Introduced in 2003, the Gibson ES-333 is similar to the Gibson ES-335, but with several differences: a thin satin finish, a silkscreen headstock Gibson logo with no inlays, bound fingerboard, the pickups are Gibson type 490R and 498T, versus the ES-335's Gibson 57 Classic pickups. the back of the body has an access cover for the electronics, versus the solid rear of the ES-335. As a modified but cheaper, satin-finished ES-335 the ES-333s were a great deal, but were discontinued around 2005.
The body is made of arched, laminated wood, with the exterior and interior laminations being made of maple. There is a maple central core in the semi-hollow body. The neck is mahogany, with a bound rosewood fingerboard and pearloid dot markers. The hardware is nickel plated. The ES-333 had no pickup covers, nor pickguard, and came with black "speed" knobs. Switch tip color was black or creme. The truss rod cover is plain, and the headstock overlay is the fibre material used on many contemporary Gibson models.
The ES-333 has an access plate on the back that allowing easy access to the electronics - this is much easier than on typical 335 style guitars saves going through the f-holes to try and access the control circuits.
The ES-333 was available in "faded" brown, cherry red, natural and sunburst finishes, which are thin satin nitrocellulose lacquer. These finishes will take on the appearance of old instruments, after a period of wear.
The ES-333 is associated with Tom Delonge and there is a Tom Delonge signature ES-335 model (and and Epiphone version).