GIBSON ES-175 D, 1957
Sunburst, 100% original,
first year of the Patent Applied For (PAF) pickups. The ES-175,
introduced in 1949 with a single P90, was one of the first Gibson models
equipped with the humbuckers developed by Seth Lover in the Kalamazoo
factory. This gorgeous guitar belongs to the first year of the P.A.F.
Cutaway 16" laminated maple body, one-piece mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard and bridge. Original nickel hardware which includes Kluson Deluxe "single-line" tuners and the zig-zag trapeze tailpiece, introduced one year before. When we purchased this guitar it had a correct reproduction tailpiece, but we have found and re-installed a nice and rare original part in very good and solid conditions, except for a roughly engraved "Bob" on the hinge-plate. No trace of this replacement is visible. Original and sought-after Les Paul Standard style "bell knobs", which today can hardly be found for less than 1,000 dollars on the vintage market... The PAF value is in a class of its own. This early verison has two black bobbins and four brass screws on the base-plate. Both PAF labels are intact. The neck unit cover was dissoldered to place a small wooden spacer under one coil: an absolutely useless operation, since both units have a strong output, an excellent balance and a fully working height adjustment system; maybe the previous owner wanted to keep the pickup too close to the strings. We decided not to re-solder the cover (in future owners, a new soldering could bring undue doubts about the pickup's originality and integrity) also because it is firmly held in place between the coils and the ring. Furthermore, this has allowed us to take nicely detailed pictures of the pickup.
This ES-175 is exceptionally well-built, very light and with a beautiful sunburst finish. On the back of the headstock, confused among the checking lines, there is a small "2" impressed in the wood, which denotes some imperfection in the finish discovered at the Gibson factory before the guitar was shipped. Whatever this flaw was, it is absolutely invisible today, after 50 years of signs of time and wear, and it doesn't detract anything from the guitar's value. The production date is confirmed by both the serial number on the orange oval label and the Factroy Order Number (FON) starting with an U as all the 1957 Gibson archtops.
Excellent conditions, 50 years of music in the hands of a careful and loving owner. No cracks, no heavy dings, just some wear on the top of the headstock, on the back of the neck and in the jack area, and a lot of beautiful checking. Some line in the checking is more visible than the others (see "checking3") but not one goes through the wood: in other words, no cracks, a very clean and solid guitar.
This '57 ES-175 D is in perfect working order. The tuners, controls and pickups work with no problems, the action is low and easy, the frets show some wear but don't need to be replaced, the neck is straight with a good working truss-rod.
The sound is exceptional. The guitar has a great acoustic resonance, but of course its (not only) jazz soul "turns on" when the PAFs can deliver the warm and powerful voice that made of them the most sought-after guitar pickups off all the times.
The guitar comes with a very clean, solid and original brown case made by the Stone company. The best ES-175 we have ever had!
We have posted online 42 pictures, so let's have some fun watching them all.
front - in case - body1 - body2 - body3 - body4 - back - body back - headstock - logo - knobs - bridge - fretboard - pickguard - neck - detail - lining - bob - paf1a - paf1b - paf1c - paf1d - paf1e - paf1f - paf1g - paf2a - paf2b - paf2c - ring1 - ring2 - tuners1 - tuners2 - label - f.o.n. - cutaway - wear1 - wear2 - checking1 - checking2 - checking3 - case