First shipped in 1958 but officially released in 1959 the ES-335TD-SV was the flagship guitar in Gibson’s new Thinline Electro Spanish series. The ES-300 range went from the simple, functional single pickup (ES-330T) through the ES-335 and ES-345 to the top of the range ES-355 TDSV (Thinline, Double pickup, Stereo, Varitone).
Gibson shipping records show an initial ten ES-355TDs were shipped in 1958 but by the first full year of production in 1959 the number had increased to a healthy 300 total guitars shipped. Standard 1959 specs for the guitar were Cherry finish only, semi-hollow double cutaway with maple block running through the center, two humbucker pickups with independent volume and tone through a 3-way switch, stereo electronics with 6-position Varitone rotary control (mono electrics were available) and a Bigsby Vibrato (although factory stoptail examples do exist). The guitar was appointed to a high level in line with the Super 400 archtop and solidbody Les Paul Custom with a 5-piece split-diamond headstock inlay, multiple bound body with a bound neck and long tortoiseshell pickguard, an ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays and gold hardware throughout.
By the first catalog appearance of the ES-355 in the 1960 Catalog the guitar was offered as either the ES-355TD at $550.00 in Cherry or the ES-355TD-SV at $600.00 also in Cherry, with the 519 Faultless plush-lined case costing an additional $47.00. Shipping records show a total of 291 ES-355TD shipped with 174 of those being the ES-355TD-SV.
Founded By Semmie Moseley in the mid-1950’s after a time working with Roger Rossmeisl at Rickenbacker Mosrite spent the early part of their production concentrating on custom, handmade guitars including double and triple neck instruments, most notably a double neck guitar for Joe Maphis. In 1963 he met Nokie Edwards of the Ventures, who liked what Semie was up to. The band struck an endorsement deal with Mosrite and The Ventures Model went into production.
Mosrite Ventures model guitars have many unique features compared to other historic American marques and Moseley was not afraid to do things differently, all Ventures Models do share some common traits, notably, a reverse-style double-cutaway body, slim neck with zero-fret and steel guide nut and low Mosrite speed frets, proprietary Mosrite vibrato and bridge, proprietary fat single-coil pickups and “The Ventures” headstock.
Due to the nature of construction the Ventures Model went through various changes during it’s original 1963-1969 production. This lovely rare blue example is from 1965 and has all the design and production traits of a guitar from that period including the unbound German carved body, bolt-on neck, small Mosrite logo, Mosrite Mosley Tremolo/tailpiece and V and T short Mosrite knobs. The serial number 3042 drops the guitar into the 65-66 range with the neck dating Dec. 1965 and a body date of Nov. 1965. Pickups are unmolested with no signs of a rewind with pot codes matching Centralab 34th week of 1965. Tuners are Pat.No double line Kluson Deluxe tuners.