Real cool, original stop tail 64 spec ES-345 from early 1965, lets go…
While leaning a little more towards the player grade side of things, this is still a very nice example and is an original stop tail, big neck, wide nut '64 spec version. The front and back have some dings, and there appears top have been an extra switch or pot added at some point above the neck volume control. This has been very well repaired and just looks like a blemish in the finish. Elsewhere the finish is in good condition.
The neck, which has the 43mm nut, is worn in, feeling very comfortable in the hand. That '64 neck profile really is wonderful, it's chunky but comfortable and never feels too big. The back of the headstock has been over sprayed. Unfortunately that most likely means that it may have been broken at some point over the last 57 years, but the repair job is solid and its perfectly stable, ready to continue its life as a working guitar!
The fretboard looks pretty good, all the original inlays are present and the frets have plenty of life left in them.
Plastics and hardware are in good condition with the inevitable wear to the gold plating.
Electrically the guitar has been converted to mono with the pots being changed but the varitone is still working and actually sounds quite good. The pickups are correct Patent Numbers, but the pots and the rest of the wiring has been replaced and covers have been off/on the pickups.
The guitar comes with a hardshell case.
All the touchstone tones are present here, the Patent Number pickups delivering as you’d expect. The neck has that unmistakable 1964 feel, possibly the ‘Goldilocks’ of Gibson guitar necks (not to fat but not too thin either, just right).
The varitone does add small extra weight but the sound and feel of this guitar quickly pushes that worry to the back of the mind. The sound is authoritative without being too heavy in the lower midrange. The bridge pickup barks when encouraged whilst the neck pickup is all kinds of smooth without losing definition.
Arguably the best spec for a 345, that big 64 neck and mono conversion make for a supremely playable guitar, and at a decent price too! Grab this one before it gets away…