|Period||1963 - 1968, 1974 - 1998, 1998 - present|
|Neck joint||Set (Twin)|
|Neck||Mahogany (vintage) or Maple (today)|
|Pickup(s)||Two 490R Alnico magnet Humbuckers (12 and 6 string)|
|Alpine White, Cherry Red|
The Gibson EDS-1275 is a doubleneck Gibson electric guitar introduced in 1963 and still in production. Popularized by both rock and jazz musicians such as Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page and John McLaughlin, it was called "the coolest guitar in rock."
The forerunner of the SG style EDS-1275 was Hollow-bodied. Among the variations was the EMS-1235. From 1958 to 1961 these were produced as custom-order twin-necked hollow-body instruments with two 6-string necks, one being a short-scale neck tuned to a higher octave; from 1962 to 1967 it had a solid body. A model with a 4-string bass and a 6-string guitar neck was called the EBS-1250; it had a built-in fuzztone and was produced from 1962 to 1968 and again from 1977 to 1978.
In 1962, the solid-body EDS-1275 was introduced, resembling the SG model; this version of the doubleneck was available until early 1969 on a "Custom Order Only" basis. Only 110 pcs. were made in the period 1962-1969 before being reissued in 1977. The EDS-1275 is often referred to as the "SG double neck" due to its similar shape, although both necks of the 1275 have 20 frets, where the Gibson SG had 22, and they have fixed tail pieces, where the SG has an adjustable one. The guitar was available in black, sunburst, cherry and white.
In 1977, Gibson started making the guitar again, in a number of additional colors, until 1998. Since then, alpine white and heritage cherry versions were made by Gibson USA in Nashville, Tennessee, until 2003, in the Nashville Custom Shop from 2004 to 2005, and in the Memphis, Tennessee, Custom Shop beginning in 2006.
Currently, new EDS-1275s are only available through custom order through an authorized Gibson dealer.
The EDS-1275, while never selling in great quantities, was used by a number of notable musicians. Chicago bluesman Earl Hooker is seen holding one on the cover of the 1969 albums Two Bugs and a Roach and The Moon is Rising, and Elvis Presley sports a cherry doubleneck in the 1966 movie Spinout.
In the early 1970s, jazz-rock musician John McLaughlin played an EDS-1275 in his first years with the Mahavishnu Orchestra; the guitar, amplified through a 100-watt Marshall amplifier "in meltdown mode," produced the signature McLaughlin sound hailed by Guitar Player as one of the "50 Greatest Tones of All Time."
Alex Lifeson of Rush used the EDS-1275 in Alpine White. Known primarily for the song "Xanadu" on the "A Farewell to Kings" album, Alex would play this guitar alongside Geddy Lee with his double neck, the Rickenbacker 4080/12. The two would compliment one another on stage. And made for quite a spectacular performance. Alex used the EDS-1275 from 1977 - 1981. Alex reintroduced that very same double neck during Rush's "Counterparts" Tour in 1994, much to the delight of Rush fans.
The model was popularized also by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, most notably during live performances of "Stairway to Heaven." The doubleneck obviated the need to switch guitars mid-song: at the beginning of "Stairway to Heaven", he used the bottom 6-string neck for the intro and first verse, then switched to the top 12-string neck, then to the 6-string neck for the extended guitar solo, and back to the 12-string for the final chorus.
By the time Page desired an EDS-1275, they were no longer in production so he ordered a custom-made cherry 6/12. Page's EDS-1275 has a slightly different body shape from the current model. Page's also has one-piece mahogany necks rather than the current three-piece maple, and has tailpieces positioned near the bottom of the body, reportedly increasing sustain, and Patent No. or T-Top humbucking pickups.
A very early 1969 sunburst SG style EDS-1275 was owned and played by Trini Lopez of "If I had a hammer" fame. It currently resides in a Dutch collection.
Jimmy Page signature model
Gibson released a VOS (Vintage Original Spec) Jimmy Page Signature EDS-1275 model in 2007; a total of 250 were made. Page kept serial number one for himself. Serial numbers 2 through 26 of these were played and signed by Page; number 11 was donated for auction to benefit a charitable cause.
Japanese guitar manufacturer Ibanez produced a model inspired by the Gibson, called the Double Axe, from 1974 to 1976. They were available as a 6/12, a 4/6, and a 6/6 configuration, in cherry and walnut finishes.
Notable EDS-1275 users
- John McLaughlin
- Jimmy Page, who uses a Cherry finish and always uses it whenever Led Zeppelin plays "Stairway to Heaven"
- Alex Lifeson
- Don Felder, who owns a white finish with silver hardware which he uses it for the song "Hotel California"
- Trini Lopez, who used a sunburst from very early 1969 on.
- Slash, who owns a black finish
- Claudio Sanchez, who uses a white finish to perform "Welcome Home".
- Jeff Martin
In popular culture
The Gibson EDS-1275 in both finishes Cherry, which resemble Jimmy Page's, and Alpine White with gold hardware appeared in video games Guitar Hero and Guitar hero II as purchasable guitars. The doubleneck resembling Don Felder's appeared in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith as an unlockable guitar for getting 5-stars in every career song on Hard.
- "Rare Led Zeppelin guitar available agai: Jimmy Page's double neck is back after 36 years". NME. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- Vinnicombe, Chris (4 August 2008). "Jimmy Page's Gibson named 'coolest guitar in rock'". MusicRadar. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- Gruhn, George; Walter Carter (1999). Gruhn's guide to vintage guitars: An identification guide for American fretted instruments (2 ed.). Hal Leonard. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-87930-422-5. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
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- Case, George (2007). Jimmy Page: magus, musician, man: An unauthorized biography. Hal Leonard. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-4234-0407-1. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "An EDS-1275 and a Drone-Stringed J-200: The Tale of John McLaughlin’s Two Rare Gibsons". Gibson Guitar Corporation. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- Chapman, Richard (2000). Guitar: music, history, players. Dorling Kindersley. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-7894-5963-3.
- Blackett, Matt (October 2004). "The 50 Greatest Tones of All Time". Guitar Player 38 (10): 44–66.
- Case, George (2007). Jimmy Page: magus, musician, man: An unauthorized biography. Hal Leonard. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-4234-0407-1. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Drozdowski, Ted (11 February 2010). "Valentine’s Day Blues: 10 Classic Love Songs". Gibson Guitar Corporation. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- Case, George (2007). Jimmy Page: magus, musician, man: An unauthorized biography. Hal Leonard. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-4234-0407-1. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Brown, Pete; Lisa Sharken (2003). Gear Secrets of the Guitar Legends: How to Sound Like Your Favorite Players. Hal Leonard. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-87930-751-6. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Fjestad, Zachary R. (2008). Blue Book of Electric Guitars. Alfred Music. p. 486. ISBN 978-1-886768-73-4. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- 2007 Charity auction for Gibson EDS-1275.
- "Epiphone 2010 Catalog". Epiphone. p. 21. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- "Epiphone G-1275 Custom". Epiphone.com.