ES-345 Guitars

1964 Gibson ES-345

Color: Sunburst, Rating: 9.25, $17,500.00 (ID# 00634)
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One of the Very Last Original "Stop-Tail" ES-345s.


1964 Gibson ES-345TD.

One of the last of only 218 Sunburst "Stereo Guitars" made in 1964. This guitar weighs just 8.80 lbs. and has a nut width of just over 1 5/8 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Laminated maple body with semi-solid construction and maple central block, one-piece mahogany neck with a medium thick profile, and bound rosewood fretboard with 22 wide jumbo frets and inlaid pearl split-parallelogram position markers (no inlay at the 1st fret). Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and pearl crown inlay. Two-layer (black on white) plastic truss-rod cover with "Stereo" engraved in white. Serial number ("272456") impressed into the back of the headstock. Individual dual-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with single-ring Keystone plastic buttons. The body of the guitar is triple-bound on the top and single-bound on the back. Two "patent-number" humbucking pickups with black plastic surrounds and outputs of 7.12k and 7.16k. Each pickup with a black label ("Patent No. 2,737,842") on the underside. Five-layer (black/white/black/white/black) plastic pickguard. Four controls (two volume, two tone) plus three-way selector switch for pickup selection and six-position Varitone rotary switch for tonal settings, all on lower treble bout. Gold plastic bell-shaped "Bell" knobs with metal tops and a gold circular plate with the numbers in black around the Varitone switch. ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic retainer bridge with nylon saddles and separate stud (stop) tailpiece. All hardware gold-plated. This guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition, with only a minuscule amount of fretwear, some light finish checking, a couple of tiny marks on the edges, and a little bit of tarnishing to the gold-plated hardware. This guitar is one of the very last "stop-tail" ES-345s produced. Although the serial number ("272456") corresponds to an early 1965 date, this guitar has all of the features of a late 1964, and most certainly remained in the Gibson factory until being allocated its serial number a few months later. Housed in the original Gibson black hardshell case with orange plush lining (8.75).

"The ES-345 was Gibson's first stereo guitar. It had a circuit that, when connected to a suitable 'Y'-cable, would split the pickups to two individual amplifiers, creating a wide if not strictly stereo spread. It also had a Varitone six-way tone selector. By 1963...the 335 family was priced as follows: the sunburst 335 was $300 ($315 in cherry); sunburst 345 was $395 ($410 cherry); and mono 355 was $595 ($645 with stereo and Varitone)" (Tony Bacon, The History of the American Guitar from 1833 to the Present Day, p. 105).

"On the threshold of 1965 the stop tailpiece was discarded and replaced by a conventional trapeze tailpiece with a raised diamond motif. At the time all the other specifications remained unchanged. Ultimately, the ES-345 was discontinued in 1981" (A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics -- The Classic Years. p. 234).

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