Gibson ES-125 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1953)

Gibson  ES-125 Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1953)
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Item # 9725
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Gibson ES-125 Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1953), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # Y5285-30, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black chipboard case.

This is a well-seasoned 1953 example of the Gibson ES-125, the company's "bread and butter" electric guitar from the late 1940s and early '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 shaded sunburst has a fairly dark center giving it a bit of a classy and somber look! The single black-covered P-90 pickup is mounted in the neck position, with tone and volume controls capped with numbered amber "hatbox" knobs.

Although originally marketed mostly 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. It is still a favorite today. Just over 3700 of these were shipped out of Kalamazoo in 1953 -- the model's peak production year -- and this is a played-in but generally well-preserved survivor nearly 70 years on.
 
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 a this is a nice player's example of this modest Gibson classic, mostly original with some general wear and minor hardware substitutions. The finish remains all original and shows moderately heavy checking overall with dings, scratches and dents, most notably on the back of the neck. The lacquer there is down to the wood from play over a decent proportion of the surface, with some fairly soft dings along the spine. The body edges show some old seam repairs and heavier wear than the top or back, but everything is solid and there are no cracks to the wood, not even in the usual spot by the jack.

The original hardware includes the lovely sounding plastic-covered pickup, wiring, amber hatbox knobs, adjustable rosewood bridge and Kluson Deluxe tuners, which have new buttons. The tailpiece is the correct style but more recent, the pickguard has gone missing and there are metal strap buttons added at the base and on the neck heel. The frets appear original and have been given a recent grind and polish; there are some divots in the lower part of the fingerboard but nothing that effects playability. This is not the cleanest example we have had of this Gibson stalwart but a good playing and sounding guitar with the requisite warm 1950's tone. It resides in a worn but functional 1970's HSC. Excellent - Condition.