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-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.

 

Gibson ES-350T, '63

Natural, Serial # 115573.

Sharp cutaway, Beautiful flame Maple top and back, Just a great guitar that had to be in the collection.

 

Gibson ES-350T, '62

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!

 

Gibson ES-350T, '62

Sunburst, Serial # 76476.

 

Gibson ES-350T, ’62

Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 82657. Sharp cutaway, I have never seen another ES-350T in this color. This one is also nice and clean. Just had to keep it! In 1955 Gibson developed a line of thin-bodied electric guitars to appeal to players who wanted a smaller more comfortable instrument, but without the weight of a solid body guitar. This line consisted of three guitars: The top of the line Byrdland, the mid-priced ES-350T, and the economy ES-225T. The Byrdland was designed with the input of famous session guitarists Hank Garland and Billy Bird. It was meant to be a thin-bodied L-5 CES with a shorter 23 and ½” scale (instead of the L-5’s 25 and ½” scale). These same innovations were carried out on the full-bodied ES-350 making it the ES-350 T.   The ES-350 T with its laminated maple top, back, and sides was meant to be a more affordable version of the Byrdland (the Byrdland was originally $550, while the ES-350 T was $395). The 1962 Gibson catalog describes many other details: “Matching the all-around excellence of Gibson performance, this distinctive instrument has a thin, narrow, short-scale neck. The choice of many professionals who acclaim these design features, which permit the use of many chords previously beyond reach. Beautifully finished arched top and back of highly figured curly maple with matching curly maple rims, ivoroid binding and gold-plated metal parts.” The rosewood fingerboard with split parallelogram inlays, and crown headstock inlay were carried over from the the original full sized ES-350.   The 1962 ES-350 T pictured this month has all the features associated with the final incarnation of the model before its discontinuation in 1963 (a full scale version was reissued in 1978). These include two humbucking pickups (replacing P-90s in 1957), a deep Florentine cutaway (replacing the rounded Venetian style in 1961), and a 3-piece maple neck (replacing the original 2-piece in mid-1962). This example has a cherry sunburst rather than the typically seen tobacco sunburst. That may explain why “Custom” is engraved on the truss-rod cover.   The 1962 Gibson price list has a sunburst finish ES-350T at $485. A 603 Faultless, plush-lined case was an extra $56.
 

Gibson L-7ED, '51

Sunburst, Serial # A6788.

With rare McCarty double pickup!

 

Gibson L-7C, '62

Sunburst, Serial # 91553.

From the Pete Allenov collection!

 

Gibson ES-175D, '55

Natural, Serial # A21719.

 

Gibson ES-175D, '54

Sunburst, Serial # A17358.

 

Gibson ES-175, '64

Natural, Serial # 154560.

 

Gibson ES-175, '62

Cherry, Serial #48894.

A very rare color for this model!

 

Gibson SG TV, '60

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.

 

Gibson Les Paul TV Model, '56

Limed Mahogany, Serial # 614478.

 

Gibson Les Paul Special, '59

Cherry, Serial # 923508.

 

Gibson Les Paul Special, '60

TV Yellow, Seial # 011888.

 

Gibson Les Paul Special, '56

Limed Mahogany, Serial # 6 3202.

 

Gibson Barney Kessel Standard, ’68

Cherry Sunburst, Serial # 895535. The Barney Kessel model was introduced in 1961 with input from the famous jazz guitarist. Kessel was a well known stylist and sought after session musician who backed Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and many others. His innovative guitar work and arranging for Julie London in the ‘50s established his ability to provide orchestral sounding accompaniment with only an electric guitar and upright bass. The Barney Kessel model came in two versions: the Regular (pictured) and the fancier Custom.
 

Gibson Tal Farlow, '63

Viceroy Brown Sunburst, Serial # 63184.

 

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, '73

Sunburst, Serial # 100774.

 

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