ES-175D Guitars

1968 Gibson ES-175D

Color: Black, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 02234)
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A Near Mint Custom Color 'Black' 1968 ES-175D


1968 Gibson ES-175D

This super rare 'custom color' black mid 1968 16 1/4-inch-wide, 3 1/3 inch-thick guitar weighs just 6.60 lbs. Three-ply laminated maple body, triple-bound on the top and single-bound on the back. One-piece Honduras mahogany neck with a standard scale length of 24 3/4 inches, a nut width of just over 1 9/16 inches and very comfortable medium profile. Black faced headstock with "Gibson" and Gibson 'Crown' inlaid in mother-of-pearl. Serial number "950209" stamped in black on back of headstock. Rosewood fretboard with 20 original 'jumbo' frets and inlaid pearl split-parallelogram position markers. Single-layer black plastic truss-rod cover with two screws. Individual two-line Gibson Deluxe tuners with double-ring Keystone plastic buttons (each one stamped on the underside "D-169400 / PATENT NO". Two 'Patent Number' Humbucker pickups with black plastic surrounds, each with a small rectangular label on the underside "2,737,842" and with outputs of 7.70k and 7.86k. Three-layer white over black plastic pickguard. Four controls (two volume, two tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch on bass side. Black plastic ribbed-side conical-shape "Witch Hat" knobs. Rosewood bridge with pre-set compensating saddle on rosewood base and "T"style tailpiece with zigzag tubes on sides. Inside the bass f-hole is the Gibson, Kalamazzo orange label with the model "ES-175D" and tghe serial number "950209" both written in black. On the heel of the guitar the original owner? has neatly engraved his personal code "WYZZ-C008". The guitar is in near mint (9.25++) condition and it plays and sounds just as a ES-175 of the era should… There is virtually no fret wear or fretboard wear. Complete with an original? black leather guitar strap. Housed in its original Gibson three-latch, shaped black softshell case with maroon felt lining (9.25).

It is not known how many Black ES-175's were produced BUT it was certainly a very low number. We do know of two other examples that are being offered gor sale - one in Sweden which has had a jack repair to the side and has been refretted, and another in the US for quite a bit more money!

Although the ES-175 was originally introduced in August 1949 (so-called because it initially retailed at $175.00), it only had a single P-90 pickup, and  it was not until 1953 that the two pickup version with four controls and a three-way toggle switch was introduced. So successful was this configuration, that Gibson went on to adopt this arrangement for most of its twin pickup guitars.

"The ES175 is Gibson's most successful electro-acoustic guitar. An estimated 37,000 were sold between 1949 and 1990 and it continues to sell in healthy numbers, despite unprecedented Japanese competition. Dozens of look-alikes and near copies provide testimony to the instrument's dependability, tonal responsiveness and aesthetic quality. From the hundreds of electric guitars which have come and gone over the last fifty years, only a handful have survived with little deviation from their original form...Steve Howe, King Sunny Ade, B.B. King, Mel Brown and Derek Bailey have used the 175 to good effect in other genres. However, it is jazz guitarists who have been seen using the 175 consistently for more than four decades and it is they who provide the instrument's strongest cultural association. Forty [now fifty] years of record sleeves, magazine articles, TV appearances and gigs by eminent jazz guitarists have established the 175 as the pre-eminent jazz guitar. The shape, design and construction of the 175 have changed little in more than forty [now fifty] years of continuous production, affirming its tradition of dependability whilst reaffirming its status as a design classic" (Adrian Ingram, The Gibson ES175: Its History and Players, p. xi).

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