Gibson Jim James ES-335 review

The new signature model from the My Morning Jacket leader presents a working-player spec and '70s vibe

Gibson Jim James ES-335 lead
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

A lightweight thinline that might have an artist association but has also a real working-player’s vibe. One of the best new ES-335s we’ve played in a while.


  • +

    A lightweight thinline.

  • +

    Huge versatility from the T-Type ’buckers.


  • -

    Only one finish and owls might not be your thing.

  • -

    The Original series ES-335 is cheaper.

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Gibson’s Artist Collection currently holds some big-name thinlines such as the Chuck Berry ES-355, Trini Lopez and Slim Harpo ES-330. 

But this release from a more contemporary artist – My Morning Jacket’s Jim James – outwardly nods back to Gibson’s Norlin-era models with its all over walnut finish, a common colour during the '70s, although it first appeared in the latter half of the '60s. 

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.