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Gibson ES345 TD Thinline Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1966

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The Gibson ES345 TD is the mid-range version of the ES 3xx series, using base structural features of the ES335, and the electronics of the ES355.

Here is a very nice and largely original Gibson ES345 TD in sunburst finish and with a Trapeze tailpiece, built during 1966 at the Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  On the label, the TD in the model name stand for ‘Thinline Double Pickup’. Sometimes you’ll see a ‘C’ added, which denotes Cherry finish. ‘ES’ stands for Electric Spanish, referring to the way the instrument is built and played – another Gibson option was ‘EH’ for Electric Hawaiian, used on steel and lap steel guitars played with a bar, steel or slide.

Introduced in 1958 as a new concept in electric spanish guitars, the ES-335, ES345 and ES355 were immediately popular, far more than the struggling Les Paul models. These three guitars are largely differentiated by hardware, binding and decoration, with the exception of the Rosewood fingerboard on the ES-335 and ES-345, versus the Ebony fingerboard of the ES-355. The bodies are in all three cases laminate Maple with a Maple center block, and the neck of Mahogany.

Originally, these models used either a stop tailpiece, a Bigsby or a Vibrola tailpiece. Gibson started installing a trapeze tailpiece instead of the stop bar in 1965. This gives the guitar a somewhat ‘looser’ feel, as the extra string length between the bridge and trapeze string bar adds some extra stretching length, and can often provide less down-bearing at the saddles. Some players feel that the trapeze offers a louder, somewhat ‘woodier’, more acoustic timbre to the notes.

The electronics on the ES-345 and ES-355 include two optional features that were never extremely popular, a Varitone circuit and Stereo output. The Varitone uses an inductor and capacitors to suppress specific frequency ranges. In the 1980’s, this idea was revisited by companies like B C Rich and Lado guitars, who included active Varitone circuits that allowed frequency boost as well as cut. The Stereo wiring feeds each pickup to a separate amp or amp channel, if the correct cable is plugged in. If a standard Mono cable is used, the guitar works in the normal, ‘Mono’ fashion.

This example has been used as intended, so it has an amount of wear and tear, but it is in overall good condition. The Gold plating is worn off the pickups – this usually happens fairly quickly – and some of the metal is pitted. At this point, Gibson was using Nylon instead of metal saddles in the Tune-O-Matic bridge. The Kluson Deluxe tuners are original.

This mid 1960’s model has the characteristic, fairly narrow fingerboard. It appears to have been refretted some time ago, and there is moderate fret wear.

The original Gibson hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $6500 CAD
  • Model: ES345 TD
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 42338
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 28/05/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.58lbs 3.9kg
  • Scale Length: 628.65mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 40.5mm 1.594in
Gibson Website

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