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1992 Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis Archtop Cherry, Near-Mint w/ Case & Hangtags, Yamano


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Up for sale, a 1992 Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis in near-mint condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and factory paperwork. This artist model Gibson archtop is 100% original save for a Bigsby B6 vibrato, complete with Chet Atkins arm. This uncommon premium Gibson archtop was released in 1991 as a tribute to longtime ES-175 player and Jazz icon Herb Ellis, featuring flame maple body construction (flame maple/poplar/maple top and back), a one-piece mahogany neck, and a bound rosewood fretboard. This particular ES-165 was ordered by Gibson's Japanese distributor Yamano, and Gibson's USA-made guitars distributed via Yamano are often considered among their best, featuring the highest quality woods hand-picked for Gibson's discerning Japanese audience.

The body measures 16” wide at the lower bout, and this guitar has a bold, clear natural acoustic voice with excellent projection, yielding an ideal platform for the original neck position 490R humbucker. This pickup is Gibson's Modern Classic humbucker, featuring Alnico II magnets and similar in its response to a PAF, yet with more midrange emphasis, resulting in a warm-yet-articulate tonal profile that is full and rich with complex chording. This ES-165 weighs 7lbs 10oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 flatwound strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

Neck Specs:

-Wood: One-piece mahogany
-Shape: “Rounded Jazz Profile,” Slender C with generous shoulders, measuring .820” 1st fret, .945” 12th.  
-Fretboard: Bound rosewood, split parallelogram pearloid inlay, 12" radius
-Frets: Medium jumbo, full factory height, light wear beneath plain strings on crowns of frets 1-10
-Scale Length: 24 3/4”
-Nut Width: 1 11/16”
-Tuners: Gold-plated Grover Rotomatic, metal keystone buttons
-Serialization: Stamped on back of peghead

Body Specs:

-Pickups: 490R humbucker, Gibson USA-embossed baseplate
-Hardware: Original ABR-1 bridge, rosewood base, upgraded Bigsby B6 vibrato with Chet Atkins arm
-Plastics: Original speed knobs and five-ply pickguard

The gloss Cherry nitro lacquer finish highlights subtle curly flame figuring in the maple body, with some very limited finish checking on the top. Exceedingly well-kept for over three decades, there are just a scant few faint marks and finish scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is immaculate.

The original Gibson USA brown tolex hardshell case is included, along with the Gibson/Yamano paperwork (contained in a Yamano/Gibson-branded booklet), and the Gibson polish cloth.