For sale is this vintage 1949 Gibson ES-5 hollowbody electric guitar. This particular example, A-4282, is in very nice original cosmetic condition, though it has been accordingly hot-rodded by the original owner to best deliver a rockin’ rockabilly performance. It sports a very early first-production fixed-arm Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and bridge, as well as, the original owner’s name tastefully painted upon the top of the guitar, near bass side upper bout. The overall vibe is brilliant, and the guitar plays every bit as good as it looks. Although there have been some slight modifications made by the original owner over the course of his 50+ years of supervision, this guitar is in 100% all original cosmetic shape and remains in perfect structural condition.
Aside from the P-90s, which were replaced in the early ’70s with a rare set of three matching transluscent green bobbin pickups, and the aforementioned era-appropriate Bigsby upgrade, this guitar is in very nice original condition.
The original Kluson tuning machines are in great shape, and the guitar has never been modified for non-original nor larger tuners. The headstock is crisp, intact, and structurally solid with no breaks, no cracks, nor any repairs whatsoever. The guitar retains the original truss rod cover, the original frets, and the original nut. While the trio of green bobbin P-90s are clearly non-original, though certainly cool and valuable in their own right, the black pickup covers are original. The pickguard is original, as are the (4) gold barrel control knobs. The guitar also includes an original era-appropriate form-fitting brown hardshell case.
Once again, there are no structural issues nor is there damage anywhere on this instrument. Theoretically, it could be restored, and the paint could be removed, but that would most certainly be a shame. It plays easily, sports very low action, and is an all-around fantastic guitar. While not original to this ES-5, the green bobbin P-90s are spectacular-sounding, and are worth quite a bit on their own.