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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Natural, Serial # A22080. Very Rare Spruce Top.
Natural, Serial # G-077.
Sunburst, Serial # 69281.
Cherry, Serial # 46819.
Sunburst, Serial # A35136.
Cherry, Serial # 137285.
Sunburst, Serial # A25130.
Natural, Serial # A5824.
As the Jazz Age matured in the 1930’s, the loud rhythmic pulse of the banjo gave way to silky even tones of the archtop guitar. The popularity of Bing Crosby and his virtuoso guitarist Eddie Lang, inspired band leaders to replace the banjo with the guitar. Banjo players wanting to continue working had to learn the guitar. To aid those players not wanting to learn a whole new system of fingering, Gibson offered a four stringed tenor guitar with the same tuning as the four stringed tenor banjo. Most standard guitar models could be special ordered with a tenor neck (We have seen examples into the ‘60s).
This guitar is, according to the label, an ES-350 T.G. (tenor guitar). The features, which include a thick full sized body, individual gold bonnet tone and volume knobs for each pickup, and a three way toggle switch, seem to date the guitar to 1955. The serial number, on the other hand, dates the guitar at 1950. Could it be that the guitar was started in 1950 and shelved until 1955 when a tenor guitar order came through? We may never know. The last unique finishing touch is “bow tie” banjo inlays on the fingerboard.
We’ve been looking for a thick bodied ES-350 with the four-knob layout for a long time (if anyone has one, please contact us) so it’s ironic that when one finally shows up, it’s a tenor!
Sparkling Burgundy, The face has faded to an interesting gold color! Some nasty Gibson/Schaller tuners installed, but since the damage was already done, I left them alone.
Cherry, Serial #A32582. A very clean example with just a bit of gold plating wear.
Sunburst, Serial # 176409.
Cherry, Serial #A34224. The color has faded nicely on this one. A nice early '60 with the long guard and clear knobs.
Sunburst, Serial #A31007. The gold plating is a bit worn and the tuners are starting to shrivel up, but this is a great guitar. I love the late 50's/early 60's ES series guitars when they have the stop tailpiece!
Sunburst, Serial #A32846, An early '60 with the clear top knobs and the long guard.
Cherry Sunburst, I've never seen another one like this and probably for a good reason! It is an odd duck, that's for sure!
Natural, Kind of a silly thing. I think these were mostly meant as a promotional item, but this guitar gets some of the most attention of anything in the collection from the non-guitar type folks.
Natural, An unusual version of an ES-335 with a 3 piece maple neck.
Natural, These look a lot like an ES-335, but they are completely hollow and much thicker. These never really did catch on in the vintage market, but I've always been a fan of them, especially in Natural!
Sunburst, Serial # A15572.
The Gibson ES-295 was introduced in 1952 as the full sized hollow body complement to the solid body Les Paul Model also debuting that year. While the ES-295 shared the same flashy gold coloring of the Les Paul, along with the unique tailpiece, it was basically a fancier two-pickup version of the ES –175 (the two-pickup ES-175 D did not appear until 1953). The basic features of an ES-295 were: an all gold finish, two single coil P-90s with cream covers, a cream pickguard with gold floral designs, a Les Paul bridge/tailpiece combination, and gold plated metal parts.
The guitar featured is a typical 1953 ES-295 in every way except one: the color. While a tobacco sunburst finish was standard on most Gibsons from the ‘30s through the ‘50s, it is very rare to see an ES-295 in this color. The only other P-90 equipped ES-295 we know of was sold in 1999 at Eric Clapton’s Christie’s auction (two late ‘50s cherry sunburst humbucker equipped examples are also known to exist).
This one was found for me by my good friend and mentor, Jeff Hill.
Gold, Serial # A11855.
You do not see these very often, This one is a bit weather checked and way too cool!
Sunburst, Serial # A35924.
A very clean guitar that is a recent addition to the collection. This is complete with the Brown case, all of the hang tags, and the paperwork. The original sales receipt that is dated July 8, 1961 is also included. This guitar sold new for $249.50 and the case was an extra $47.00. What are the chances of the $30 trade credit being for a Danelectro or a Silvertone? One can only imagine.
Sunburst, Serial # 85879.
Sunburst, Serial # A28163.
