Here we have a 1952 Gibson ES-5 that has lots of modifications and a few repairs but is still a crazy cool vintage Gibson hollowbody guitar that thrills us down to our toes. The guitar is in good vintage condition and presents very well. There are some minor side cracks and a crude looking but stable patch at the output jack. The pickups and wiring have been changed—see below for more details.
Non-original open-gear tuners with cream buttons. Comfortable 1 11/16 inch nut width. Refinished Mahogany neck with a 25.5 inch scale length. Neck depth of .80 inches at the first fret and 1.05 inches at the twelfth fret. Rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets and a 12 inch radius. Adjustable Rosewood bridge and original tailpiece.
Regarding pickups and wiring: Original P-90 pickup in the bridge position. Middle pickup has been removed. A vintage 1930’s Charlie Christian pickup has been installed in the neck position. (Sounds so sweet!) Some pots have been changed. The original master tone knob on the upper bout has been moved to the lower bout (additional hole was drilled). A three-way pickup selector switch has been added to the upper bout. Middle position on the pickup selector switch gives you both pickups wired to be out-of-phase. Wiring has also been modified to take advantage of the new control configuration: two volume and two tone controls.
Note that the early ES-5’s like this one had no pickup selection control which most players found problematic, so the changes made to this guitar were done to solve this dilemma. Why the middle pickup was removed we don’t know, but it could always be added at some point in the future if you felt you needed it.
A little weird, but an incredibly cool guitar. We set it up with flatwounds and it sounds fantastic and plays very well with nice low action. Comes with a period Geib hardshell case.
Serial: FON Z 1251 33
Case: Vintage Geib Hardshell Case (possibly original but we can't say for sure)
Weight: 7 pounds 2 ounces
Condition: Good (with lots of playwear and mods, a few repairs including a patch at the output jack)
Modifications: Changed pickups and pots; changed tuners; covered middle pickup route; rewired; master volume replaced with a pickup selector switch; added control knob on lower bout; truss rod functional but worn; patch at the output jack; refretted; neck was refinished and reset at some point; missing its pickguard
Comments: Some changes and repairs, but a killer vintage Gibson hollowbody nonetheless.