Gibson ES 175
Need a reason to buy the Gibson ES 175?
Keith played one, and who doesn’t like Keith Richards?
Even if you don’t “like” Keith, you somehow must love his amazing guitar ability and his off-kilter presence.
A little trivia…Keith Richards is one of the rockers that brought the Gibson over to the dark side…from mellow, sweet jazz to the rebels’ genre, rock and roll.
Other rockers that played the ES 175 included Steve Howe and Mark Knopfler.
Jazz players that favored the Gibson ES 175 included Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and Joe Pass, among others.
The 175 was popular among these jazz players in the 1950s, as this particular model was introduced in 1949, in a group of 129 guitars.
It became popular, and production increased dramatically in the early ‘50s. In 1957, hum buckers were added, and the popularity of the already much-in-demand instrument soared.
This, combined with a fairly big, hollow body, created a rich tone that people try to emulate with other kinds of guitars by turning their tone knob way down.
There’s no sound quite like a 1957 Gibson ES 175, though.
You can’t copy some treasures.
The Gibson was a fresh new choice for guitarists that liked freedom, as it was the first model to feature a Florentine cutaway.
Musicians could now reach each of the 20 frets with ease.
It was also a little more compact and easier on the pocketbook than some earlier models.
It is a model that is still in production today, in almost perfect replicas of the ones made in its heyday…these are made in Gibson’s Memphis Custom Shop.
The new ones have a few features that modern convenience has offered, but it’s the same endearing guitar it always was.
This model of Gibson was truly made with jazz music in mind, with its warm and fuzzy tones and appearance.
The Gibson ES couldn’t be contained, though, and its versatility led to an easy crossover to rock and roll.
The first rocker to take the jazzy guitar into the realms of harder-hitting tunes was Scott “Scotty” Moore, the guitarist for Elvis Presley.
The King’s guitarist set a trend that ran rampant through the genre, and soon there were a lot of die-hard rockers playing their music on this jazz guitar.
Back in the 1950s, an ES 175 would cost you about $175.00.
This was a steal in that time for the starving musician who wanted a rich, full tone, but didn’t have a few months’ salary to blow on a guitar.
Now, one of those early 50s models would run you almost $4500.00, and the ones made after 1957 (with hum buckers) are sold for nearly $7000.00.
A Gibson ES 175 made in the 50s is a true collector’s treasure.
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