In the late ‘50s Gibson designed a guitar meant to have the look and feel of a traditional hollowbody, while also having the sonic advantages of a solid body guitar (still new and not universally accepted). The ES-335 was the result.
This example has features common to most late ‘50s 335s: dot inlays, long pickguard, see-through gold bell knobs, and PAF humbuckers.
Early ES-335s, including this one, often have shallow neck angles. The ABR-1 bridges on these guitars are shaved much thinner than usual to accommodate the neck angle.
Factory installed Bigsbys were also a common feature on ES-335s of the ‘50s and ‘60s. What makes this guitar unusual is the lack of stop tailpiece holes or “Custom Made” plaque usually seen on Bigsby equipped 335s.
I purchased this guitar from a good friend & fellow dealer in Iowa about 20 years ago. Not the best playing ES-335 that I own (because of the shallow neck angle) but definitely a historically significant guitar that I treasure.
Cherry, Serial # A35742.
Sunburst, Serial # 66165.
Cherry, Serial # 147790.
Cherry, Serial # 51989.
Cherry, Serial # 113991.
Pelham Blue, Serial # 87604.
Sparkling Burgundy, Serial # 170009.
This guitar is weird not just because of the color, but because it has split parallelogram fingerboard inlays like an ES-345.
Sparkling Burgundy, Serial # 064094.
Cherry, Serial # 19764.
Ebony, Serial # 511553.
Sunburst, Serial # A25794.
Natural, Serial # A28534.
By the mid- 1950’s electric guitar players had two choices: either a full hollowbody electric guitar or a compact solidbody. Gibson had been receiving requests from players for something in-between the two styles, so in 1955 the first Thinline Electrics were developed. They were the high-end Byrdland, the ES-350T, and the low-end ES-225T.
The Byrdland was conceived with input from session guitarists Hank Garland and Billy Byrd. It was basically a thin-bodied L-5 with a 2 and ¼” thick body (instead of 3 and 3/8”) and a shorter scale of 23 and ½” (instead of 25 and ½”). The shorter scale was meant to make difficult new jazz chords easier to play. It also allowed room for two extra frets (22 total).
The ES 350T was meant to be an affordable, less fancy version of the Byrdland with the same groundbreaking improvements and dimensions. The ES-350T adopted the cosmetic features of its full-sized predecessor the ES-350: two P-90 pickups, laminated maple top, sides, and back, rosewood fingerboard with split parallelogram inlays, and a crown headstock inlay.
The stunning example shown on these pages was made in 1958, and is one of only 43 natural models made that year (the other 104 were sunburst). This guitar sports the Patent Applied For humbucking pickups that became standard equipment on the model in 1957. It is also adorned with an attractive, but non-stock Bigsby vibrato tailpiece (instead of the W-shaped original).
The Gibson ES-350T is most often associated with Rock ‘n Roll founding father Chuck Berry, but it was also used over the years by Eric Clapton and Danny Gatton.
Sunburst, Serial # A24780.
This one has a Byrdland tailpiece!
Natural, Serial # 35014.
Sunburst, Serial # A25661.
Sunburst, Serial # A3943.
When Ted McCarty started at Gibson in 1948, one of his first concerns was to develop and enlarge Gibson’s line of electric guitars. Among these new electrics was the ES-5, introduced in 1949. The ES-5 was intended to be, according to Gibson literature at the time, ‘the supreme electronic version of the famed Gibson L-5’.
Apart from the name, body dimensions, and fingerboard inlay, the ES-5 was very different from the L-5. A 1949 ES-5’s features included: a 17” wide body with laminated maple top, back and sides, pearl crown inlay on headstock, rosewood fingerboard, and unbound f-holes (until 1950). The most exciting part of the guitar was of course its three pickups. These P-90s were controlled by three individual volume knobs and one master tone.
This guitar was originally owned by a guitar teacher in Texas named Leroy Millican. The original Lifton hard shell case is included along with a five page instruction manual explaining how to operate the electronics.
Natural, Serial # A4501.
Sunburst, Serial # A24808.
Natural, Serial # A36092.
Sunburst, Serial # 22966.
Sunburst, Serial # A29271.
