“Telecaster Custom: 6 string solid body electric guitar – A new version of the famous Telecaster guitar!…. Two pickups – the standard “Tele” lead pickup and the new humbucking rhythm pickup.” — 1972 Fender Catalog
Make and Model: Fender Telecaster Custom
Year: 1973, potentiometer codes 1377315 (15th week of ’73) and 1377324 (24th week of ’73). Serial number 517269
Specifications: One pice Maple neck/fretboard with bullet style truss rod and three bolt/Microtilt neck joint, 25 1/2″ scale length, 1 5/8″ nut width, .86″ neck depth at 1st fret, .98″ depth at the 12th fret, 6.25k ohm bridge, 10.84k ohm neck, 8lbs 4oz, Ash body.
Originality: All parts original to the guitar!
Condition: Very good. This one has been played but never abused. There’s light corrosion on the bridge plate.
Playability: Very good. I’ve just completed a full set up and it’s a joy to play. Both pickups are full and strong with good output. The frets on Telecaster Customs from this time period are low from the factory so some players might find them a bit low. The truss rod works nicely.
Notes: Feast your eyes upon this workhorse Telecaster! The Telecaster Custom was a great response by Fender in 1972 to the demand for a humbucking pickup in the neck position of their famous Telecaster. I love the versatility that these guitars offer. This one has been played but not abused. The case shows lots of wear including a replaced handle and stickers applied to the exterior. I’m confident you’ll love this killer 1973 Fender Telecaster Custom!
Feast your eyes upon Gibson’s top of the line thinline, semi-hollow arcthop electric guitar, the ES-355td Stereo+Vartione! Gibson offered three versions of the thinline electric arcthop guitar with solid center block: the ES-335 debuting in 1958, then the ES-345 and ES-355 which both debuted a year later in 1959. The ES-355 exhibited similar features to the Gibson Les Paul Custom model including a large pearl headstock inlay, ebony fretboard with large pearl inlays, thick binding and gold plated hardware.
1960 Gibson ES-355tdsv headstock
This clean vintage example of Gibson’s ES-355tdsv was ordered new in Hawthorne, NY by a Gibson Teacher-Agent. Gibson sometimes contracted with teaching studios around the country to sell Gibson instruments to the students at the studio. The musician that ordered this guitar was the owner of the teaching studio and wanted a Gibson ES-355 for himself.
I drove from Birmingham, Alabama to just north of Dallas to Denton, Texas to buy this guitar and a collection of other special instruments from the grandson of the teacher agent. I’m always looking to buy clean, vintage Gibson guitars. If you’re looking for where to sell vintage guitars or who buys vintage Gibson guitars in Alabama then you’ve come to the right place. I’d love to check out your guitar or collection. You can reach out to me here at my sell my vintage guitar page to contact me.
Gibson’s solid body electric guitar line endorsed by popular guitarist Les Paul was in full swing with five models by 1955. The most affordable Les Paul was the Junior, then the Special, then the “Model” which was later called the Standard, and the Custom at the top of the line. A fifth Les Paul was available that Gibson called the TV Model but it was essentially a Junior with a unique finish that Gibson called Limed Mahogany. The Special also featured this unique color option that appeared to be white on a monochromatic television set.
I’m quite fond of Gibson’s Les Paul Special model, especially the examples from 1957. The neck profiles were quite large at the time, the frets were smaller in width, the bridge pickup’s placement was adjusted forward for more stability. It still featured the original single cutaway style Les Paul body shape. The features are understated with no binding or flashy inlays. It’s a straight up rock and roll guitar that does everything you want it to do.
1957 Gibson Les Paul Special headstock
I’m always looking to buy clean examples of Gibson Les Paul guitars. If you’re looking for who buys vintage Gibson guitars in Alabama then you’ve come to the right place. I’d love to check out your Gibson Les Paul Junior, Gibson Les Paul Special, Gibson Les Paul Model or Standard, or Gibson Les Paul Custom. You can reach out to me here at my sell my vintage Gibson guitar page. I’m looking forward to checking it out!
Gibson’s Les Paul Junior model debuted in 1954 as an affordable, stripped down alternative to the Les Paul Model or the Les Paul Custom. The beautiful gold finished Les Paul Model, Gibson’s first solid body electric guitar, was introduced only two years before with two pickups, trapezoid shaped pearloid fretboard inlays, and a carved Maple cap over the Mahogany body. The humble Les Paul Junior model had only one pickup, Sunburst finish, and a solid Mahogany body with no cap and no carve.
I’m always looking to buy clean examples of Gibson Les Pauls. If you’re looking for who buys vintage Gibson guitars in Alabama then you’ve come to the right place. I’d love to check out your Gibson Les Paul Junior, Gibson Les Paul Special, Gibson Les Paul Model or Standard, or Gibson Les Paul Custom. You can reach out to me here at my sell my vintage Gibson guitar page. I’m looking forward to checking it out!
