Old Red lives to fight another day..
Yes, another Gibson ES-345 TDC from 1961 to grace the walls of ATB Guitars.
This one arrived here via the hands of Laurence L Jones, a local fire-brand guitarist who’s making a name for himself on stages all over the world delivering his now brand of incendiary blues rock to the hungry masses. He told us that he had to sell ‘Old Red’ as he’d been recently endorsed by the fine people of Fender so he couldn’t be seen with a Gibson and couldn’t justify keeping such a fine instrument for home use. Having said that, he was happy to demo it for us which you can see in the video section.
Surely nothing beats a cherry red Gibson? A great example of the ilk, this guitar has been well cared for. The finish hasn’t faded very much on either the front or the back. The top shows evidence of there being a Bigsby previously, the holes on top having been filled but the ones around the strap button have not. Apart from this, its in very good shape. The back has a few scratches but nothing too severe.
This is an early 1961 build and inside the body is a ‘R’ FON denoting the body started life in 1960. It is also not a sideways Vibrola either which started to appear slightly later in 1961 so our best guess is this is from Jan or Feb 1961.
The neck has faded as you’d expect though the lacquer is still glossy and hasn’t been worn through to the wood anywhere. The fretboard is in great shape. Its has been refretted but this has been done very sympathetically and to a high standard. The headstock shows signs of wear on the treble side, probably from a stand but the lacquer elsewhere is good.
The hardware is a little tarnished. The gold plated ABR-1 is a slightly later example as it has the retaining wire (introduced in 1962) and the stop-tail is a reproduction.
Electronically there has been some modification as the guitar has been wired for mono operation, the varitone circuit has been removed and the cover on the neck PAFs has been removed probably to change to the polarity. The other PAF has never been disturbed and both PAF’s are the classic, long magnet versions.Elsewhere the solder joints seem undisturbed.
The plastics are in good shape. The chicken head varitone knob is a feature of these guitars brought out in the early 60’s. Originally it would have been painted all gold but with use the paint has worn off.
The guitar comes with a nice brown Lifton 5 latch case.
As you can see and hear from the video, this guitar has a killer tone. The neck feels wonderful and the refret gives it that reassuring feel and is great for bends. Both pickups sound wonderful and interact so well with the controls, just the way you want to!
When Fender come calling you just have to reply and that means we get another great ES-345 back onto the market. A stunning guitar with tone to spare and from a player with a pedigree like this, you can be sure it plays really, really well.
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed and tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers, by appointment only, at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment Only) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile: 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607