In 1934 Gibson introduced the Super 400 as its top of the line acoustic archtop. It was the largest and most ornate archtop guitar made at that time. By 1936 Gibson had launched its first electric archtop, the laminated, plain ES-150. Gibson continued to make only laminated electric models (except for occasional special orders) until demand from professional players became great enough to warrant adding an all solid wood electric Super 400 to the line. The Super 400 CES (Cutaway Electric Spanish) was unveiled in 1951.
This Super 400 CES has all the characteristics common to a late ‘50s Super 400 CES.
These include: a rounded Venetian cutaway (until 1960), a two-piece maple neck with mahogany center strip (until 1961), a Tune-O-Matic bridge (from 1955), and humbucking pickups (from 1958).
I drove into the depths of Iowa to get this one. The owner was a kind, but strange older gentleman that lived in a tiny dark little trailer home with many cats! We had agreed on a price before I drove there, but he took great delight in raising the price once he saw how much I liked the guitar (I never did have a good poker face!). It was a fun and interesting experience that I look back on fondly.
Natural, Serial # A3309.
By 1934, the jazz music developing since the early 1920’s had become more sophisticated. The raucous clanging rhythm sound of the banjo had given way to the sweeter, more refined sound of the archtop guitar. The Gibson L-5 had been the preeminent jazz archtop guitar since its debut in 1923 (most notably used by virtuoso Eddie Lang), but the increasing size of that era’s horn sections created the need for a guitar that produced a louder sound. This need for more volume was met by enlarging the width of the existing carved top line (including the L-5, L-10, L-12, and L-7) from 16” to 17”, and by creating a new flagship model: the Super 400. This ultra-fancy, ultra-expensive ($400) archtop measured 18” wide at its lower bout, and boasted elaborate mother of pearl inlays and multi-ply binding. The very highest quality curly maple and spruce were reserved for this superlative instrument.
The guitar pictured has features common to most Gibson Super 400s of that year, which are: a split diamond mother of pearl headstock inlay, “modern” Gibson logo (1948, replacing original “script“ logo), seven ply headstock binding, split block fingerboard inlay on ebony fingerboard, five-ply fingerboard binding (1949, replacing the original 3-ply binding), a solid 2-piece spruce top with 7-ply binding, a solid 2-piece maple back with 3-ply binding, and solid maple sides.
This beautifully preserved guitar, along with its clean Lifton case, was originally purchased on October 7, 1949 from Miller Music Co. in Bloomington, Illinois.
Natural, Serial # 115573.
Sharp cutaway, Beautiful flame Maple top and back, Just a great guitar that had to be in the collection.
Natural, Serial # 41605.
I bought this one from a local pedal steel player about 15 years ago. He had had his initials engraved on the truss rod cover and pickguard. I thought it was such a great personal touch that I've never been tempted to change it!
Sunburst, Serial # 76476.
Sunburst, Serial # A6788.
With rare McCarty double pickup!
Sunburst, Serial # 91553.
From the Pete Allenov collection!
Natural, Serial # A21719.
Sunburst, Serial # A17358.
Natural, Serial # 154560.
Cherry, Serial #48894.
A very rare color for this model!
TV Yellow, Serial # 0 9101.
The successful sales of the solid body Les Paul Model launched in 1952 convinced Gibson to expand the solid body line to include a variety of models aimed at players from beginner to professional. This led to the introduction of the low priced single pickup, flat bodied Les Paul Junior, and the high priced elaborately appointed Les Paul Custom in July of 1954. By 1955 the Les Paul line also included the Les Paul TV and the Les Paul Special.
The Les Paul TV was the same as a Junior except for having a bright “limed mahogany” finish (some early TVs had maple bodies) instead of the regular sunburst. The Les Paul Juniors and TVs may have been inexpensive student guitars, but they were built with high quality and playability to encourage beginners to stick with the guitar and eventually want to move up to more expensive Gibsons.
In July of 1958 the TV and Junior models received a radical makeover. A new double-cutaway shape was instated that allowed a player full access to the fingerboard. The Junior’s color changed to transparent cherry, while the TV’s limed mahogany became a brighter yellow. Attractive Tortoise pickguards rounded out the new color-scheme. By 1960 the TV lost the “Les Paul” portion of its name becoming instead the SG (solid guitar) TV. This name predated the pointed cutaway SG shape that came along in 1961.
Limed Mahogany, Serial # 614478.
Cherry, Serial # 923508.
