Gibson Guitar Board: ES-330 VOS - I want one but don't like the 2-piece parts - Gibson Guitar Board

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ES-330 VOS - I want one but don't like the 2-piece parts

#21 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:38 AM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 12 September 2013 - 06:31 AM, said:

The new ones must be 2 piece.

Yes, this started with the 2013 model, and there were a number of other small changes made as well.

I haven't played a 2013, but an awful lot of people (me included) simply gush about the 2012 version. Being the initial year of the 330 VOS, it essentially had only a one year run before a number of changes were made, so it's rather unique.
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#22 User is offline   g6120 

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 04:08 AM

Ive got one of the earlier models ES 330 reissues love it and to be honest the newer models might sound great but I really don't care for the wood it does not match and that's one thing Ive always looked for it a instrument nice wood grain .
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#23 User is offline   tonyj 

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 02:25 PM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 12 September 2013 - 06:31 AM, said:

Oh yeah. Wow. That's weird. The new ones must be 2 piece. They do look kind of cheesy.


That's odd! I picked up a new '59 RI Vintage Sunburst VOS ES330 yesterday, Serial Number T10821. It really is a killer guitar - but that is just a 'BTW'. From what I am seeing both the back and the front are made from a single piece. Yes, I know it's a single piece of plywood, but you know what I mean.

Whether the fingerboard is laminated Rosewood or one piece, I do not know, and 'No', I am not tearing the thing apart to find out.

One thing I have seen - and only from photos in some cases, is that whilst my guitar has no Serial Number on the back of the headstock, and no paper label visible when looking down either of the f-holes, it does have the Serial Number stamped in ink on the inside of the back, and is clearly seen by viewing from the f-hole on the high string side. I believe this is correct for the original '59 guitar.

There is no actual date on my COA, but I am assuming that since the guitar only arrived at my dealership quite recently, that this is indeed a 2013 model.

Regardless, this is truly an extremely beautiful guitar, and is one that I will treasure.
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#24 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:27 PM

View Posttonyj, on 28 September 2013 - 02:25 PM, said:

That's odd! I picked up a new '59 RI Vintage Sunburst VOS ES330 yesterday, Serial Number T10821.

There is no actual date on my COA, but I am assuming that since the guitar only arrived at my dealership quite recently, that this is indeed a 2013 model.

Tony - Congrats on the new guitar! Mine is also a "T" serial number, purchased in 2012. I believe the 2013s use an "R" designation, but I'm not sure if this is universally true.

If you contact Customer Service, they should be able to tell you exactly what you have. Enjoy!
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#25 User is offline   tonyj 

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:16 PM

View Postbobouz, on 29 September 2013 - 01:27 PM, said:

Tony - Congrats on the new guitar! Mine is also a "T" serial number, purchased in 2012. I believe the 2013s use an "R" designation, but I'm not sure if this is universally true.

If you contact Customer Service, they should be able to tell you exactly what you have. Enjoy!


Hi bobouz I talked to the Customer Service people earlier today. The S/N remains somewhat of a mystery, as according to their agent, the 'date' is not reflected by the serial number (??). But, yes they confirmed that mine is indeed a 'made in 2012' guitar - even though I bought it quite recently and it does look to be totally unused.This adds further credence to the theory that the 'one piece top' and 'one piece rear' along with the 'T' serial number, ES-330s are more likely to be 2012s than 2013s.

BTW, I saw another ES-330 today at another dealership, and it too was all 'one piece' and had the familiar T1***1 number. The dealer stated that they had had it in their system since last year. (2012).
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#26 User is offline   Drog 

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:17 AM

I have a 2013 ES-330 and it has a one piece top.
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#27 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:09 PM

View PostDrog, on 07 February 2014 - 09:17 AM, said:

I have a 2013 ES-330 and it has a one piece top.

Yes, they did switch back to a one piece top towards the end of the year.
I've seen three examples that also had a fair amount of flame to their one piece tops.
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#28 User is offline   AlanC 

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:52 AM

bobouz said:

1376897884[/url]' post='1413842']
I have a 2012 natural finish, purchased after A-Bing three, and the plugged & unplugged tone is stellar - to such a degree that the two piece fretboard became a non-issue for me. I literally could not leave the store without that particular 330.

Play every one you can get your hands on for the best frame of reference. It also so happened that the one I fell for had a slightly smaller neck profile, which fit me like a glove. They truly are not all created equal.

As for the criteria you have outlined, I've heard that some 2013s were to be made with a one piece front & back, but haven't seen one yet.

You might try emailing customer service regarding serial numbers, as you will have to go with a 2013 to get the one piece board.

Good luck in your search.


I own a 2012 330 VOS and it is amazing. A really under the radar guitar. Worth every cent. Sounds gorgeous and beautifully made.
AlanC.


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#29 User is offline   6stringbobby 

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:04 PM

What's the big deal about 2 piece tops? Les Paul's and even L5's have 2 piece tops? Gibson and other manufacturers have been doing that forever.
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#30 User is offline   Blazorge 

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:48 PM

Call me dense (wouldn't be the first time) but I don't see the seam.

View Postbram99, on 09 September 2013 - 03:40 PM, said:

it is true...

http://davesguitar.c...mphis/es-330-4/

odd give that it is plywood.

