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gnappi

Gibson ES335 12 string WITH volute

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I've never seen one. According to Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, they were introduced in '65 & discontinued in '71. That makes a volute in the latter guitars a possibility.

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Never seen one with a volute. The one I had (1968) until two years ago had the typical late-60's skinny neck, with 1 9/16" nut. Neck profile in that period was very similar to Gibson acoustics of the time: narrow, and thin.

 

1967 was the peak production year for the 335-12 with 1048 built. Production dropped to 340 in 1968, 61 in 1969, and only 46 in 1970, the last year of production.

 

It would be a surprise if the neck configuration was re-tooled with production dropping so rapidly. The 335-12 neck is a totally different animal compared to that of the 335 in the same period, due to the massively long headstock.

 

Gibson did a run of 335-12's just a couple of years ago, with a 1 11/16" or 1 3/4" nut width (can't remember which). If you could find one of these, it would be a more playable instrument than most of the vintage models, if you are looking for an ES 335-12.

 

Who knows how many 335-12s snapped headstocks, the primary reason for adding the volute? The extra string tension of a 12 makes that a real risk, even if you are careful.

 

The one I had showed virtually no evidence of having been played, which is probably fairly common, although I looked at some pretty beat-up instruments when I was shopping. The miracle is that it was in such good condition despite never having a proper case before I got it. These don't fit in a normal Gibson 335 case. I ended up getting an Epiphone 335 case, which fit like a glove thanks to the six-string Epi's longer headstock compared to the Gibson version. A Gibson EB-2 case for the bass guitar version of the ES 335 will fit the 335-12 as well.

 

That sums up about all I know about the 335-12. It's a cool-looking guitar, but I figured out I'm not Roger McGuinn, so it wasn't a keeper.(Yes, I know McGuinn plays a Ric, but his Martin HD-7 is also a cool guitar.)

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I bought this 1968 over 20 years ago. I'm not a big 12 string guy, it doesn't get played much but it was too good to pass up.

 

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