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c.1937 Gibson ES-150
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Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 3/4" Neck depth 1st/10th frets: .94/1.04
FON: (xxx) 8
Materials: Solid carved spruce top; solid maple back and sides, solid one-piece mahogany neck, solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, pearl script logo and fingerboard inlays; bound body.
Notes: For the first decade of the Big Band era, orchestra guitarists chopped chords quietly in the rhythm section. This 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. The 150 has been known to players as the "Charlie Christian model" ever since (despite the fact that the manufacturer has never referred to it as such to this day.) With its massive bar magnet and smooth hornlike tone, the ES-150 pickup captivated an entire generation of formative jazz plectrists, including Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney and legions of others.
Though its factory order number is now faded, the instrument date can estimated by the blade on the pickup, which had no notch until 1938. This example is in fine shape, with all-solid construction, including the carved spruce top and flat maple back. In addition to the single coil pickup, the original nickel hardware includes the trapeze jack well tailpiece, adjustable ebony bridge, and oval Grover open back tuners, with one newer butterbean replacement. The original brown bakelite arrow volume knob is attached, with a recent matching tone knob, and a vintage correct bound tortoise pickguard.
The guitar is notably free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, with a few incidental scattered nicks in the classic dark Cremona sunburst finish. Several back cracks have been soundly resealed, along with short grainline cracks under the tailpiece and pickguard, and the instrument appears to have had an additional lacquer coat applied some decades ago. The neck has the classic prewar Gibson "V" profile, the Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is dead level with fine vintage style fretwork, and is ready to play with smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup.
The tone is like time travel itself, clear and sparkling in the unimpeded highs, and warm and growly when rolled off through an old tube amp. archtop.com is proud to bring this wonderful old work horse back to the stable for a splendid new career. 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 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 (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" 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: Deluxe black plush lined hardshell case.