Gibson ES-125 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1957)

Gibson  ES-125 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1957)
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Item # 10756
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Gibson ES-125 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1957), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # U-8745-2, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, hard shell case.

This is a later 1950s example of the Gibson ES-125, the company's "bread and butter" hollowbody electric guitar during the late 1940s and '50s. The model features a 16" wide, non-cutaway, full depth hollow-body of laminated maple with a mahogany neck and dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard. The single black-covered P-90 pickup is mounted in the neck position, with tone and volume controls capped with numbered amber knobs. The neck is the very comfortable round-backed late '50s profile, considered by many as Gibson's favorite neck shape.

Although originally marketed primarily as a student model the ES-125 is a fully professional quality instrument, with a sound equal to any single pickup laminated wood guitar ever made. ES-125s were popular from the start and are often seen in period photographs with players of many styles; the model is still a favorite today. 2345 of these were shipped out of Kalamazoo in 1957 (somewhat down from earlier in the decade) and they are still an excellent if unpretentious piece of the 1950s legend.
Overall length is 40 7/16 in. (102.7 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.3 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.).

Overall this is a nice example, showing typical wear and tear but remaining almost all original with no notable damage or repair. The all-original finish is a bit scruffier than some showing typical fairly light checking and a collection of relatively minor dings, scratches, scuffs and dents. There is heavier wear to the wood on the edges of the headstock, probably from rubbing around the inside of an ill-fitted case long ago. The back of the neck has some feelable checking and a few spots worn through the lacquer but on the whole remains fairly clean.

All parts remain original except the knobs, which are correct style repros, and the plastic buttons on the Kluson Deluxe tuners. The tortoise celluloid pickguard has an odd greyish-blue mottling pattern on some of its face but it not deteriorating or outgassing at all; we are not sure what caused this. The original frets have been neatly crowned, the bone nut appears somewhat later but very well done and playability is excellent. 65 years on this is a great-playing and fine sounding example of this modest but delightful Gibson classic, ready to gig housed in a modern HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.