Gibson ES-175D

The worlds best known jazz guitar?

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

Gibson cello-bodied guitars were very well regarded in the 1930s and 1940s. Models such as the ES-300 and ES-350, launched in 1947, showed what was possible, and immediately earned Gibson respect from jazz guitarists of the time. Gibson archtops set the standard, both in terms of quality and design that other manufacturers would emulate, and still do to this day. But the story of the Gibson ES-175 starts in 1949 with the launch of the one-pickup model, at $175 (hence the name ES-175), to be joined in 1953, by a two pickup version, ES-175D. This was a smaller bodied instrument than other archtops, measuring just 16 1/4" wide, (compared to 18" for the Super 400 CES, and 17" for the L-5CES, ES-5 and ES-350) and with a shorter scale (24 3/4"), to facilitate tricky jazz chordings. Having a laminate (rather than carved) maple top reduced the list price significantly: at last Gibson were offering a fine quality full-body jazz guitar at a relatively affordable price point.

The Florentine cutaway was also seen as an advantage over the more usual Gibson Venetian cutaway, and this again proved popular. Body material was maple throughout, with a set mahogany neck.

Steve Howe plays Gibson - 1971. UK Selmer advertisement for Gibson guitars. Steve Howe bought his first Gibson, An ES-175D from the Selmer shop in Charing Cross Road, London, in 1964.

Steve Howe told Guitar World in 2011: "...when you play a guitar, you have to warm it up; it doesn't sound good straight away. You need at least 20 minutes. The guitar's sound changes. We don't know why, exactly, but as the wood moistens and you play it, it starts to sound like a guitar. Before that, it's a piece of wood with strings stretched across it. A new guitar is like a new baby. It doesn't know a lot, it needs feeding. And your feeding is playing."

The ES-175 was (and still is) very widely used by jazz, rock and blues guitarists. Aswell as Steve Howe, the subject of the advertisement shown, the Gibson ES-175 was also used by Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, BB King, Howard Roberts and Pat Metheny.

A closer look at the Gibson ES-175

Have a closer look at some of these ES-175s

1970 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue
The ES-175D from the 1970 electric acoustics catalogue

The following description is taken from the 1970 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue

ES-175 D - Cutaway Easy to hold and comfortable to hold, the ES-175 D produces a brilliant distortion-free tone. The modern cutaway design provides easy access to the entire register.

FEATURES: Arched top and back of select maple with matching rims. Slim, fast low-action neck joins the body at the 14th fret. Laminated mahogany neck adjustable truss rod. Rosewood fingerboard, pearl inlays. Adjustable rosewood bridge. Powerful twin humbucking pickups. Separate tone and volume control for each pickups. Separate tone and volume control for each pickup. Toggle switch. Individual machine heads. 16 ½ " wide, 20 ¼ " long, 3 3/8 " deep; 24 ¾ " scale, 20 frets.

ES-175D - Double pickups - Sunburst finish
ES-175DN - Double pickups - Natural finish
ES-175 - Single pickup - Sunburst finish
515 - Faultless plush-lined case
303 - Archcraft plush-lined case
103 - Durabilt case
ZC-5 - Zipper cover for 515 case

The single pickup model Gibson ES-175 was last listed in company price lists in 1970, although it seems to have been shipped way beyond that date. The two pickup version, is by far the most familiar ES-175, and is still available today, largely unchanged in six decades. There was one significant change though; the pickups in use originally were single-coil P90s, however the ES-175 was the first of all Gibson guitars to be shipped with a humbucker. Original Gibson ledgers mark this event clearly; it was February 18, 1957, on an ES-175N with serial number A25000.

