Gibson ES-175D Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954)

Gibson  ES-175D Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1954)
This item has been sold.
Item # 11264
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson ES-175D Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-17244, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown hard shell case.

This is a nice example a mid-50s ES-175D, the more versatile two-pickup version of Gibson's classic "Working Man's" hollowbody archtop guitar. When this one was built in the fall of 1953 the single-pickup ES-175 was already 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 sunburst laminated maple body is triple-bound on the front and single-bound on the back; the neck is single-bound with split parallelogram fingerboard inlays. The headstock carries the pearl Gibson logo and crown inlay and Kluson Deluxe tuners with "keystone" buttons. The original hardware includes double P-90 pickups with black plastic covers, the standard Gibson rosewood bridge, a 5-ply beveled-edge pickguard, earlier L-7 style tailpiece, and tone and volume controls with amber "hatbox" knobs.

The Gibson label bears an "Artist" serial number dating the original shipment to June 1954; only 275 double-pickup sunburst models were registered as shipped this second year. This era's ES-175 has been used by too many jazz guitar greats to count; 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.
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.).

Overall this is a clean, mostly original guitar. It shows some general play wear but no signs of really heavy use for 68 years on the planet. The finish shows some typical checking and scattered small chips and dings overall, more heavily on the sides. The back of the neck shows the most wear, with the finish rubbed through to the wood on both sides, some finish chipped off behind the first-third fret area and a few random feelable dings and dents.

There are no notable repairs to the instrument. The hardware is original with the following exceptions: the tuners are the correct style Kluson repros, the bridge (or at least the saddle and wheels) are later and the switch tip is also a correct style replacement. The neck angle is excellent, the original frets show some wear in the lower positions but this is still an excellent playing instrument. The sound is the typical warm 1950's Gibson tone, with the brighter honk of the bridge pickup that can be added if desired.

This is a generally nice example of a 1950s 175D, not absolutely original but in fine gigging condition complete in the original brown HSC that has more wear than the guitar. On the case pocket lid is a tag from Fife & Nicholas, a well know Hollywood music store where many cool folks got their guitars in the '50s and '60s. Overall Excellent - Condition.