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1949 Gibson ES-350

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FON # 348-8

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Original sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Arched flame maple body; solid maple neck with walnut centerstripe; Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with split-parallelogram mother of pearl inlays; solid bone nut.

Hardware: Original hardware includes twin P-90 pickups; gold trapeze tailpiece; compensated adjustable rosewood bridge; beveled 5-ply pickguard; tall clear gold-stripe barrel knobs. Vintage correct hand antiqued gold Kluson Deluxe tuners.

Notes: A scarce and highly desirable instrument, the twin pickup ES-350 was introduced in late 1948 and produced only until 1956. A favorite of jazz greats including Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow, the ES-350 incorporated a full size body with classic P-90 pickups, and the coveted long scale neck. But too few were made to meet modern demand, which has soared in recent years.

This early model has unique features suggesting somewhat experimental design. The standard wiring of the three-knob 350 includes a volume control for each pickup, and a master tone knob on the cutaway horn. But the original wiring for this guitar was quite surprising. The two knobs in the lower bout control master volume and tone respectively, while the upper control was an early attempt at a pickup fader. At full counter-clockwise, the fader opened the neck pickup to full volume, gradually reduced its output alone to a silent center point, then increased the volume of the bridge pickup alone in clockwise rotation. As there was no blending of the pickups at any point, this design was clearly unsatisfactory, and was quickly abandoned.

To fix the design flaw, the fader control has been replaced with a conventional blend pot, which smoothly combines the output of each pickup to the exact mixture of the player's choosing. (Original parts included in case.) A popular retrofit for this model, this configuration allows such precise and subtle control of tone it's a wonder Gibson ever adopted the crude alternative of a three-position pickup switch. Another indication that Gibson was still tinkering with the design of this model is the shape of the body itself. In contrast to the classic curvilinear Gibson 'Venetian' cutaway, the horn on this guitar is just a bit flatter in contour, slightly more Selmer-style in shape.

One of just 76 examples from its model year this, handsome guitar has been unusually well kept, showing all original deep sunburst finish without cracks or repairs, and free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Even the typical stress cracks around the output jack, virtually universal in this era, are minimal. Original hardware is in place as well, with the addition of a set of vintage correct hand antiqued Kluson Deluxe tuners restored to the peghead. Action is smooth and low over excellent original fretwork, with a fresh high-precision setup on a medium C profile neck that is quite contemporary in feel. The original twin P-90 pickups perform flawlessly, with a clarity and range no humbucker can match. And all tucked neatly into its original brown arched Gibson Lifton plush lined hardshell case.

Many players feel that Gibson has yet to surpass the combination of full-bodied tone, long-scale snap, and single coil fidelity found in the classic ES-350. And we could hardly disagree: it's one of our favorite playing guitars ever. A superb and unique example of one of our most sought-after models: this is where modern jazz guitar begins. One only, call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation strobe tuned; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.013-.057). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original brown arched Gibson Lifton plush lined hardshell case.


































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