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NVGD - ES-345 "First Rack"

wernerg

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
723
Today, I became a "First Rack Believer": 1959 ES-345 (TDSV) with PAFs ("short-leg" bridge), thin top, mono conversion in 2014). This guitar came directly from OK Guitars, and it goes without saying that Charlie's representation of the guitar, and his support of the transaction lived up to his stellar reputation. Special thanks to my "enablers": Michael Minnis, and Little Jake, both Forum brothers and previous owners. Very special thanks to Mike Slub for pulling out his Blonde "First Rack" over the weekend, and letting me compare neck profiles (now, I have another reason to visit the updated "Sanctuary"!). Michael Minnis' thread (https://www.lespaulforum.com/index.php?threads/1959-first-rack-345s-reunited-55-years-later.191321/) recounts part of the history of this amazing guitar, and its brother, only one serial # apart. Yes, this is A29845 / FON S8537-14! Next, I will be tracking the lineage back to her days in the UK, and will be bugging Banker and phil@philsvintageguitars.com for more details about her provenance. I am planning on shooting video clips of this guitar in action, but in the meantime, here are some updated pictures of this guitar that already has a history on this Forum:

345 Body Front.jpg

345 - Checking.jpg

345 - Headstock.jpg

345 - Pickguard Warp.jpg

345 - In Case.jpg

345 - Case.jpg
 

latestarter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,067
this is why I joined this forum so many years ago...the proper stuff. Congrats...beautiful!
 

C-4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,753
What a score!
Congratulations. Enjoy playing it for many years to come. :)
 

OKGuitar

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
938
Gilvis gets the nod for bringing these early 345's to the attention of guitar buying public. The term "first rack" came from him. I'm just the cheerleader. I keep telling folks how great these "first racks" are and they are still a pretty good deal in a somewhat overheated vintage market. They're a little more than half of a clean 59 dot neck and every bit as good if not better. Never had a bad one (out of 25 or so including two black ones).
 

Grog

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
434
Grog, how have you been? How is the world of low impedance? Is my Les Paul Jumbo still alive,?
I’ve been great! Your LP Jumbo is still happy with it’s low impedance brothers! The L5-S might have completed the herd, unless I come across a prototype or a custom made example.
 

wernerg

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
723
Congratulations Werner! How is the neck size?
Thanks Mike. Very pleasantly surprised, and judging by the photo you took of your blonde (btw, thanks again for doing that!), very similar to yours. I do feel a little bit of a "V" up until about the 7th fret position. I have guitars (such as my '55 LP Jr.) with rounder and even bigger profiles, so when the experts talk about "huge neck" profiles on First Racks, it must be in comparison to later "fast" necks on ES guitars.
 

wernerg

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
723
Gilvis gets the nod for bringing these early 345's to the attention of guitar buying public. The term "first rack" came from him. I'm just the cheerleader. I keep telling folks how great these "first racks" are and they are still a pretty good deal in a somewhat overheated vintage market. They're a little more than half of a clean 59 dot neck and every bit as good if not better. Never had a bad one (out of 25 or so including two black ones).
I have played a few, and I can't begin to describe how great this one looks, feels, and sounds. Your description, though enthusiastic, was conservative, and the entire transaction lived up to your reputation. Thanks again!

(P.S. - the only thing lacking in the description was Gilvis' sense of humor ;-) )
 
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