The Gibson ES-345 was introduced in 1959, and it represented an attempt to both make an upgrade to the ES-335. It featured new innovations such as Varitone Switch, Stereo capability and an optional Vibrato. The Gibson Company hoped that these additional upgrades would increase sales, and ultimately its share of the electric guitar market at the time. The original ES-345 was a fabulous guitar, and it was the model that blues great B.B. King favored prior to his switching to the Gibson ES-355.