Vintage Gibson ES-225TD - USA 1959
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Few two-word combinations get guitarists excited more than “Gibson” and “1959”. This is the mythical year where the modern electric guitar reached what many argue to be perfection. There is no better or worse from this point, only different. The quality of Gibson’s workmanship in the late 1950s, coupled with their innovations and selection of materials make 1959 a holy grail year.
While, many of us would struggle to “pony up the dough” to acquire a Les Paul from that year – the same craftsmanship, neck profile and overall quality can be experienced for a lot less in this stunning, near-mint condition 1959 Gibson ES-225.
Arguably more practical than its bigger brother, the ES-175, the ES-225 has a slimmer 1 11/16th body depth which is not only more comfortable to many players, but also more resistant to feedback. The adjustable one-piece tailpiece/bridge design offers adjustable intonation, and the two p90 pickups offer the same switching configuration found on Les Pauls, ES-175s and the like. These guitars are still somewhat under the radar on the vintage market and can be had for a lot less than many others of the same vintage. Only 2,754 examples of the two pickup ES-225 were shipped in their initial run from 1955 to 1959.
The presentation of this guitar is exceptional. The condition of the finish and hardware leaves very little indication of its vintage. Seeing the guitar in person it is hard to believe it is an original piece. The guitar is completely original, save for a good refret done relatively recently. The refret is marginally taller than the original frets. This is great news to the players out there – as you can enjoy the playability of decent frets without the stress of wearing away the original hardware. All the tone and volume pots are original Centralab 500k pots with bumblebee capacitors and 2 strand Gibson braided shield.
What makes these guitars so great is not just the details, but how the sum of all the parts combine to make something truly special. The bigger, 59 profile neck is confidence inspiring to hold. The body is alive and resonant, with big warm, near acoustic tones emitting from the P90 pickups. In this era Gibson did not wax pot their pickups, and the mild microphonic nature of the unpotted design really helps project a wonderful woody tone.
This is an exceptional example of Gibson’s golden age, at a price that mustn’t be sniffed at. Come and try out this ES-225 before the collectors find out how great these guitars are.
Scale length: 24 ¾"
Fretboard Radius: 12”
Action at 1st fret: 0.4mm
Action at 12th fret: 1.75mm
Neck depth at 1st fret: 22.9mm
Neck depth at 10th fret: 25.9mm
Nut Width: 43.5mm
12 fret width: 53mm
Neck material: Mahogany with Brazilian Rosewood Fretboard
Fretboard inlays: Pearloid dot
Body: Maple top, back and sides
Total guitar weight: 2.62kg
Body size at lower bout: 16”
Front Pickup: P90
Bridge Pickup: P90
Tuners: Kluson Tulip
Pickguard: Multi ply
Bridge: Trapeze tailpiece
Electronics: Original Centralab