TV Yellow, Seial # 011888.
Limed Mahogany, Serial # 6 3202.
Viceroy Brown Sunburst, Serial # 63184.
Sunburst, Serial # 100774.
Sunburst, Serial # 971758.
Sunburst, With the red, white and blue bird on the guard.
Natural, Serial # 00230419.
Natural Korina, Serial # 9 1002.
This is the prototype for the Historic '59 Explorer Reissue. It was pictured in the first Gibson Historic Series Catalog.
Natural Korina, Serial number 9 1995.
Purchased at a Dallas Show in the early 90's, I remember thinking at the time that if I didn't buy this one, I'd never be able find another. They are pretty scarce!
Cherry, Serial # 008!
Natural Korina, Serial # 9 1001.
This is the prototype for the Historic '59 Flying V Reissue. It was pictured in the first Gibson Historic Series Catalog.
Competition with other companies has always pressed Gibson into coming up with its most innovative designs. The rivalry with Epiphone in the 1920s and 1930s encouraged both companies to produce the finest acoustic archtop guitars of all time.
By the 1950s when amplified guitars had gained prominence, a new company entered the competition: Fender. Its founder Leo Fender had developed the first mass produced solid body electric guitar. Gibson president Ted McCarty took notice when the Fender Telecaster’s sales became significant, and developed a fancier solid body for Gibson with the help of guitar wizard, Les Paul. The classy looking Les Paul Model in turn, inspired Leo to come up with his futuristic masterpiece, the Stratocaster.
When Ted McCarty saw that the Fender Stratocaster was selling, he decided that Gibson needed to come up some wild, exciting designs of its own so as not to be seen as old-fashioned and conservative. After examining the designs of several artists (including himself), McCarty choose three designs to have patented in June of 1957. These were the Explorer, the Modern and the Flying V.
The patents were granted in January of 1958. While prototypes of each were made, only the Explorer and the Flying V made it into production.
These Flying Vs and Explorers of the late ‘50s were made of a light colored African mahogany called Korina. McCarty chose this wood because blonde hued furniture was popular at the time, and no additional bleaching or tinting was required. These “Modernistic” guitars initially created the excitement they were meant to, but didn’t catch on with the guitar buying public until years after the initial small run had been discontinued. More info
Formerly owned by my friend & mentor Pete Alenov (may he rest in peace), He taught me a lot about the guitar business, and I think of him whenever I look at this one. This V was featured on the January 2006 Vintage Guitar Magazine cover!
Ebony, Serial # F 014.
Sunburst, Serial # 171666.
I purchased this one from the original owner. It took me 15 years to convince him to sell it to me! This one is on the cover of the October 2005 Vintage Guitar magazine.
Cherry, Serial # 191345.
Any of these in custom colors are hard to find! I'm really fond of this one.
Pelham Blue, Serial # 183117.
Sunburst, Serial # 190492.
Sunburst, Serial # 258940.
Transitional model with reverse body, P-90 pickups, and Kluson strip tuners instead of banjo tuners! Very rare!
Cardinal Red, Serial # 191966.
Firebird I's are hard to find in Sunburst, but custom colors are very rare indeed! My good friend Paul Munden found this one for me and I am grateful to him for sending it my way!
Sunburst, Serial # 179985.
Sunburst, Serial # 198742.
Sunburst, Serial # 851851.
Cherry, Serial # 407024.
White, Serial # 168571, Just a nice clean guitar!
Cherry, Serial # 13264.
TV Yellow, Seial # 30651.
White, Serial # 124359.
Pelham Blue, Serial # 505348.
By the time this guitar was made in 1965, Les Paul’s endorsement deal had ended (1963). The entire line became officially known as SGs. This SG Standard has features common to this transitional year, which are: a narrow 1 and 9/16” nut, chrome pickup covers and Vibrola, nickel ABR-1 Bridge, and small pickguard.
This SG is painted in the popular Pelham Blue Poly (Poly indicates a metallic finish, not Polyurethane) which was introduced along with nine other Custom Colors when the Firebird series debuted in 1963. Pelham Blue Poly is a lighter version of Fender’s Lake Placed Blue, and also tended to turn a more greenish color with age.
Dave's notes: I bought this one from a good friend (Rob Mason) at a Chicago show years ago. We had Gibson build a run of Historic SGs in this color based on this guitar!
