The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson ES-125 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1953

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Produced as an entry level electrified archtop guitar, the Gibson ES-125 first appeared as the ES-100 in 1938, with a name change in 1941. Wartime production ended in 1943, and resumed from 1946 to 1970. Several variants of the ES-125 were made, including full size body, thin body, thin body with cutaway, and one or two pickups.

This Gibson ES-125 in the original full body, no cutaway, one pickup configuration, is clearly dated to 1953 from the FON, Factory Order Number stamped on the inside back and visible from the treble F-hole.  FON’s were used at various times, and from 1952 to 1961 started with a letter code, counting down from Z to Q. Y represents 1953, and this guitar was the 26th in batch 4011.

This wonderful guitar is in good condition, and largely original though the tuners have been replaced with drop-in vintage replicas, and the trapeze tailpiece has been changed. The tone control is a little noisy. Otherwise the hardware and fret work seems original and in good condition.

The single P-90 pickup is in an interesting location, between the ‘standard’ neck or middle positions. This would brighten the tone slightly.

Like most electrified archtops of the period, these guitars are made with laminate for the top, back and sides, with a mahogany neck. The fingerboard and bridge are rosewood, and typical of the period, that specifically means Brazilian Rosewood.

The fretwear is minor and the frets look original. The neck profile is fairly full.

These guitars sound great for jazz or, slightly overdriven, for blues.

A period Gibson brown hard shell case is included, slightly oversize.   For the ES-125, the original case would likely have been a faux-gator fibre (cardboard) case, so this is a significantly better option.  

Price: $2399.99 CAD
  • Model: ES-125
  • Year: 1953
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: Y 4100 26
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 10/09/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITIES documentation
  • Including Soft case
  • Instrument Weight: 5.10lbs 2.32kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43.5mm 1.71in

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