1981 Gibson ES369. One of 100 ever made!

The Blue Book Says:

Gibson ES369
– double rounded cutaway semi-hollow bound body, arched maple top, f-holes, raised cream pickguard, maple back/sides, mahogany neck, 22-fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/tunable stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3-per-side tuners, chrome hardware, 2 exposed humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3-position/coil tap switches, available in Cherry, Natural, Sunburst, or Walnut finishes, mfg. 1982 only.

I say:

I’ve been after on of these for about a decade – ever since I saw one in Peter Barton’s “Guitar World.”  I was always fascinated by the “Snake Headstock” and liked the difference to most Gibson headstocks in that it gives a straighter string pull than most Gibsons.

This one is pretty much original, but somewhat of a rarity, not just because Gibson only made 100 of these, but also because it’s finished in Black, which was not a standard colour, also it was made in 1981 – before the official run in 1982!

The Headstock  has the 1930’s Gibson logo inlaid in genuine Mother of Pearl, original truss rod cover and the rather unusual red binding inlay.  Original Gibson chrome tuners still work perfectly.  Unfortunately the worst damage on the guitar is a chip to the headstock – as shown in the pictures.

Rosewood fingerboard is in good condition with only minimal wear, and the “wide/low” frets are a personal favourite.  Some playwear is evident, but nothing worrying.  The neck feels like a ’60’s neck, and the original brass nut is secure, and the bowl style inlays are real Abalone.  There’s an “age appropriate” volute to the rear of the nut.

All electronics are original, fully functional and crackle free.  The “Dirty Fingers” open T top hum buckers are zebra coiled, and unusually have two separate braided wires – one for each coil, which links to the coil tap mini toggle switch that taps both pickups.  Standard 3 position Gibson selector.

The T6 tailpiece is in great condition, as is the Tune-o-matic bridge.

The single ply scratch plate has aged and shows some discolouration, but it matches the binding – which is a little odd as the pickup surrounds match the bobbins on the pickups, and are much whiter!

The body does show some signs of use, some buckle rash, and minor lacquer checking.  There are no chips through to the wood, and the Kalamazoo factory sticker is still evident in the upper “f hole.”

Original Gibson Hard case.