The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson ES-150 Archtop Electric Refinish Sunburst, 1950


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The Gibson ES-150 appeared in 1936 as one of the first efforts towards an electric guitar, and became the company’s first successful archtop electric. Previously, Gibson was supplying pickups and amplifiers, but hadn’t offered a guitar with a factory-installed pickup though their competitors were starting to. By 1935, pressure from customers like Montgomery-Ward pushed Gibson into installing pickups on some non-Gibson branded models. This showed a need for an up-market Gibson branded model, and in late 1936 the first ES-150 shipped. It was immediately picked up by top players like Charlie Christian.

At launch, the 16.25 inch wide Gibson ES-150 had an X-braced Spruce top, flat Maple back, and Mahogany neck with Rosewood for the unbound fingerboard, a floating Ebony bridge and a trapeze tailpiece. The 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 was known as the P-13, and was used until production was suspended for WW2, from 1942 to 1946.

When production resumed in 1946, many things changed. The body was now 17 inches wide, the top, back and sides were pressed laminate Maple with tone-bar bracing, and the pickup was the ‘new’ P-90. In 1950, the position markers changed from dots to trapezoids and the fingerboard was bound. The ES-150 stayed in production until 1956 in favor of thinner, cutaway archtops and solid-body guitars.

This Gibson ES-150 example dates to 1950 and the sunburst top and the head plate have been refinished; the rest of the guitar has been oversprayed. The head was originally black, and was finished as sunburst with a new Gibson decal. The pickguard and P-90 seem original. The original trapeze tailpiece has been replaced with an Epiphone ‘Frequensator’ style part, very smooth Grover Imperial tuners have replaced what were likely Kluson Deluxe models; a modern tune-o-matic style bridge has been installed and the knobs replaced. It’s likely that over the years it has been at least partially re-fretted. The neck profile is not too full and is comfortable; it is presently strung with flatwound strings.

This 1950 Gibson ES-150 is sold with a non-original, period case.

Price: $1,850.00 CAD
  • Model: ES-150
  • Year: 1950
  • Finish Sunburst Refinish
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, built during 1950 at Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 13/01/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.16lbs 2.78kg
  • Scale Length: 25.4in 645mm
  • Nut Width: 1.680in 42.96mm
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