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2002 Gibson Memphis ES-135 Wine Red w/ Gold Hardware, 57 Classic PAFs & Case


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Up for sale, a 2002 Gibson Memphis ES-135 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Produced at the widely celebrated and now shuttered Gibson Memphis factory, this discontinued, upscale variant of the ES-135 platform boasts all gold hardware, a Wine Red gloss nitro lacquer finish, and a pair of 57 Classic PAF humbuckers.

Essentially a hybrid of an ES-335 and an ES-175, this unique Gibson model has a thinline semi-hollow maple body, with a maple center block to improve note 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 tonal palette and slender body depth. Outfitted with the original pair of Gibson's '57 Classic PAF pickups, this ES-135 delivers plenty of bite, growl, and harmonic richness in the bridge position, contrasting nicely with the girth and warmth of the neck pickup. Weighing 8lbs 6oz, this ES-135 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, with fresh 11-49 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder in every register and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .920" at the 9th. The original medium jumbo fretwire has plenty of meat and shows no wear, 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 a vertical script ES-135 silkscreen with the gold Gibson logo as well. The gold Grover Rotomatic tuners with metal tulip buttons are intact, turning very smoothly and holding pitch reliably.

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 PAF stickers are intact on the baseplates of the '57 Classic PAFs, and the wiring is untouched from the factory. The gold pickup covers, Nashville bridge, and trapeze tailpiece are in fantastic shape, with just a touch of patina through the plating on the bass-side edge of the Nashville bridge. The clean Gibson label with handwritten serial and model info is visible through the bass side F hole, matching the serial number stamped on the headstock. Plastics include a quartet of black speed knobs and a replacement wide bevel four-ply pickguard.

The gloss nitro lacquer Wine Red finish has been well-kept over the past two decades, with wear limited to light buckle rash central to the waist on the back, and a few additional small finish scratches and minor marks on the body as a whole. The gloss lacquer on the neck is clean and smooth, with light palm wear through the clear coat on the shoulders of the profile, and a small spot of rack rash on the bass-side shoulder at the 1st fret.

The original "Gibson Memphis" black tolex hardshell case is included. The original premium leather handle is intact, and all latches are functional save for the "lock" which has been disengaged.