Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends


2000 Gibson ES-150 Charlie Christian Reissue

Status: For pricing and hold status for this instrument, please check our Instruments page here. If this instrument does not appear on the Instruments page it has been sold, and is no longer available. Photos and descriptions of Previously Sold instruments may by found here. To be notified of examples of this or any other model in the future, please contact [email protected].

Serial #: CC-008, white Custom Shop label; oval Master Model label, signed James Hutchins, dated Oct.12, 2000

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Arched spruce top, arched figured maple back and sides, solid one-piece mahogany neck, solid rosewood fingerboard, gold script logo and fingerboard inlays; bound body.

Hardware: All original aged nickel hardware includes bound three-bolt notched-blade pickup with cobalt steel bar magnets; Waverly open back tuners with butterbean keys, trapeze tailpiece with raised diamond crossbar and endpin jack, pickguard support bracket; bound tortoise pickguard, volume and tone controls with inlaid ebony knobs.

Notes: For the first decade of the Big Band era, orchestra guitarists chopped chords quietly in the rhythm section. This is the guitar changed that overnight.

Announced late in 1936, Gibson's groundbreaking ES-150 ("Electric Spanish') model was Gibson's first 6 string guitar to be fitted with a magnetic pickup, and almost instantly became the world's first commercially successful electric guitar. Quickly championed by pioneering jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, the ES-150 became indelibly identified with the artist, who almost single-handedly invented modern solo jazz guitar.

With its smooth hornlike tone, the ES-150 pickup captivated an entire generation of formative jazz plectrists, including Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney and legions of others.The 150 has been known to players as the "Charlie Christian model" ever since, despite the fact that the model was not so designated during his brief lifetime, and never reissued. Except once.

Sometime around 2000, the Gibson Custom shop produced a tiny batch of ES-150 reissues in the original prewar style, for the first time in six decades. With an arched 16" body, 24 3/4" scale, and dark Cremona sunburst finish, the guitars captured the look and feel of the originals, but the real news was under the soundboard. The original-styly 3 bolt pickup with its notched-B blade, scatter-wound bobbins, and massive twin cobalt steel bar magnets faithfully recreated the signature tone that first put the electric guitar on the map.

It's been said that perhaps just over a dozen examples may have been built in that lone batch, and we know of no other subsequent Gibson reissues. The arched maple back shows deep rollers of tiger flame, and the soundboard is graced with delicate '30s style f-holes. The guitar is factory equipped with aged nickel Waverly open back tuners, an adjustable compensated rosewood bridge, and the signature notched bound tortoise pickguard, faithfully re-created in genuine nitrocellulose tortoise. The neck has smooth low action over a gentle C profile neck, a bit friendlier than the bulky prewar V necks, and the fretwork uses true vintage style medium wire.

The pickup is clear, detailed and amazingly powerful: matched with a small tube amp, the tone is right off an old '78. This rare example has been carefully maintained in all original condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. It only took Gibson 60 years to get it right. But we're not holding our breath for the next batch of these beauties. And neither should you. Call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.013-.057). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at .070-.080 at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Deluxe black arched Gibson logo plush lined hardshell case.



































































Home / Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends