1963 Gibson ES-175D, Sunburst

By Gibson

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Wonderful early-sixties Gibson ES-175D in a strikingly aged Sunburst finish with a great feeling ’63 neck profile, an untouched loom including two excellent sounding PAT No pickups, Nickel hardware throughout and the correct black and golden yellow plush case.

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 1963 this guitar is in excellent condition, crack free and with no signs of any repairs with the exception of a re-fret and new nut. The Sunburst finish looks great with the traditional three-tone Sunburst bright and vibrant. The finish is in great condition but marginally thicker than normally seen on guitars from this era leading us to believe the guitar has had a clear lacquer over-spray. The serial number is #111523 visible on the headstock and the internally on the guitar's orange label. The label is the Pre-Union Made variety, a feature of Gibson labels between 1955 and 1964. Worthy of note is the additional strap buttons added to the body, one to the neck heel and an additional one to the side of the body by the neck.

The guitar retains its original hardware with the exception of the more modern reproduction ABR-1 bridge atop the correct rosewood foot. The ’63 catalog shows the ES-175 with a fully wooden bridge and saddle so it has likely been changed for practical reasons. Tuners are double ring- single line Kluson Deluxe. 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 7.97K and the bridge 7.72K. Like wise the pots are in protective cans and all internally completely undisturbed inside. Plastics and other hard ware are correct throughout with no issues.

One of 483 shipped in 1963 this guitar features the desired bigger 63/64 neck profile with measurements of 21.62 at the 1st fret and 22.45 at the 9th. The nut width is the traditional 1 11/16th or 43.09 with callipers. Pickups are excellent with all the keystone Tones expected of the desired early PAT No Sticker Humbuckers. Balancing well they measure 7.72K in the bridge and 7.77 in the neck. Playability is good with a nice easy action up the neck. All in a great example of a Golden Era Gibson ES-175 at a great price thanks to the overspray. The guitar comes with its original Gibson Case.
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