A classic double-P-90 model that helped introduce laminated-wood guitar bodies.
Gibson introduced its first Electric Spanish guitar, the ES-150, in 1936. (The company’s first electric Hawaiian guitar had been unveiled a year earlier). The ES-150 was a 16”-wide archtop acoustic adapted with a bar pickup on the top near the fretboard. The model proved successful enough (504 were shipped in 1937) that Gibson expanded their electric offerings to include the smaller ES-100 in 1937 and the more ornate 17”-wide ES-250 after 1938.
In 1940, the ES-250 was replaced by the ES-300. The ES-300 had the same 17”-wide maple body and carved reinforced spruce top as its predecessor, but debuted a new long diagonal pickup. The awkward long pickup was discarded in favor of a shorter but still diagonal one in 1941. The outbreak of World War II in December of that year slowed the production of electrics, and by the summer of 1943 manufacturing was supposedly halted.
This 1950 model sports a 17”-wide body with a laminated maple top, back, and sides; a 1-piece mahogany neck; and a 20-fret bound 25 1/2” scale rosewood fretboard with split parallelogram inlays.
When the war was over, instrument assembly gradually increased. A line of Electric Spanish guitars was reintroduced during 1946, including a modified version of the ES-300. The new edition was made from laminated maple pressed into shape, rather than solid wood. It was decided that carved solid spruce was not necessary for an electric guitar, since the string vibrations were amplified by a pickup. The guitar was initially equipped with one of the newly designed P-90 pickups in the neck position. By 1949, the ES-300 was improved with the addition of a bridge pickup. The popularity of the ES-350 cutaway version introduced in 1947 led to the discontinuation of the ES-300 by the end of 1952.
The manufacturer’s label is still clearly readable inside the body of this guitar, 68 years after it rolled off the assembly line.
The 1949 Gibson electric guitars catalog described the final version of the ES-300: “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.”
Like its neck, the headstock of this 1950 ES-300 is also bound, and it displays the classic Gibson logo and a classy pearl crown inlay.
The 1950 ES-300 pictured has all the features common to 1949–1952 versions of this model. These include a 17”-wide body with a laminated maple top, back, and sides; a 1-piece mahogany neck; a 20-fret bound 25 1/2” scale rosewood fretboard with split parallelogram inlays; a bound headstock with a pearl crown inlay; and two P-90 pickups with a separate volume control for each, plus one master tone. The 1950 list price was $235. The current value for one in excellent all-original condition is $3,500.
Sources for this article include Gibson Guitars: 100 Years of an American Icon by Walter Carter, Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years by A.R. Duchossoir, and Gibson Guitars: Ted McCarty’s Golden Era, 1948-1966 by Gil Hembree.
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.