Used Vintage 1956 Gibson ES-225 Black Electric Guitar With HSC
The Gibson ES-225 was one of the earlier thinline hollowbody guitars in the storied company's long history. Produced only for a few years (1955 - 1959) it has become somewhat of a cult favorites among Gibson's more well-known models. Featuring a florentine cutaway, F-holes, trapeze tailpiece, binding on both the neck & body, dot inlays, two control knobs and a single P90 pickup, the ES-225 threads the line between simplistic design and beauty.
We just scored this one, which was built in 1956. It can be best-described as "player vintage", in that it's all about the feel, sound and vibe, not the vintage value. We say this because it has been refinished (Black was not a color option back then - the ES-225 came in only Sunburst and Natural) and the non-original parts. The pickguard is original, but was repaired and had a finish applied to it at some point. Pretty much everything else, starting from the top (tuners) down to the bottom (tailpiece) has been replaced, including everything in between (pickup, bridge and knobs).
It looks like mods were done at some point, then removed. Under the paint, there is evidence of two mods that were made and then removed. On the top bout, it appears that someone installed a switch and two extra holes for pots. Also, at some point, the previous owner may have installed a second pickup. The cavity was patched up.
The pickup in this guitar is a Seymour Duncan Antiquity P90, which sounds incredible. This uses two specially calibrated alnico 2 bar magnets to deliver the sweet growl of late 50's P90 pickups. Single notes sing and chords sound full & round. The same hand fabricated bobbin, plain enamel wire and flatback tape, as seen in the early days of Kalamazoo, is used. If you want the original sound, this is the way to go. Also, a previous owner had removed the original wiring and installed modern Gibson branded pots with orange caps, when he put in the Duncan Antiquity P90.
That's a lot of history! We are disclosing this in full, with as much detail as we can (with special help from a previous owner that did some of this). It's the right thing to do, and we want to be straight up about what this is. The guitar has been through a lot in terms of a lifetime of change. It's for the player, not the collector looking for a mint one. Hence, we've priced it accordingly.
The guitar plays exceptionally well, especially after being setup by the techs in our shop. The neck is very smooth, and the frets have plenty of life in them. We actually love the refinished aspect of this guitar - it looks great in black, especially with the binding having yellowed over the years. The finished has checked nicely over the years, and developed a beautiful patina.
If you're into vintage guitars but want something very affordable and playable, in a cool color that's wouldn't otherwise be found on an ES-225, you've found it right here!