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1936 Gibson EST-150

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FON #: 1186B-2

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 23" Nut Width: 1 3/16" Neck Depth, 1st/10th frets: .81/1.07

Materials: Solid spruce soundboard; solid maple back and sides; solid Honduras mahogany neck; solid bone nut; rosewood fingerboard.

Hardware: Original nickel hardware including original bar pickup; trapeze tailpiece with 1/4 jack well; bound tortoise pickguard; Kluson open back tuners; compensated rosewood bridge. Vintage correct bakelite pointer knobs.

Notes: Gibson's only standard issue electric tenor guitar, the EST-150 was introduced in 1937 as a companion to the pioneering ES-150, Gibson's first electric 6 string. The first commercially successful electric guitars, the ES series were initially produced with the bar type cobalt magnet, known informally ever since as the 'Charlie Christian' pickup.

One of just 37 shipped in the model's debut year, this historic instrument is from the very first batch, built in late 1936, and shipped early the following year. Remarkably, its batch number indicates that it was only the second EST-150 ever built. Considerably rarer than its six string sibling, the EST-150 was produced in far smaller numbers, numbering less than a tenth of ES-150 production. By 1940, the coveted bar pickup was history, and the tenor model was renamed the ETG-150, which remained in production until 1971.

With its fast 23" scale, the EST-150 offered a full depth 16" body, bound fingerboard, and specially downsized pickup, bridge, and tailpiece. Constructed of all solid tonewoods, these first generation tenors produce a respectable acoustic tone for playing unplugged as well, in contrast to the later laminate-body versions of the model.

This exceedingly rare instrument is in fine shape, with original pickup, pots, cap and nickel hardware, including the distinctive jack well tailpiece, a unique design which contains a 1/4" jack recessed into the endblock. The original tortoise pickguard is a signature of the earliest ES models as well, and is bound all the way around the pickup rout. The deep Cremona sunburst finish is all original on the soundboard, with playwear mostly confined to a typical patch of pickwear near the pickup. The back and sides show some scattered checking in finish that appears to be of somewhat later vintage, and a small hairline crack at the neck heel has been soundly resealed.

The intriguing translucent buttons on the original open back tuners appear to be of Catalyn, a decorative prewar plastic, and we've never seen another like them. Finally, the knurled pointer volume and tone knobs are exact vintage reissues from the UK, in gleaming brown bakelite. At just 4lb 15oz, the guitar is feather light, with smooth, low action over the traditional light V neck profile, and a fresh high-precision setup. The renowned single coil bar pickup produces a warm, classic tone, with matchless definition and sustain.

A rare opportunity to own an historic model, from the very dawn of the modern electric guitar. One only: call now.

Case: Deluxe arched black plush lined hardshell case.







































Instruments /Accessories / Ordering / Tips / Friends