Originally introduced in 1941, the Gibson ES 125 is as the successor to the ES-100, and a non cutaway, single pickup precursor to the ES 225. With its fully hollow maple body and mahogany neck, this 125 is a very resonant and sweet sounding instrument, outfitted with a sweet sounding dog ear P-90 pickup.
Weighing only 4.9 lbs, the featherweight, primarily maple body has a prominent and authoritative acoustic voice as well, which absolutely adds to the lively nature of the electric tone as well.
The neck has a full C shape profile that is super comfortable all the way up the neck. The shoulders on the profile are generous, and the neck does increase subtly in depth as you move up the fretboard.. The unbound Brazilian rosewood fretboard is in excellent shape, with pearl dot inlays and original frets that are in excellent condition. The original frets show some wear on the first three only, but there is no fret buzz there, or anywhere up the neck. The original nut is intact too, measuring 1 11/16″ in width.
On the headstock, the Gibson logo is printed in gold script, and the guitar features its original set of Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines, which all work perfectly.
The electronics are original and untouched with original pots and tone cap visible through the treble side F hole.
The original tortoise pickguard, trapeze, rosewood bridge, factory P-90 pickup and amber speed knobs are all accounted for too.
In terms of finish wear, there is very little to report, and the original three-tone nitro lacquer sunburst finish is still very vibrant. There is some beautiful fine lacquer checking across the face of the guitar, and some very light striations on the back. The guitar has zero cracks or repairs and the back of the guitar shows only a few light scuffs and finish scratches.
The pickup has the midrange growl and glassy, dynamic quality of this hotly wound Gibson design, and while the pickup can remain balanced and clear when strummed lightly, there’s some serious bite and girth to be had when you dig in, especially with a medium wattage tube amp.
Naturally, the guitar does have a few expected small dings and nicks from honest use over the decades, but as the photos show, this is a mighty clean example that will delight collectors and gigging musicians alike.
A great sounding, great playing, very original instrument from a golden era of Gibson guitar making.
Comes in its original vintage ’50s hardshell case with a dark felt interior in very good condition. We think this is a most collectable Lifton case and it is branded “Gibson” on the small external badge.
Links to two nice video demos –