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1939 Gibson ES-150

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Serial #: FGE-2180

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

Materials: Solid carved spruce top; solid figured maple back and sides, solid one-piece mahogany neck, solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, pearl script logo and fingerboard inlays; bound body.

Hardware: Original hardware includes no-notch, single bound, single coil blade pickup; nickel diamond trapeze tailpiece with built-in jack well, and volume and tone controls with knurled brown bakelite arrow knobs. Vintage correct dark tortoise pickguard with bound notch, hand antiqued nickel Waverly open back tuners with oval keys, adjustable Gibson Brazilian rosewood bridge.

Notes: For the first decade of the Big Band era, orchestra guitarists chopped chords quietly in the rhythm section. This guitar changed all 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. This remarkable example has the original design pickup with the straight blade, and has the triple bound bobbin introduced this model year, along with the medium-script peghead logo and original knurled brown bakelite pointer knobs.

This guitar was built in the last year for the classic three bolt pickup, with the original no-notch blade, and the small pearl script Gibson logo in the peghead. Original brown knurled bakelite pointer knobs are attached, along with the signature diamond trapeze tailpiece with built-in jack well, a brilliant innovation unique to this model. The 16" body is crafted with a solid carved spruce soundboard, flat maple back and sides, and solid one-piece mahogany neck, with Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. Unlike many examples with chunky V necks, this guitar has a smooth gentle C profile with a remarkably contemporary feel, and smooth low action over freshly leveled fretwork. Tuners are vintage correct hand antiqued nickel Waverly open backs, with tight precision 16x1 gearing, and the hand bound tortoise pickguard has been crafted from a true vintage template.

The instrument has been maintained in excellent condition without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. A single hairline back crack has been soundly cleated long ago, and the deep Cremona sunburst finish has been given a light topcoat of true vintage style nitrocellulose lacquer. The voice of the instrument is pure 30's, with the saturated hornlike tone only these pioneering pickups can produce. The tone is unique and inimitable, like an old 78 brought to life. Sparkling clear at full output, the pickup rolls off to the warm glow of an old console radio. We've never been able to keep up with demand for these classic boxes. Call now, and she'll be flyin' home to you ASAP.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished; 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 radius inspected and recurved 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 bronze strings (.013-.057). 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 vintage style arched tweed plush lined hardshell case.






















































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