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11/21/07

Gibson ES-175


The Gibson ES-175 is one of the most famous jazz guitars in history. It is a 24 3/4" scale full hollow body guitar with a trapeze tailpiece and Tune-O-Matic bridge. It is currently still in production.

The ES-175 debuted in 1949, as Gibson's mid-level laminate top alternative to the L5. It was also the first Gibson electric to feature a stylish Florentine cutaway. Its first incarnation had one single-coil pickup (a P-90) in the neck position. In 1953, the ES-175D, a two-pickup model, was introduced.

Beginning in February 1957, ES-175s came equipped with humbuckers. Many new jazz guitarists used these to emulate the sound of Wes Montgomery's "heart" L5, such as Pat Metheny. The ES-175 with humbuckers is prized for its full, rich tone. Some guitarists will mimic the rich resonant sound of this rather large hollow body instrument by turning the tone knob all the way down on cheaper guitars.

This model guitar is not only used by jazz guitarists. Scotty Moore, the guitarist for Elvis Presley, played an ES-295, essentially a dual P90-equipped, all gold ES-175. Such rock legends as Steve Howe have taken up the ES-175 due to its high level of craftsmanship and playability. Gibson released the Herb Ellis ES-165 as a signature reissue of his original 1957 ES-175.

The denomination 175 came from the original price tag of the first ES, which was $175.00.

The Epiphone company also produces an ES-175 model, available only in golden and black color. The Epiphone model has an arched back as well. It is also equipped with two AlNico wax dipped P90.

Both the Gibson and Epiphone ES-175 feature a volume and tone knob for each pickup and Schaler tuning heads.

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