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Coming to CME from the admirable collection of Survivor's Jim Peterik, this is an incredibly rare blonde ES-345 from 1960 that deserves to be the centerpiece of any collection. Its natural finish, a dark, honey blonde shade, has seen the light of day as well as good care.
The gold hardware and gold Bigsby are all original, with two factory-installed black buttons filling in the holes where a stop tailpiece would have gone. The main difference between the ES-345 and the ES-335, aside from cosmetic touches, lies in the Varitone switch, a six-way switch that highlighted different EQ settings, ranging from thick and bassy to bright and punchy, giving tones that could be further tweaked by using pickup volume and tone knobs. In addition, the ES-345 featured a stereo output jack, meaning that each pickup could be sent to a different amp if desired, resulting in a surplus of tonal options. This ES-345 switching system is intact and sounds great at all settings.
According to Gibson Shipping Totals, there were only 18 natural ES-345s shipped in 1960, making this one rare guitar indeed.
Body: Natural-finished semi-hollow maple body with center block.
Neck: Mahogany, rosewood fretboard. Wider and medium-round profile.
Pickups/Hardware: Both original PAF humbuckers are very strong and high-output. Factory Bigsby and gold hardware with some light tarnish. Varitone switch, stereo jack plug.
Setup/Playability: Plenty playable, with nice wide, medium-high original frets. Has the great power and heft behind it, perhaps aided by the Bigsby. Pretty aggressive overall.
Cosmetic Condition: Light, but consistent, checking. Rich blonde color on the maple body.
Weight: 9lbs 1oz
Case: Original hardshell.
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Posted by Robbie "Pix" Jackson on 23rd Jul 2010
A first year es-345 in natural?!?! I've never seen one of these in my life before coming into your store. Then you guys let me play it which was a dream come true. Thank you for the opportunity!!
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