Browse Dave’s Collection

“Welcome to the guitar collection. On the second floor of our store we have on display over 300 guitars and more than 50 amps that I’ve accumulated over the years. The friends and customers that have visited us seem to really appreciate being able to view this, so we thought we would share it with our online friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts as well. Enjoy!”

- Dave Rogers

The items in Dave’s Collection are not available for purchase.
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Gibson Thunberbird II Bass, ’64

Sunburst, "Reverse body", Serial number 194617.
 

Gibson J-160E, ’65

Sunburst, Serial number 252074.
 

Gibson ES-335, ’59

Natural, Serial number A30855.
 

Gibson L-7, ’49

Natural, Serial number A2454.
 

Gibson L-7C, ’50

Natural, Serial number A4584.
 

Gibson ES-335, ’62

Cherry, Serial number 73855.
 

Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, ’59

Sunburst, Serial number A30449. By the late 1940’s, after the slowdown in factory production during World War Two, Gibson was once again focused on expanding its electric guitar line. The ES-5 was introduced in 1949 as “the supreme electronic version of the famed Gibson L-5”.   While the ES-5 shared the L-5’s dimensions and block fingerboard inlays, it was constructed like the other Gibson electric guitars available at that time; with a laminated top, back and sides. Not until the introduction of the Super 400CES and L-5CES in 1951 would solid carved wood archtop electrics be available as regular models. The existing ES-300 and ES-350 models had been recently upgraded to two P-90 pickups, but the upscale ES-5 had three. Pickup combinations were accomplished by setting the individual volume controls to attain the desired blend.   Falling sales after 1952, prompted Gibson to redesign the ES-5 with upgraded pickup switching capabilities. The ES-5 Switchmaster was launched at the July 1955 NAMM show. By 1958, the guitar was improved once again, this time with three “Patent Applied For” humbuckers replacing the P-90s.   The March 1959 Gibson catalog describes the features: Arched top and back of highly figured, curly maple with matching curly maple rims – alternate black and white ivoroid binding – modern cutaway design – three-piece curly maple neck with Gibson Adjustable Truss Rod – bound rosewood fingerboard with block pearly inlays – Tune-O-Matic bridge – three powerful, humbucking pickups with individually adjustable pole pieces – separate tone and volume controls which can be preset – four-way toggle switch to activate each of the three pickups separately, in combination of any two, or all three simultaneously – gold-plated metal parts – exclusive new tailpiece design – laminated pickguard with attractive border – individual machine heads with deluxe buttons.   The pristine 1959 Switchmaster pictured, matches the original catalog description except for having Grover Rotomatic tuners, which replaced the Kluson Super tuners seen in previous years.
 

Gibson ES-175, ’57

Sunburst, Serial number A25586.
 

Gibson Les Paul Model, ’56

Black, Serial # 65398, Very rare to see one of these in all Black. This one is not in pristine condition, but it is certainly rare enough to where it deserves a spot in the collection. When Gibson teamed up with renowned recording star Les Paul in 1952, the company created a guitar that became one of the most influential and popular instruments of all time:  The Les Paul Model. The Les Paul, with its solid mahogany body and carved maple top, evolved through the 1950’s as practical improvements were introduced. By 1956 (the same year as the pictured example), the bridge had been modified twice from the original trapeze/bridge tailpiece designed by Les Paul. The first change of 1953 was the wrap-around stop bar tailpiece screwed right into the guitar’s top. This increased sustain, and allowed for palm muting the strings. Finally, in 1956, the classic separate stop bar and fully adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge combination was added (previously a standard feature only on the Les Paul Custom launched in 1954). This allowed for near perfect intonation.  1956 was also the final full year (of its original run) that the Les Paul Model was offered with P-90 pickups.   The Les Paul pictured is a typical 1956 Goldtop in most ways except for the rare custom all-black finish. A deep ebony black lacquer had been used on various Gibson’s since Orville’s time, and was then standard on the Les Paul Custom. It’s very rare to see the regular Les Paul Model with anything but the usual brilliant gold (bronze powder mixed with lacquer) shade. This guitar was assembled with the customary cream colored plastic for the pickup covers, pickguard, and “RHYTHM TREBLE” surround. Black knobs were substituted for the standard gold ones.
 

