An outrageously great sounding mid 50s ES-175 with an ultra vibey look.
Why We Love This
There's just something a little extra special about one-owner instruments that we can't quite quantify in a web listing, and this 1956 Gibson ES-175D is proof of that.
Recently in from the son of the original owner, this mid 50s seminal Gibson hollowbody archtop is undoubtedly one of the most classic Gibson electrics made to date. With its full C neck carve and strong but sweet sounding original P90 pickups, this ES-175 has the tone and feel that just makes you want to keep playing!
The guitar was certainly played throughout its life, as the original frets were heavily worn when we first took it in. The original tailpiece must have failed at some point, and the guitar was outfitted with an incorrect aftermarket trapeze style tailpiece. It also was clear that the guitar had also been cased up for some time in seemingly unstable conditions, as the heavily lacquer-checked finish on the back of the neck had flaked off in certain areas. Some minor cracks had developed around the input jack - a common issue with many guitars built in this style. Even with all of this, the guitar had such an impressive voice and vibe that we couldn't see a future without it in our shop.
We had our favorite vintage electric restoration guru Laurent Brondel take on the task of returning it to its former glory, outfitting it with a fresh set of Jescar 51100 frets and installing a reproduction "zigzag" tailpiece to complete the aesthetic. The input jack area was touched up as well, and the setup was expertly dialed in for some top-level playability. The original bridge P90 suffered some degradation and/or damage to the top bobbin, which Laurent was able to stabilize with some small strategically placed strips of tape, along with replacing a small section of masking tape at the lead wire that had disintegrated.
When vintage guitars pass through Laurent's hands and come back to us playing the way they do, we consider ourselves (and our customers) some of the most fortunate folks in the guitar world.
What it lacks in "case queen" level presentation and condition, it most certainly makes up for in its tonal capabilities; it most certainly looks the part too!
Priced with its original Lifton 4-latch case in fair condition. The case itself is rigid and sturdy, with all latches working and the ply shell intact as well as the original pink lining and handle. However, the leatherette exterior covering is no more, having been replaced with a rugged black finish to protect the wood.