1955 Gibson ES-175D, Sunburst

By Gibson

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Golden Era Gibson 1955 ES-175D in Excellent Condition with Original Lifton 515 Faultless case that will appeal to players and collectors alike.

One of our favourite Golden-Era Gibson models the ES 175 debuted in 1949 as an ES (electro-spanish) laminate version of the established L-4 model. The 175 in the title representing the models original price of $175. Immediately popular the ES-175 was initially offered with a single neck position P-90 pickup with a dual pickup version 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 features a fully laminate construction. 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 suppressing feedback.
By 1957 the ES-175 tailpiece had changed to a new ‘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.

This example is in excellent condition, the Serial number and FON are both legible and date the guitar firmly to 1955. The ’50s style Gibson sunburst backlights well with an even fluorescence and no overspray or other finish work evident. Aside from the paper thin nitrocellulose lacquer sinking as is expected the finish is in excellent condition with only the odd mark apparent. There is a small crack by input jack, a common issue as the area is not reinforced, aside from this the guitar is crack free, the neck angle is great with the original rosewood bridge sitting 2mm from the rosewood foot set with norma relief to the neck.

All parts and electronics are as per spec for a mid 50’s ES-175. Tuners are Pat.Applied no-line Klusons, the nut appears untouched, the original frets are clean and have plenty of life left. The two P-90 pickups sound excellent with that woody bark often associated with ’50s P-90s. The electronics appear unmolested with two grey tiger capacitors evident, the pot codes are illegible and unusually the the bridge pickup has gold pole-piece screws, unusual but we have seen other examples from this era.

The guitar plays well with a lively acoustic voice, these early ES-175’s were built much lighter than later examples, the aforementioned P-90’s sound excellent with plenty of twang and percussive tones from the bridge pickup, the neck pickup sounds dry, warm and woody.

Despite the ES-175 being one of Gibson’s most popular model throughout the ’50s only 308 ES-175Ds were produced in 1955. The guitar comes with its original Lifton 515 Faultless case and will appeal to players and collectors alike.