1959 Gibson ES-345

This is a vintage 1959 Gibson ES-345 electric hollow body guitar with the original case. This no issues example (no breaks, no cracks, no modifications, no nothing) is in very attractive 9/10 cosmetic condition. This particular guitar, serial number A31466, was made during the absolute prime of Gibson’s golden era of electric instruments, and will forever be amongst a select few epitomized as the best guitars of all time.

This guitar features all of the quintessential ’59 characteristics that have since inspired a significant element within guitar culture, and includes: the original Tobacco sunburst finish, a double-bound maple body, a 1-piece mahogany neck, split parallelogram inlays, (2) P.A.F humbucking pickups (black bobbins), a VariTone tone selector, MONO electronics, stop tailpiece, tun-o-matic ABR-1 bridge (wireless), Kluson Deluxe tuning machines, gold hardware, a “long guard” 4-ply (b/w/b/w) pickguard, and the original brown exterior/pink interior Lifton case.

1959 was the first year for the production of the ES-345. As indicated by the model designation, the guitar sits nicely in between the ES-335 and the ES-355. With identical construction to an ES-335, it performs and sounds just like a ’59 Dot Neck. This particular example is currently wired in a Mono setup, and while most ES-345’s are Stereo, the guitar is not denoted as being a Stereo model neither on the orange label nor on the truss rod cover. As can be seen in one of the photos, the label simply reads, “ES-345” with a letter “T” written next to “Guitar,” as opposed to “ES-345 ST.”

As can be seen in the collection of photos, this guitar is in very excellent condition. With very minimal playing wear, almost non-existent fading, and light weather-checking, this guitar is still crisp and still exhibits original sheen. The gold hardware (pickup covers, stop tailpiece) displays the typical light wear and oxidation. The VariTone control plate also shows some wear. The Kluson Deluxe tuning machines are in very excellent cosmetic and working condition.

With regard to functionality, this guitar is remarkable. It is not just a good example of a ’59 ES-series instrument, it is one of the best. With an incredible neck angle, a perfectly straight neck, unbelievable sounding P.A.F.s, plenty of original fret life, and a dense (but not too heavy, 8 lbs. 12 oz.) construction, this guitar sings and sustains effortlessly. Yes, of course this neck features the famous round ’59 neck profile, which is particularly comfortable even for those of us whom sometimes prefer a more shallow shape.

The bridge pickup is surprisingly loud, yet, is not too bright or barky. It is smooth, with harmonious presence, and a natural envelope. The neck pickup nicely compliments the bridge pickup, and is smooth and loud, without being overly aggressive or woofy. It is one of those guitars that sounds so good when played acoustically, that it naturally translates to brilliance when plugged in.

The original case is in very good shape, however, there is evidence of old tape around the bottom edge to conceal a torn seam.

ES345, ES345TD, ES-345TD, ES-345-TD, ES355, ES-355