Gibson unveils stunning vintage-inspired Marcus King signature 1962 ES-345

Gibson has joined forces with Marcus King to create an all-new signature ES-345 electric guitar – a model described as a “highly personalized recreation of the classic Gibson ES guitar that was handed down from King’s grandfather to his father, and finally to him".

Based on the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter’s own 1962 Gibson ES-345, which has been in the family for three generations, the vintage-style new signature boasts a series of period-accurate appointments, as well as a number of personal touches added to the original King family instrument.

Build-wise, the three-ply maple/poplar/maple body is partnered with a solid maple center block, as well as a rounded, early-’60s-profile mahogany neck and Indian rosewood fretboard sporting a 12” radius, 22 medium jumbo frets and split parallelogram inlays.

Other appointments include a Nitrocellulose Lacquer Sixties Cherry colorway, engraved “Stereo” truss rod cover, “Custom Made” plaque and gold Sideways Vibrola, which matches the rest of the gold VOS hardware.

One deviation from the original ES-345 blueprint, and one found on King’s own heirloom, is the appearance of Grover Milk Bottle Rotomatic tuners, of which the blues-rocker says, “my father, my grandfather, my uncle, everybody swore by Grovers… It’s a King household trademark.”

In terms of the tone, the signature semi-hollow comes equipped with a pair of Custombuckers wired to a three-way selector switch and a pair of pickup-specific volume and tone controls. As per traditional ES-345 build, the guitar also boasts a six-position mono Varitone switch.

Of his new axe, King commented, “This is a replica of my 1962 ES-345 that was gifted to me by my grandfather Bill King, and he named it Big Red, so this is a Big Red replica. 

“My earliest musical memories are that of my family, and being on the front porch at my great grandfather’s house and seeing everyone playing and singing. This guitar was given to me when I was 18-years old. It was a really big moment in my life. 

“Big Red is a nostalgic beast, so whenever I’m feeling nostalgic, or playing in my hometown, that’s when I’ll reach for Big Red,” he continued. “When I’m travelling, that’s when it’s good to have a really well made replica with me.

“Having my own signature Gibson guitar, I’m just really honored, as a kid I wouldn’t have imagined that. I wish my grandfather was here to see it, I’m very blessed my father is here to see it. I hope people experience just a little bit of the joy I get from playing and ES-345.”

The Gibson Marcus King signature 1962 ES-345 is available now for $6,999, and comes with a Custom Shop ES case, certificate of authenticity and Marcus King belt buckle.

To find out more, visit Gibson.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.