The ES-345 was created in 1958 as upscale type of ES-335. Even though design is much like the 335, the 345 featured a multi-position “Varitone” switch located just above the lead tone and volume controls, which added various combinations of coils and capacitors on the electronic pickup circuit of the guitar as a way to alter its resonant frequency and add “color” on the sound. The ES-345 also featured an optional stereophonic output jack, gold-plated hardware, large splitted parallelogram fingerboard inlays (comparable to ES 175), as well as a thicker three-ply edge binding compared to the ES-335. Notable users were Freddie King, John McLaughlin, Jorma Kaukonen, and Elvin Bishop.
It was discontinued in 1981, twelve months following your Gibson Lucille was launched. By 2012, the ES-345 is available as special of Epiphone, along with the ES-355. The differences between two models are:
The headstock inlay on ES-345 is really a “small crown”, as opposed to a “split-diamond” custom inlay for the ES-355.
The position markers on ES-345 are “double parallelogram”, as opposed to the “block” inlays about the ES-355. Also, the initial fret about the ES-345 just isn’t inlaid.
The stereo output wiring and the Varitone was factory-placed on the ES-345 and ES-355TD-SV, however, not for the unmodified ES-355TD (mono version).
The vibrato unit (Vibrola or Bigsby) was a possibility for the ES-345 As opposed, it turned out factory-installed on most ES-355s (with the exception of the quicker models in 1950s, final models after 1979, and Lucille).
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