Up for sale, a 1997 Gibson ES-135 in 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and factory paperwork. This ES-135 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 picked for Gibson's discerning Japanese audience.
Essentially a hybrid of an ES-335 and an ES-175, this unique (and long ago discontinued) Gibson model boasts a thinline semihollow body, with a maple center block to improve attack and reduce feedback. The result is a guitar that has the good looks of an ES-175 and the enduring popularity of the 335's feel and body depth. Not to be confused with the matte finish "studio" versions of the ES-135, this is the version initially offered by Gibson with a top quality gloss nitro lacquer Cherry finish.
This guitar weighs 7lbs 9oz, balances well on a strap, and has a warm, cutting acoustic tone. Complete with the original P-100 hum-cancelling P-90-style pickups, this Gibson delivers plenty of bite, growl, and harmonic richness in the bridge position, contrasting nicely with the warmth of the neck pickup, which sounds both bold and clear. This ES-135 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action, and solid intonation.
The maple neck has a modestly slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with round shoulders in every register and quite a bit of additional overall heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .820" deep at the 1st fret and .999" at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard sports pearl dot inlay, and the medium jumbo frets have their full factory height and good meat, showing moderate wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-4, with fainter wear extending beneath the B string until fret 8. The scale length measures 24 3/4", and the guitar plays cleanly in every register with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width. The Gibson Deluxe tuning machines turn very smoothly with lightly greened tulip buttons, showing uniform surface patina.
All of the electronics work as they should, with individual Volume and Tone controls for each pickup wired to a three-way pickup selector toggle. The wiring is untouched from the factory, and all of the original hardware is present with bright chrome plating including the Nashville bridge and trapeze tailpiece. All plastics are intact as well including the quartet of black speed knobs and multi-ply pickguard which exhibits prominent pick wear. The Gibson label with handwritten serial and model info is also visible through the bass side F hole and matches the serial number imprinted into the headstock.
There is vertical lacquer checking across the gloss Cherry nitro lacquer finish, with tighter checking on top and broader checking on the back. Cosmetic wear includes various finish scratches and nicks across the body, and very faint cloudiness in the clear coat of the gloss on the lower bout on the back. The neck profile retains its smooth nitro gloss, free of palm wear.
The original brown tolex Gibson USA hardshell case with pink plush interior is included. A couple pieces of Gibson/Yamano factory paperwork are also included.