Gibson ES-120T Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962)

Gibson  ES-120T Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1962)
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Item # 10650
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Gibson ES-120T Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 73970, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The Gibson ES-120T was the least expensive hollow-body guitar the company offered in the early 1960s, when for a while EVERYBODY wanted to play the guitar. It is a thin (1 3/4" at the rim) fully hollow, non-cutaway f-hole guitar with one single coil pickup mounted in a large hollow molded plastic pickguard that also carries the controls and jack. This pickup is the same small-coil unit used in the Melody Maker series, but offers a bit more depth to the sound when used on a hollow-body instrument.

Other features are typical for the period including the adjustable rosewood bridge, trapeze tailpiece, capped gold knobs and Kluson Deluxe strip tuners. The modular construction (the pre-wired electronics unit dropped onto the body) allowed this guitar to be built to a relatively low price, but still uphold Gibson's usual standards so is a super friendly guitar to play.

Although designed for student players, the ES-120T makes a very good stage guitar for acoustic/electric playing. It has a distinct sound all its own, clearer and less bassy than many similar guitars but still with a warm edge, and less prone to feedback than many larger instruments. The ES-120T was sold in decent numbers; about 1500 shipped in this introductory year 1962. This one shows some light wear but is one of the best playing examples we have had.
 
Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 15 15/16 in. (40.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a good all-original example showing some light wear and tear, but not too heavily played over the last just about 60 years. The finish shows very light checking with some minor dings, scratches, and dents, mostly on the back. There is one deep dink in the back of the neck behind the 9th fret. The only repairs is a small crack in the plastic shell around the tone knob, solidly sealed up but visible.

The original frets show hardly any wear, the fingerboard has some very light divoting in the lower positions. While this model is an admittedly plain and simple electric guitar built to a price, it remains a very nice-playing and sounding instrument. The ES-120T has a better acoustic tone than one might expect and carries its own funky-but-chic vibe. It includes a decently fitted '70s Japanese HSC with "Drifter" printed in gold script on the lid. Excellent Condition.