Gibson Memphis 2018 ES-335 Traditional in Dark Vintage Natural

Written by

Sam Beattie

The Gibson ES-335 model is one of the most recognisable in Gibson’s iconic instrument range. Part of the impressive 2018 line-up, this beautiful semi-hollow guitar mixes old-school styling with modern functionality. With the remarkable build quality you’d come to expect from Gibson, this instrument boasts an incredible sound with a great look to match.

The ES-335 is renowned for its versatility, but has generally appealed mostly to jazz and blues players. However, with its updated hardware and versatile humbucking pickups, we think the 2018 ES-335 will be seen in the hands of far more modern players.

Body Construction:

The 2018 Memphis ES-335 has a semi-hollow body, which delivers a bright and open acoustic-esque sound with plenty of volume. The response you get from this guitar is very inspiring, where you can feel every note or chord surge through your body. Despite being a semi-hollow design, the body is quite thin compared to some other Gibson models, offering a comfortable playing experience. This also means that feedback is reduced, making it usable with overdrive or distortion.

With Maple and Poplar tonewoods, as well as a maple centreblock within the body, this guitar provides a lot of top-end sizzle. This gives brilliant definition to picked chord progressions or searing solos, really making sure that you can cut through any mix!


The neck has a familiar rounded “C” neck profile, which feels substantial in the hands without being too chunky. Rolled binding also offers a smoother feel and a sleek transition between the side of the neck and the fretboard, a great feature that you will find only on high-calibre instruments like this.

The quarter-sawn mahogany neck is adorned with a dark rosewood fingerboard, giving you a silky smooth feel around the neck. This championed combination of woods brings out the warmth of this guitar, merging well with the bright body woods. This means that this guitar sounds incredibly full-bodied, great for both live use and studio sessions.

Hardware and Electronics:

The 2018 ES-335 has a modern ABR-1 bridge, with a locking die-cast zinc tailpiece that makes string changes effortless. Titanium saddles offer better sustain, intonation and longevity, making this the perfect workhorse guitar that’ll never let you down. Also offering improved tuning stability, these special saddles along with the Grover “Milk Bottle” Rotomatic tuners will keep your strings in check.

Dual MHS humbucking pickups give a rounded, warm tone with medium output. More responsive to your playing dynamics, they lend themselves to expressive players that like to convey their music in the most genuine way possible. With distortion they can sound fairly raunchy and bold, meaning it’s not just a one trick pony by any means. You can use this for jazz, blues, classic rock or indie – it’s that versatile!

Here's what Gibson say about the Memphis 2018 ES-335 Traditional in Ebony:

The 2018 Gibson ES-335 is not a revolution, it’s an evolution. Built on a  pedigree of performance and quality, this guitar takes things a step further. The ABR-1 bridge is enhanced with titanium saddles for increased clarity, definition, and sustain. The control assembly is hand-wired with Orange Drop capacitors and our MHS humbucking pickups, resulting in that distinctive Gibson tone that players crave. New timeless finishes include Antique Faded Cherry and Antique Ebony



  • Top: 3-ply Maple/Poplar/Maple
  • Back: 3-ply Maple/Poplar/Maple
  • Centerblock: Maple
  • Bracing: Spruce
  • Binding: Single-ply Cream
  • Finish: Dark Vintage Natural


  • Neck: Quarter Sawn Mahogany
  • Neck Profile: Rounded "C", Rolled Binding
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Inlays: Pearloid Small Block
  • Nut: Bone
  • Nut Width: 1.687"
  • Scale Length: 24.75"
  • Number of Frets: 22


  • Finish: Nickel
  • Bridge: ABR-1 with titanium saddles
  • Tailpiece: Die-cast Zinc with Locking Studs
  • Tuners: Grover 'Milk Bottle' Rotomatics
  • Knobs: Black Top Hats with Silver Inserts


  • Neck pickup: MHS Humbucker Rhythm
  • Bridge pickup: MHS Humbucker Lead
  • Controls: 2 volumes, 2 tones, 1 toggle switch, hand-wired  with orange drop capacitors
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