ES-345TDW Guitars

1964 Gibson ES-345TDW

Color: Solid Walnut, Rating: 9.25, $28,500.00 (ID# 01800)
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Special Custom Order in the Exceptionally Rare "Solid Walnut" (Almost Black) Custom Color.


1964 Gibson ES-345TDW.


This special "custom order" guitar weighs just 8.80 lbs. Laminated maple top, back, and sides, with maple central block. One-piece mahogany neck with a nut width of just between 1 5/8 and 1 11/16 inches (1.65 inches), a medium neck profile, and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Bound rosewood fretboard with 22 original jumbo frets and inlaid pearl split-parallelogram position markers (no inlay at the 1st fret, as usual). Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and pearl crown inlay. Two-layer, black over white plastic, bell-shaped truss-rod cover with "Stereo" engraved in white, secured by two screws. Individual Kluson Deluxe 'double-line' tuners with single-ring Keystone plastic buttons, each stamped on the underside "D-169400 / Patent No". The body is triple-bound (white/black/white) on the top and single-bound (white) on the back. Two patent-number humbucker pickups with outputs of 7.54k and 7.72k, each with a rectangular black label on the underside with "Patent No / 2,737,842" in gold. Five-layer black over white plastic pickguard with beveled edge. Four controls (two volume, two tone) plus three-way selector switch for pickup selection and six-position Varitone rotary switch for tonal settings. Black plastic bell-shaped "Bell" knobs with metal tops and a gold circular plate with the numbers in black around the Varitone switch. ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic retainer bridge with metal saddles and Gibson Maestro Vibrola tailpiece on a rosewood base. The Maestro Vibrola has its original label. With black plastic "Custom Made" plaque between the bridge and Maestro Vibrola (covering the (unused) 'stud-holes' for the usual stud tailpiece). All hardware gold-plated. This guitar is in near mint condition, with only minimal button scarring on the back. The gold-plated hardware is a little tarnished. Housed in the original Gibson five-latch, shaped black hardshell case with orange plush lining (9.50).

With the following "case candy": 1. A valuation of this guitar by George Gruhn, dated 7/11/96 ($3,500.00); 2. "Now, Complete Directions for Achieving Perfect Stereo Sound" (one page); 3. "*Humbucking Pickup Adjustments" (one page); 4. "Instructions Tune-O-Matic Bridge*" (one page); 5. The original orange "Gibson Hand Made Sonomatic Strings" hang tag; 6. The original white "Stereo Wired/Use Gibson Stereo 'Y' Cord No. 501-S Only" label; 7. The original Gibson stereo "Y" cord; and 8. Two original Gibson "B" strings, in their original envelopes and in the original orange and black box.

This guitar was a special "custom order" in the ultra rare "Solid Walnut" color (which is considerably darker than the usual Walnut). Walnut was not officially offered by Gibson on ES-345s until 1969 (106 ES-345TDWs were shipped in 1970). The Gibson shipping record for this guitar (serial number "176774") shows the it was specially-ordered in Walnut with a Gibson Maestro Vibrola.

"The ES-345 was Gibson's first stereo guitar. It had a circuit that, when connected to a suitable 'Y'-cable, would split the pickups to two individual amplifiers, creating a wide if not strictly stereo spread. It also had a Varitone six-way tone selector. By 1963...the 335 family was priced as follows: the sunburst 335 was $300 ($315 in cherry); sunburst 345 was $395 ($410 cherry); and mono 355 was $595 ($645 with stereo and Varitone)" (Tony Bacon, The History of the American Guitar from 1833 to the Present Day, p. 105).

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