1955 Gibson ES-125 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

A friend of mine keeps bringing glorious items from his collection for show-and-tell. Some of them have needed some spiffing-up, but this one has had some excellent work done by a previous repairman and arrived on the doorstep in perfect playing condition. I had to consciously separate myself from the guitar after about 10 minutes of noodling so I could hand it back to him. We then played some shitty jazz duo impromptu music with me on bass for another 10 or 15 before allowing the beast to go back to its case.

And hey! It sounded authentically shitty jazz -- just like you'd expect a mid-'50s ES-125. I mean that with all due manner of respect. The dubious part of that jazz effort came from our hands -- not the ES-125.

It's a pretty guitar, too, with all sorts of perfect finish crackle and check and a played-in, homey feel. It's actually a mixed instrument, though. The wiring harness, pickguard, knobs, and P90 pickup are all from a 1954 ES-125 as the owner of this guitar bought this '55 with a replaced harness and funky, off-brand humbucker mounted on it. I think his bringing-it-back-home was a wise idea -- this thing cranks and its rowdy P90 seems to be just on the edge of feedback 90% of the time. Still -- it's not a brutal sound. This pickup has plenty of crisp and clear goodness right up-front.

I love the look of the smallish, shorter black knobs.