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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Hi friendly LPF folk! Our favorite day, NVGD that is! In this case a First Rack 1959 ES-345T, Serial Number A29822, shipped from the Kalamazoo factory on April 30, 1959. Its the second "First Rack" 345 I've owned and has all the early features. Thanks OK Guitars for providing me this killer axe! Huge neck, thin top, short leg bridge pickup, smaller choke route, black Varitone ring, etc. Has a pair of hot PAFs. Neck is a zebra, 8.4 k ohms, bridge is a rare reverse zebra, 8.2 k ohms. Perfect fret job by Gruhn. Charlie G. converted it for me to mono using a custom Creamtone wiring harness. Sounds GOOD! Original wiring harness and tuners (with mummified buttons) in the original brown case...The first First Rack 345 I had (A29663) was darn near mint so I hated to play it out. This one is in nice condition but not so clean I won't play the heck out of it. Take it easy, RAB

    Photos in a sec...

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!


  3. #3
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!


  4. #4
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!


  5. #5
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!


  6. #6

    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Gorveous!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by GotTheSilver View Post
    Gorveous!!!
    Thanks! It looks, plays and sounds good...

  8. #8
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!


  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner and Moderator CDaughtry's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Mercy! Great score!!!

  10. #10
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    Esseries Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by CDaughtry View Post
    Mercy! Great score!!!
    Thanks Charlie, I've been kicking myself for years for being a complete idiot and trading my first First Rack 345 for a '61 dot 335 which was inferior in all respects! I've now righted the situation thanks to Charlie G....the only way I'll off this guitar is if I find an even nicer First Rack! RAB

  11. #11
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Last edited by RAB; 06-26-18 at 11:36 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Any other early 345 fans out there? With the mono conversion it gets you close to ‘59 dotneck 335 sound without the BIG pricetag!

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Very nice, I'm very happy for you, RAB

  14. #14
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    Very nice, I'm very happy for you, RAB
    Thanks J.D. yes, filling a void since A29663 left...no full sized humbucker thinline has matched it since then except for now. My mini-PAF ‘62 Riviera is a great instrument in its own right but of course a very different sound. This First Rack 345 truly lives up to the “Burst Killer” moniker!

  15. #15
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    A lot lighter than a PAF Les Paul Standard too after the mono conversion!

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAB View Post
    Any other early 345 fans out there? With the mono conversion it gets you close to ‘59 dotneck 335 sound without the BIG pricetag!
    I'm a big fan, but rather than dive into the deep end of the pool, I bought a 2016 345 '64 TDC Maestro. Big scratch to the itch.

    "I am the kind of guy that only buys 100 watt heads just to play at home. I feel like if an amp can't kill a heard of cattle 100 yards away what is the point of owning it."

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Burst. Killers.
    GuitarMikey

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAB View Post
    Beeeee EWWWWWE TEEEE fullerness!


  19. #19

    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!



    That is beautiful.

    This was used as inspiration to play my '59 335 RI all day yesterday. Will be diving back in again, today.

    Could we see more of the neck, front and back?

  20. #20
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!



    keeping the original Klusons with shrunken buttons in the case along with the factory wiring harness. Have repro Klusons on the guitar and they work well!

  21. #21
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!



    BIG neck profile as is typical of these First Rack 345s...Charlie G. estimates there might be about 100 F.R. 345s...

  22. #22
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!



    The neck is a big chunk of "hog" (Honduras Mahogany that is!)

  23. #23
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    As I usually do, I reversed the neck pickup ring to try and get the top of the pickup more parallel to the strings...

  24. #24
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Oh yeah, another standard "mod" I do is swap out the non-wire bridge for a wired ABR-1, vintage of course! Don't want to lose a bridge piece should I break a string on a cold, dank stage, eh wot?

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Any other First Rackers please join in!

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    I'm a first racker!
    Charlie was nice enough to start the thread below...last month. You might be interested

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...-quot-ES-345-s
    GuitarMikey

  27. #27
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarMikey View Post
    I'm a first racker!
    Charlie was nice enough to start the thread below...last month. You might be interested

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...-quot-ES-345-s
    Thanks G-Mikey!

  28. #28
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    For those interested the FON on my 345 is S8538 34

  29. #29

    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Very, very nice! Congrats, HNVGD and play her in good health!

    Midnight Blues

  30. #30
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues View Post
    Very, very nice! Congrats, HNVGD and play her in good health!

    Thanks! 50 years playing git-tar this year!

  31. #31

    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Thanks for those neck photos!

  32. #32
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Thanks for those neck photos!
    Sho nuff!

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member TomGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    WooHoo. Great stuff! Congratulations.

  34. #34

    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Congrats RAB! Love it! First Rack 345s are in a league of their own. Maybe the best 3 racks of ES guitars that Gibson ever made, honestly....Here is mine, A29667, along with a '59 345 TDC. First rack was shipped in April, Cherry was shipped in October.


  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member OKGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAB View Post
    Any other early 345 fans out there? With the mono conversion it gets you close to ‘59 dotneck 335 sound without the BIG pricetag!
    It doesn't get you close. It gets you there. Especially that neck pickup.

  36. #36

    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by OKGuitar View Post
    It doesn't get you close. It gets you there. Especially that neck pickup.
    I'd say you don't even have to mono to get there

  37. #37

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Congratulations, RAB! Awesome score! I know you've regretted selling your former First Rack. Welcome back to the Club! And thanks for sharing so many cool photos. Play that beauty in good health!

  39. #39
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Minnis View Post
    Congratulations, RAB! Awesome score! I know you've regretted selling your former First Rack. Welcome back to the Club! And thanks for sharing so many cool photos. Play that beauty in good health!
    Thanks all! I really appreciate the interest and support! LPF is a great place to hang!

  40. #40
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    Re: NVGD! First Rack 1959 ES-345T!

    Quote Originally Posted by OKGuitar View Post
    It doesn't get you close. It gets you there. Especially that neck pickup.
    Thanks Charlie. It do sound goooooood!

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