Gibson ES Series

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The Gibson ES series of semi-acoustic guitars (hollow body electric guitars) are manufactured by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.

The letters ES stand for Electric Spanish, to distinguish them from Hawaiian-style lap steel guitars which are played flat on the lap. Many of the original numbers referred to the price, in dollars, of the model. Suffixes in the names indicate additional appointments, for example "T" means "thinline" (a thinner profile than most) while "D" means "double pickup". Many of the models come with f-holes, though some, such as B.B. King's signature Lucille series, are made without f-holes. Some models are full-bodied models, while single- and double-cutaways are also available. Two different styles of cutaways are used, both named by Gibson after Italian cities. Florentine models had a sharper, more pointed end on the cutaway, while more rounded and contoured cutaways were called Venetian style.[1]

Numerous signature models of the ES series exist, as well as some later hybrid models such as the "ES-Les Paul" that combines features of a Gibson Les Paul with those of the ES series.

ES Series guitars were built at Gibson's Memphis, Tennessee factory from 2000 until 2019.[2] After Gibson's change of ownership in 2019, the Memphis factory was closed and production was moved back to Nashville, Tennessee.

Models[edit]

  • ES-5 (1949–1955)   Three-pickup, full depth hollowbody.
  • ES-5 Switchmaster   (1955–1962)
  • ES-100 (1938–1941)   Entry-level archtop hollow-body model.  (Renamed to ES-125)
  • ES-120T (1962–1971)   Most basic student model, thinline
  • ES-125   (1941–1970)   Successor of ES-100.  1956–1960  ES-125T thinline model added.
  • ES-130   (1954–1956)   (Renamed to ES-135)
  • ES-135   (1956–1958)   Thick-body version of ES-125TDC.  (1991–2002)
  • ES-137   (2002-) Upscaled ES-135 with Les Paul sound.
  • ES-139   (2013 only) Semi-hollow dealer exclusive, sized between a Les Paul and ES-135. No f-holes. Marketed as a lighter alternative to the Les Paul.
  • ES-140   (1950–1957)   3/4 size, short scale ES-175.
  • ES-140T (1956–1968)   Thinline ES-140 3/4T.
  • ES-150   (1936–1956)   Gibson's first electric guitar, based on L-50.[3] (1937-?)    EST–150 (tenor) and EPG–150 (plectrum) were shipped. (1969–1974)   ES-150DC resembling thick ES-335.
  • ES-165   (1991-) Single pickup ES-175 based on Herb Ellis's.
  • ES-175   (1949-) Full depth, florentine cutaway, maple top, 24 3/4" scale. (1953-) ES-175D (dual pickup). (1976–1979)   ES-175T (thinline hollow-body)
  • ES-225T (1955–1959)   Variation on ES-125T (thinline, florentine cutaway), with trapeze bridge.
  • ES-250   (1938–1940)   Rare, fancier version of ES-150.
  • ES-260   (1982–1983)   Resembling ES-125T/ES-225T (thinline, florentine cutaway), but semi-hollow with center block, stop tailpiece, and humbuckers instead of P90 pickups.
  • ES-295   (1952–1959)   ES-175 resembling Les Paul Goldtop with trapeze bridge.
  • ES-300   (1940–1952)   Slant-mounted long pickup.
  • ES-320TD (1971–1974)   Similar to ES-330TD but with tune-o-matic and metal control plate.[4]
  • ES-325   (1972–1979)   Similar to ES-330TD but with mini-humbuckers, single f-hole, and a half-moon shaped plastic control plate
  • ES-330TD (1958-) Double rounded cutaway, thinline hollow-body
  • ES-333   (c.2001–2003) Stripped-down version of ES-335
  • ES-335   (1958-) World's first thinline archtop semi-acoustic (semi-hollow-body with center-block), (2013–) ES-335 Bass
  • ES-336   (1996–2001)   Replaced by CS-336.
  • ES-339   (2007-) Size of CS-336 with construction of ES-335.
  • ES-340TD (1968–1973) ES-335 with a master volume/mixer and phase switch[5]
  • ES-345   (1958–1981)   ES-335 construction, but with parallelogram inlays, Varitone, and stereo outputs.
  • ES-347   (1978–1990s?) Alternate ES-345 with a coil-tap switch instead of Varitone
  • ES-350   (1947–1956)   Rounded cutaway ES-300. (1955–1981)   ES-350T as a plainer Byrdland.
  • ES-355   (1958–1982)   Upscaled ES-345 (ebony fretboard, extra binding, etc.) with vibrato unit, optional Varitone and stereo outputs.
  • ES-359   (2008-) Upscaled ES-339 (ebony fretboard, extra binding, gold hardware, block inlays).[6]
  • ES-369   (late1970s–1980s?)[7]
  • ES-390   (2013-) Similar in size to the ES-339, but with the fully hollow construction of ES-330. Equipped with mini humbuckers (2013 model year) or dog-ear P90s (2014–present).
  • ES-775   (1990–1993)   ES-175 with higher quality components
  • ES Artist   (1979[8]-c.1985) Upscale model of ES-335 without f-holes, with active circuit by Moog.[9]

