The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson ES-5 Archtop Electric Guitar Sunburst, 1949


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Reduced! The Gibson ES-5 appeared in 1949 and was the first ES – Electric Spanish – guitar with three pickups.   Originally equipped only with rotary pots for volume and tone controls, this model was revised in 1955 as the ES-5 Switchmaster.     Using a full size cutaway archtop body made with maple laminates for feedback rejection, the original ES-5 had individual volume controls and one master tone control.   Depending on the pot rotation, you could have all three pickups at any blend level.   As the ES-5 Switchmaster,  it had a three-position selector switch plus volume and tone controls for each pickup. 

The Gibson ES-5 was used by players like Wes Montgomery, Carl Perkins and T-Bone Walker.    

This is a wonderful example of a late 1940’s jazz guitar.  It has developed a great patina,  and though it does not appear to have been refretted, there is little fret wear and it plays quite well.  Part of the reason for the light wear is the use of flatwound strings and a relatively low action.  Flatwounds are not very abrasive and low action generally means a light touch, and that combination is easy on the frets.   There is some finish wear on the neck – it definitely has been played – but most of the finish effects are purely due to the natural ageing   process.   Played acoustically, it’s got a real ‘thunk’ that really evokes the postwar big-band rhythm guitar sound.  

A non-original,  tweed TKL arched-top hard-shell case is included. 




  • Model: ES-5
  • Year: 1949
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: A 4044
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 08/05/2018

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.24lbs 3.29kg
  • Scale Length: 648mm 25.5in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1 11/16in
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