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1965 Gibson ES-175 Custom "Charlie Christian"

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Serial #: 346372, orange oval label

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

Materials: Solid mahogany neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; arched slab-cut figured maple top, sides and back; dual-parallelogram mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; triple bound top, bound back.

Hardware: 100% original hardware includes Gibson 'Charlie Christian' single coil bar pickup; nickel zig-zag trapeze tailpiece; compensated inlaid Brazilian rosewood adjustable bridge; beveled 5-ply pickguard; gold reflector cap knobs, nickel Kluson double ring tuners, truss rod cover.

Notes: Since its introduction in 1949, the Gibson ES-175 has been the most popular jazz guitar in the world. The 175 was Gibson's first model to be fitted with the humbucking pickup in 1957, and the single pickup version, highly prized by jazzers, was withdrawn in 1971. Since its inception over half a century ago, the classic ES-175 has remained in the Gibson catalog continuously to this day.

This guitar is an extremely rare example, custom built at the factory with a 'Charlie Christian' single coil bar pickup, as used on the legendary prewar ES-150 and 250 guitars. Though discontinued after 1939, the CC pickup was kept in occasional production by certain high-profile players like Barney Kessel and Jimmy Raney, and one occasionally sees examples of the L-7, L-5, and Super 400 models custom fitted with them from time to time. In 1969, Gibson produced a batch of 9 examples of the L-4CES model with this pickup, and a decade later issued a limited run, designated the ES-175CC, in 1979 only. The standard ES-175 however, was never offered with a CC pickup option, and this remarkable guitar remains the only such example we have seen to date.

It would be hard to imagine an example in finer overall condition. The instrument has 100% original hardware, and shows a particularly handsome original faded cherry sunburst finish without cracks, pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Unlike some later 60's examples, the fingerboard is the full 1 11/16" width, with a gentle 'C' neck profile that sits easily in the hand. The top and back show fine slab cut figure in the arched maple, and with excellent original medium jumbo frets under bright nickel roundwound strings, the fingerboard is utterly effortless to play. Finally an original Brazilian rosewood bridge with pearl inlaid feet (as seen on the Byrdland, Johnny Smith, L-5 and S-400) is factory fitted, as befits the unique status of this exceptional find.

The pickup is a faithful recreation of the original single-notch version, with an indentation in the bar under the B string. At 3.34K, the pickup is wound to original specs, and has the clear, detailed and highly musical response of the prewar originals, substantially superior to the '79 reissues. The 24 3/4" scale neck is fast and nimble, and the 16" body is easy to cradle and substantially resistant to feedback. Babied since new, this guitar captures the iconic tone of jazz guitar's first virtuoso, in a highly playable, uniquely attractive, and vanishingly rare package.

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: Original black deluxe plush lined Gibson hardshell case.


















































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