Discerning the differences will help inform your buying decisions – here’s a quick lowdown
pickups There were, in fact, two distinct ES-330 models in the early 60s: the ES-330TD and ES-330T. The ES-330T has only one P-90 pickup in a centered position. These models are less common and less sought-after than their dual pickup counterparts and typically sell for around 30-40 percent less. As with any vintage Gibson, it is of importance to collectors that the pickups are original. Finish In 1961, the ES-330 was marketed in three finishes: sunburst, cherry, and natural. On Reverb, we have seen the most sales for cherry, which tend to sell at the same price as sunburst. Natural examples are rare and were only built when the wood was available. These guitars fetch the highest prices of all when they come to market, up to 50 percent above the rest of the pack. Woodgrain Because these guitars were made with maple tops, many exhibit lovely wood grains, which is especially evident on those with a natural finish. The more vibrant the pattern, the more captivating the guitar will be to a collector. The highest priced ES-330 to sell on Reverb in the past year exhibited a particularly striking grain, which propelled its price. Remember, case-by-case assessment of originality, condition and playability can also impact a guitar’s value.