“Increased sonic versatility and new heights of beauty”: Gibson adds the ES to its Supreme series – with Art Deco aesthetics and split coil pickups

Three of Gibson's new ES Supreme guitars
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson has added the ES-335 to its Supreme series of electric guitars, gifting the already-versatile model with a host of new tone-shaping features.

The Supreme range, which already counts a Les Paul and SG in its ranks, has been designed to help Gibson lovers “build a stable of instruments with an interesting backstory, stunning beauty, and increased sonic versatility.”

For the ES-335, a guitar long loved for its sonic versatility – everyone from BB King to Johnny Marr and Joe Bonamassa and countless jazz players have been admirers – further refinements make for an alluring concept.

It builds on a foundation of a three-ply AAA figured maple/poplar/maple body, top, and sides, and spruce bracing. That allows the beauty of the tonewoods to shine through its semi-transparent finish.

A rounded C-profile mahogany neck promises comfortable playability, with its ebony fingerboard delivering 22 Medium Jumbo frets, built to a 24.75" scale length.

But it’s when it comes to the hardware that the ES Supreme sets to distinguish itself.

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There are push/pull volume pots for transforming the output of its Burstbucker Rhythm Pro and Burstbucker Lead Pro humbucking pickups into snappy single coils. The Gibson.com Ebony exclusive, meanwhile, adds in a third middle humbucker – a Burstbucker Mid Pro – for even more tonal delight.

Controlling its electronics is made easy with a three-way toggle switch and four knobs, split equally between Volume and Tone pots.

Gibson has been determined to take the instrument to “new heights of beauty,” and has utilized plenty of tricks to achieve that.

Super Split Block mother-of-pearl inlays and gold hardware, including Grover Locking Keystone tuners, and an aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop bar, help. But it really stands apart thanks to the headstock’s Art Deco inlay design.

Originally crafted in the 1940s and recently discovered deep within the Gibson archives, the headstocks ice the builds with a retro-but-fresh individuality.

As shown in the picture below, of the two designs that were discovered, the one on the left made its way onto a lap steel guitar, but the second never made it so far. Some 80 years later, it's found its home on the ES Supreme, and shimmers with mother-of-pearl.

The 1940s Gibson headstock designs (left), the Gibson ES Supreme's unique headstock

The 1940s Gibson headstock designs (Image credit: Gibson)

Its three finishes – Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst – are augmented by two Gibson.com exclusive colorways in Royal Tan and Ebony.

The guitars ship in hardshell cases, with accessory kits stored within.

The Gibson ES Supreme costs $4,299 and is available today.

Head to Gibson to learn more.

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.