Originally introduced in 1949, the ES-5 was one of the most deluxe instruments offered by Gibson at the time, and was intended to be an electric version of their esteemed L-5C arch top. The ES-5 is often more commonly know as the "Switchmaster," and it is these 1955-1962 models that were used by the likes of Frank Zappa and Steve Howe, featuring six control knobs and a four position selector switch. This 1952 Gibson ES-5 is a fantastic example of the first generation of these models, featuring 3 P90 pickups with a volume control for each, along with a master tone.
Constructed from a lightly flamed carved Maple top with Maple back and sides, the ES-5 was the first electric Spanish model to feature 3 pickups, offering a huge range of tonal possibilities at the time. Paired with the 17" wide body, it is hard to think of a better guitar for pure Jazz tone, with a clean, defined and rich sound that is unlike many other Gibson arch top models. The 2 piece Maple neck features a comfortable profile that is not as chunky as later '50s Gibson necks, and is finished with a deluxe pointed end fingerboard with five ply binding and pearl inlays. Without question, the ES-5 is one of the most prestigious arch tops ever produced by Gibson.
This guitar is in very good, all original condition, with the sort of minor play wear and patina you would expect to see from a 70 year old instrument that has been very well looked after. The guitar is both internally and externally original, and includes its original brown Lifton hard case.
This guitar has been given a full service and set up by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty.