Gibson ES-345 1960 Cherry Red

Gibson ES-345 1960 Cherry Red


This Gibson ES-345 1960 with rare early style Cherry Red finish has the ever-so-cool long pickguard and the stop bar tail piece. It has never had a Bigsby or any vibrato tailpiece. It's in spectacular playing condition and sounds like a dream. The Gibson Shipment Totals book by Larry Meiners indicates that only 252 ES-345 TDC guitars shipped in 1960. I purchased it from the grandson of its original owner, but unfortunately no documentation was provided.

Make and Model: Gibson ES-345 TD, Cherry Red

Year: 1960. Serial number "A351xx" (likely shipped in November 1960), factory order number prefix "R" = 1960. Check out How to date a Gibson ES-335.

Measurements: 8lbs 4oz total weight. The neck depth at the first fret = 0.80", depth at the 12th fret = 0.90".  

Originality: All parts and finish appear to be original except one knob (a real 1950s amber bonnet style knob was on the guitar when I got it), one saddle and intonation adjustment screw, 4 mounting ring screws on the neck ring (originals were stubborn and screw heads were rounded out), and the treble side neck binding. There are no breaks or repairs and no solder has been disturbed. 

Playability: Excellent!! This is a spectacular playing example of the Freddie King specific style ES-345. We've just dressed the frets and cleaned all electronic connections. It plays like a dream with straight neck and proper working truss rod nut. 

Case: The original case is pretty worn out! The brown leatherette on the lid is mostly gone and there's evidence of moisture intrusion on the bottom. 

 Notes: I'm thrilled to offer this rare guitar which exactly matches Freddie King's original 1960 Gibson ES-345! The combination of the 1960 specific rich Cherry Red finish, stop tail, and long pickguard is so tough to find. I was thrilled to buy this from the grandson of its original owner, or so I was told with no documentation to support the claim. The guitar had clearly not been played in decades and was missing its binding on the treble side of the fretboard. I've held onto this guitar for months because I personally love it but my shelves are nearly empty now. 

Also of note, this is a factory stereo guitar with Varitone switch! The Gibson style stereo wiring uses a stereo jack which runs the neck and bridge pickup through different outputs. You'll need to either A: plug your mono cable only half way in to access both pickups (middle position is out of phase), or B: use a TRS style stereo cable with two mono outputs going to two separate amps. The middle position will be in phase if you use two separate amps or a Gibson stereo amplifier (GA-79 or similar).