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1956 Gibson ES-135

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Factory order #: V8266-34

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Solid Honduras mahogany neck, arched slab-cut maple back and top; mahogany sides; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard.

Hardware: Original hardware includes P-90 single coil pickup with black cover, gold bonnet volume and tone knobs, wide bevel five-ply pickguard, compensated adjustable Brazilian rosewood bridge. Vintage correct hardware includes hand antiqued nickel Kluson Deluxe tuners and chrome trapeze tailpiece with raised diamond crossbar.

Notes: One of the rarest of all Gibson electric archtops, the short lived ES-135 was cataloged for only two years, between 1956 and 1958. Introduced in late 1954 as the ES-130, this model was an upscale version of the the ES-125, the firm's best selling archtop ever. The ES-135 boasted upgrade features including trapezoid fingerboard inlays, a bound neck, and the beveled 5-ply pickguard, all absent on its plainer cousin. Rarely seen today, only a little over 450 ES-135 models were built in total. By way of comparison, the entry-level ES-125 numbered some 34 thousand units during its long postwar run.

With its clear P-90 pickup and fast 24 1/2" scale, the ES-135 offered true Gibson quality, styling and playability at an affordable price. The laminated body has superior feedback resistance, and the guitar produces a lively acoustic tone unplugged as well.

This example is in phenomenal condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and has all-original sunburst finish in gleaming condition. At just 5lb. 13oz, the guitar is notably lightweight, and shows handsome figure in the slab-cut maple back. The original P-90 pickup provides smooth classic single-coil tone, with excellent clarity and detail, and the full C profile neck has smooth low action over fresh high-precision Plek-dressed fretwork.

As these guitars were originally shipped in flimsy softshell cases, the owner has thoughtfully provided a sturdy plush hardshell case for its protection. A rare bird, and solid player for jazz, swing or blues, the ES-135 is every bit as playable as it is collectible. One only: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.012-.054). 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 arched plush lined hardshell case.























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