Gibson ES-175 1979
OK, so Gibson no longer make the Gibson ES-175 so the only way to own the iconic jazz box that is the Gibson 175 archtop is to find an old one that’s in top-rate condition. That’s exactly what you have here, and the irony is it has word ‘second’ embossed beneath the serial number. Now, we’ve all heard the story about this being a way for Gibson employees to get hold of a guitar at a discount and that may have been true in the seventies (it certainly happened in British factories, I know, I was there) but what is certain is that any imperfection would have been minor and cosmetic. We’ve had a number of these, sometimes stamped with the number ‘2’ and have never been able to find the ‘imperfection’ and I doubt you will either.
Back to the distinguished sunburst Gibson 175 of this discussion and despite being almost 40 years’ old it feels like a modern guitar, just without that stiffness that brand new instruments have. It’s literally broken-in and therefore much more pleasant to play. It compares favourably with the 72 we have (I have a soft spot for the embossed pick-up covers and thinner finish of that year) being just a little heavier to handle. The actual features that changed could only have increased the weight marginally: the size of the supporting panel below the pickups which got broader after the sixties, the depth of the lacquer which increased and the sculpting of a volute in the back of the neck where it meets the heads to increase strength and resilience.
With dual humbuckers and original Gibson hard case it’s the perfect jazz guitar also ideal for the progressive rocker.
Gibson ES-175 1979
This is a wonderful sounding sunburst Gibson ES-175 from 1979 and it exemplifies everything that is great about this iconic Gibson archtop guitar. As you will see from the demonstration video below, the guitar is just a dream to play and has a beautiful rich and warm tone from the twin Gibson humbuckers, which will take you from jazz to rock/blues and even country tones at the flick of a switch.