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1952 Gibson ES-175 D Vintage Archtop Electric Guitar Blonde P-90 w/ Bigsby


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Up for sale, a 1952 Gibson ES-175 D in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with a modern hardshell case. One of the very first ES-175 "D" (double pickup) models produced in '52 before the two pickup iteration became a standard production model in '53, this Gibson retains its original natural Blonde nitro lacquer finish.

This sweet sounding archtop has all the detail, tonal complexity, and sweet, dynamic tone one could desire in a Gibson archtop. The fully hollow maple body gives the guitar both the immediate attack and clarity of maple, but also the smoothness and warmth attributable to the hollowbody construction. Extremely bold and balanced acoustically with great articulation, these qualities translate to a particularly authoritative, clear and bell-like neck pickup which meters at 7k ohms. The bridge pickup is a complimentary new boutique Lollar P-90 that meters at 7.4k ohms and has more bite and smooth growl, while retaining a glassy treble character. The guitar is featherweight at 6lbs, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 12-52 roundwound strings and accurate intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has an uncommonly slender, fast-feeling C profile carve with moderate shoulder, measuring .805" deep at the 1st fret and .900" at the 12th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard is a nice and dark cut of this premium tonewood, and the guitar has been refretted with flawless slender vintage-spec fretwire. An upgraded hand-carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, and the headstock features a modern set of Kluson Deluxe single line tuners which have gleaming nickel plating and transparent keystone buttons, perfectly matching the footprint and cosmetics of the original gears.

The guitar does exhibit a very old and professionally addressed repair at the headstock joint, with new black lacquer on the back of the headstock culminating in a stinger across the joint. The repair is extremely hard to spot and imperceptible to the palm.

All of the electronics work as they should, and the original neck pickup and modern Lollar bridge pickup are wired to a modern harness with properly-spec'd 500k CTS pots. Both pickup routes were slightly enlarged in the past, with just a sliver of the route visible beyond the bass-side edge of the neck pickup cover, while the bridge pickup route (enlarged a bit more than the neck, and clearly for a humbucker) is fully covered by a modern pickup riser. Save for the original rounded neck pickup cover, the plastics are modern including a wide-bevel five-ply pickguard, quartet of gold speed knobs, and a pickup selector switch surround with added washer, as the switch route was also enlarged. The hardware includes a genuine '50s Bigsby aluminum floating bridge with compensated saddle, paired with a modern Bigsby B6 vibrato tailpiece and properly-shaped '50s arm. The vibrato actuates very smoothly for expressive gestures and warbles, jumping back to the original pitch reliably. The white label is visible through the F hole and pristine, with hand-written model information and a stamped A-prefix serial number.

The body retains the original Blonde nitro lacquer finish, with very tight lacquer checking, and the top is notably clean. There is a spot of very faint buckle rash central to the waist on the back, some scuffing and wear on the lower bout body edge adjacent to the Bigsby hinge, and some additional minor finish scratches and marks, mostly relegated to the back and body perimeter. On the treble side of the body adjacent to the input jack and at the waist there are a few repaired splits in the maple, with an additional repaired split on the inside edge of the cutaway. The neck has clear lacquer overspray extending the length of the profile.

A modern brown Gibson hardshell case is included.