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1950 Gibson ES-140 3/4

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FON #: 5845-24

Body size at lower bout: 12 3/4". Scale length: 22 3/4" Nut Width: 1 9/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .84/.95

Materials: Arched slab-cut maple body; solid Honduran mahogany neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; dot mother of pearl fingerboard inlays; bound top and back.

Hardware: Original hardware includes P-90 single coil pickup, pots and cap; nickel Waverly open back tuners; compensated Brazilian rosewood bridge. Chrome raised diamond trapeze tailpiece, vintage correct contoured tortoise pickguard, and aged amber barrel knobs.

Notes: Introduced in 1950, the Gibson ES-140 was unique in the marketplace: a full-depth, cutaway archtop guitar in a compact 3/4 body size. A scaled-down version of the ever-popular ES-175, the ES-140 offered big guitar performance for the player seeking a more petite instrument, or just travelling light. This original full depth version was built only until 1957, after which the model continued as a thinline until 1970.

This remarkable first year example has been maintained in gleaming condition, with all original finish and electronics. All binding is tight to the body, and the instrument is notably free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Tipping the scales at a scant 4lb 5oz, this featherweight guitar is simply a delight, on the lap or the strap.

The neck is gently rounded in a C profile, playing elegantly, with smooth low action over fine original frets, with a fresh high precision setup. Surprisingly resonant for a guitar its size, the ES-140 sits handily under the arm, and the fast scale length makes stretch chords and fast runs a breeze. The legendary P-90 pickup provides a detailed, open tone, unduplicated before or since.

Interestingly, the peghead of this example is free of the black headplate typical of most Gibsons, presumably because the factory had yet to tool up the smaller size required, so the lovely grain of the Honduran mahogany neck remains visible underneath the gold factory logo. The diminutive chrome trapeze tailpiece appears to be from a later vintage of the same model as well.

An exceedingly nimble companion: truly the ultimate vintage travel guitar. 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; electronics and grounding tested, pickup adjusted.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel flatwound 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: Deluxe brown Cordura rigid foam case.










































































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