Gibson ES-125CD Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1966)

Gibson  ES-125CD Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 12150
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Gibson ES-125CD Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 811021, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a nice example of a 1966 ES-125CD, one of Gibson's less flashy and fairly obscure 1960s archtop guitars. This is actually a relatively rare model, only introduced in 1965 (which seems like 10 years too late!) and then discontinued after 1970. Only 238 of these shipped in 1966 out of just over 1100 total. That is not a lot of production for Gibson in the mid-late '60s period, especially for a relatively budget-oriented model.

The ES-125CD offers the classic twin-pickup Gibson P-90 experience on a fully hollow, full depth single-cutaway F-hole body. It is essentially the same layout as the earlier (and far more common) thinline ES-125TDC but with a full-depth body, appearing years later in a reverse of the development history of every other Gibson archtop! This model was cataloged as a low/midline electric, but really offers the same sound and feel as the much more exalted 1950s ES-175D but with plainer cosmetics. Of course by 1965 that guitar had moved on to Humbucking pickups, but this model has all the same functional features.

This full-depth 16" guitar is built on a laminated, fully hollow maple body. The layout and hardware are typical for the period, with two black plastic covered P-90 pickups and the standard wiring rig including individual tone and volume controls with metal-capped gold knobs and a 3-way switch. The neck is the slim round profile typical of the mid/late 1960s, with the noticeably slimmed nut width characteristic of the period. This is a very good player, a chunky-sounding P-90 guitar that makes for a nice roots-oriented machine for a variety of styles, including everything from straight jazz to swamp rock grooves!
Overall length is 40 1/4 in. (102.2 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 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 9/16 in. (40 mm.).

This is a very clean, almost all original and great playing original example of this budget Gibson archtop classic. The finish still has very strong color and shows only some very light checking, a few tiny dings dents and scrapes and really no major wear. All hardware is original and complete except the Kluson style strip tuners are modern repros, replacing a set of Grovers added long ago. There are lightly visible rings on the headstock from that previous installation. All other fittings are original with only very light wear, the chrome plating is very clean. The guitar was just neatly refretted with period-style wire making it a superb player, with a better range of sound than many expect from a budget Gibson archtop. It lives in a later black Tolex HSC. Excellent - Condition.