An underrated classic and some would say the most desired version of the ES-225, this one being a 1959, 'S' FON with the classic '59 neck shape and still with the earlier trapeze tailpiece...
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When you hear Buddy Holly you immediately think Fender. But cast your eye over the cover of ‘The Chirping Cricket’ album and you’ll spot a familiar three tone shape tucked under the arm of Niki Sullivan, the rhythm guitarist. A 1959 Gibson ES-225 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 and pave the way for the semi-hollow ES guitars towards the end of the decade.
This is a rare and probably the most desired ES-225 being a 1959 with the wrap over trapeze tailpiece as they switched to the separate bridge and tailpiece in mid 59 (see our comments on this below). It also has the ‘59 classic neck profile and of course it is super cool condition.
This guitar is in stunning shape. The top of the body shows next to no signs of fade, all three tones still look vibrant. The back too is looks stunning even 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 and the lacquer still retains its lustre. There are a few marks on the headstock face but these aren’t to substantial, again the lacquer here is in good condition with glossy finish.
The trapeze tailpiece (surely one of the reasons you’ve got this far!) is free of any pitting or excessive wear. It also intones surprisingly well.
Plastics have survived well too, pickguard has warped a little but is not serious and the pickup covers look good too. Both pickups are strong, mellow or with enough bite and quack you expect from a vintage 50’s P-90. Neck is a classic Gibson 1959 style chunky without being too big.
The guitar comes with hardshell case.
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. 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 and tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers, by appointment only, 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 Only) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile: 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607