One of our favourite Gibson models, the ES 175 debuted in 1949 as an ES (electro-spanish) version of the established L-4 model. The 175 in the title representing the models original price of $175. An immediately popular guitar, the ES-175 was initially offered with a single neck position P-90 pickup with the dual pickup option only offered from 1953 onwards. Measuring just 16 1/4" wide and with a shorter scale compared to the full scale 17” and 18” inch instruments the ES-175 also featured a fully laminate body. Not only did this reduced the list price significantly in comparison to the larger solid tone wood Super 400 and L-5 it also had the the desirable effect of helping to suppress feedback. By 1957 the ES-175 tailpiece had changed to a new proprietary ‘zig-zag’ design and in the February of that year the model received the addition of Gibsons newly designed Humbucking pickup. Still offered in single and double pickup configurations the ES-175 would remain essentially unchanged until the early 1970’s when the single pickup model was discontinued. Gibson produced the ES-175 from 1949 to 2017, when it held the title of the longest production electric guitar.
Dating to 1964 this guitar is in excellent condition, crack free and with no signs of any repairs or finish work with its golden 60’s sunburst finish relatively unfaded and free of any serious lacquer checking. The guitar retains its original hardware with the exception of the wooden bridge that appears to be later. Tuners are single-line double ring Kluson Deluxe, likely made early in 1964. The hardware is nickel plated throughout including the Zig-Zag design tailpiece. The PAT No. pickups both have their stickers affixed and appear completely untouched. The neck pickup measures 7.73K and the bridge 7.75K. Like wise the pots are within protective cans and all looks completely undisturbed inside. Still sporting the original frets and nut, the guitar plays well but the original frets are low and could, depending on the player, benefit from a dress. The neck is the popular 63/64 medium profile with the full nut width. The neck measures 21.14mm at the 1st fret and 23.73mm at the 9th. The nut measures 43.25mm.
The ES-175 is one of the great Gibson designs with its combination of sharp Florentine cut-away, split-parallelogram pearl inlays and zig-zag tailpiece it is an instantly recognisable classic. Despite the popularity of the model only 437 Sunburst ES-175D shipped in 1964 highlighting quite how rare these vintage examples can be. Early ES-175’s were built much lighter than newer examples and that really comes through in use. The guitar has a loud acoustic voice that sounds resonant and harmonically rich when amplified. The stickered PAT No humbuckers sound balanced when used together and individually the bridge has a cut and precision and the neck a rounded woody warmth. The guitar comes with an original sixties Black and Gold Faultless case.