Cherry, Serial # 207310.
Cherry, Serial # 178741
Cherry, Serial # 15288.
By 1960 poor sales of the original single cutaway Les Paul guitars caused Gibson to design a new more modern Les Paul model to compete with Fender’s popular double cutaway contoured solid body guitars. The result was what is today called the SG (Solid Guitar). This new version of the Les Paul had a slim lightweight mahogany body contoured with comfortable beveled edges. The two cutaways enabled players full and easy use of the 22 fret fingerboard. By 1961 the entire Les Paul line adopted the new shape.
Natural, One of the newest guitars in the collection, but I couldn't resist! Gibson was scheduled to build 100 of these in 2008 as a 50th Anniversary Tribute, but they did not go over very well and I think they ended up building around 80 of them. I loved them but the general public did not agree with me!
Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 9 1942, One of the most valuable and influential solid body electric guitars ever made. This one came from the family of the original owner. She played played this LP with her family band, The original purchase paperwork, her band poster, and set list are still in the original Lifton case. What a great history, and a great guitar!
Serial # 7 6172, All mahogany with a dark back, A very light 7.8 pounds, PAF's, and rings like a bell!
Serial # 614014, I kept this one to show the progression of the Les Paul. This guitar features the stop tail piece and the tune-o-matic bridge. The P90's would be replaced with the PAF's by the next year of production.
Serial # 5 5676
Serial # 4 3427, A very rare all gold version. They don't get any cleaner than this one.
Serial # 3 0602, I've had this one around forever! I've mostly kept it just to have an example of each version of the 50's Goldtop Les Paul. We've used it for various articles, photoshoots, and tabletop tennis. All kidding aside, another very clean 50's Goldtop.
This is the earliest version of the Goltop Les Paul. It has the extra 2 screws in the bridge pickup and no neck binding. Historically interesting, but not much of a player with this combination bridge/tailpiece.
Ebony, Serial # 8 3775.
Natural, Serial # 21101
Natural, Serial # 890855
Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 215778
This J-45 has the features common to others produced in 1964. It has the adjustable bridge (introduced in 1956), large frets (1959), cherry sunburst (1962), and mahogany back and sides with spruce top (standard since the end of WW II).
The red tint of the cherry sunburst has faded to an almost golden color, which is common on J-45s made from ’64 through ’66.
The slim comfortable neck of this example has the somewhat rare and interesting feature called a “Stinger”. The back of the headstock is painted black to hide a flaw in the wood. The black paint ends in an attractive point at the bottom of the headstock while rest of the neck continues on in the usual see-through cherry.
Blue Sparkle, Serial # 393787
The Gibson J-45 has been a favorite with players and collectors since its debut in 1942. Its roots can be traced back ten years earlier with the unveiling of the Martin Guitar Company’s Dreadnought series. The Martin D series became immediately popular with players because of the increased volume these large guitars provided. Gibson retaliated in 1934 with the Jumbo. The Jumbo was a guitar with similar dimensions and volume to the Dreadnought, but with Gibson’s unique round-shouldered look that’s been considered a classic shape ever since. The economics of the Great Depression caused the Jumbo to evolve into the lower priced, less fancy J-35 in 1936. By 1942 the J-35 was dropped in favor of the enduring J-45, which has been a staple of the Gibson Flat-Top line up ever since.
Sunburst, Serial # FG-2457.
During the years 1933 and 1934 Chicago held a World’s Fair commemorating the “Century of Progress” since the time of its incorporation. The fair was meant to stimulate the local economy during the crisis of the Great Depression. It was very successful and well attended.
The World’s Fair received a great deal of interest from around the world; especially in nearby areas like Kalamazoo, Michigan home of the Gibson Company. Gibson decided to use the “Century of Progress” idea to name a new high end flat-top guitar. The L-Century was the result, and it was produced from 1933 through 1941.
Gibson had introduced its L-series of flattops in 1926, and by 1933 offered several different models at various prices. The L-Century had the same measurements as the other L-models: 14 and ¾’ wide and 19 and ¼” long. The other differences were the use of maple for the back and sides (instead of mahogany), and of course the eye catching pearloid material covering the entire fingerboard and headstock.
Serial # 83145630
Red Sparkle, Serial # 398970
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