Gibson ES-175DN Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1956)

Gibson  ES-175DN Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1956)
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$7,200.00 + shipping
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Item # 10323
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Gibson ES-175DN Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1956), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-23014, natural lacquer and celluloid finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

This is a well-played and super vibey original example of a mid-1950's ES-175DN with two P-90 pickups, the more versatile version of Gibson's classic "Working Man's" hollowbody archtop guitar. When this one was shipped in May 1956 the ES-175 was an established success with players for its combination of sound and playability at a moderate price. The ES-175 first appeared in 1949 but the two-pickup ES-175D was not catalogued as a stock model until 1953 (a few custom examples had been built earlier). The second pickup at the bridge creates a wider sonic palette, although many jazz players (even today) prefer the sound of the neck PU alone. All other features of both models were the same, the "D" just adding the extra pickup, knobs, and switch to the mix.

The natural finished laminated maple body is triple-bound on the front and single-bound on the back; this version is rarer (and cost more) than the standard sunburst model. The natural-finished mahogany neck is single-bound with split parallelogram fingerboard inlays on the rosewood fingerboard. The headstock carries the pearl Gibson logo and crown inlay; the Kluson Deluxe tuners have "keystone" buttons. The original hardware includes double P-90 pickups under black plastic "dogear" covers, the standard Gibson rosewood bridge, a 5-ply beveled-edge pickguard, earlier L-7 style tailpiece, and tone and volume controls with numbered amber knobs.

The natural finish twin-pickup ES-175DN was the most expensive flagship of this model family. Although always a popular instrument only 247 were registered as shipped this year, by modern standards a small quantity. This era's ES-175 has been used by too many jazz guitar greats to count. The double-pickup examples like this one are fully suitable for that classic "Blue Note" sound but also make great early rock'n'roll, rockabilly and R&B guitars. This one has seen a lot of use but remains a wonderful sounding and playing instrument with the classic 1950's purr at lower volumes and honk when the amp is turned up!
 
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 5/16 in. (8.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a an original guitar overall showing some player wear but appearing well cared for, albeit used professionally. The guitar remains unmodified, with no major repairs but a couple of correct repro parts in place of the originals. The unaltered original finish shows typical checking overall, and notable localized wear spots from contact with a player's body on the back, side and upper armwear spot. The neck finish shows some minor dings and dents with a few deeper feelable spots behind the 12th fret area. Considering the wear seen on the back the neck is surprisingly free of finish loss. There are a number of chips and dings to the headstock, mostly on the edges.

There are no notable structural repairs, even the jack area is completely free of the commonly seen laminate cracks. The tuners are not original but are the correct modern repro Kluson-style machines. Something else was on for a while and there are compression rings visible around the bushings on the headstock face; no extra screw holes can be seen on the reverse however. All other fittings and hardware are original except the pickguard, which is an excellent reproduction using the original hardware.

The neck angle is excellent, the guitar has been refretted with wire just a bit taller and wider than the original, which was very small at this point in Gibson history. The fingerboard has feelable small divots behind the first and third frets along the G string. The guitar is an excellent player offering the typically warm 1950's Gibson "classic jazz" tone, with the brighter honk of the bridge pickup that can be dialed in if desired. Apart from the wear a somewhat sweaty player imparted to the body long ago this is a super nice example of a 1950s 175DN. The original brown HSC is still present, but very heavily worn, just about functional. Very Good + Condition.