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
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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.
Cherry, Serial #48894.
A very rare color for this model!
Natural, Serial # 154560.
Sunburst, Serial # A17358.
Natural, Serial # A21719.
Sunburst, Serial # 91553.
From the Pete Allenov collection!
Sunburst, Serial # A6788.
With rare McCarty double pickup!
Sunburst, Serial # 76476.
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!
Natural, Serial # 115573.
Sharp cutaway, Beautiful flame Maple top and back, Just a great guitar that had to be in the collection.
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.
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.
Sunburst, Serial # 22966.
Natural, Serial # A36092.
Sunburst, Serial # A24808.
Natural, Serial # A4501.
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.
Sunburst, Serial # A25661.
Natural, Serial # 35014.
Sunburst, Serial # A24780.
This one has a Byrdland tailpiece!
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 # A25794.
Ebony, Serial # 8 3775.
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