Picture perfect Gibson ES-345TDC from early 1962 in fantastic condition. Resplendent in its Cherry Red finish with Gold hardware, split parallelogram inlays the ES-345 is easily one of the most iconic guitars from the golden-age of Gibson electric guitar production. Marty McFly sure thought so. Not only does the guitar look fantastic, it sounds absolutely wonderful thanks to its Zebra PAF pickups and plays great thanks to its factory Stoptail.
Introduced in the 1959 the ES-345TD perched in the middle of the Gibson Thinline Semi-Hollow Electric Range. The ES-345 was released to be the more tonally flexible sibling of the ES-335 thanks to the addition of a Varitone rotary tone switch and stereo wiring offering up a wide range of tones all with the additional cosmetic appointments of a triple bound top, a Rosewood fingerboard with double parallelogram fingerboard inlays and Gold plated hardware.
The Thinline semi-hollow body is in great condition with no repairs or modifications, a factory Stoptail instrument it has never been fitted with a Tailpiece or Vibrato. Many ES-345s were ordered with vibratos in the 1960s. The Stoptail design is generally felt to enhance playability, giving an adjustable angle to the bridge from the tailpiece which can be steeper than the typical vibrato setup. It features a single piece Mahogany neck with pearl inlayed Gibson logo and Crown to the headstock face, the Rosewood fingerboard is punctuated with split parallelogram Celluloid Inlays. The rear of the headstock has a 5 digit serial number that matches the Orange Label. The nylon Nut and frets are original to the guitar. The original Cherry Red finish is still vibrant and strong with minimal checking or fading and fluoresces perfectly under blacklight with the exception of a small patch of touch up by the D string tuner shaft and a small amount of wear to the back. A factory Stereo instrument it has been converted to Mono output. To do this the loom has been disturbed and the neck pickup magnet has been reversed. A common sight on many ES-345 and ES-355s as they were often converted. Speaking of the pickups the guitar has a pair of Zebra PAFs; the neck pickup has had the cover removed and the PAF sticker is damaged, the bridge pickup has also had cover removed previously and the PAF sticker is missing. The choke is still present and the Varitone works with the 6-position notch filter offering a variety of tones. Tuners are reproduction Art of Ageing Kluson Deluxe with keystone buttons. There are a set of gold plated Kluson Waffleback tuners that were fitted to the guitar previously inside the case. There are no additional holes to the headstock. The Gold plated bridge is a slightly later Patent number version ABR-1 with metal saddles. The 5-ply wide bevel edged pickguard has resisted warping or curling and the black reflector knobs are correct.
The neck has a typical ’62 medium/slim C profile with enough weight on the shoulders to feel larger than earlier 60's examples. The nut measures 42.42mm wide and the neck has a depth at the first fret of 21.48 increasing to 23.30 at the 12th fret. The pickups pickups measure 7.66K and 7.25K in the neck and bridge. The PAFs are seriously good sounding pickups and in a lively semi-hollow Thinline its easy to see why these have been dubbed Burst killers. The bridge is bright and articulate but never sharp or unpleasant and the neck sounds big and harmonically rich without the woolliness that can sometimes be associated with this position. Musical and inspiring no mater where the volume or tone controls are set it is a special sounding instrument that thanks to the mono conversion is more practical in use.
One of only 204 models produced in 1962 it retailed for a considerable $410.00 ($15.00 more than the Sunburst finish) with an additional $50.00 for the Faultless case. The guitar comes with a correct pink lined case and would be the perfect instrument for the player or collector alike.