1979 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

1979 Gibson ES-175D front view
1979 Gibson ES-175D rear view
1978 Gibson catalogue

The 1978 Gibson catalogue also shows the ES-175CC - the Charlie Christian model, with one single coil Charlie Christian pickup

Model: 1979 Gibson ES-175D
Pickups: Two Gibson Humbuckers
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Maple top back and sides
Neck: Three piece laminate maple. 20 frets. Width at nut 1 11/16"
Hardware: Chrome-plated. Gibson tune-o-matic bridge, bail tailpiece. Individual closed-gear Schaller 'Gibson' inscribed tuning keys

This 1979 ES-175D is one of 839 shipped that year. It had a 1979 recomended retail price of $849, plus $109 for a case. The majority shipped with a luscious sunburst finish, though this is a little darker than many with no reds (often called tobacco sunburst or antique sunburst) - compare with a 1970 ES-175D. On this guitar, only the top has the colour gradations, with the back being plain - not at all unusual on Gibson sunbursts, but quite unusual on an ES-175. The body was bound front and back, which looks superb against the deep brown 'walnut' finished back.

The ES-175D changed somewhat in the mid/late 1970s. First, around 1976, the mahogany neck was replaced by a three-piece maple one, with volute for added strength. Then the hardware was upgraded: a compensated rosewood bridge was replaced with a tune-o-matic in 1977/78, and the tuning keys were switched to Schallers, as shown here. Check out a 1974 ES-175D, which has none of these features.

The serial number system had just changed too, to the eight-digit system in use today. From early 1970, MADE IN USA was also stamped below the serial number.

Other than the neck, body materials are unchanged. This guitar still has a maple top, back and sides, front and back binding, and rosewood fingerboard and split parallelogram inlays.

1979 Gibson ES-175D bridge detail
From the late 1970s, the ES-175D bridge was upgraded to a tune-o-matic, as shown here - though still free-floating on a rosewood base (see the ES-175 timeline for details of other hardware changes).
1979 Gibson ES-175D body detail: close up of Gibson neck humbucker
Close up of the chrome-plated neck humbucker, bound fretboard, and split parallelogram inlays.
1979 Gibson ES-175D - tailpiece detail
Chrome-plated bail tailpiece
1979 Gibson ES-175D heel detail
This guitar is fitted with Gibson bell knobs. There is a volume and tone control for each pickup; the three way pickup selector switch is situated in the top portion of the guitar body.
1979 Gibson ES-175D headstock detail
1979 Gibson ES-175D headstock, with inlaid Gibson logo, crown motif, and truss rod cover.
1979 Gibson ES-175D headstock rear, with serial number, Schaller tuners and MADE IN USA stamp
Headstock rear, with serial number, closed-gear Schaller 'Gibson' machine heads and MADE IN USA stamp. Note the volute - not seen on the earlier mahogany necked guitars.

The serial number - 71589107 - tells us that this guitar was stamped on the 158th day (June 7th) of 1979, at Gibsons Kalamazoo plant, in Michigan - the 107th instrument stamped that day. This eight digit serial number stamps were fairly new at this time, having been phased in in 1977. Note the word SECOND, also stamped below the serial number. This denotes a minor flaw was detected, usually in the finish when this guitar underwent final inspection before shipping. The three pieces of wood that make up the neck can clearly be seen.

1979 Gibson ES-175D with case

The guitar with original purple-lined Gibson case.

Images courtesey of justgreatguitars.com

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US ebay listings

Gibson 1976 Sunburst ES 175 Hollow Body & Neck

Current price: $1599.99
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Time left: 24d 14h 13m
VINTAGE! Gibson ES-175D 1980 Vintage Sunburst + Hard Shell Case

Current price: $2995.00
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Time left: 29d 9h 4m
Gibson 1979 ES 175 Sunburst Archtop Guitar #71249068

Current price: $3250.00
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Time left: 4d 19h 34m
1979 Gibson ES-175DN a very nice all original example in Blonde !

Current price: $3495.00
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Time left: 17d 4h 49m

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