Gibson L-1, ’29

Sunburst.
 

Gibson EB-1 Bass, ’58

Natural, Serial # 82933. Gibson introduced its first solid body bass guitar in 1953. It was named the Electric Bass, and was Gibson’s response to Fender’s Precision Bass released in late 1951.  Gibson’s bass was constructed very differently from Fender’s, with its elegant violin shaped solid mahogany body and short scale neck. The 1956 Gibson catalog reads: “With 20 frets on a scale length of 30½”, the Gibson Electric Bass has the same range as the standard bass ‘fiddle’ – and the same pitch.” “The Gibson Electric Bass has an adjustable end pin, and also a shoulder strap and thus may be played either in a standing position, or like a guitar.” It had one very large single coil pickup in the neck position which gave strong, deep bass tones.  Even though reasonably priced, the Electric Bass did not sell well and was discontinued during 1958 in favor of the semi-hollow EB-2 (1958), and the double cutaway solidbody EB-0 (1959).   The bass pictured has most of the typical features expected of an EB from between 1953 and 1958. These include, as stated in the 1958 Gibson catalog: “Solid mahogany, violin shaped body and carved top – mahogany neck with Gibson Adjustable Truss Rod construction. An important factor in the outstanding performance of this instrument is the Gibson-designed metal bridge, adjustable for string height and lengths.” The headstock has a pearl inlayed Gibson logo and two banjo tuners on each side. The only unusual characteristic is that this bass with a 1958 serial number has a factory stock humbucking pickup not used until 1959. The pickup was developed by Seth Lover to be used on the EB-0 and EB-2. It was the same size as the original enormous single coil, but was split into two coils. A possible explanation is that the bass was nearly finished and stamped in 1958, but for some reason, not completed until at least 1959. The Gibson Shipment totals for 1958 indicate that 45 EB-1s were shipped that year. Whether this bass is one of those or one that slipped through later without being counted is difficult to know.
 

Gibson EH-150 Lap Steel and matching amp, ’37

Sunburst, Serial # 2796. The popularity of Hawaiian style music in the early 1900’s created a demand for instruments specially made to accommodate the Hawaiian technique. The top companies, Martin and Gibson, first began supplying separate devices to place on the nut to raise the strings high enough to play in Hawaiian style, but eventually designed specific guitars devoted to Hawaiian playing. Gibson’s earliest Hawaiians were the HG series of 1929, followed by the Roy Smeck 12-fret models of 1934. By the time the Roy Smeck guitars became available, Hawaiian music had already begun to feature a new innovation: an electric guitar made by Rickenbacker. This guitar featured a magnetic “horseshoe” pickup to amplify the strings’ vibrations. This new type of Hawaiian guitar could be heard more easily, with notes and chords sustaining effortlessly. Rickenbacker’s “Frying Pans” went almost unnoticed by Gibson until 1935, when sales shot high enough for Gibson to think it was worthwhile to try one of its own.   Gibson’s short-lived first attempt at an electric Hawaiian followed Rickenbacker’s lead and had a metal body. The metal body had tuning issues, and didn’t fit Gibson’s classic look, so by 1936 the EH-150 (the guitar and amp set cost $150) had a maple body and neck finished in Gibson’s traditional dark sunburst. After initially trying to outsource the pickup design to Chicago’s Lyon & Healy (who did end up making the matching amplifiers), Gibson relied on its own employee Walter Fuller to devise the now renowned Bar Pickup.   The 1937 EH-150 set pictured has features consistent with the middle of that year. These include a headstock with a pearl Gibson logo and split diamond inlay (no inlay the previous year), multi-ply top and back binding (from single-ply top binding in 1936), back attached with screws (glued on by 1938), and a bar pickup with multi-ply binding (became a U-magnet pickup in 1938). The amp had rounded corners (replaced the square corners of 1936), two 6L6 power tubes (replacing the earlier 6N6s), and a 12 inch speaker (was a 10 inch the year before). The amp’s power rating was about 15 watts.  
 

