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Gibson Custom ES-5 Switchmaster Hollowbody Electric Guitar
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The ES-5 Switchmaster was the first 3 pickup ES guitar produced by Gibson. Frank Zappa used a Switchmaster to record the first three Mothers of Inven...Read More
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A most-prized, genre-hopping, 3-pickup jazz box.
The ES-5 Switchmaster was the first 3 pickup ES guitar produced by Gibson. Frank Zappa used a Switchmaster to record the first three Mothers of Invention albums. The ES-5 Switchmaster gets it name from the combination of three Gibson 57 Classic humbuckers, separate volume and tone controls for each pickup, and a 4-way pickup selector switch. The laminated figured maple top, back, and sides play host to a maple/walnut neck while the rosewood fingerboard features mother-of-pearl block inlays and a 25.5" scale length. Grover kidney tuners, gold hardware, multi-ply binding, and a Gibson hardshell case complete the package.
The Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster was truly a guitar ahead of its time. First introduced in 1949, the ES-5 Switchmaster was the first ES guitar to be fitted with three pickups, and was initially intended solely for jazz players. It was dubbed the "supreme electronic version" of Gibson's L-5 and offered a unique four-knob control circuitry that allowed players to manage pickup selection by adjusting the volume of each pickup, thus eliminating the pickup selector switch. Yet despite its pioneering circuitry and three-pickup layout, the ES-5 Switchmaster was not immediately embraced by jazz players while competing guitar manufacturers rushed to introduce their own similar models, including the Epiphone Zephyr Emperor of the early 1950s and the Fender Stratocaster in 1954.
- Laminated figured maple top, back, and sides
- Maple/walnut neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Mother-of-pearl block inlays
- 3 Gibson '57 Classic humbuckers
- Separate volume/tone for each pickup
- 4-way pickup selector
- Grover kidney tuners
- ABR-1 bridge
- Trapeze-style loop tailpiece
- Gold hardware
- Mult-ply binding
- Gibson hardshell case
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