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1950 Gibson ES-150 Vintage Archtop, Collector-Grade w/ Figured Maple & Lifton Case


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Up for sale, a 1950 Gibson ES-150 in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original Lifton hardshell case, 100% original save for a new set of tuner buttons. It’s hard to overstate just how important the archtop ES-150 is to the history of the electric guitar, widely recognized as the first commercially successful electric Spanish-style (ES) guitar. This exceedingly clean, well-kept later iteration is the second version of ES-150 produced, with features including tall gold speed knobs and trapezoid inlays on the bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard.

The fully-hollow maple body has the same dimensions as Gibson’s venerable L-5, with a full 17” lower bout width and 25 1/2“ scale length, and as such this guitar has exceptional natural resonance and projection, with an airy warmth. The P-90 pickup offers a woody, percussive cut, bell-like and lively with a bounce in the trebles and plenty of midrange chop accentuated by the 12-52 flatwound strings. This ES-150 weighs 5lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and accurate intonation.

Neck Specs:

-Wood: Mahogany
-Shape: Substantial “baseball bat” C, full shoulders, measuring .910” 1st fret, .999” 9th fret
-Fretboard: Brazilian rosewood, trapezoid inlays
-Frets: Slender "banjo" frets, leveled and crowned, pristine
-Scale Length: 25 1/2”
-Nut: 1 11/16”, nylon, original
-Tuners: Kluson Deluxe single-line, modern white buttons

Body Specs:

-Wood: Maple
-Pickups: P-90, 8.05k ohms
-Harness: Pots date to 18th week of 1950
-Hardware: Brazilian rosewood bridge, trapeze tailpiece
-Plastics: Four-ply wide bevel pickguard, tall gold speed knobs, rounded P-90 cover
-Serialization: Factory Order Number (no letter prefix) stamped in F hole

The gloss Sunburst nitro lacquer finish on top exhibits very fine vertical checking, and prominent, three-dimensional bubble figuring peeks through the dark walnut finish on the back, with broad flame figuring on the rims. The top presents very cleanly with great curvature, and cosmetic wear is limited to very light buckle wear central to the waist, some minor dings and scuffs on the rims, and a very slight, professionally addressed split across the input jack. There are some minor dings along the headstock perimeter and shallow marks on the neck profile, largely worn smooth with subsequent play.

The original Lifton brown tolex hardshell case is included and equally as clean as the guitar. The case retains its Lifton badge on the exterior of the case pocket, with an immaculate interior, functional latches and the original handle.