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2002 Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis

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Serial #: 02822733, on label and peghead

Body size at lower bout: 16" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .75/.95

Materials: Solid mahogany neck with solid rosewood fingerboard; arched figured maple laminate top, sides and back; dual-parallelogram mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; triple bound top, bound back.

Hardware: Original gold hardware, includes Gibson BJB floating pickup; Grover Super Rotomatic tuners: 60's style wriggle trapeze tailpiece; gold reflector cap volume knob; ABR-1 Tuneomatic bridge. Beveled 5-ply pickguard with gold bracket.

Notes: How many guitar players have gone from Glen Gray and His Casa Loma Orchestra to the Joe Pass Quartet? Texas jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis has, achieving international renown with his bluesy, soulful sound. A disciple of the great Charlie Christian, Ellis is perhaps best known for his tenure with the Oscar Peterson Trio, a hair-raising job for any sideman.

The Gibson Herb Ellis model was introduced in 1991 as a tribute to the celebrated performer. The design harks back to the original 1949 ES-175, which was fitted with a single pickup until 1951. By 1971 the single pickup 175 was discontinued altogether, making the originals highly prized by jazz purists.

This handsome guitar is from the first year the Herb Ellis was fitted with the Gibson BJB floating humbucker, as used on the Citation and other top-line models. Mounted to the pickguard with a traditional gold bell volume control, the pickup allows the soundboard to vibrate freely, without built-in electronics of any kind. The subtle tobacco sunburst finish is particularly striking, and highlights the curly maple body to great advantage. The comfy 16" body sits handily on the lap or the strap, and the solid mahogany neck produces an instrument that is notably well balanced.

The 24 3/4" scale is fast and nimble, with smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup on the gentle C profile neck. With its all-gold hardware, this gleaming guitar has been maintained in virtually unplayed condition, free of pick, buckle, thumbwear or finish checking. Sadly discontinued from production for over a decade at this writing, the ES-165 Herb Ellis is a most welcome find on the vintage market, and a true best buy in a top flight Gibson jazzer. One only: call now.

Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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: Original Gibson deluxe arched black alligator plush lined hardshell case.


















































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