Gibson CS ES-335 '61 Sixties Cherry Murphy Lab Heavy Aged

Gibson ES-335 1961 Reissue electric guitar, Sixties Cherry Murphy Lab Heavy Aged finish. Serial number: 121359.
Gibson CS ES-335 '61 Sixties Cherry Murphy Lab Heavy Aged

Body: 3-ply laminated maple/poplar/maple
Neck: mahogany, Authentic '61 Skinny C profile
Fingerboard: rosewood, 12"radius
Frets: 22 medium jumbo frets
Pickups: 2 x Custombucker Alnico 3
Bridge: ABR-1
Tuners: Kluson
Controls: 3 positions pickup switch, 2 volumes, 2 tones

Specific References

  • Gibson CS ES-335 '61 Sixties Cherry Murphy Lab Heavy Aged
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Gibson has forever engraved its name in the hall of fame of guitar, from jazz to rock, blues and metal. Founded in 1894 by Orville H. Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, the company has revolutionized the guitar world with technical and aesthetic innovations such as the humbuckers or the Flying V, Explorer and Firebird shapes. With ambassadors like Charlie Christian and Slash, or Tommi Iommi and, of course, Lester Polfus, Gibson crosses the ages and musical styles, and stands out as a must-have brand of guitar, both electric and acoustic.

Gibson has mastered its craft, and the Murphy Lab has done it again. You know that feeling of being able to rock out, but on a guitar that still responds in subtle ways to the nuances of your style? If you want to experience an ES-335 that's totally indistinguishable from a vintage one, other than the fact that it's actually brand new, this one is perfect.

Vintage Gibson Custom Shop cases don't look like much. They should, since that was the style back then. But when we opened the one with this guitar in it, we were blown away. It's a 1961 ES-335, with a Sixties Cherry Murphy Lab Heavy Aged finish that gives the impression of a guitar that would have traveled a lot in airplane holds, and that would have been played on stage during an extensive career.

It's a 1961 ES-335 with all the elements that brought this model into the spotlight: 3-ply laminated maple and poplar semi-hollow body, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, and a pair of Alnico 3 Custombuckers. The Authentic '61 Skinny C-Shape neck profile is actually a sort of slim taper, which was the profile of Gibson necks back in the day, but it's been adjusted to match the ones Murphy Lab scanned to determine the exact dimensions. It's very comfortable to play, as this profile reduces left hand fatigue when holding chords for long periods of time, or when going legato.

We plugged it in, of course, and our immediate impression was that on this guitar, the Alnico 3 Custombuckers, which are obviously PAF replicas, produce a slightly more balanced sound in all three positions than on the ES-335s we usually test. The body favors the explosion of harmonics, and the pickups capture this effect perfectly. Normally, the neck pickup is rather dark, while the bridge pickup sounds more shrill. This is not the case here, and the neck pickup, although it delivers a round and warm sound, remains quite bright. In contrast, because that's what really changes, the bridge pickup sounds less aggressive, especially in the upper midrange, which allows for a wide range of sound, which can be switched from one end to the other very smoothly by a quick adjustment.

2 years warranty from our workshop.