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1958 Gibson ES-225 TD Vintage Hollowbody Electric Guitar Sunburst w/ Bigsby B3, Lifton Case


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Up for sale, a 1958 Gibson ES-225TD in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Outfitted with a vintage Bigsby B3 vibrato and corresponding aluminum Bigsby bridge for greater practicality and versatility, this ES-225TD is a stellar example with the original nitro lacquer gloss Sunburst finish and brown/pink hardshell case.

One of the cooler and oft overlooked Gibson models of the '50s, the 225TD is essentially a single florentine cutaway precursor to the ES-330. With its fully hollow maple body and Honduran mahogany neck, this 225 is a very resonant and sweet sounding instrument, retaining its original pair of P-90 pickups. The pickups have the midrange growl and glassy, dynamic quality of this hotly wound Gibson design, delivering rich bark when you dig in hard. The pickups clean up nicely for complex chord work with a lighter touch or by backing off the Volume knob a hair, and the body delivers both the snappy note attack of maple as a tonewood and the airy warmth of the thinline hollowbody construction. The guitar is featherweight at 6lbs 1oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with roundwound 11-49 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a round ‘50s profile carve, full and inviting yet shy of the “baseball bat” chunk seen on some necks from this decade, measuring .885" deep at the 1st fret and .980" at the 9th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark, tight-grained cut with dot inlay and the original slender "banjo" frets. The frets show only very light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-6, playing cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 11/16" in width, upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. The headstock has been fitted with a set of genuine '50s Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines with original white buttons, turning very smoothly and holding pitch well. The guitar had previously been fitted with a different tuner set as evidenced by the small singular mounting holes just inset from the Kluson gears and halos of larger washers at one time installed on the headstock face.

All of the electronics are original and function as intended, with the original P-90 pickups wired to dedicated Volume and Tone knobs. The harness also features Bumblebee tone caps visible through the treble-side F hole. The ES-225TD factory stamp is bold and clean, stamped on the inside back of the body, along with the T-prefix factory order number which dates to 1958. Hardware includes a vintage Bigsby B3 vibrato tailpiece and matching aluminum Bigsby bridge with compensated saddle. The Bigsby arm sits at an ideal height off the body with a responsive, easy-actuating spring that works well for warbles and broader expressive gestures. Save for a later white switch tip, the original plastics are all intact including the wide bevel pickguard and quartet of gold speed knobs.

The original nitro lacquer Sunburst finish is vibrant and unfaded, with faint finish checking across the body and a few scuffs, nicks and minor finish chips on the body as a whole, mostly relegated to the back and sides. The smooth nitro gloss is intact on the profile length, with some shallow marks that aren't distracting to the palm while fretting.

The original brown hardshell case with pink interior is included, manufactured by the Stone Case Co. and retaining the original latches and stock handle. The original trapeze wraparound tailpiece/bridge and mounting wheels are included too, and the tailpiece hinge is split.