Signature models[edit]

  • Byrdland (1955-) Thinline, short-scale L-5 CES, named after Billy Byrd and Hank Garland.
  • Barney Kessel (1961–1974) Barney Kessel model. 3" deep, double florentine cutaway hollow-body (Two versions, Regular and Custom).
  • Johnny Smith  (1961–1989?) Later renamed as Gibson LeGrande.
  • Chris Cornell (2013-) First edition released in 2013 with a limited edition run of 250 released in 2019 - green Olive Drab finish with Jason Lollar Gretsch Filtertron style Lollartron pickups, Bigsby vibrato, and Cornell's signature inlaid on the headstock [10]
  • Tal Farlow (1962–1971) Tal Farlow model.
  • Trini Lopez (1964–1971) Trini Lopez two versions: one based on ES-335, other similar to Kessel model with diamond-shaped sound holes and a single-side headstock.
  • Les Paul Signature (c.1972-c.1975)[11]
  • Lucille (1980–1985) B.B. King model based on ES-355TD-SV without f-holes.
  • Howard Roberts Fusion (1980-) Howard Roberts model.[12]
  • Chet Atkins Country Gentleman (1987–2000s) Gibson version of the Gretsch Chet Atkins signature model 6120, with Gibson 492R and 490T humbucking pickups instead of Gretsch Filtertrons. [13]
  • Chet Atkins Tennessean (1990–2000s) Mid-priced Gibson Chet Atkins signature model designed by Gibson.
  • Johnny A. (2004-) ES-336 sized fully-hollow thinline body with sharp double cutaways that resemble the Barney Kessel model with three variants (all models have '57 Classic humbuckers and 25.5" scale unless otherwise noted): [14]
    • Signature with Bigsby vibrato
    • Standard with Bigsby vibrato, which has less cosmetic appointments compared to the Signature, nickel instead of gold hardware, and a rosewood fretboard instead of ebony [15]
    • Spruce Top, with a spruce top instead of maple and a stopbar tailpiece instead of a Bigsby vibrato, rosewood fretboard, and Alnico III CustomBuckers instead of '57 Classics [16]
  • Tom DeLonge Signature ES-333 (2003-) Equipped with a single high-output Gibson Dirty Fingers bridge humbucker.
  • DG-335 (2007-?) Dave Grohl model based on Trini Lopez.

Related models[edit]

  • 335-S (1980–1983) Loosely related solidbody guitar similar in shape and controls to ES-335 with two Dirty Fingers pickups.
  • Blueshawk (1996–2006)
  • Midtown (2011-2016) Smaller chambered body with f-holes that came in five variants: [17]
    • Standard with dot inlays and BurstBucker humbuckers, as well as optional Bigsby vibrato [18]
    • Standard P-90 with trapezoid inlays and P-90 pickups [19]
    • Custom with humbuckers, block inlays and split diamond headstock inlay, like an ES-355[20]
    • Kalamazoo, with appointments referencing the Byrdland [21]
    • Signature Bass [22]
  • CS-336 (2001-?) Custom Shop's first "tonally carved" guitar.
  • CS-356 (2001-?) Upscaled CS-336 with goldplate parts, etc.
  • Les Paul Bantam/Florentine (1995/1996–2003?) Custom Shop models with thinline semi-hollow-body with center-block. (Note: "Gibson USA Florentine" released in 2009 is a solid-body model[23])
  • ES-Les Paul (2015)  Mash up of Les Paul and ES-335[24]
  • Les Paul Signature bass (1973-?)
  • Little Lucille
  • EB–2 bass (1958–1972)[25][verification needed]
  • EB-6 6-string bass/baritone guitar (1959–1961: hollow-body similar to EB–2,[26] 1962–1965: SG-shaped solid-body similar to EB-3/EB-0[27])
  • EDS–1275 Double 12 (1958-) Doubleneck, hollow-body (1958–1962) or SG-shaped solid-body (1962-) guitar with 12 and 6 string guitar necks.[28]
    • Other doubleneck models include:
      • EMS–1235 Double Mandolin (mandolin[28] or short neck guitar[29] & normal guitar, hollow-body (1958–1962) or solid-body (1962-))
      • EBSF–1250 Double Bass (4 string bass & guitar, built-in fuzz effect)[30]
      • EBS–1250 Double Bass (6 string bass & guitar)[28][30]
      • EDS–1250 (6 string bass & 4 string bass)
  • L-4
  • L-5
  • Super 400 CES

Gallery[edit]

Tree chart[edit]

origins
/1930s
 
L-50L-4Les PaulL-5L-5 CES
ES-150
ES-250ES-100
(ver.2)ES-125ES-300
(postwar)
ES-175ES-5ES-350
ES-130ES-140 34ES-295
ES-135ES-125TES-5 SMByrdlandES-350TES-225T
ES-140 34TES-330TDES-335ES-345ES-355
ES-120T
Trini Lopez
ES-150DCES-340TD
ES-175TLes Paul SignatureES-320
ES-325
ES-347
CRS/CRRES ArtistLucille
DotPro
ES-369
ES-135ES-165ES-775ES-336
Les Paul Florentine
ES-137ES-333CS-336CS-356
Tom DeLongeES-339ES-359
ES-Les Paul
origins
/1930s
 