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#31 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:07 AM

View PostBlazorge, on 09 February 2014 - 03:48 PM, said:

Call me dense (wouldn't be the first time) but I don't see the seam.

That's because what you're looking at now on Dave's website is a different guitar. At the time the quoted post was made back in September of last year, it would have been a different example with the two-piece top.
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#32 User is offline   mrfett 

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:09 PM

Check out what I just discovered: originals had 2 piece fronts/backs!

Listing: 1959 ES-330 for sale

Front:
Posted Image

Back:
Posted Image
think for yourself
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#33 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:30 PM

View Postmrfett, on 12 February 2014 - 11:09 PM, said:

Check out what I just discovered: originals had 2 piece fronts/backs!

Yes indeed, which is why Gibson recreated it, as noted at last year's NAMM unveiling.
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#34 User is offline   Brian AC 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:06 AM

They are 2 piece to reflect the tops found on various 1959 models (spliced) apparently! Whilst a one piece might be more desirable, it in no way impacts sound or playability. I have one (2 piece) and it is the best guitar I have played for a long time - light, lovely neck profile, clear as a bell sounds acoustically and the p90s are fantastic!

If I had to keep one guitar it would be the 330 - I recommend it to all of you!!
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#35 User is offline   Laservampire 

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:52 PM

Just to clear this up, I bought a 2014 ES-330 recently and it has both a single piece fretboard and a single piece top and back. R serial number.

The new Memphis Historic Spec P-90s are fantastic too!

Don't hesitate on getting one of these as they are the most vintage feeling modern Gibson I've played in years, miles ahead of my 2008 R6 Goldtop.
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#36 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 03:04 AM

View PostLaservampire, on 01 July 2014 - 06:52 PM, said:

Just to clear this up, I bought a 2014 ES-330 recently and it has both a single piece fretboard and a single piece top and back. R serial number.

The new Memphis Historic Spec P-90s are fantastic too!

Don't hesitate on getting one of these as they are the most vintage feeling modern Gibson I've played in years, miles ahead of my 2008 R6 Goldtop.

If you check with Gibson, it might be that your guitar was produced in 2013. The 2012s used a T serial number, but S was skipped over (don't recall the reason). 2013s were R serial numbers. The two piece top started in 2013, but Memphis returned to one piece tops on the 330 before year's end.

I completely agree regarding the vintage feel of this model. My natural finish 2012 ES-330 would be my one "desert island" keeper. It is simply superb in both tone and playability.
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#37 User is offline   Kaiser Bill 

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:03 AM

Not being familiar with this model (there are so many "330" series) I Googled it. What I found was there are lots of different pup choices. Minis, full dress, and P-90s. This would be a great addition to a collection at only 5 lbs 10 oz according to the hype. Over three grand is a lot, but I think for this guitar it may be worth it.
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#38 User is offline   Laservampire 

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:57 PM

View Postbobouz, on 02 July 2014 - 03:04 AM, said:

If you check with Gibson, it might be that your guitar was produced in 2013. The 2012s used a T serial number, but S was skipped over (don't recall the reason). 2013s were R serial numbers. The two piece top started in 2013, but Memphis returned to one piece tops on the 330 before year's end.


It's definitely a 2014, the warranty card had a march 2014 date on it and the model number on the box was the new ES3014VBNH1 number, which has the new specs: Non-Spliced Plain Maple veneers, hide glue neck joint and MHS P-90s.

It's got a beautiful dark rosewood board and some subtle flame in the top. Absolutely beautiful!

View PostKaiser Bill, on 02 July 2014 - 06:03 AM, said:

Not being familiar with this model (there are so many "330" series) I Googled it. What I found was there are lots of different pup choices. Minis, full dress, and P-90s. This would be a great addition to a collection at only 5 lbs 10 oz according to the hype. Over three grand is a lot, but I think for this guitar it may be worth it.


The new ES-330 is totally worth it, even at the absurd price I had to pay here in Australia (around US$4200). I've never played a modern Gibson that feels closer to a vintage one than this.
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#39 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:12 PM

View PostLaservampire, on 02 July 2014 - 04:57 PM, said:

It's definitely a 2014, the warranty card had a march 2014 date on it and the model number on the box was the new ES3014VBNH1 number, which has the new specs: Non-Spliced Plain Maple veneers, hide glue neck joint and MHS P-90s.
It's got a beautiful dark rosewood board and some subtle flame in the top. Absolutely beautiful!

Sounds like a wonderful guitar - Congrats & enjoy!
>Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
>Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney-Elitist 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '13 EL-00 Pro
>Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '14 A-150b
>Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1 / >Ibanez: '81 M-340
>Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#40 User is offline   mikecost1031 

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:23 AM

I own a 1959 ES-330 T in natural. A few observations about this guitar. It has two piece front and backs (Laminated). The back piece has nice bubbling and the front a flamey grain. Also interesting is it is the body is thicker (1 1/2)than a 68 es-330TD I own (1 1/4) or a 62 Epiphone Century (2). Too add more mystery is the neck is laminated at the heel with a mahogany heel cap the depth of the binding. I have seen another of this era and it has the same heel so I don't think it is repair etc. The model number stamp is ES-330T with no N, but it is definitely not refinished. Sound and plays great.
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