-to-side vibrola, only seen on early versions of this guitar - by the time of the next (1964) catalogue, this would be upgraded to the more familiar Maestro Vibrola.
This was the first catalogue appearance of the Barney Kessel guitars - two electric Spanish artist guitars, developed with Barney Kessel himself. With a body width of three inches, it is perhaps surprising that these guitars are included in the Gibson thinline series. As with other Artist series guitars, the Barney Kessel was only available as a special order instrument from the custom workshop, in the main Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
1962 prices for these guitars are as follows: (Zone 1, USA, Oct 1962 price list) ES-355TD $595, ES-355TD-SV $645, Barney Kessel Regular $395, Barney Kessel Custom $560.