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1956 Gibson ES-350T

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Factory Order #: W-3250-9

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 23 1/2" Nut Width: 1 10/16" Body depth: 2 1/4"

Materials: Arched flame maple top, back and sides; solid figured maple neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; triple bound body, bound neck and f-holes..

Hardware: Original hardware includes twin P-90 single-coil humbucking pickups, gold Kluson Deluxe tuners with tulip keys; loop style trapeze tailpiece; gold bell knobs. Vintage correct hand antiqued hardware includes wide- beveled 5-ply pickguard, compensated adjustable gold Tunematic bridge with rosewood base. Original pots, caps and wiring harness included; correct style recent wiring installed.

Notes: At a disc jockey convention in Nashville in 1955, Gibson reps met with ace session guitarists Hank Garland and Billy Byrd. By the time the three had finished brainstorming, a new guitar was born.

Hank had been playing a custom Stromberg with a slimmer body depth, and asked Gibson to match it. Starting with the 17" thinline body of the L-5CT (George Gobel) model, both the scale length and nut width were shortened, to create Gibson's fastest neck ever, specifically tailored to facilitate stretch chord voicings and lightning fast leads. And thus the legendary Byrdland came to be.

So popular was this innovative design that Gibson rushed another new model into production within weeks. Christened the ES-350T, the new guitar retained the specs of the Byrdland, but added a figured arched maple body to reduce feedback and increase sustain and durability. After a prototype was built late in 1955, Gibson put the new ES-350T models into very limited production. Prized by performers such as Chuck Berry and Danny Gatton, the ES-350T became icons of the brave new world of rock 'n roll. Just 156 of these beauties were completed in this first full model year, and we suspect that few are more handsome that the guitar presented here.

Built in 1956, the last full year for the fabled P-90 single coil pickups, this outstanding guitar shows warmly figured fiddleback maple in the arched top and back, with a masterfuly shot deeply burnished sunburst that highlights the grain to best advantage. One of the earliest examples of this rare model, the guitar bears a factory order number from 1955, and is accompanied by its original pots, which bear codes from both '54 and '55. The original gold 'loop style' tailpiece is the earliest version as well, which bears no engraving on the crossbar of the trapeze. Though no label is visible, the single line Pat. Pend. Kluson Deluxe tuners suggest that the guitar was actually completed sometime early the following year.

The instrument has been maintained in superb condition, with no pick wear in the the all-original sunburst finish, and just a few dots of buckle wear on the back, and some honest 'cowboy chord' thumb wear down in the first position. The neck has smooth low action over fine vintage style fretwork, and a comfy gentle C neck profile. The fast Byrdland scale length makes wide voicings a snap, regardless of hand size. The twin original 'dog ear' P-90 pickups are sweet and detailed, making this guitar an unusually versatile performer, equally at home with styles from bebop to rockabilly. Even the vintage 50's era strap loop remains attached to this masterpiece from the dawn of rock 'n roll.

The instrument is supplied with its original Faultless "California Girl" plush lined hard shell case, also in outstanding condition. A rare and striking example of a landmark in the evolution of the modern electric guitar, and just as pretty as they come.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as required; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top 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 (.012-.054). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" 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 Gibson Lifton plush lined hardshell case.


















































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