Vintage Instruments: Gibson Guitars

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1959 Gibson ES-225TD

We were really excited when this guitar showed up here at Folkway... It’s a 1959 ES-225TD, built right near the end of this model’s short production run. The ES-225 was offered in single and double pickup configurations, and was usually fitted with the long trapeze tailpiece/wraparound bridge that Gibson unfortunately also used on the earliest Les Pauls and the ES-295. That tailpiece design was kind of awful and made the instruments fitted with it endure continual tuning problems and intonation issues. The 225 didn’t sell all too well, which is unfortunate given how otherwise amazing the guitar was.

Before the model was phased out at the end of 1959 a few batches of ES-225TDs were built with normal trapeze tailpieces and Tune-o-Matic bridges. In amongst these were a very small number of instruments fitted with Bigsby tailpieces and bridges. This is one of those late 59s with a factory original Bigsby, and it’s really about as cool as they get.

The guitar is completely original and in excellent condition. It shows some wear to its original frets, but the finish is in great shape all around. Electronics are factory original with unaltered solder, and all the plastic parts are intact. The Bigsby is perfect, and feels heavenly. Set-up here at Folkway, the guitar plays beautifully, with carefully balanced pickups and 11-49 strings with a wound G.

16” full-hollow thin maple laminate body with single cut-away, sunburst finish, and single-layer binding. Bound rosewood fingerboard with dot markers and 24.75” scale.Pearl headstock logo, Kluson tuners, and 5 ply pickguard. 1959 neck carve that’s round and fat with original larger frets.

The P-90s on this guitar are incredible. They’re dynamic and lively, and a bit cleaner than the average. In combination with the heavy-braced full hollow thin-body of the ES-225, the P-90s lend themselves to a bluesy/jazzy tone, but any player looking for the expressive combo of fat single coils on a bigsby-loaded hollowbody is going to find this guitar something quite special.

With modern hardshell case

Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do. We take care of everything – all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play! Questions? Email us anytime, or call us toll-free at 1-855-772-0424.


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