Gibson ES-5

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1956 Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster, played by Carl Perkins

The Gibson ES-5 is a guitar produced by the Gibson Guitar Corporation as part of the ES, or "Electric Spanish" series of guitars. The ES-5 was intended to be an electric version of their popular Gibson L-5 acoustic jazz model. The ES-5 was introduced in 1949, and offered several innovative features which have become standard within the industry. The ES-5 was the first model of the ES-series to offer three pickups. Unlike other multiple-pickup models of its era, the ES-5 used three different volume knobs (one for each pickup and one master tone) rather than a selector switch, to offer players improved control over their tone. The model was not as popular as other models of the ES-series, nor as popular as similar models by other manufacturers, such as the Epiphone Zephyr Emperor.[1] In 1955 the model became the ES-5 Switchmaster, which incorporated a four-position selector switch, along with a new six-knob configuration, incorporating a volume and a tone knob for each pickup. The ES-5 Switchmaster was produced until 1962. It remained discontinued until a 1995 reissue from the Gibson Custom division. New models of the reissue are still available today. The original models used P-90 single coil pickups, but after 1957 the guitar used PAF humbucker pickups.[2][3][4]

Notable users[edit]


  1. ^ "ES-5 Switchmaster". Gibson Custom online catalog. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Gibson Es 5 Guitar". Music Instrument Reviews: Gibson Vintage Guitars. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  3. ^ "1957 Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster". Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  4. ^ "1961 Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster #A36092". Premier Guitar Magazine. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  5. ^ Guerra, Tom (23 April 2014). "Jay Geils". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "J. Geils Talks, Plays Guitar". YouTube. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Yes Guitarist Steve Howe Discusses the Making of Fragile and Close to the Edge". Guitar World. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2016.