Guitar Safari Champion: Gibson EDS-1275 1959 Doubleneck
Posted on December 31 2021
When Reverb.com titled Tony Bacon's interview article about me The Guitar Safari Champion, I knew that one incredibly rare Gibson double neck guitar contributed significantly. I was vaguely familiar with the very rare Spruce top doubleneck guitars that Gibson made from 1958 to 1962, but hadn't spent much time researching them since I never expected to find one. I've never been so thrilled to be wrong an assumption.
I'm always on the hunt nice examples of Gibson guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. If you're looking for more information on a vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar or similar that you think may be from that time period then check out Les Paul Serial Number Lookup to find out. Or if you're curious about how much I would value your 50s or 60s Gibson then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson guitar.
Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck 1959
The story of the guitar safari to buy this 1959 Gibson EDS-1275 Double Twelve begins the same way as yesterday's 1960 Fender Jazzmaster Black and Gold, since I received the calls only about 30 minutes apart from each other. I was in the car on the way to buy a 1962 Fender Stratocaster in Clarksville, TN when a gentleman called to say he had a Gibson guitar with two necks. I told him that I had always wanted a doubleneck Gibson guitar, but I had no idea that this was indeed one of the rare Spruce top versions. I asked for pictures to get an idea of when the Gibson was made but he wasn't able to provide any. I didn't think much of the phone call but hoped he would somehow be able to send some pictures.
Around 5:30 the next morning while staying at a friend's house in Clarksville, I awoke to text message alerts on my phone on the bedside table. I couldn't believe it! There was the 1959 Gibson EDS-1275 Spruce top double neck guitar leaning up against the wall with no case. Its owner called to chat and we discussed what the guitar was, what year it was made, and how it had been in his family for as long as he could remember. The Gibson double neck cases from 1959 are very specific so I inquired if it was still available. Unfortunately, the owner tossed it in the garbage about a month before because it was "dirty".
The 1959 Gibson EDS-1275 double neck guitar was located in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was about a 4.5 hour drive from Clarksville. Its owner wanted to sell but I could tell he was going to shop it around to get the highest price. I secured it with a high offer that I was pretty sure wouldn't be matched by other Gibson guitar collectors. He said he would hold it for me at the price while I was on my way, but price went up before I got there. I thought to myself, "at what other time will I have a chance to buy a 1959 Gibson double neck guitar?" So I bought it anyway.
1959 Gibson Les Paul or 1959 Gibson double neck?
If I'm honest as a Gibson guitar collector, the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Burst is the one I'm dying to have. The surprising part about this 1959 Gibson Spruce top doubleneck is how different it is from the Les Paul. Consider the unique construction of this guitar: solid carved Spruce top with no sound holes, thin but fully hollow body with laminate Maple back, four PAF humbucking pickups, and an interesting wiring set up offering each neck in solo or together in parallel with each other. It doesn't sound like a '59 Burst or even a 1959 Gibson ES-335; the Spruce top doubleneck is its own thing.
It's difficult to describe the tone of a guitar in words, but I would describe this Spruce top double neck Gibson as having a wide and balanced frequency response possibly intended to shine as a solo instrument instead of to cut through the mix of a full band. It's also loads of fun to have access to the 12 string neck with only the flick of a switch. I had a blast playing this one and will never forget it!