1990 Gibson ES-295 Reissue, Bullion Gold

By Gibson

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Super vibey Gibson ES-295, a model that is one of the most iconic Gibson models from the 1950’s thanks to its luxurious all gold appearance and forever association with Scotty Moore and a young Elvis Presley and a certain Sun Studio Session.

Introduced in 1952, the ES-295 shared some of its construction traits with the ever popular ES-175 whilst sharing the same glittering Gold finish and long trapeze bridge as the newly released Les Paul Model. On release the guitar featured a fully hollow 16 1/4" wide body with pointed Florentine cutaway, a Honduran Mahogany neck with a crown peghead inlay, 19 fret Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard with split parallelogram fingerboard inlays, 2 P-90 pickups with white covers, clear pickguard back-painted with white background and gold floral design. The design would remain consistent with the exception of the introduction of Humbucker pickups in 1957 and in 1953 the addition of a 20th fret. The guitar left the catalog in 1959 with a total of 1770 produced in this initial run.

Re-released in 1990 the ES-295 shares the originals Bullion Gold Finish, white covered P-90s, floral designed pickguard and replaces the somewhat divisive long tailpiece/bridge combo with a nickel plated Bigsby B6 Vibrato. This fine example dates to the first year of the reissued run, it has been well loved and used as a regular gigging guitar and as such has a fantastic played in feel. The gold finish is in good overall condition throughout; there are light areas of play wear, but just like a played in Goldtop, the finish is ageing gracefully. The fingerboard is a great piece of dark Indian Rosewood, frets and nut are original. The guitar is currently fitted with a replacement Seymour Duncan bridge P-90, the neck pickup is the original Gibson P-100. The plastics are original to the guitar with the unique floral cream pickguard, matching the cream pickup covers. The guitar has been previously fitted with a traditional zig-zag ES-175 bridge and a wooden saddle. The guitar is now back to factory spec with a new Gibson ABR-1 saddle and Bigsby B6 Vibrato.

The guitar feels great in use, the compact 16 inch body balances nicely, the B6 arm sits at the perfect spot and the guitar has a solid feel acoustically strung with 12 gauge flats. The neck has a Gibson standard 1 1/16” width nut measuring 43.58mm. The neck profile is a traditional Gibson slim C with measurements of 20.43mm and 24.11mm at the 1st and 12th frets. The frets show light wear but the guitar plays well up and down the neck. The pickups measure 7.82K in the neck and 8.97K in the bridge. It weighs in at 8.5lbs. During its 33 years it has become separated from its original Gibson case but is sold with a modern western trim Gretsch case that has seen many a gig. The case latches are damaged but the clasp holds the guitar secure.

The ES-295 was originally made in small numbers during the 1950s and in-keeping with that tradition Gibson don’t produce ES-295 reissues in huge numbers today. These early reissues come from a period of production for Gibson that is rightfully being recognised for the quality and consistency of the instruments produced with this guitar being no exception.

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