Gibson ES-345 1960 Red

John Shults

Posted on September 12 2022

1960 Gibson ES-345 TDC guitar with Cherry Red finish, stop tail, and long pickguard

 

Gibson's ES-345 TD model debuted in 1959 as the third in the 3x5 series and the bridge to the gap between the standard ES-335 and fancy ES-355. The ES-345 was the first to introduce the Stereo output with Varitone switch and, to this author's knowledge, not available with mono output like the ES-355. It features the standard thinline Electric Spanish construction with solid center block inside the body and hollow wings. The ES-345 can be easily identified from the other two in the series by the split parallelogram fretboard inlays. It was initially offered in Sunburst, Cherry Red, or Natural finishes. 

Gibson ES-345 guitars made from 1959 until 1965 are some of my favorite guitars ever made. If you're looking for help dating a Gibson then check out How to date a Gibson ES-335.

Or if you're interested in selling a similar guitar then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson

How many ES-345 guitars were made in 1960?

How much did an ES-345 cost in 1960?

Important Measurements including neck profile and weight

Year Identifiers Features specific to the 1960 ES-345

PAF_Pickups This is what original PAF stickered humbucking pickups should look like.

Photo Gallery

Similar guitars

 1960 Gibson ES-345 guitar with red finish in brown and pink original case

How many ES-345 guitars made in 1960?

Gibson kept very thorough production records and shipment totals from the 1930s through the 1970s. The production totals are separated by finish color, but they're not separated by bridge style. The standard bridge for the ES-345 was the stop bar tailpiece but the Bigsby was also offered and commonly ordered. Gibson's shipment records indicate that 252 Cherry Red ES-345 guitars were shipped in 1960. 

I am looking for nice examples of Gibson ES-345 guitars: Sell a Gibson.

Gibson ES-345 guitar made in 1960 in original hard shell case.

How much did an ES-345 cost in 1960?

Like many Gibson models, the ES-345 was offered in a few different finishes which were priced slightly differently in 1960. The Natural finish option dropped from the price list after this year, but the Sunburst and Cherry Red options remained. The screenshot below is from the early 1960 Gibson Price List for Zone 2. The base color Sunburst ES-345 was $380.00, the Cherry Red was $395.00, and the Natural finish was offered for $415.00. 

The value of a Gibson ES-345 from 1959 or 1960 has risen far faster than inflation as a result of supply and demand. I am looking to buy nice examples of Gibson ES guitars from the late 1950s and 1960s. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson

Gibson ES-345 price in 1960

ES-345 Important Measurements

My goal is to collect and catalog the important measurements and features of Gibson ES-345 guitars made from 1959 until 1965. You can contact me here if you're interested in selling a Gibson: Sell a Gibson. Here are some of the important measurements I gathered from this guitar:

Total weight: 8lbs 4oz

Neck profile 1st fret: 0.80"

Neck profile at 12th fret: 0.90"

Neck width at nut: 1 11/16"

ES-345 Year Identifiers

Gibson continually updated their guitars through time so we can use those small features to help identify what year the guitar was made. The quickest way to find the year is by using the serial number, but we can tell that this guitar was made in 1960 before we even look at it. Here are a few features evident on this ES-345 which date the guitar to 1960. Check out How to date an ES-335 for a thorough look at finding the year

Serial Number: A35401 which likely shipped in November of 1960

FON Prefix: R indicates that the batch began in 1960

Long pickguard: The ES-345's pickguard extended past the bridge pickup from 1959 until early 1961

Reflector knobs: The volume and tone knobs were black and bonnet shaped with no reflector on top until early 1960

Single ring Kluson tuners: Kluson's opal tulip shaped button gained a ring in mid 1960

 Kluson single ring tuners 1960 Gibson
Long pickguard on Gibson ES-345 1960

 

1960 Gibson ES-345 PAF Pickups

Check out the original Patent Applied For humbucking pickups on this 1960 Gibson ES-345. The pickups Gibson used in Stereo guitars were slightly different in that the bridge pickup magnet faces the opposite direction which makes them out of phase in the middle position. This picture also shows us the casting mark on the stop bar tailpiece and the original ABR-1 bridge. 

PAF Pickups on a 1960 Gibson ES-345

 

1960 Gibson ES-345 Cherry Red Photo Gallery

Here are all the pictures of this nice 1960 Gibson ES-345: Photo Gallery.

Check out similar guitars here:

1959 Gibson ES-355

1960 Gibson ES-335

1960 Gibson ES-345 information with production totals and price in 1960

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