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Gibson / ES-345 TDC / 1961 / Cherry / Guitar

A gorgeous 1961 Gibson ES-345 TDC anyone?

Debuting in 1959 with its stereo circuitry and varitone tonal shaping, the ES-345 and its brother the ES-355 where the top dogs of the Gibson semi acoustic range and each featuring the option of a cherry finish that so defined the look of Gibson guitar to come.

Resplendent in its watermelon coat, this guitar look too good. A great example of that classic Watermelon fade, this guitar has been well cared for. Both front and back are free of any real wear. The back has a few scratches but nothing too severe. The neck too shows some signs of wear through the gloss finish but this again is not too severe. The fretboard is in great shape. The rosewood has an attractive grain and the original frets have lots of life left in them. Some of the lacquer has flaked off the inlays but otherwise the headstock is in great shape.

The hardware is a little tarnished. The guitar had been strung as a stop tail (not an original period correct piece but has been returned to the case) with the ‘Custom Made’ badge stored in the case with the sideways trem. You can decide yourself how you would like to play this (pun intended) and we have pics of the guitar in both configurations, but we returned the guitar to its original spec, notable as this guitar (left the factory in January 1961) would have been one of the first to feature the sideways trem. The ABR-1 bridge is nice as a no wire original which still has two of the original ‘bone’ saddles left.

The plastics are in good shape. The chicken head varitone knob is a feature of these guitars brought out in the early 60’s. Originally it would have bene painted all gold but with use the paint has worn off.

Electronically, the solder joints to the pots are correct and untouched. The covers on the neck PAFs has been removed probably to change to the polarity or simply to remove the cover. As this one had already been taken off at some stage we checked inside to mae sure everything was OK and we can confirm everything is original with no repairs or rewinds. The other PAF has never been disturbed.

The guitar comes with its correct Gibson black Tolex case with orange lining.

Both pickups on this guitar sound great. As its still wired in stereo, playing each pickup requires some some arranging of the jack plug but the effort is worth it. The neck pickup is really accentuates the wood tones without loosing any definition whilst the bridge pickup really delivers that bite that you only really get from a PAF. 

If you’re looking for an ES guitar then you can’t go much wrong with this one. Watermelon vintage ES guitars are pretty desirable and it probably won’t hang around very long.

Instrument sold

ATB Guitars, UK  

Contact name:
Mike Long
Vintage Gibson, Fender and Martin from 1940's-1970's
Opening hours:
24 hours

Hello we’re ATB Guitars.

We are one of Europes leading sellers of vintage and rare guitars. We only sell vintage Gibson and Fender electric guitars from 1950 until 1975 and have an extensive inventory to browse in our bricks and mortar store in Cheltenham, UK or in our online web store.

Payment and p/x:

All prices are in UK GBP £ Sterling. Payment can be made by Paypal, bank transfer, cash, or money order cashiers cheque etc. 

Should you not be absolutely delighted with your purchase you may return it to Cheltenham, at your own expense, within 7 days from the date of delivery for a full refund. The item must not have been altered or tampered with in any way, and it must arrive in the same condition as it left us.

Postage and shipping:

We ship within the UK by Royal Mail Recorded (small items under 2Kg), TNT or UPS and Worldwide by Royal Mail Airmail Signed For (small under 2Kg) Parcelforce, UPS or FedEx. All shipping prices include expert packing, cartons and packing materials but not insurance which is typically around 2% of items value. Currently approx shipping rates for a single guitar are as follows:

UK excluding Northern Ireland and Highlands £29
Most of mainland Europe £49
U.S.A. £129
Asia £149 - £190
Rest of World including S. America £149 - £275


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