If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site ,you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ... Domenic

Important Note : Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully some of our viewers can help you out ... Thank You

Gibson Es 5 Guitar

Gibson Es 5 ( 1949 - 1955 )

GIBSON ES 5In 1949 Gibson introduced the gibson es-5 guitar , it was a single cutaway archtop guitar , it had three p-90 pickups, maple body and rosewood fingerboard .

The gibson es-5 was the first production models to incorporate three pickups . Guitar players loved the variation of tone it gave , you could have used any of the three pickups or you could of combined all three .

The three pickups reproduce the full tones and harmonics that many guitar players seek today . ( very similar to the gibson es 350 ), guitar was made in natural and sunburst finishes . Gibson Ended production of the es 5 in 1955 and renamed it the es-5 switchmaster.

Vintage Guitar Value :
1949 to 1955 > $7500 to $9000

guitar price guideAvg Upward Trend Of 8% a Year since 2000

Gibson Es-5 Switchmaster ( 1956-1962 )

In 1955 gibson introduced the Gibson es-5 switchmaster guitar which was renamed from the es-5 , it had a single rounded cutaway until late 1960 , in 1961 and 62 they were pointed .

The Guitar had three p-90s until the end of 1957 , humbuckers were added after . They also included a swicthmaster control . Gibson Ended production of these guitars in 1962 .

Vintage Price Value :
1955 to 1957 > $7500 to $9500 ( 3 p-90 pickups )
1957 to 1960 > $10 000 to $14 000 ( humbuckers )
1960 to 1962 > $10 000 to $11 500 ( pointed cutaway )

guitar price guide1955 - 1957 > Avg Upward Trend Of 5% a Year since 2000
1957 - 1962 > Avg Upward Trend Of 6% a Year since 2000

In 1995 gibson intrduced the Es-5 switchmaster custom shop historic with p-90s or humvuckers optional and ended production in 2002 . Price Range $3000 to $3500


  1. Anonymous10:06 AM

    The 57-61 Switchmasters are such underpriced guitars. I have a couple of beauts - a 59 and a 61 (both have x3 PAF pickups). These give great blues and jazz sounds.

    Switchmaster guitars are exceptionally rare too. They only made 33 blondes in 1959 alone. I do hope one day that archtops get the collectible recognition they deserve, rather than continue experiencing this on-going and frankly boring fad for paying well over the odds for solid body plank guitars!

    Go on Slash, do a couple of albums/videos with an L5, a Super 400 or a Switchmaster.

  2. Anonymous11:22 AM

    I have 2 1959 swithchmasters - one with trapeze and one with a bixby that was originally owned by Jon Paris of Jonathan winters band. You can look him up on the web under Jon Paris and can see the 59 es5 that I now own. In fact, there are photos of him playing with the late Les Paul in concert. Anyway, you are right. These are way undervalued. The PAF's parted out have more value than the guitar which is ridiculous.

  3. Anonymous5:17 PM

    cashforyouritems.net in Boston buys and sells guitars.

  4. Shane Perry8:19 PM

    I have a 1957 Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, blonde, in mint condition. It was originally purchased by a man named Gene Ammons who told me he played with Bob Crosby and the Bobcats and a little with Woodie Herman. He took this guitar to Germany when he played in a military band during the war.

    I bought it from him when I was 16 (in 1986) for $2k. When I wrecked my mother's car in 1988 I was trying to pay her back and somehow got Eddie Van Halen's guitar buyer on the phone. I offered to sell it to him for $4k and he laughed and hung up on me. Thank god I didn't sell it.

    Gene swore he ordered this guitar in 1956 and it was sold to him then. He said he knows the serial numbers say it was a 1956 production line guitar, but he said a German guy at the Gibson factory hand-built it. I don't know, I just know it's an amazing guitar. I have played it through a Marshall half stack at volume in the Charlotte Colliseum and it sounded like a miracle. Even rocking it was amazing.

    I run very heavy flat-wound nickle strings and it's like playing a fretless bass. I might drop the gauge so the neck doesn't warp but if it hasn't by now it probably wont.

    And I agree that when I hear of a Les Paul selling for $85k it makes me sick that no one thinks these works of art are not worth the pieces parted out.

  5. Anonymous8:18 AM

    I have a 1958 ES5, and it looks to be the finest guitar Gibson ever made? The workmanship cannot even be duplicated today at any cost. I play rock with mine, live. The guitar is directly from the guitar Gods. Makes lesser Gibson's seem like entry level beginner's stuff. It sounds 10x better than my 59 burst, which is worth 10x more. On the surface that doesn't make much sense, but since we all stepped through some odd worm hole into Alice's Wonderland, nothing makes any sense anymore. Just think, if Jimi Hendrix played a switchmaster.....they would be worth a million bucks. And they will be as soon as the boomers die and everyone forgets who played what to become infamous. Then craftsmanship will rule the price guide instead of Hollyweird les paul forum members dictating prices by falsely selling their bursts to each other at super inflated prices. I have yet to actually see someone pay 300k for a Les Paul? I have a 59 triburst, heavily flamed and worn pretty good if someone really wants to pay too much for a lester?

  6. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I own a 1951 ES5, I bought from a guy in Liverpool in 2008 for nearly 5000 Euro. I love it and play merely jazz on it. I like the shape and playability of the neck and the clean vintage sound of the P90's. It is also nice to 'compose' the sound using the 3 individual potmeters of the 3 mics. The overall volume is best controled with a footpedal. I use the tone pot wide open, if not, the sound get too dark for my taste. Maybe not the best Gibson I have, surely the one I love most.

  7. Anonymous7:35 AM

    I have a 1996 Custom Shop Switchmaster which I bought from a Gibson Specialist.I did not go to him to buy a Switchmaster but having played different models, the Switchmaster was the one he rcommended me to go for.
    How right he was.I have other Gibson Guitars,a Rickenbacker a Fender Stratocaster and a Yamaha Accoustic.I can make the Switchmaster sound like any of them.I have a friend who is a Luthier and he quite catagorically says that the ES5 Swichmaster is the Best Guitar he has ever worked on. I absolutly love this Guitar.

  8. Anonymous5:15 PM

    i have a friend who has his dad's es5a . it has two id numbers # A-4216 and 216811 . can you tell me what year this guitar was built ?. His dad was a famous country music singer and song writer he's not sure what the value would be