Gibson ES-345TDThis is a Gibson ES345-TD serial # 126910. It was built sometime between 1973 and
1974. This guitar was supplied by Gibson to Stars Guitars in 1978 or 9 to be used as the
prototype demonstrator for the JVS (Jimmy Vincent Special) wiring harness. Jimmy Vincent
replaced Terry Kath in the band Chicago. See the paragraph below for a detailed explanation
of each knob and switch function. Because the instrument was removed from a production
run, the standard "2" was added to indicate a "factory second" as shown below. There was
nothing wrong with this axe when it left the Kalamazoo Gibson factory. This axe has the smaller
body block common to 300 series Gibson guitars prior to 1977 and therefore has that 'singing'
top that distinguishes it from post 1977 models.
The Schaller Tuning Pegs, Brass Nut, Brass Engraved Truss Rod Cover, Brass Slot Top
Pickup Covers, Stars Brass Mass Bridge, modified Ming type tailpiece and screw on Brass
Strap Buttons were all added at the Stars Guitars store. The original Gibson pickups have Alembic
Hot Rod magnets installed and are a lot louder and clearer than stock.
We did a lot of this type of mod to various Gibson ES and other hollow body electric guitars. This
axe will out-perform any other Gibson ES type instrument for playability, versatility and overall range
and quality of the sounds it can produce.
This axe plays VERY well and is in excellent condition with no finish flaws and comes with the
original plush form fit case.
I'm asking $4,000, buyer pays half shipping and insurance from Santa Rosa California.
New reissue ES345's are listing for $4,200 and selling for $2649 at Musician's Friend. My axe has
a $1500 wiring harness and $630 worth of custom brass on it making it worth at least $4779 by that
standard. Please remember that this does not reflect the intrinsic vintage value or the more subtle
player's value of this instrument!
The Serial Number
The Knob & Switch Legend
What the hell do all those extra knobs & switches do?
#1 is a Master Volume, a ganged Allen Bradley Mil Spec sealed potentiometer (note that
all the other pots are Mil-Spec sealed Clarostats) that is connected post pickup selector switch.
Why add a Master Volume? In Stereo or Mono Mode you can shut down the axe with one
knob instead of both volumes, and come back up without losing the balance between pickups.
The physical placement of the knob will allow you to turn it with your pinky and imitate a volume pedal.
#2 is a "coil-cut" with treble boost for the bridge pickup. This is accomplished on a DPDT
miniswitch. One side of the switch flips the vertical stacked coil from a humbucking coil to the
secondary coil and the normal secondary coil to off. The other side of the switch routs the
pickup signal through an Alembic Stratoblaster set to about a 6db boost. The trimpot
is user adjustable. Minimum setting is 3db with a maximum of 15db. TheStratoblaster's
battery lives under the pickup and lasts for years as long as the guitar is not left plugged in 24/7.
#3 is the stock Gibson pickup selector switch.
#4 is a phase switch for the neck pickup and gives the pickup the thin single coil type nasal
soundwithout the usual single coil 60 cycle buzz.
#5 is a Decade Capacitor rotary switch which replaces the stock Gibson Varitone. This
configuration creates a significantly more audible frequency rolloff without the Varitone's
loss of signal strength.
#6 is a Stereo/Mono Mode switch which directs the pickup outputs to the ring and sleeve
of a stereo jack, or sums the outputs to the ring of a mono jack.
#7 is the Neck Pickup Volume.
#8 is the Neck Pickup Tone.
#9 is the Bridge Pickup Volume.
#10 is the Bridge Pickup Tone.
#11 is the output jack.
ES-345TD Back View
Here is a nice view of the Tobacco Sunburst and flamed maple from the rear.