’60 ES 330 TN

Although launched at much the same time and implicitly part of the same range, the ES330 is not a ‘junior brother’ version of the ES335, as it is completely semi-acoustic and has no reinforcing block running through the body beneath the pickups. This makes it much more resonant, but also much more prone to feedback.

It was originally offered in sunburst and natural finishes (an ‘N denoting the latter), and in one and two pickup variants, the ES330T and ES330TD respectively. This model is an ES330TN from 1960 – only 82 of these shipped ’59, and only 88 in ‘60.

It has the wide, flat dot neck characteristic of the period, and a single hot P-90 pickup. Some dislike these single pickup variants, saying the mid-positioned pickup is neither neck nor bridge and gets in the way of picking. I find no such trouble, and it has a tone that has the best without the worst of both pickup extremes, and no issues arising from redundant circuitry loading (see ‘rant’ on pickup loading).

It lives in a matching vinyl-board case with splendid red lining, which shows it used to belong to someone in a (presumably US) band called ‘The Sabers’. It’s pictured in its original California girl case case. A very sweet guitar to play or look at.

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