A vintage bargain... There is not many vintage 1956 Gibson's around for under 3k5 and if you are looking to join the 'vintage club' then you could do a lot worse than this...
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Hows about this Gibson ES-225 T from 1956?
Marketed as Gibson’s first thin line hollow body guitar, the Es-225 was introduced in 1955 in the single pickup format with the pickup located centrally on the laminate top. With its twin pickup TD brethren, the ES-225 paved a way that would continue on through the Byrdland and ES-350 and usher in the ES-330 and pave the way for the semi-hollow ES guitars towards the end of the decade.
This guitar is in great shape. The top of the body shows next to no signs of fade, all three tones still look vibrant. The clear coat has clouded somewhat but it does not detract from the look of the instrument. The back too is looks good with a few minor scratches. The fretboard is superb and the frets, though showing some signs of wear, still have plenty of life left in them.
The neck is comfortable the lacquer is in good shape, the neck is solid and free of breaks. The headstock, as with the body, has a cloudy finish to the lacquer but is otherwise is pretty clean. Tuners are correct type but have been rebuttoned.
The trapeze tailpiece (surely one of the reasons you’ve got this far!) shows the most wear and has had a replacement mounting bracket fitted. It also intones surprisingly well and has some range for adjustment, up or down.
Plastics are excellent reproductions, aside from the pickup cover which is correct.
Pickup is strong and with subtle manipulation of the controls can go from mellow to just enough bite and quack. A classic 50s P90.
Neck is a classic Gibson 1956 style chunky C and frets are actually in very good shape no doubt due to a probable playing life of flat wound strings.
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 pickup and heavier tailpiece. This guitar is currently setup with flat wound strings and plays very well.
A dark horse that is becoming 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.
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed, tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers and purchased, by appointment at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment please) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile (please try landline first): 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607