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 ES-335, '58

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. 

 

Gibson ES-335, '61

Cherry, Serial # A35742.

 

Gibson ES-335, '61

Sunburst, #10086.

 

Gibson ES-335, '63

Sunburst, #139877.

 

Gibson ES-335, '64

Sunburst, Serial # 66165.

 

Gibson ES-335, '64

Cherry, Serial # 147790.

 

Gibson ES-335, '62

Cherry, Serial # 51989.

 

Gibson ES-335, '63

Cherry, Serial # 113991.

 

Gibson ES-335, '67

Pelham Blue, Serial # 87604.

 

Gibson ES-335, '67

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.

 

Gibson ES-330, '67

Sparkling Burgundy, Serial # 064094.

 

Gibson ES-330, '61

Cherry, Serial # 19764.

 

Gibson Les Paul Custom, ’55

Ebony, Serial # 511553. The Gibson Les Paul Custom was formally unveiled at the July NAMM show in 1954, along with the Les Paul Junior. The two instruments were meant to increase the range of Gibson’s Les Paul solid body guitars by adding a fancier model and an economy model.  The Les Paul Custom’s sumptuous looks and special low smooth frets earned it the nicknames the “Black Beauty” and “the Fretless Wonder”.   The 1955 Gibson catalog describes the Custom’s unique features: “Solid Honduras Mahogany body with carved top, size 17 ¼” long, 12 ¾” wide, 1 ¾” thick with graceful cutaway design; bound with alternating white and black strips on top and bottom of body. Mahogany neck, with exclusive Gibson Truss Rod construction; ebony fingerboard; deluxe pearl inlays.” The luxury treatment continued with the split diamond pearl headstock inlay previously reserved only for the Super 400. Another feature, until that time used only on high end archtops, was the new powerful Alnico V pickup (in the neck position). The Custom was also the first Les Paul to receive the innovative Tune-O-matic Bridge, which allowed for individual string intonation.   While the Les Paul Custom’s looks and darker sounds (due to the all-mahogany construction and deep sounding neck pickup) were aimed at refined jazz players, rock ‘n roll and pop musicians were also attracted to the instrument. Chuck Berry, Franny Beecher (Bill Haley & His Comets), Robby Krieger (The Doors) and of course Les Paul himself, are a few well known players who favored the first version Les Paul Custom at one time.
 

Gibson ES-350T, '57

Sunburst, Serial # A25794.

 

Gibson ES-350T, '58

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.

 

Gibson ES-350T, '57

Sunburst, Serial # A24780.

This one has a Byrdland tailpiece!

 

Gibson Byrdland, '61

Natural, Serial # 35014.

 

Gibson Byrdland, '57

Sunburst, Serial # A25661.

 

Gibson ES-5, '49

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.

 

Gibson ES-5, '50

Natural, Serial # A4501.

 

Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, '57

Sunburst, Serial # A24808.

 

Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, '61

Natural, Serial # A36092.

 

Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, '61

Sunburst, Serial # 22966.

 

Gibson Super 400 CES, '59

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).

 

Dave’s notes:

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.

 

Gibson Super 400, '49

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.

 

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