A stunning guitar with all that 50’s Gibson tone on tap and presented like this, you can’t go wrong! 1957 Gibson ES-225N TD
Introduced in 1956, the ES-225 was the first thinline hollow body guitar in the Gibson catalogue, starting a trend that would continue on through the Byrdland and ES-350 and usher in the ES-330, paving the way for the semi-hollow ES guitars towards the end of the decade.
This guitar is in great shape. The top and back looks stunning with only few very minor scratches. The fretboard is superb with signs of wear on the first fret but the frets themselves are surprisingly free of any wear. The neck is wonderfully glossy still and has sustained a few very minor knocks that you can’t feel whilst playing. There is also a little wear spot again by the first fret. There are a few marks on the headstock face but these aren’t substantial.
The trapeze tailpiece (surely one of the reasons you’ve got this far!) is in excellent condition but along with the other nickel parts, do have some minor tarnishing.
Plastics have survived well too, pickguard is straight and the pickup covers look good too. Tuner buttons have been changed out as 1957 was one of the years the round Kluson tips suffered the ravages of ‘Klusonitus’ as opposed to 1969/60 for the keystone Kluson tips.
The guitar comes with a correct 4 latch Lifton case with the classic pink lining and doesn’t it look stunning as a back drop for this beautiful guitar…
The most surprising thing about these guitars is their versatility. Even with the hollow design, the guitar can withstand a surprising amount of gain before feedback becomes impossible. The tailpiece seems to play a big part in the tone. We’ve conducted experiments (on a different guitar of the same model) whereby we swapped the tailpiece from the trapeze found here to a rosewood bridge and found that the one piece trapeze tailpiece produces far more sustain and a better string transfer to the top of the guitar. In effect what you get here is akin to a hollowbody Goldtop Les Paul, the combination of P90 pickups and heavier tailpiece.
Both pickups are well balanced. The neck brings a mellow warmth whilst the bridge pickup has plenty of bite without veering into harshness. The neck is comfortable as you’d expect and being a classic 1957 neck profile, it is on the chunkier side..
A dark horse that has become a favourite here at ATB Guitars, the Gibson ES-225 is not to be overlooked if you’re in search of that illusive 50s Gibson tone and finding really nice, blonde ones are not that easy…