Gibson ES Series

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The Gibson ES series of semi-acoustic guitar (hollow body electric guitar) are manufactured by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. The letters ES stand for Electric Spanish, to distinguish them from Hawaiian-style guitars which were 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 came with f-holes, though some, such as B.B. King's signature Lucille series, were made without f-holes. Some models were full-bodied models, while single- and double-cutaways are also available. Two different styles of cutaways were 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 a Les Paul ES that combines features of a Gibson Les Paul with those of the ES series. All modern ES guitars are built at Gibson's Memphis, Tennessee factory, the only of Gibson's factories to give public tours.

Series includes[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)   Thin semi-hollow-body with center-block.
  • ES-137   (2002-)    Upscaled ES-135 with Les Paul sound.
  • 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.[2]
     (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. Knob placement differed slightly from other ES-series.
  • 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.[3]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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).[5]
  • ES-369   (late1970s-1980s?)[6]
  • 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[7]-c.1985) Upscale model of ES-335 without f-holes, with active circuit by Moog.[8]
Barney Kessel Custom (prototype)

Signature models[edit]

Related models[edit]

CS-336 (24.75" scale)
EB-2 (30.5" scale)

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 ¾ES-295
ES-135ES-125TES-5 SMByrdlandES-350TES-225T
ES-140 ¾TES-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. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "Gibson Es 320 TD ( 1971-1974 )", Vintage Gibson Guitars
  4. ^ "Gibson Es 340 TD Archtop (1968-1973)", Vintage Gibson Guitars
  5. ^ Gibson Custom ES-359, Gibson Guitar Corporation (2008), archived from the original on 2009-02-19
  6. ^ "Gibson ES 369: TONE to the BONE", Best Guitars World
  7. ^ 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".
  8. ^ "ES Artist", 1980 Gibson guitar, bass and banjo catalogue, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1980), p. 33
  9. ^ 1975 Les Paul catalogue, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1975), p. 5
  10. ^ Holder, Mitch, The Jazz Guitar Stylings of Howard Roberts, Mel Bay Publications (2006), p. 100, ISBN 9780786674091
  11. ^ Gibson USA Les Paul Florentine with Bigsby, Gibson Guitar Corporation (2009)
  12. ^ "Gibson Memphis ES-Les Paul 2015". Gibson Guitar Corporation (2015).
  13. ^ Moseley, Willie G. (January 2012). "The Gibson EB-2: Kalamazoo Biggest Bass Innovation?". Vintage Guitar. p. 60.
  14. ^ 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)."

  15. ^ 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)."

  16. ^ a b c 1963 Gibson Guitar and Bass catalog, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1963), p. 15
  17. ^ 1960 Gibson Guitar and Bass catalog, Gibson Guitar Corporation (1960), p. 17
  18. ^ 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]