1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior Headstock
Gibson’s engineers soon noticed a slight problem with the placement of the bridge pickup: it was placed too close to the bridge studs. This weakened the wood supporting the treble side stud and often cause the wood to crack and the studs to lean forward under the string tension. The problem was corrected in late 1956 by placing the pickup a bit closer to the neck and increasing the depth of the bridge stud. The model remained largely unchanged until a complete body style redesign in 1958 to the double cutaway style body.
1960 Gibson Les Paul Junior, double cutaway style body, post-1958
My favorite Les Paul Junior guitars are the clean examples from 1956, 1957, and 1958. I like the skinner style fretwire used before 1959. I like the single cutaway style body. I love the way that a Les Paul Junior guitar rings out with loud resonance even when it’s not amplified. I LOVE the larger neck profile in 1957 and 1958. These are some of my favorite guitars to ever come out of the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Gibson’s iconic Hummingbird model debuted in 1960 but it doesn’t trace its roots from other Gibson guitars. Do I have your attention? Let’s dive into some sacrilege: the Gibson Hummingbird has more roots with Martin and Epiphone than it does with Gibson. Ok, let me back that up.
The CF Martin & Co guitar company has an incredible history of making world class flat-top acoustic guitars but that’s not all they’re known for. Martin’s ukuleles are also known for being some of the finest ever made. They’re wildly collectible and some are very valuable as well. Some of the most interesting examples were actually made for a distributer called Oliver Ditson. The Ditson company worked with Martin to develop a new body shape for their ukuleles in 1916 they ended up calling Dreadnought – a slightly larger body with wider, more squared off shoulders.
Fancy Martin made Oliver Ditson 5k model ukulele, dreadnought body shape, picture from Ditson-ukulele.com
Martin’s guitar development charged ahead into bracing guitars for use with steel strings in the 1920s. Players wanted louder guitars that would cut through a band and be heard over other players. Body widths increased until finally the “D” size body was introduced in 1931 at a whopping 16″ wide. Martin chose the Dreadnought (formally ukulele) shape for this model. It was wildly popular and has been in production ever since!
1959 Martin D-18L, dreadnought body shape
Gibson had actually been making a 16″ acoustic guitar since 1929 but it was intended for Hawaiian style playing. The HG-22 and HG-24 had strange inner walls and small F style holes cut in the top. The shape of the body became known as Gibson’s Round Should Jumbo body style. The “Jumbo” model was introduced in 1934 with the round shoulder body shape at 16″. This time it was intended for Spanish style (what we would think of as a standard acoustic guitar) playing. The model progressed into the J-35, then the J-45 in 1942.
1957 Gibson J-45
Gibson hired a precocious new president of the company in 1948: Ted McCarty. McCarty’s skill, intellect, and drive turned the whole company around and made it into the icon it is today. He introduced new ideas and models to the world like the Les Paul Model, ES-335 model, the Flying V, the Humbucking pickup, and many more. He kept eyeing a rival company that appeared to be interested in selling their brand in the mid 1950s: Epiphone. McCarty eyed their upright bass design and reputation. The Epiphone family ended up selling the company to Gibson under McCarty for a sum total of only $20,000 in October of 1957.
Gibson’s intention for the Epiphone brand was to manufacture both Gibson branded guitars and Epiphone branded guitars on the same line in Kalamazoo, MI. Pre-Gibson Epiphone’s flat-top guitars weren’t largely commercially successful in the 1950s but they did have some appeal. One of the most popular models was called the FT-110 which was a 16″ wide flat-top with Maple back and sides. Gibson updated the model after the buyout with an entirely new body style: the square shoulder dreadnought. Gibson also added a name to the number designation of the model they called the Frontier. The FT-110 Frontier, first produced in 1958, was the first Gibson made model to feature a decidedly Martin looking square shoulder acoustic guitar body shape.
1965 Epiphone FT-110 Frontier
Gibson began updating the Gibson brand’s acoustic guitar line in 1960 with a brand new model: the Hummingbird. It featured the new square shoulder body style with a beautifully engraved hummingbird motif on the pickguard and fancy inlays. The model debuted in the price list in 1962 but we can find examples of the Hummingbird with production features and serial numbers indicating as early as 1960. Gibson made Epiphone Frontier model guitars can be found with production features and serial numbers indicating as early as 1958! So the Frontier appears to have predated the Hummingbird by about two years.
