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 recommended 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 beginning. 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.
The ES-175D in original mid-seventies Faultless case #515 - at this stage with magenta plush lining
Images courtesy of justgreatguitars.com
Have a closer look at some of these ES-175s
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