The ES-175 debuted in 1949 as a mid-level laminated top alternative to the L-5 model and as an electric version of the L-4. It was also the first Gibson electric to feature a stylish Florentine cutaway. Its first incarnation had a single P-90 pickup in the neck position and a carved rosewood bridge. The model’s name is derived from its original selling price of US$175. In 1953 the ES-175D a two-pickup model was introduced.
This particular ES 175 is one of the now very rare original spec, one pickup design from 1952. And it is a beautiful thing.
From its introduction the Gibson ES-175 quickly became the most popular jazz guitar ever made. Fast, clean and road-ready, the 175 has been the workhorse of touring players and studio greats from Joe Pass to Pat Metheny and Steve Howe. The legendary P-90 pickup provides a bright, rich tone unduplicated before or since and were available on this model only until 1957.
Body size at lower bout – 16″
Scale length – 24 3/4″
Nut Width – 1 11/16″
Solid mahogany neck
Arched laminated maple top and back
Dual-parallelogram mother of pearl fingerboard inlay
Crown headstock inlay
Triple bound top single bound back
One Gibson P-90 pickup
Nickel Kluson style Gibson Deluxe single ring tuners
Bevelled 5 ply pickguard
Adjustable compensated ABR bridge on rosewood base
Gold speed knobs knobs
Weight is 5.5 lbs
This one pickup ES-175 is compact and comfortable. The 16″ body is easy in the lap or when standing and the 24 3/4″ scale makes stretch chords and fast runs a pleasure. The instrument is in wonderful shape – almost unbelievable condition for a 65 year old instrument.
There are no breaks, repairs or structural issues of any kind. There are some expected light marks on the pickguard but not a blemish at all on the top – it is in stunning condition. The back of the body is also amazingly clean. There a two minor marks on the back of the neck.
There is no fingerboard wear visible, and the dark rosewood board is a delight to play.
At only 5.5 lbs this is one amazingly light and lively sounding guitar.
The single P-90 pickup is clear and responds beautifully with the finely calibrated volume and tone controls. It has a lovely defined tone when played clean but also has a nice growl when played with a bit of crunch added from an amp, if that’s your thing.
The neck profile is a gentle C shape, with smooth low action over the fine original fretwork. The sunburst finish is quite beautiful and the lacquer is in great condition.
All in all a beautiful vintage 1952 Gibson that is well suited for both traditional jazz as well as blues & rock, and any style you may care to utilise it for.
Comes in its original Gibson case in good condition.