1940s
 

1940s
 

1950s
 

1950s
 

1960s
 

1960s
 

1970s
 

1970s
 

1980s
 

1980s
 

1990s
 

1990s
 

2000s
 

2000s
 

2010s
 

2010s
 

References[edit]

Bibliography
  • "Gibson Electric Archtop Model Descriptions", Vintage Guitars Info, archived from the original on 2010-01-16
  • "Gibson Thinline Model Descriptions", Vintage Guitars Info, archived from the original on 2012-05-01
Citations
  1. ^ Leonard, Michael. "A Guitar Geek's Guide to Gibson ES Models". Gibson.com. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  2. ^ Dirks, Rebecca; July 11, James Egolf; 2007. "A Modern History of the Gibson Custom Shop". www.premierguitar.com. Retrieved 2020-10-31.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Gibson Electro Spanish–150, Prototype Batch 1058-9 B (1936)", exhibition label, Museum of Making Music, The body was basically that of the acoustic Gibson L-50.
  4. ^ "Gibson Es 320 TD ( 1971–1974 )", Vintage Gibson Guitars
  5. ^ "Gibson Es 340 TD Archtop (1968–1973)", Vintage Gibson Guitars
  6. ^ Gibson Custom ES-359, Gibson Guitar Corporation (2008), archived from the original on 2009-02-19, retrieved 2012-05-02
  7. ^ "Gibson ES 369: TONE to the BONE", Best Guitars World
  8. ^ The Active Sound Of The 80s (advertisement), Gibson Guitar Corporation (1979)
    An advertisement in 1979 for Artist series: "RD Artist Active" released around 1977, and two new models added in 1979, "ES Artist Active" and ""Les Paul Artist Active".
  9. ^ "ES Artist", 1980 Gibson guitar, bass and banjo catalogue, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1980), p. 33
  10. ^ August 2019, Richard Bienstock 28. "Gibson officially releases Limited-Edition Chris Cornell Tribute ES-335". guitarworld. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  11. ^ 1975 Les Paul catalogue, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1975), p. 5
  12. ^ Holder, Mitch (January 2006), The Jazz Guitar Stylings of Howard Roberts, Mel Bay Publications (2006), p. 100, ISBN 9780786674091
  13. ^ "Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman". uniqueguitar.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  14. ^ "Gibson Custom Johnny A Signature".
  15. ^ "Johnny A Standard".
  16. ^ "Gibson Johnny A Spruce Top".
  17. ^ Is it a 335 or a Les Paul? | 2012 Gibson Midtown Custom Cherry Sunburst | Review + Demo, retrieved 2020-10-31
  18. ^ "Gibson Midtown Standard".
  19. ^ "Gibson Midtown Standard P-90 | Reverb". reverb.com. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  20. ^ March 2012, Neville Marten 14. "Gibson Midtown Custom review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  21. ^ "The Byrdland Brother".
  22. ^ "Gibson Midtown Signature Bass".
  23. ^ Gibson USA Les Paul Florentine with Bigsby, Gibson Guitar Corporation (2009)
  24. ^ "Gibson Memphis ES-Les Paul 2015". Gibson Guitar Corporation (2015).
  25. ^ Moseley, Willie G. (January 2012). "The Gibson EB–2: Kalamazoo Biggest Bass Innovation?". Vintage Guitar. p. 60.
  26. ^ Moseley, Willie G. (January 2014). "Danelectro's Four-String Basses". Classic Instruments. Vintage Guitar. Danelectro #3412, #4423 & UB–2 image Danelectro's first bass [UB–2] (VG, January '09), debuted in 1956, and it was a true bass guitar, supporting six strings but with a short bass scale, tuned down an octave. The instrument was the first of its kind, preceding the Gibson EB-6 (first listed in '59) and Fender's Bass VI (late '61).
  27. ^ Duchossoir, A. R. (1998). Gibson Electrics - The Classic Years. Hal Leonard. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-4768-5126-6. EB-6 : At the end of 1961 the thinline EB-6 was discontinued and replaced by a solid body version built with the ultra thin SG body style. This did not improve the popularity of the 6-string bass (a.k.a. baritone guitar) and the model was eventually phased out in 1965. ... Only 66 solid body EB-6s were shipped between 1962 and 1965, including a very small number of single pickup versions (probably no more than a dozen).
  28. ^ a b c 1963 Gibson Guitar and Bass catalog, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1963), p. 15
  29. ^ 1960 Gibson Guitar and Bass catalog, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1960), p. 17
  30. ^ a b "Elvis' 1965 Gibson EBS–1250 Double Bass", Scotty Moore Official Website — comparing the 1962/1963 & 1964 EBSF–1250 (4 string bass + guitar + fuzztone), 1964 EBS–1250 (4 string bass + guitar), and Elvis' 1965 EBS–1250 (6 string bass + guitar)

External links[edit]