1954 Gibson ES-175

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Gibson ES-175D description | ES-175 Catalogue appearances | ES-175 timeline

1954 ES-175 | 1966 ES-175D | 1967 ES-175D | 1970 ES-175D | 1974 ES-175D | 1979 ES-175D

1954 Gibson ES-175
1954 Gibson ES-175
1950s catalogue image of the ES-175

1950s catalogue image of the ES-175. This image was used in all early 1950s catalogues.

The ES-175 is one of the best known jazz guitars of all time. People are most familiar with the twin-humbucker equipped ES-175D - which came about in 1957. But before they had humbuckers, the 175 was fitted with single coil P-90s; just one from 1949 (ES-175) and optionally two from 1953 (ES-175D).

The guitar pictured is in superb condition for its age, but this is often the case with high end guitars; they tend to get looked after. It is all original except (probably) the trapeze tailpiece; originally it would have been fitted with a bail-type tailpiece as seen in the catalogue image on the right.

Typical early fifties features: one-piece mahogany neck, maple top, back and sides. P90 single coil pickups, rosewood compensated bridge, fifties barrel knobs. Single-ring Kluson tuning keys. Crown inlay positioned above center on the headstock.

Other features unchanged in later ES-175 versions: bound front and back, with a bound neck and split parallelogram inlays.

The 1954 US price for the ES175D was $205.

1954 Gibson ES-175
1954 Gibson ES-175

This ES-175 has a particularly attractive burst pattern - most evident on the guitar back - ranging from amber through a reddish brown to near black. The sides of this guitar are a deep walnut brown. The cream celluloid binding looks particularly good against these darker edges.

The shipping figures for the ES-175 in 1954 were as follows: Sunburst - 599, Natural - 141 - a total of 740 instruments shipped that year. These totals dropped continuously after 1953 when the two-pickup model was launched, and at no point afterwards did it regain it's popularity with regard sales.

1954 Gibson ES-175
1954 Gibson ES-175

The bridge on this guitar consists a rosewood base and rosewood saddle - perfect for the warm jazzy sound appropriate to this guitar. It was free-floating and would have to be phyiscally moved along the body to adjust intonation. The serial number A16929 can be seen on the label inside the soundhole.

1954 Gibson ES-175
1954 Gibson ES-175

The headstock inlays are mother-of-pearl, both Gibson logo and crown motif. Note the position of the crown, somewhat raised from the central position. Tuning keys are closed gear individual Kluson 320VP type with plastic buttons.

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