1938 Gibson ES-150 CC + OHSC

1938 Gibson ES-150 CC + OHSC

Gibson |  38es150  |  1 in stock_level

An original Charlie Christian model ES-150 that is just blowing everyone away here right now. Have a look and come over to give it a play, you will not regret it...

This product is currently on hold.

We don’t get many of these around these parts. Its a late 1938 Gibson ES-150 CC or ‘Charlie Christian’ model. An original CC model and not a converted one too..!

This is probably the sweetest sounding and one of the easiest to play archtops we have ever had here and if you have never experienced what an original ES-150 CC is like, we encourage you to pop over and give it a try as you will be impressed.

When Charlie Christian stepped out onto the bandstand of the Victor Hugo Restaurant on the 16th of August 1939, installed by producer John Hammond without the knowledge of bandleader Benny Goodman, little must he have realised that he was about to catapult the guitar to the forefront and pave the way for its very existence as a lead instrument. His weapon of choice, the Gibson ES-150.

Introduced by Gibson in 1936 to capitalise on the popularity of their bar pickup, developed the previous year, sales peaked in 1937 with Gibson shipping forty guitars a month. The connection with Christian lifted the instrument up to near mythical status before it was usurped by an enhanced version in 1940.

You’d have to agree that this is an impressive instrument. There are the inevitable marks and scratches, the sign of a well loved guitar, but what strikes you straight away is how vibrant the finish is considering the 80+ years since it left the Kalamazoo factory. The back shows signs of use, but this has been restricted to the upper bout. There are no signs of cracks or repairs anywhere on the body or neck.

The neck has had a clear coat over spray, a long time ago, probably around the time of the refret. These elements are the key to the playability of this guitar as the fresh frets give this guitar a new feel. The plastics are in great condition, the bakelite knobs being particularly impressive.

Included is a letter from Adrian Ingram the author of a number of well respected books on arch top guitars. He did own this guitar at some stage and there is a picture of him playing it on his website.

The hardware is well cared for with with no signs of corrosion or excessive ware. The original rosewood bridge has been replaced with a later compensated Gibson bridge. Electrically everything is correct and pickup is the type II variety seen mid 1938 until 1939 that has the notch under the b string. The pickup retaining screws have been replaced with philips head screws, the originals would have been flat.

The guitars comes with its correct ‘Airline Tweed’ hardshell case which in itself is a rare piece and surely is the icing on the cake.

Sonically this guitar evokes the period immediately. There is a wonderful synergy between the acoustic tone and the that provided by the pickup when amplified. As previously stated, the refret goes a long way to making this a joy to play.

A rare but welcome sight here at ATB, a must for anyone looking for the genesis of the electric guitar.

If you have any questions about the item, feel free to contact us using the form below. All fields are required.

At a glance

Model: ES-150
Year: 1938
Finish: Sunburst

Modifications: Later compensated Gibosn Rosewood bridge, Pickup screws replaced with crosshead
Repairs: Refret, old overspray on neck only
Weight: 2.46 Kg

Case: Correct 'Airline' Tweed hardshell case
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Tuners: Correct open gear Waverley

Pickups: Correct Bar Pickup
Hardware: Correct Nickel
Neck Profile: Medium C
Pots: 2 x Correct 500k Centrelab




We are located in Gloucestershire, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed, tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers and purchased, by appointment at our demo facilities in Gloucester.

We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.

Landline (generally staffed 9AM-6PM Monday to Friday): 01242 697607‬

Overseas: +44 1242 697607

ATB Guitars, PO Box 1378, Cheltenham GL50 9JU