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Microphone Month

Guitar of the Day

Next to the Les Paul model, the ES-335 Dot Neck is unquestionably Gibson’s most recognizable design. First introduced in 1958 – the same year the Les Paul got its sunburst maple top – this guitar has been in production ever since. In 1962, the simple pearloid dots were replaced by pearloid blocks, and it wasn’t until the 1980s that Gibson saw fit to reintroduce “Dot Necks” again. But today Gibson has gone back to the basics. The Memphis ES-335 Dot we’re looking at has an interesting finish that Gibson is calling simply Transparent Brown. It’s the perfect finish for this particular 335, which has a figured maple top, back, and sides and single-ply binding on both the top and back, as well as the fingerboard.

The most interesting thing about the ES-335 is that it’s a hollowbody design, but with a solid block of maple that runs down the center of the body. This helps eliminate annoying feedback at high volumes, but allows for a sweet sustain. The solid mahogany neck has a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard and the 1960 slim-taper profile, considered by many to be the fastest neck Gibson has ever produced (it was used on the 1960 Les Paul, as well as the various SG models starting in 1961). The guitar comes equipped with a pair of ’57 Classic humbuckers (typically called PAFs, for “patent applied for”). Most players agree that the ’57 PAF humbuckers are as good as it gets when you’re talking about tone. It’s got it all: complex midrange, punchy lows, and a smooth top end that won’t make your teeth hurt. If you’re looking for a pickup that starts out clean and can really smoke when your amp is cranked up, well then, this just might be nirvana! Naturally, a guitar this classy comes with a deluxe, plush-lined Custom Shop hardshell case for protection that will last a lifetime.

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