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

Gibson  ES-175DN Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1954)
Just Arrived!
$8,500.00 + shipping
Buy Now
Item # 12098
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson ES-175DN Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1954), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # X8846-19, natural lacquer and celluloid finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, 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 1954 the ES-175 was an established success with players for its combination of sound, playability and moderate price, but the double-pickup version was a relatively new development. The ES-175 first appeared in 1949 but the two-pickup ES-175D was not catalogued as a stock model until mid-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 originally cost more) than the standard sunburst model. The one-piece 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 adjustable rosewood bridge, a 5-ply beveled-edge B/W/B pickguard, the earlier L-7 style tailpiece and controls with numbered amber "hatbox" knobs. The serial number is not legible on the damaged label in this guitar, but the Factory Order Number (FON) under the treble side F-hole dates to mid/late 1954.

The natural finish twin-pickup ES-175DN was the flagship of this model family. Although always a popular instrument only 129 were registered as shipped this year, by modern standards a very small quantity. This would be one of the first couple of hundred natural finish, double pickup 175's built. The 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 nicely original guitar overall showing some general wear for its 70 years on earth and likely used professionally "back in the day". The guitar is naturally aged-in but remains unmodified, with no notable repairs and all original parts. The all-original blonde finish shows typical checking overall, and has ambered noticeably likely from many gigs in smoky bars. The neck finish shows some chipping, dings and dents through the lacquer with larger areas of finish worn to the wood between the 7th and 12th fret area. There are several feelable chips and dings to area where he neck meets the headstock and wear to the edges of the heel. There is some scuffing to the top around the bridge, apparently mounted in the wrong position for some time long ago.

There are no notable structural repairs, even the jack area is completely free of the commonly seen laminate cracks. The fittings and hardware are original including the pickups, tuners bridge, knobs and pickguard. The original tailpiece has a beautifully well done repair at the hinge, only noticeable because the plating is missing in that area. The label is partially missing, so the serial number is gone but the FON is still legible.

The neck angle is excellent, the original small frets have been crowned down a bit but still play well. The fingerboard has some minor wear but no serious divots. 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 play wear this is a super nice example of a 1950s 175DN. The case is a later 1980s Gibson re-issue in pink-lined brown Tolex. Overall Very Good + Condition.