The ES-175 debuted in 1949, as Gibson’s mid-level laminate top alternative to the L-5 and as an electric version of the L-4.The ES-175 has a rosewood fingerboard with parallelogram inlays, a 3″ deep body, a floating bridge, two humbuckers, 20 frets and independent volume and tone controls for each pickup. The guitar has the standard Gibson scale length of 24.75″
It was also the first Gibson electric to feature a stylish Florentine cutaway. Its first incarnation had one single-coil pickup (a P-90) in the neck position, and a carved rosewood bridge. The model’s name is derived from its original price of US$175. In 1953, the ES-175D, a two-pickup model, was introduced.
Beginning in February 1957, ES-175s came equipped with humbuckers. Many new jazz guitarists such as Pat Metheny used these to emulate the sound of Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery’s L5. The ES-175 with humbuckers is prized for its full, rich tone.
With a fully hollow body and sharp Florentine cutaway, the Gibson ES-175 stands out as an all-time iconic jazz guitar. The ES-175 has seen some variation over the years, with different pickup and hardware configurations coming in and out of the Gibson lineup. Although the ES-175 is noted as a jazz guitar, it has also been embraced by rock players like Yes’ Steve Howe who has a signature model.
This particular ES 175 has some departures from its original configuration, including –
High quality Schaller tune-o-matic bridge with its height adjusting screw pins attached directly into the top of the guitar – ie no rosewood floating bridge base
Apart from that, this guitar is pretty much as it was when built in Gibson’s Nashville facility in 1988.
It is in good playing condition. The frets are fine with lots of life left, the tuners and truss rod are working well, the original pickups and electronics are intact and the instrument has a big, full sound.
The Bigsby adds to the rockabilly vibe, and you can certainly get around lots of music styles on a good, but slightly altered 175 such as this.
Comes in its original Gibson hard case which is detaching somewhat on the bottom, but can be easily repaired.