“Whether you’re playing smooth jazz, hard rock, country, or blues, this guitar can handle it all with ease”: Gibson gives the ES-335 the Supreme treatment and it sure looks mighty fine

Gibson ES Supreme
(Image credit: Gibson)

The Gibson ES-335 has officially joined the Les Paul and SG in the US brand’s Supreme lineup, with the reimagined semi-hollow electric guitar dressed up in AAA figured maple finery, multi-ply binding and equipped with a host of features to make it even more versatile.

At first blush, versatility might not be on your mind. The ES Supreme pulls focus with those finishes. It is available worldwide in Bourbon Burst, Blueberry Burst and Seafoam Green, and direct from Gibson in an exclusive Royal Tea finish – plus a three-pickup ebony version if figured maple is not your bag. 

Then there’s that headstock, a veritable MOP tour de force from an old inlay pattern that was hitherto languishing on a blueprint from the ‘40s until Gibson relaunched the Supreme series in September last year.

But there is a lot of tone to be had here, with the standard dual pickup models equipped with a pair of Gibson Burstbuckers, a three-way toggle switch to choose between them, plus independent volume and tone controls for each pickup.

The kicker? A push/pull feature on those volume pots that activates a coil-tap for single-coil adventures – just the thing for a little spankiness to go with your full-fat neck pickup cream.

Just as the Les Paul Supreme plays fast and loose with specs, with the singlecut rendered with a chambered body to make it more lightweight, the ES Supreme is similarly modernised, with a compound radius ebony fingerboard offering a more contemporary feel than the usual 12” Gibson radius.

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As per the design logic behind the Gibson Supreme models, the functional and the decorative appointments go hand in hand, and that ebony fingerboard is duly inlayed with mother of pearl Super Split Block inlays. 

Gold hardware is applied throughout. We have a set of Grover Locking Keystone tuners, an aluminium Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece. The black ‘Top Hat’ control knobs with gold inserts complement the finishes and hardware nicely. 

As for the fundamentals, we’ve got 3-ply AAA maple/poplar/maple on the top, back and sides of the guitar, with the top braced by spruce. The body’s top and headstock is finished with five-ply binding, with single-ply binding on the neck. 

The neck is mahogany, glued to the body, and it’s fashioned into a rounded C profile that should offer no shortage of comfort for chord work or leads.

Elsewhere, you’ll find “Supreme” engraved on the truss rod cover. You’ll find a price tag that reflects all this luxury. At $3,499 / $4,299, these are high-end electric guitars. No question. The ship in a hardshell guitar case and they’re available now. See Gibson for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.