Summary of ES-175 / ES-175D Specifications

ModelGibson ES-175Gibson ES-175D
Available1949-1972, The last price list entry was Sept 1970, although shipping figures suggest they were shipped in very small numbers as late as 1972 (and possibly later)1953-date
PickupsTwo single coils (1953-57), or two humbuckers (1957 onwards)One single coil (1953-57), later one humbucker (1957 onwards)
Scale24 3/4 "
BodyArched maple top, maple back and sides. Some 80s instruments had mahogany back and sides. 16 1/2 " wide, 20 1/4 " long, 3 3/8 " deep
NeckMahogany (1949-1976), Maple (1976-83). Rosewood fingerboard with double parallelogram pearloid inlays.
HardwareNickel plated (1949-1965), chrome plated (1965-onwards).
FinishesSunburst, Natural, Wine Red, Sparkling Burgundy, Ebony

There was no completely analogous Epiphone model to the Gibson ES-175, the closest being the Epiphone Windsor which shared the same construction, materials, scale length and body dimensions as the ES-175, but as a thinline, with an Epiphone mini humbucker, or the Epiphone Broadway, which, although slightly larger with a Venetian rather than Florentine cutaway, had the same deep body, and was similarly appointed.

The ES-175D is one of Gibson's most successful, and longest running models, and is still available today.

Gibson ES-175 for sale

Gibson ES-175D 1981 Natural



10-0734 A superb Gibson ES175D in the gorgeous Natural Blonde finish. 3 piece Maple neck, volute like the 70's , Super 400 style inlays. Gorgeous blonde. Comes with the original hard case with red lining. Original Patent number pickups with chrome covers in excellent condition. no pitting on the hardware, looks perfect. the sound is amazing. Good aged maple makes this a killer guitar. Stamped second in the back, who knows why. 30 years later she is one of the cleanest examples we've seen. ... more

1958 Gibson ES-175 Sunburst Electric Guitar w / Original Case PAF Pickup #33609



eBay Template Design by OCDesignsOnline Home About Testimonials Policies Contact Sell your Gear 1958 Gibson ES-175 Sunburst Electric Guitar w / Original Case PAF Pickup #33609 × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × × Item Description INVENTORY #33609 BRAND: Gibson MODEL: ES 175 FUNCTION: electric guitar PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: This listing is for a 1958 Gibson ES 175 Guitar with original hard case. SPECS: Serial #A26746 Finish / ... more

Gibson Memphis LTD Figured 1959 ES-175 VSB



Gibson Memphis LTD Figured 1959 ES-175 VSB. Used. Immaculate condition. Bought new in 2019. One small blemish at heel body seam not a crack!(see photograph) Mortise and tenon, hide glue construction. Maple body. Soft C mahogany neck, rosewood finger board. Kluson tuners(15:1 ratio) with Tulip buttons. MHS hum buckers. 1 704 nut width. Historic truss rod. Original hard shell case Gorgeous jazzer, but super sweet blues machine as well. Can rock as well. Often pick it up to play acoustically as ... more

Gibson 1959 ES-175 Electric Guitar with burst bucker humbuckings and case



Gibson 1959 ES-175 Electric Guitar with burst bucker humbuckings and case. Condition is Used. Shipped with UPS Ground.... more

1957 Gibson ES-175D Blonde w / OHSC PAFs



1957 Gibson ES-175DThe one, the only, the Elite Stratocaster. Built in the early 80s these guitars had some appointments similar to a normal Strat as well as some appointments that catered to the rockers from the era. This 83 Elite is overall in great shape and sounds fabulous. Great playability up and down the neck. Cool Strat! Comes with the original hardshell case. - See more at: http: / / www vintageandrare com / product / Fender-Elite-Stratocaster-1983-Elite-Sunburst-25645#sthash kJCQRHTr ... more

Vintage 1984 Gibson ES-175D Natural Hollowbody Guitar With OHSC



Vintage 1984 Gibson ES-175D Natural Hollowbody Guitar With OHSC This is an excellent example of a vintage Gibson ES-175 in the natural finish. Excellent player and looker! The tuners have been changed to Grovers, and the originals are included   Weight: 7lbs. Nut Width: 1 69" Also includes OHSC and complimentary setup. Payment Please be sure if paying by PayPal, your account is verified as we only ship to verified PayPal addresses. If paying by credit card, please be aware we only ship to ... more

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