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The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

1940 Gibson ES-150 Archtop Guitar SOLD

Price: CDN $2450
US Price: US $1951.10
*US dollar exchange varies daily
Class: Vintage
Gibson introduced the ES-150 archtop guitar in 1936 and it became one of the first commercially successful electrified guitars. However, many of the first weren't even branded as Gibson guitars - they were made for Montgomery-Ward or Spiegel mail order sales. Until 1940, the Gibson ES-150 was produced with what is commonly referred to as the Charlie Christian pickup, and this is known as the V1 variant.

For 1940 and the V2 variant, the pickup and its placement were changed. To provide more treble to cut through the sound of a band, the pickup was moved to the bridge position. The 'new' pickup itself is known as the P-13. These were used until 1946 when the P-90 pickup was introduced; the remaining stock of P-13 pickups was sold to Harmony. These appeared in Harmony, Silvertone and some Kay guitars (including lap steels) until they ran out. These pickups are very popular in some circles and especially for jump blues styles.

The Gibson ES-150 is based on a 16.25 inch wide F-hole body, with a solid spruce top and solid maple back and sides. The top and back are bound. The neck is mahogany with rosewood used for the fingerboard and bridge. At this time, mother of pearl dot inlays and a 'script' logo were used.

This 1940 example of the Gibson ES-150 is in good condition. The hardware is original except for the tuners - Grover Sta-Tites were added long ago to replace strip tuners, and at some point Kluson Deluxe tuners were installed. The finish is the original lacquer though the top appears to have been oversprayed following crack repairs. There is a fair amount of fret wear and the guitar has probably been refretted during its 75 years.

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