Category: ES 335

Tom Delonge Signature ES-333

For those (parents of?) blink 182 and Angels and Airways fans, if you want to buy a Tom Delonge sig, you’re better off buying from a reputable dealer. This one is a fake.

Why? Well, the frets, (though hard to see here) go over the binding, (which on this white model should be brown). A re-fret? Well, not when it’s advertised as “New”. The headstock appears to be at the wrong angle. Also, notice that the headstock is a different color/colour to the rest of the guitar. The pickup surround on his white one is black, the one on the natural one is white, (the fake white one has the white surround but a natural headstock). Also, the only standard Delonge model, (incidently an ES333, not ES335), that you can get from Gibson is chocolate brown satin with cream racing stripes.

The real one, (pictured above) has been made for Tom in a few different colours/colors, I’m thinking the manufacturers of the fake are trying to combine two models. For a bit more information on the real ones check out this website.

Fake Lefty ES335


The classic shape of the ES335, sort of. The body shape is a little off with the inward curve appearing to be in too far though this could be because the horns are a little long. The other signs of it’s non-authenticity, (if that’s even a word) are that the pots placement is way off their intended position, the funky tailpiece is not usually found on the Gibson original and the pick guard should not be single ply, (though the shape of it is not as bad as on this one). Also of note is the odd headstock inlay that kind of looks like a cheap knockoff of the Traditional Flowerpot found on the L-5, (amongst others). This particular guitar also had no MADE IN USA or serial number stamped into the back of the headstock like many of the other fakes on

Along with those pertinent to this model, other irregularities found on most fake Gibson guitars are also present; The frets go over the top of the binding, the headstock shape is a little off, it has a three screw truss rod cover (that is completely the wrong shape) and the Gibson logo is wrong, (for this model).

… just watch old Bandit run”, BANDITT in this case.


Oh, it’s an ES335, according to the body shape. But it’s an Epiphone, according to the pick guard, so a 335 dot? No, it’s a Gibson, according to the headstock, but if that’s the case it’s a Les Paul… How confusing. This copy of a Gibson ES 335 has a lot going wrong with it, least of all BANDITT inlaid into the fret board. From left to right, sloppy placement of pot and selector switch. An Epiphone scratch plate, frets over the binding,


wrong truss rod cover, Les Paul signature on the headstock, dodgy Gibson logo and usual miss-shaped moustache/open book headstock. It’s a selection of fakes in one guitar!

Um, a 335? Really?

And I’m back, advertised as a Gibson ES335 and at a very low price with the option to upgrade to having a case!? I am sure I’m not teaching many people here anything new by showing you this, but for those that don’t know, this doesn’t look anything like an ES335. A real ES335 looks like the picture below, you see, different.

Another giveaway is the headstock, though very good, some would say an incredibly accurate copy.

It is nonetheless a Les Paul Custom headstock, which you don’t get on a Gibson ES335.  Sometimes it’s the subtle differences.

Mess Of An ES

The ES 335 – a great guitar, perfect for Rock, Jazz and Blues, first built in 1958, and still going strong today. Many variations have been made, BB King’s Lucille, Tom Delonge’s signature (actually an ES333) and Eric Clapton’s “Crossroads” have all been huge sellers, (well Clapton’s was limited to 250 but the price tag was huge), a beat up old cherry red one would be on my Christmas list every year. When I think of rock n’ roll I think of Chuck Berry slamming his 335 through Johnny B Goode and I wanna duck walk across my lounge room.

If I were to buy the one below though I would duck walk it straight back to the seller and demand a refund.

This fake ES 335 is one of the newer breed of fake Gibson guitars out there at the moment, they appear to be real, headstocks aren’t as dodgy looking as they used to be, maybe a two screw truss rod cover and  available to buy online from apparent local sellers but shipped from China. A quick glance and it looks pretty good, but look closer and some things just aren’t right.

The shape of the pick guard has more in common with the Epiphone 335 Dot by the way it curves down again towards the treble cutaway and is larger than it should be. The input and pickup selector switch do not appear to be placed correctly in relation to the pots and f holes and the case is not something a Gibson guitar would arrive in. Remember a Gibson ES 335 is made in the Gibson Custom Shop and should come with the appropriate case.

As you can see in the picture of this real ES 335 from the Gibson website these guitars also feature fret board binding that is missing from the copy, (again something you will find in similarity to the Epiphone Dot guitars). Also look out for an orange label inside the bass f hole of a Gibson semi hollow / hollow body guitar, this is noticeably absent from the first image though has been found in some copies.