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GIBSON ES-5, 1953-54

sunburst. One of the most sought-after models in vintage world: this early version of the ES-5 with its three P-90s controlled by three volume knobs and a single master tone control, was the choice of legendary bluesmen like Eddie Taylor, Lowell Fulson and most of all T-Bone Walker. Body has exactly the same dimentions as the L-5 CES, but it’s made of laminated maple; maple neck, rosewood fretboard. For many more details about the model’s history, please see our Collection (where you’ll see also one of the 12 prototypes made by Gibson). The guitar you see here has a ‘53 Factory Order Number and a 1954 serial number on its white oval label inside; it is completely original. It has bound f-holes and tune-o-matic bridge, in its very first version, introduced just one or two years earlier. An interesting feature is the headstock thickness, which is not uniform but narrows toward the top: this makes me think that the guitar left the factory equipped with a circa-1950-made neck. No further comments about the beauty of the highly flamed woods: it’s a real jewel. Excellent conditions, finish has checking but no major dings or scratches on the body, except for one on the lower side of the rims, and the only part that shows a lot of playing wear is the back of the neck. There is a little touch-up where a strap button has been removed from the neck heel, but besides these details the guitar is really in outstanding conditions. This axe has been regularly played through these 50 years. It’s very easy to play, you just have to get familiar with the four-knobs system, but once you do, you’ll have at your fingertips some of the most classic voices in blues & jazz guitar: from he sweetness of the neck pickup, to the pure Texas-Style out-of-phase sounds of the three pickups combination, to the sharp attack of the bridge P90. Original Lifton hardshell case, "built like a fortress". Ain’t that enough?
body1 - body2 - top1 - top2 - top3 - body back - head - tuners - bridge - knobs - heel - neck - case