1956 Gibson ES-225T Hollowbody Electric Guitar

Yessir, this guitar has a lot going for it. It's my favorite Gibson shape -- full 16" archtop outline, but thinbody -- and it even has the cutaway. It's lightweight, sports an original P90 pickup, and while it's clearly "been about" it's not ugly or mucked-up and was all-original when it came in save for some disappointing Kluson-style repro tuners. It even has the neat "long trapeze" bridge which I've always thought was a cool look. It doesn't do much for the instrument acoustically but it gives it a different, steelier vibe from its brethren when plugged-in.

It needed a bit of work, but now that it's "back together" and solid, it's a fantastic player. While I usually poo-poo mid-position pickup guitars, my picking hand doesn't automatically collide with it on this guitar. On Strats I'm constantly hitting that middle pickup. With this body shape I'm finding I can play it "archtop acoustic" style with chordal chucks played near the fretboard extension and flatpicking-style lead played more at the bridge. That gives me a "manual" way to control tone on this sucker rather than simply flipping a selector switch. I kind-of like it... it brings the playing back into focus rather than tone-searching.

Another mildly-fascinating find is that the stringwear on the top of the saddle meant that the supposedly-uncompensated bridge top is actually compensating just fine for the set of 46w-10 gauges (with plain G) that I fit it with. I was expecting to have to chew it up slightly in front of the G to knock the compensation back but it works well out of the gate, so I was spared having to sacrilegiously mod an original part that's awfully hard to find.

Repairs included: neck reset and neckblock repair (check this link for a writeup on it), refret with jumbo/pyramid stock, fitting a set of new Gotoh relic'd tuners (the keystones are anachronistic but they look good on it), new wiring harness (the old one was shot -- this new one has fresh 500k pots and a SoZo cap which sounds excellent), and setup.

Body wood: ply maple

Bridge: original long-trapeze-metal-non-compensated

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Pickups: 1x original Gibson P90

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast)
String gauges: 46w-10 w/unwound G

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: ~7 1/4"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: jumbo/pyramid shape

Scale length: 24 5/8"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

Body width: 16"

Body depth: 1 7/8"

Weight: 5 lbs 7 oz

Condition notes: it's all-original save for the wiring harness and tuners. The remains of the original wiring harness are stuffed in the case, however. There's mild usewear/playwear throughout but I think it looks grand -- it hasn't been abused and it's not ugly -- just loved.


Reese said…
This would certainly do.