Gibson ES-175CC Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1981)

Gibson  ES-175CC Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1981)
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Item # 9726
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Gibson ES-175CC Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1981), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 80501006, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, laminated maple body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

Despite Gibson's less-than-stellar reputation in the late 1970's the company actually had some good ideas...this guitar represents one of the best! It is a special version of the long-serving ES-175 electric archtop factory fitted with a 1930's style "Charlie Christian" pickup, hence the ES-175CC designation. The model was introduced in 1979, but perhaps the timing was wrong as it was discontinued not long after. This early 1981 example would be one of the final ones built. It is marked "SECOND" on the back of the headstock which is not unusual for this model; the company may have dumped the existing stock when it did not sell as well as expected.

Charlie Christian's exclusive use of the first Gibson electric guitars in the early 1940's influenced generations of players to seek a similar tone. Although the company had discontinued their original bar-magnet pickup after 1940 they often fielded requests from dedicated jazz players for them, and over the years some individual custom Gibson archtops were issued with the unit installed. The 1979 ES-175 CC was the first officially cataloged production model to carry one since 1940! The label reads "ES-175CC" and there is also a special truss rod cover marked "ES-175/CC".

Aside from the distinctive pickup installation this beauty has typical late '70s features. It is from the fairly short-lived era when Gibson used a laminated maple neck on many instruments instead of the traditional mahogany resulting in a sturdier guitar with a just slightly brighter sound. The hardware is also typical for the period with the chrome plated L-7 style tailpiece, laminated pickguard and black numbered "amp" style knobs. The single Christian pickup is mounted in the traditional neck position with standard tone and volume controls. The sound is quite different from the standard humbucker-equipped ES-175, with a distinctive "bite" and a more acoustic quality.
Overall length is 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/4 in. (8.2 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 fairly rare 40 year old Gibson shows only minor wear overall, with only light dings and scuffs to the finish and no notable damage or repair. The only really noticeable finish wear is some belt buckle scrapes around the center of the back. There are two lamination checks on the lower side off the waist, and a visible lamination seam on the bass side rear of the headstock. None present any structural issues. The only alteration is an added strap button on the heel. The frets look little used with hardly any wear, and is an excellent playing and quite unique sounding guitar. It is in a more modern HSC that is a good fit but not Gibson issue. Overall Excellent + Condition.