Up for sale, a 1958 Gibson ES-225TD in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with a vintage Lifton case. This ES-225 is stunningly clean, 100% original save for an upgraded hand-carved bone nut.
One of the cooler and oft overlooked Gibson models of the '50s, the ES-225TD is essentially a single florentine cutaway precursor to the ES-330 (the model which would replace it in Gibson's lineup in late '59). 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 3oz, 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, substantial baseball bat C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder in every register, measuring .900" deep at the 1st fret and .990" at the 9th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard features dot inlay and the original slender "banjo" frets. The frets are practically perfect, showing just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-3 and 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 features the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines with original white buttons, and these tuners turn very smoothly with extremely clean plating.
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 the original trapeze/wraparound bridge design with near mint nickel plating. The original plastics are all intact and near mint including the dogear pickup covers, quartet of gold bonnet knobs, and wide bevel four-ply pickguard which shows a bit of upward deflection while remaining out of the strum path.
The original nitro lacquer Sunburst finish is vibrant and unfaded, exhibiting faint vertical lacquer checking, a few pinhead-sized nicks on top, and very faint pick wear across the strum path. There is a spot of light buckle rash central to the back, along with a few additional finish scratches and minor nicks. The nitro gloss on the neck profile is extremely clean, free of palm wear with only a few tiny, shallow marks on the profile length.
A vintage Gibson-branded Lifton hardshell case with brown mottled exterior and pink interior is included. The case is deeper than the instrument with original functional latches, leather handle, and small Gibson badge beneath the handle.