1974 Gibson ES-175D

Electric acoustic guitar

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

1974 Gibson ES-175D front view
1974 Gibson ES-175D rear view
Model: 1974 Gibson ES-175D
Pickups: Two Gibson Humbuckers
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Maple top back and sides
Neck: Three piece laminate mahogany. 20 frets. Width at nut 1 11/16"
Hardware: Chrome-plated. Gibson tune-o-matic bridge, bail tailpiece. Individual closed-gear Kluson 320-VP tuning keys

This 1974 ES-175D is one of 578 ES-175Ds in sunburst finish (compared to 193 Natural) made in that year, and had a 1974 recomended retail price of $600. It is typical of Gibson's early 70s 175s; the tailpiece is the original early 50's style, after 12 or so years of the zig-zag version (for comparison see a (1960s ES-175), and control knobs are Gibson witch-hats. Pickups (part numbers 13515 and 13516) are Gibson 'patent numbers' (so named because of the patent number sticker on the underside) and tuning-keys are Kluson model 320-VP. The free-floating compensated rosewood adjustable bridge was still in use (as it had been since 1949) although this was soon to be replaced with a tune-o-matic in 1977/78.

The stamped six-digit serial number on this guitar was used from 1961 up until 1975 (later in some instances) and is also repeated on the label in the soundhole. From early 1970, MADE IN USA was also stamped below the serial number, and this is one of the first features used when dating old Gibsons. Gibson serial numbers are notoriously unreliable in the early 1970s, and tend to be of less use when dating an instrument than looking at the guitars features.

With respect materials, nothing has changed since the very begining. This guitar still has a maple top, back and sides, with a mahogany neck, although the neck has gone from a one-piece to a three-piece laminate, around 1969/70. Front and back bound, with a bound neck and split parallelogram inlays. Towards the end of the seventies and into the eighties there were bigger changes afoot; first, a laminate maple neck in 1976 (have a look at a 1979 ES-175D), changing back to mahogany, but with additional mahogany back and sides in 1982.

1974 Gibson ES-175D
This ES-175D has a nice three-tone burst though with comparatively thin red area; contrasting nicely with the chrome-plated bail-type tailpiece and humbuckers.
1974 Gibson ES-175D body detail: close up of Gibson witch-hat knobs
This guitar has a rosewood bridge saddle and base - this would be upgraded to a tune-o-matic by the end of the decade. Controls are topped with witch hat knobs with silver inserts, to match the other chrome hardware.
1974 Gibson ES-175D cutaway detail and double parallelogram inlays
Florentine cutaway detail and five-ply scratchplate. The ES-175D has a bound front, back and neck.
1974 Gibson ES-175D heel detail
Heel detail. The ES-175 had a body depth of 3 3/8". The burst pattern on the body reverse largely follows the pattern on the body top.
1974 Gibson ES-175D headstock rear, with serial number, Schaller tuners and MADE IN USA stamp
Three-piece mahogany neck. Headstock rear holds the serial number and MADE IN USA stamp. Machine heads are individual closed gear Kluson 320-VP with plastic buttons.
1974 Gibson ES-175D three-way switch
The pickups were selected by a three-way switch position on the top bout of the guitar - selecting neck (up), bridge (down), or both (middle) pickups. Note the double parallelogram position marker inlays on the rosewood fretboard.

The ES-175D in original mid-seventies Faultless case #515 - at this stage with magenta plush lining

1974 Gibson ES-175D headstock rear, with serial number, Schaller tuners and MADE IN USA stamp

Images courtesey of justgreatguitars.com

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