1963 Gibson Hummingbird
I’m always looking for clean examples of the Gibson Hummingbird and the Epiphone FT110 Frontier. Are you searching for where to sell your vintage Gibson guitar? You can reach out to me here at my sell my vintage Gibson page to send pictures and information about your guitar. Or, you can leave a comment below if you like. I’m looking forward to checking it out!
“Crest – The progressive guitarist will enjoy the new look and sound of this professional instrument. Beautiful suspended gold humbucking pickups not only contribute to the unique tonal capabilities of the instrument, but also highlight the seasoned Rosewood bookmatched top, rims, and back.” — 1969 Gibson Thinline Catalog
Make and Model: Gibson Crest
Year: early 1970. No Made In USA stamp, no volute, orange label.
Specifications: Fully hollow thinline archtop, laminate bookmatched Rosewood body, neck joint at the 15th fret, 24 3/4″ scale, 1 11/16″ nut width, .8″ neck depth at the first fret, 1″ depth at the 12th fret, two top mounted Johnny Smith style mini humbucking pickups, Custom inlay on the headstock, large block (Custom) inlays on the fretboard.
Originality: All original parts except the strings. Original case, original paperwork…
Condition: Near perfect. There is no finish checking or cracks. The neck is dead straight with a properly working truss rod. The frets show no wear. The electronics work like new. The hooks on the tailpiece sagged a bit as a result of having .012 gauge strings on it for a long time but it feels solid and is currently set up with .010 gauge strings.
Playability: 100%, no excuses.
Notes: I’ve been working hard to source a clean Gibson Crest for a long time now. With only 156 examples shipped throughout its four year production run (1969-1972), it was an uphill battle. This near mint example was irresistible. It’s likely that this one was produced in 1969 but not finished out with electronics until early 1970 (potentiometer code: 137701x, 10th week of 1970). The Gibson shipment ledgers record a total of 61 Crests shipped in 1970.
This clean Gibson Crest has just emerged for the first time in more than 30 years. I received it from the son of its long time caretaker after his passing years ago. I was shocked to find the original manual, string tag, and the Gibson Diamond Jubilee tag for 1969 (even though this one probably shipped in 1970!). The original case is clean but the handle is a poor replacement. The guitar itself is scary clean and is sure to please the most discerning collector and player.
“ES-335td – THIN – DOUBLE CUTAWAY – a newsmaker since its first appearance, this model offers outstanding performance for ensembles, recording, radio, and TV at an amazingly modest price. It offers all the advantages of Gibson’s thin body design with its ease of handling, easy fingering, and fast action… Its sparkling sustaining tone and instant response. Semi-solid body construction. Beautiful curly Maple arched top and back, pearl dot inlays, and nickel plated metal parts. ES-335td — $297.50” — Gibson catalog, 1960
Make and Model: Gibson ES-335tdc
Year: 1961, serial 26xxx
Specifications: Thinline arched top with solid Maple center block, two PAF humbucking pickups, dot inlay fretboard, 1 11/16″ nut width, .8″ neck depth at the first fret, .88″ depth at the 12th, factory Bigsby tremolo tailpiece, 8lbs 8oz.
Originality: All original parts except professional refret and one replacement saddle.
Condition: Very good with only light fade. Finish checking is present with a spot of pick wear under the strings next to the pickguard. The original Kluson tuners work well. One of the buttons shows significant shrinkage.
Playability: 100%. It’s just been professionally refretted without disturbing the wear on the fretboard. It’s got all the look and feel of a proper vintage fretboard but plays like new.
Notes: Gibson’s ES-335 model has a mystique all its own. The dot fretboard examples from 1958 until early 1962 are some of my favorite guitars to ever come out of the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, MI. The ES-335’s thinline body with solid center block can trace its origins from Les Paul’s “log” guitar in the 1940s to Ted McCarty’s design genius in the late 1950s. McCarty and company’s experiments with tone wood combinations on solid body guitars were shooting for good sustain but without the harsh brightness – the solid Maple block with hollow wings was exactly that. Throw in what many guitarists would agree is the finest guitar pickup ever made – the PAF Humbucking pickup – and you’ve got what many would call a Burst Killer at almost a tenth of the price.
This dot neck ES-335 is one of 406 TDC (Thinline, Dual pickup, Cherry finish) examples made in 1961 according to the Gibson shipment ledgers. I invested 22 hours drive time to retrieve it along with a 1963 Fender Precision Bass. I’m confident you’ll love this prime example of Gibson’s dot neck era ES-335 model.
The Fender color chart! This one is from 1964. I received this rare bit of Fender paper with a 1964 Fender Jaguar that was factory finished in super rare Black! Custom color Fender guitars are often misidentified as the wrong color. The difference in shades can be very subtle which can make it difficult to determine. Not only that, but different colors received different amounts of clear coat over the color which yellows over time. This can drastically change the hue of the color! Lake Placid Blue Metallic especially fades significantly to a green color.
