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ES-345

The ES 345 is perhaps my favorite guitar of all time. A lot of folks don’t like the stereo wiring and the Varitone switch but those can be removed if you choose to do so. The fancier binding and the split parallelogram markers make for a very classy instrument. They usually cost less than the corresponding year’s 335 and yet, they are so much cooler. To me , anyway.

There's good news and bad news. Good news-original finish ES-345TDN. They only made 50 of them. Bad? Busted neck, two holes in the top and mostly changed parts. Stay tuned, this one is coming back.

There’s good news and bad news. Good news-original finish ES-345TDN. They only made 50 of them. Bad? Busted neck, two holes in the top and mostly changed parts. Stay tuned, this one is coming back.

Near mint very early 60 ES-345. This is a stunningly clean guitar. If it wasn't for a little chip in the back of the headstock, I'd be calling it mint. Even the gold is almost all there

Near mint very early 60 ES-345. This is a stunningly clean guitar. If it wasn’t for a little chip in the back of the headstock, I’d be calling it mint. Even the gold is almost all there

 I am dead certain that this is the very first black ES-345 made and maybe even the first black ES thinline. It is a first rack (short leg PAF and huge neck) and was shipped in April of 1959. It is awesome.

I am dead certain that this is the very first black ES-345 made and maybe even the first black ES thinline. It is a first rack (short leg PAF and huge neck) and was shipped in April of 1959. It is awesome.

Very unusual 66 ES-345. Look at those ears...M-I-C-K-E-Y you know the rest. Stranger things have come along but not many.

Very unusual 66 ES-345. Look at those ears…M-I-C-K-E-Y you know the rest. Stranger things have come along but not many.

Joe Bonamassa says "black is the new blonde" and I think he might be on to something. Watch black guitars in 2016. They will be smoking' hot.

Joe Bonamassa says “black is the new blonde” and I think he might be on to something. Watch black guitars in 2016. They will be smoking’ hot. Having two black 345s at once must be some kind of record.

**HOLD**As Bullwinkle used to say "three at once!" Yep, I've got three 59 ES-345's in the shop now and each is just a little different. This is the earliest with a chunky neck and the black VT ring. $18000

As Bullwinkle used to say “three at once!” Yep, I’ve got three 59 ES-345’s in the shop now and each is just a little different. This is the earliest with a chunky neck and the black VT ring.

It doesn't get much better than this. Rare 59 stop tail ES-345 TDN. Not good enough for you? How about sealed double white PAFs? Nicest 345 TDN I've ever seen.

It doesn’t get much better than this. Rare 59 stop tail ES-345 TDN. Not good enough for you? How about sealed double white PAFs? Nicest 345 TDN I’ve ever seen.

“First Rack” ES-345 (OK, maybe second). These are somewhat different than the later ones. Different bridge pickup rout and “short leg” pickup (sometimes). A297xx

Here’s another 59 ES 345 TDN. This one was refinished but was still stunning.

 

This mid 60's, probably a 66, ES-345  had been stop tailed and Schallered and was that funny Sparkling Burgundy color but it played great and was cheap.

This mid 60’s, probably a 66, ES-345 had been stop tailed and Schallered and was that funny Sparkling Burgundy color but it played great and was cheap.

Mint. Really. A 60 with a sideways that even smells new. Stunning. Even the case is mint.

I got this ’60 from an old gospel player in rural North Carolina.

Even when you beat the crap out of them for 40 years or more, they keep on keepin’ on. This is a well played ’63 that lives in California now. Yes, that’s the wrong Varitone ring. I changed it to a gold one before I sold it.

 

 

Just another photo of the three colors these came in? ¬†Nope. They came in four colors and the one in the middle is called Argentine Grey. It’s different from the normal sunburst in that there is no red. They are all from 1960.

My first blonde ES-345. What can I say. She’s a beauty.

This ES-345 is an original stop tail from 1964. The near mint pieces never last long around here..

This 63 had a big fat neck and is a pretty rare bird. They made only around 100 something of them in sunburst that year

This stunning 1960 stoptail 345 was bought at auction by me. For me. It’s mine (for now).

Holy Virtuoso Polish, Batman! Can you say clean? This 61 looks like its never been played. Stay tuned. I hated to let this one go. Played great, too

Here’s one from a reader. It’s a very rare 59 RED ES 345. I only know of 4 in the world. One was mine for a while. This one has a factory Bigsby.

The finest ES-345 I’ve ever seen. It was mine for a minute or two. It’s an all original, near mint 1959 in RED. One of only 6¬†known to exist.

Top stripped and a whole bunch of plugged holes but double whites and a great player. Late 59.

1959 ES 345’s All from December 59

Really Nice ’60 345. I didn’t buy it because I thought it had been renecked.

I Owned this 66 a while back. It had very Mickey Mouse-ish ears for a 66

This is one of the 59s in the “Three Sisters” photo. I had this for a couple of years. This one was allegedly borrowed from its owner by Duane Allman which is why it’s usually referred to as “The Allman” Now owned by Hugh Hardy in Toronto

One of the finest 345s I’ve ever owned. Near mint with Mickey Mouse ears on a 66. How cool is that. This fiddle was polished more than it was played by its original and only owner (up until I got it)

53 Responses to “ES-345”

  1. TaylorJ says:

    Has anyone ever seen an ES345TD With a natural finish neck? I just bought one and was wondering if the previous owner had the paint stripped off and refinished or if they came like that. I believe it is a 76 model because the serial number format is 00 xxxxxx

  2. cgelber says:

    Probably stripped and resprayed unless the guitar was blonde to begin with

  3. Paul Rodriguez says:

    Charlie, what would a headstock break do to the value of one of those nice ’59 ES-345s? Not the first rack ones but maybe like the one you have with the gold ring, can a buyer expect a solid 50% off? So does a sunburst like that, normally ~$16,000 become an $8,000 guitar with a professional headstock repair?

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