What is the difference between all of the Gibson ES Hollowbodies???

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Badabing, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Badabing

    Badabing Friend of Leo's

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    I have always wondered what the difference was in all of the Gibson ES Single Cut away Hollow Bodies?

    What makes a 175 different from a 135 different from a 137 or a 125???

    They all look the same????

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Carzee

    Carzee Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the number was the original sticker price. The bigger the number, the less feedback per sq db of input perhaps.... :)
     
  3. Badabing

    Badabing Friend of Leo's

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    I have heard the number was the price for the ES 175 but I have always wondered what made the 175 different from the 135 and so on...they look like the exact same guitar????
     
  4. Carzee

    Carzee Tele-Afflicted

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    I know a lot of the 'difference' facter is to do with the wood under the bridge and pickups. One model is maple block, one model is mahogany block.
     
  5. roycaster

    roycaster Tele-Meister

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    Let’s start with body size, body depth, bracing or center block, type of cutaway, pick ups, scale length, number of pieces of wood used for the neck, and the variety woods used.
     
  6. Badabing

    Badabing Friend of Leo's

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    Roycaster,
    Is that right??
    all those models have different DNA..???
    diffrent wood, bracing, architecture etc...???

    They look exactly the same in body to the naked eye
     
  7. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  8. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's right. Big differences in construction as you move up in price. You'll also see differences in the inlay and binding.
     
  9. Badabing

    Badabing Friend of Leo's

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    Ricky D
    Wow I have noticed big price differences in the 175 to the 137 but I hadn't even thought of price difference either...

    Nice wiki reference from Nick as well!
     
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think all the ones mentioned have a scale length of 24 3/4". I think you have to get to a L-5 to get a 25 1/2" scale. Maybe a ES-5.
     
  11. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Byrdland is 22.5 I think.
     
  12. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    ES175 is a thick bodied jazz box, the others are thinner bodies (the case is identical to the ES335 case). ES175 neck is bound with block fingerboard markers. ES125 and later ES135 are more budget models with Dot markers and no binding on the neck. Later ES135s and the ES137 lose the trapeeze tailpiece for a LP style stop tail arrangement. Additionally the ES125 and early ES135s had P90 or P100 pickups, whilst the other have humbuckers. I'm happy with my ES135, would not swap it for one of the others, but we are all different.
     
  13. Badabing

    Badabing Friend of Leo's

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    ES 175t

    betty,
    Great info...
    just an fyi my Gibson ES 175 from around 1976 is a Thin body. I think they call it an ES 175t so not all of those 175's are the thick body
     

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  14. roycaster

    roycaster Tele-Meister

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    The Super 400 has a 25.5” scale, and a 5 piece neck. The L-5 and ES5 also have 25.5” scales.
     
  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I would love a cheaper thinline ES with the longer scale, like an Epi.
     
  16. ReaL Madras

    ReaL Madras Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know all the specific differences between the various models, however, it was pointed out earlier that the ES 135's are lower end with no neck binding, dot markers and different pick-ups.....I have a black one and I love it.
     

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  17. dconeill

    dconeill Tele-Afflicted

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    Gibson ES models originally were laminate-wood versions of Gibson's jazz guitars, meant to be more resistant to feedback. Later, the ES badge was used also for thin-bodied, semi-hollow guitars. In the very early days the model number represented the list price of the instrument, but that hasn't been true in decades. Later models, broadly speaking, were fancier the the higher the model number of a guitar **within a series**. (E.g., an ES-355 was cosmetically fancier than an ES-335, and had an ebony fingerboard compared to rosewood.)

    Within the ES group there are full-depth hollow-bodies, thin hollow-bodies, thin semi-hollows, and even (one or two) full-depth semi-hollows. There are 24.75"-scale guitars, 25.5"-scale guitars, and guitars with scales shorter than 24.75". Guitars can be similar in external shape but hugely different in construction, like the ES-335 (semi-hollow) and ES-330 (fully hollow).

    The same model number can be re-used for very different guitars. For example, the original ES350 was a 17" laminate-body archtop with a 25.5" scale length; it became a budget Byrdland with a 23.5" (? not sure) scale length; and at some point was reissued with a relatively thin body like the Byrdland but with a 25.5" scale.

    So it's a group of guitar models with no particular rationality to its naming scheme. About all you can do is to wade through the info available to find out about the model you're interested in. There are also good histories of Gibson guitars available where you can get an overview.
     
  18. stevieboy

    stevieboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is a great resource. http://home.provide.net/~cfh/gibson.html

    But it's for vintage guitars and isn't meant to be up to date. For example, on the ES135 section it ends with "ES-135 discontinued 1958. ES-135 reissued in the 1991 with different specifications."
     
  19. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    This era of ES135 is the most undervalued Gibson and I never understood why. They are made in USA, every component is top quality, even the pickups are PAF 57's, same as other top of the line Gibsons. The ES137 is the same guitar with neck biding and dot markers, and the 137 regularly command at least 50% more to even double price on the used market.
     
  20. zwayne

    zwayne Tele-Meister

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    Here's my ES-125C (pickguard taken off). Single P90 pickup, wide body cutaway from 1965 (only about 475 of this style were made.) The dual-pickup model looks more like the 175.

    [​IMG]

    It's a lovely instrument, but I don't really play it much and so will be selling it soon.

    If you want feedback you probably can't do much better than this guitar! :lol:
     
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