Gibson L-5

In the latest edition of its ‘Vintage Vault’ series, Premier Guitar showcases the 1950 version of Gibson’s Electric Spanish guitar series, the ES-300.

The article traces the evolution of the guitar from its early beginnings as the ES-150 in 1936, through to the introduction of the smaller ES-100 in 1937 and the more ornate ES-250 in 1938. It mentions the next model in the line, the ES-300, which was introduced in 1940, going through numerous iterations before World War II halted production. 

When production restarted after the war, the ES line was fitted with the then newly designed P-90 pickups. A Gibson catalogue for the 1949 ES-300 described the guitar as a “moderately priced instrument of professional quality is offered by Gibson in this regular style Electric Spanish Guitar with two unit pickups. An ideal instrument for advanced players, the ES-300 features characteristic Gibson tone and balanced electronic reproduction. Its beautiful appearance is highlighted by decorative accents on the Gibson Golden Sunburst or Natural finishes.”

In 1950, the ES-300 cost $235. Today, a vintage ES-300 in good condition could set you back close to $3500.

Read the full ‘Vintage Vault’ article here.