1964 Fender Jaguar Black
The color chart changed throughout its availability from late 1961 until about the mid 1970s. The first version of the color chart included Shell Pink which was very rarely ordered. Shell Pink soon disappeared and Burgundy Mist Metallic soon took its place. Shoreline Gold Metallic was also rarely ordered and the color was updated in 1965 to Firemist Gold Metallic.
1965 Fender Jaguar Fiesta Red
Scroll back up to the color chart and look for this rare color: Fiesta Red. This 1965 Fender Jaguar was factory finished in a rarely ordered color that’s become quite desirable to Fender collectors. Fiesta Red is a color that has to be seen in person. It’s a blend of red, orange, and pink. It can look different in different lighting. It’s a very fine color that I’m always looking for.
1968 Fender Telecaster Candy Apple Red Metallic
Here’s a very cool factory finished Candy Apple Red Metallic Fender Telecaster from 1968! Candy Apple Red Metallic is one of the most common colors but it’s a bit less common to find it on a Telecaster model. Jaguars and Jazzmaster were more commonly ordered in custom colors than Telecasters were. Teles were the baseline standard full scale solid body electric so they were less commonly ordered special.
I’m always looking for custom color Fender guitars. Are you looking for help identifying your Fender guitar? Is it a custom color? I can help with Jaguars, Jazzmasters, Stratocasters, Telecasters, what have you. Drop me a comment with contact info or reach out to me here at the sell my vintage guitar page.
“ES-345TD – This versatile instrument offers 6 preset tonalities with the Gibson Vari-Tone control and exciting stereophonic tone separation. Play the ES-345td through a stereo amplifier, two channel amplifier, or two separate amplifiers. Special stereo wiring and “Y”cable provide tone separation.” — 1970 Gibson catalog
Make and Model: Gibson ES-345td
Year: Likely 1972 but could be ’71 or ’73. 106 examples produced in 1972 with an average of about 110 each year from 1971 to 1973.
Specifications: Thinline archtop with solid center block and hollow wings, 24 3/4″ scale length, 1 9/16″ nut width, .78″neck depth at the 1st fret, 1″ depth at the 12th, 8lbs 1oz, factory stereo wiring with stereo output jack, Vari-Tone switch.
Originality: 100% except for the strings and truss rod cover!
Condition: Excellent. This one was clearly babied since it was purchased new.
Playability: Excellent, 100% ready to go. The neck is straight, the frets show almost no wear, and the electronics work like new.
Notes: Every guitar tells a story but this one is just a little better than the others. Laura’s husband was a country player in Arkansas. After he bought the guitar new, he made an Abalone shell truss rod cover and painted her name on it with inlaid turquoise heart. He played it sparingly at home for her and gigged his other guitars. He passed about five years ago. Laura held on to the guitar until house repairs became necessary recently.
Serial numbers are not consistent in the early 1970s but all specifications indicate a build year of between 1971 and 1973. Gibson made an average of only 110 ES-345td guitars each year between ’71 and ’73 so this is a low production model. I’m confident you’ll love this clean 1972 Gibson ES-345td in Cherry Sunburst!
“A pleasure to play and hear. Delivers an outstanding performance every time, with tonal fidelity and beauty you’ll appreciate. Modestly priced, for all its modern features. Fully arched 16″ body of choice rock maple. Individual tuning machines. Gretsch adjustable rod-Actionflo neck and adjustable Ebony bridge. Hand polished finish. Edges double bound in ivory plastic. Chrome plated metal parts. Extra thin cutaway body for that wonderful ease of handling and playing. Built in Hi-Lo’Tron electronic head gives you pure, rich Gretsch guitar sound at all times.” — 1963 Gretsch catalog
Make and Model: Gretsch 6186 Clipper
Specifications: Fully hollow thinline archtop, single Hi-LoTron pickup (single coil), 6 lbs even, 1 23/32″ nut width, .87″ neck depth at the first fret
Originality: All original except the strings
Condition: Excellent. The body and neck have no breaks or repairs. The pickguard had a crack next to the mounting screw. I repaired it and reattached the pickguard. The binding exhibits typical deterioration with the worst spot being the heel cap.
Playability: Excellent. This one has a straight neck, working truss rod nut, and a good neck angle.
Notes: This beautiful ’64 Gretsch Clipper was purchased new locally at the Gadsden Music Co in Gadsden, Alabama. It wasn’t played that much and was eventually relegated to the closet. It’s just come out of retirement and is ready to be play! It doesn’t suffer from the playability issues that plague many Gretsch guitars. This one wants to be played. I’m confident you’ll love this clean 1964 Gretsch 6186 Clipper!