Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1957 Gibson ES-350T

Serial # A-25800. Introduced alongside the Byrdland in 1955, the ES-350T was one of Gibson's first thin-bodied guitars. And similar to the Byrdland, the guitar featured a 17" single-cut hollow body, short 23.5" scale neck, and compact neck carve with a nut width of 1-5/8". With their short scale and petite necks, the Byrdland and the ES-350T were designed to offer players a fast and easy feel. One of the 350T's best known players was Chuck Berry, who played a '55 with Alnico Staple pickups.

This example is a mid-1957 built guitar, and features the earliest Humbuckers we've yet found on a Gibson. The pickups show two very early features: Nickel-silver base plates that are double-drilled (leaving two sets of holes for the pole pieces and two holes for the wire), and no PAF decal. DC resistances measure 7.1k (N) and 8.0k (B). Original black rings and original covers.

The guitar was brought to Folkway by its second owner, who purchased it used in 1958. The guitar's first owner played guitar while seated in a wheelchair, but wanted the ability to switch between tremolo and non-tremolo tone. He had a toggle-switch and second output jack installed into the guitar in 1957, and manually switched between two amplifiers. Call it an on-board A/B switch, but it's since been disconnected. The guitar's original wiring is unaltered, except for this jack modification.

Original Tune-O-Matic bridge and base, original tailpiece, control knobs, switch, switch tip, strap buttons, truss rod cover, and tuning machines. First 10 frets are replaced, and the nut is one we've just made for the guitar. Finish is completely original, and the pickguard is an original 50's ES-350T replacement that we've installed. The guitar was previously fitted with an incorrect pickguard, and there remain thee non-original screwholes (side at mounting bracket, top, under the guard, and side of fingerboard support).

The guitar plays beautifully; its set up was done by us, and the neck feel is fast and slinky with frets that are level and play cleanly. The pickups have incredible presence and life, and the guitar is far more dynamic than later versions we've played. Gorgeous original sunburst finish is aged perfectly, showing fine crazing and a few small areas of one-owner wear. The guitar has been very well cared for throughout its life.



Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do, and there are no import fees, taxes, or duties to pay when it arrives. We take care of everything involved in shipping -- all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play!

Questions? Email us anytime, or call us toll-free at 1-855-772-0424. With original hardshell case

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