2019 has been a wild ride here at True Vintage Guitar! I'm really grateful to those who followed along with the guitar safaris on my blog as well as on Instagram: @truevintageguitar. It seems like the vintage Gibson ES (or Electric Spanish) guitars were something of a theme this year so I wanted to talk about the four that stuck out to me as being exceptional. Gibson introduced the revolutionary ES-335T model in 1958 and it has been in continuous production in various forms ever since! That is quite a commercial success. Not even Gibson's Les Paul models can claim that. 

I'm always looking to buy vintage Gibson guitars but I especially love the ES-335, ES-345, and the ES-355. You can contact me here to sell a vintage Gibson guitar. I'm looking forward to checking it out!

1962 Gibson ES-335 headstock

This first example resided in Saline, Michigan all its life until I drove there to purchase it back in March of this year. The over 22 hour road to trip to buy it was so worth it! The guitar was stunningly clean and was a very late example of the dot marker fretboard which was discontinued in favor of the block marker fretboard later that year. 

This ES-335 had only one owner since new and he did an excellent job of preserving the instrument. Both pickups featured the desirable "Patent Applied For" sticker. All hardware was nickel but didn't exhibit very much corrosion or tarnish. One interesting part of the guitar was the stop bar tailpiece. In fact, it wasn't a stop bar tailpiece at all. It was a by then discontinued wrap tailpiece with relief cutouts for the string ball end at the bridge side only and not on the end pin side. I was worried it had been replaced at first until consulting with other vintage guitar dealers. We were able to document at least three other early 1962 ES-335s with the same tailpiece. It's likely that Gibson was using these up after discontinuing the uncompensated wrap tail piece in 1961 in favor of the lightning bar tailpiece. 

You can check out the second ES-335 in 2019 here: 1961 Gibson ES-335TDC with Bigsby

1962 Gibson ES-335, back of neck, headstock, Kluson tuners

Vintage Gibson ES-335, back of body, cathedral figure

John Shults

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