Gibson L-5 “Fern”, ’43

Sunburst, Serial # 97608.
 

Gibson ES-350, ’49

Natural, Serial # A4308. Gibson introduced its first electric guitar, the ES-150 in 1936. Its acceptance by influential players like Eddie Durham and Charlie Christian led to the manufacture of lower (ES-100) and higher end (ES-250) models over the next few years. These earliest electric guitars were amplified with a magnetic “bar” pickup (later called the Charlie Christian pickup) designed by Walter Fuller.  The apex of Gibson’s pre-war electric production was the 17” wide ES-300 which used a long diagonal pickup in an attempt at a more natural acoustic sound.  Gibson’s experimentation on and refinement of the electric guitar was halted briefly during World War II.   After the war, when production had fully resumed, a cutaway version of the ES-300 was designed called the ES-350 Premier. This guitar was initially equipped with one black plastic covered P-90 pickup (also designed by Walter Fuller) in the neck position. By 1949 a bridge pickup was added and the model became known simply as the ES-350. The ES-350 remained in production until 1956, when it was replaced by the thin-bodied ES-350T.   The natural finished 1949 ES-350 pictured matches the description in the original 1949 Gibson catalog perfectly:   “-Beautifully figured curly maple body and neck with Gibson Golden Sunburst or selected natural wood finishes. -Modern cutaway design to make all 20 frets readily accessible. -Clear, brilliant solos or full, mellow backgrounds by regulated dual pickup amplification. -Alnico No. 5 magnetic poles individually adjustable for tone balance. -Gold plated metal parts offer rich decorative accents. -Tone and volume controls make possible wide, powerful electronic range. -Body size 17” wide and 21” long.”
 

Gibson SJ-200, ’49

Sunburst, Serial # A2438.
 

Gibson L-7, ’48

Sunburst, Serial # A2135.
 

Gibson Firebird VII, ’65

Sunburst, Non-Reverse model, Serial # 501529.
 

Gibson EB-2DC Bass, ’67

Cherry, Serial # 897004.
 

Gibson ES-335, ’60

Sunburst, Serial # A33186.
 

Gibson Trini Lopez Custom, ’68

Sparkling Burgundy, Serial # 899091.
 

Gibson Trini Lopez, ’67

Cherry, Serial # 055072.
 

Gibson US-1, ’86

Black, Serial # 82986502.
 

Gibson J-200, ’55

Natural, Serial # A20043. The “Singing Cowboy” phenomenon of the 1930s was the main inspiration for the “King of the Flattops”, Gibson’s J-200. Cowboy movie idol, Ray Whitley approached Gibson in 1937 about having a guitar designed to out-do rival western crooner Gene Autry’s fancy mother-of pearl adorned Martin D-45. The result was the prototype for the Super Jumbo (soon to be called SJ-200 due to its original $200 price). The original Super Jumbos shared dimensions with Gibson’s 17” wide L-5 (the very earliest were 16 and 7/8” wide). Unlike on the L-5, rosewood back and sides were standard instead of maple (two maple pre-War SJ-200s are known to exist).   The guitar featured is one of 41 natural finished J-200s made in 1955 (the “S” had been dropped from the name by this time).  This beautifully aged instrument has the characteristics typical of other J-200s from early 1955. It has the distinctive rosewood “moustache” bridge (changed from the original ebony in 1941), rosewood fingerboard with “cloud” inlays (also changed from ebony in 1941), and a two piece maple neck with rosewood center strip. The top is spruce, while the back and sides are maple (changed from the original rosewood spec after 1946). This guitar’s elaborately decorated flower and vine engraved pickguard still has the stripe along its border, which disappeared from later versions by the middle of ’55.   According the 1959 Gibson price list (the closest available in the DGS Archives), the list price of a New J-200N was $385. A brown Lifton hard shell case would have been an additional $52.50.
 

Gibson ES-125 Tenor, ’66

Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 851490.
 

Gibson ES-355, ’63

Cherry, Serial # 101330. Mono version with earlier features including: Grover Rotomatic tuners, Bigsby vibrato, and no serial number on the back of the headstock. This is one of only 66 Mono ES-355s made that year.
 

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