The 1978 Gibson catalogue also shows the ES-175CC - the Charlie Christian model, with one single coil Charlie Christian pickup
This 1979 ES-175D is one of 839 shipped that year. It had a 1979 recommended 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.
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.
The guitar with original purple-lined Gibson case.
Images courtesy of justgreatguitars.com
Have a closer look at some of these ES-175s
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