You don’t see many of these – probably very few people know they exist. The Gibson ES-130 was only made from 1954 to 1956. In late 1956 they were renamed the ES135, with no change to any specification.
But they weren’t popular with the buying public at the time, who went on buying the plainer and cheaper ES 125 models by the truckload. The ES 135 was discontinued in 1958.
Dimensions: 16 1/4“ (W) by 20 1/8“ (L) by 3 3/8“(D)
Laminated maple top
Laminated maple arched back
Single binding on top and bottom edges
20 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays
24 3/4 inch scale length
One-piece mahogany neck
Unbound headstockwith silkscreened Gibson logo
5-ply black pickguard with a bevelled edge
Rosewood bridge with pre-set compensating saddle
Nickel trapeze tailpiece with raised diamond on the cross-bar
Single black covered p90 pickup in the neck position
This one is in completely original condition apart from newer individual Kluson Deluxe tuners installed some years ago. It would be easy to find some period correct strip tuners and make this one 100% original if you wished.
One of the rarest of all Gibson electric archtops, the short lived ES-130 was catalogued for only two years, between 1954 and 1956. It was an upscale version of the ES-125, the firm’s best selling archtop ever. The ES-130 boasted upgrade features including trapezoid fingerboard inlays, a bound neck, and the bevelled 5-ply pickguard, all absent on its plainer cousin.
Rarely seen today, only 556 were ever made. By way of comparison, the entry-level ES-125 numbered some 34 thousand units during its long postwar run.
With its sweet P-90 pickup and familiar 24 1/2″ scale, the ES-130 offered true Gibson quality, styling and playability at a reasonable price. The laminated body has superior feedback resistance, and the guitar also produces a lively acoustic tone when unplugged.
This example is in phenomenal condition, with only very light pick wear, no fingerboard wear, super clean back and sides, and no apparent fret wear. At just 5.95 lbs, this guitar is notably lightweight, and shows some beautiful fine lacquer checking in its original rich sunburst finish.
The original P-90 pickup provides smooth classic single-coil tone, with excellent clarity and detail, and the full C profile neck has smooth low action over the beautiful Brazilian rosewood fretboard.
Very much a rare bird, this ES-130 is great for jazz, swing or blues and is every bit as playable as it is collectable.
Comes in a Hiscox Liteflite hard case in excellent condition.