Gibson 1968 ES-335 Alpine White One of a Kind Custom Color

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This 1968 Gibson ES-335 is one of those guitars that you never expect to find.  When I happened upon it I was truly amazed.  Searching deeply throughout the internet for another from the era revealed only one other, a 1967 with chrome hardware.

Published records show that Gibson officially made zero white ES-335s in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s.  It appears that they only conceived of how cool one would be until the 80s.  Previous to the 80s production runs, Gibson reserved the color for ES-345s and 355s.

It was obvious to me that the white finish is original when I saw the guitar in person, having seen many Gibson SGs, Les Paul Juniors, etc. refinished in white over the years. 

For one thing, the original finish color always seeps into white finish on a refinished guitar, especially from color retained in mahogany.  SGs and Juniors will slowly show traces of finish into the white, despite all attempts to remove the original finish from the guitar.  Eliminating original color from binding is also extremely challenging. 

A close look at dings around the edges of the headstock, the small wear spot on the side of the neck, the binding all show that the finish is original, as does a peek under the pickups.

The guitar is stunningly cool in person.  The checking is perfect, and the original gold hardware on the white finish is spectacular.

There are some changes to the guitar, including a bone nut and a refret.  The stopbar tailpiece was added in the 70s by the previous owner.  The original trapeze tailpiece is included.  At that same time, the tuners were changed to Schallers.  The original gold Klusons are included.  The pickup covers were changed out to shiny new ones at some point, but the originals were retained and are back on the guitar.  There are a couple dings the previous owner touched up with white on the edge of the guitar and one small black touchup on the front of the headstock.  A straplock button was added that would otherwise be covered by the trapeze tailpiece.  The screw broke off in the guitar.  We put the original strap button back on the guitar where it was originally mounted.  The original label within the F hole is missing.   

All other parts are original and the wiring harness is untouched.  We could see that the pickups are original, pre-T-top patent-sticker humbuckers when we removed the changed covers, and that the pickups were otherwise unaltered.

I wanted to put the original tuners back on the guitar, but when we removed the Schallers we found that one of the altered tuner holes in the headstock was not all that great looking.  It appears that someone used a drill to widen the post hole, and the drill must've hung up.  The washer on the Schaller tuner covers this up.  If I were to keep the guitar I would have that hole plugged and touched up by someone like Joe Riggio, then re-reamed to accommodate the original tuners.  To me, this is the only real bugaboo with the guitar being that the stopbar addition was professionally done and surely adds to tone and tuning stability.

It is clear that there are no other repairs to the guitar.  There is one high fret in the upper register that we'll take care of if the guitar lingers. 

This is an excellent player with great feel and tone, and it is a truly rare piece that has seen some use, so you can plan on playing it and enjoying it yourself.  

The original case is included.

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Three day UPS air shipments will be automatic for buyers including these states and those to the east of them: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas.  Shipments will require signature on delivery, no exceptions.  If there is damage, the buyer must retain all packing materials intact and picture them immediately and send them to  Less than 1% of our shipments are damaged in transit, and we are committed to making sure your item arrives safely, but we are taking these additional measures to make sure you are happy with your purchase.   

  • Color: Alpine White
  • Weight: 8lbs 6.5ozs
  • Top: Maple
  • Body: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Inlays: Mother of pearl blocks
  • Frets: Re-fret
  • Fret count: 22
  • Nut: Non-original bone
  • Nut width: 1 9/16"
  • Scale: 24.75"
  • Radius: 10"
  • Neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.83"
  • Neck thickness at 12th fret: 0.99"
  • Action 1st String at 12th Fret: 2.0mm
  • Action 6th String at 12th Fret: 1.5mm
  • Total length: 41.25"
  • Lower bout: 16"
  • Waist: 9.125"
  • Upper bout: 11.25"
  • Body depth/thickness: 1.625"
  • String gauge: .010-.046"
  • Hardware Color: Gold
  • Bridge Pickup Brand: Gibson
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Neck Pickup Brand: Gibson
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Bridge: Stopbar tailpiece added.  Original gold trapeze in the case.  Patent number ABR-1 is original.
  • Tuners: Replaced - original gold tuners in the original case
  • Switch: Original
  • Pots: Original
  • Case: OHSC
  • Notes: The re-fretted frets show hardly any wear whatsoever so if you want a lower setup, the fret level needed to get it in shape won't take much life from it.

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