The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis ‘Roadworn’ Sunburst, 2004


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Built from 1991 to 2011, the Gibson ES-165 Herb Ellis draws from the classic workhorse ES-175, but with a single neck-mount ‘floating’ pickup; some variations used a top-mount humbucker. The Herb Ellis Plus used a pair of traditional full-sized, top-mount humbuckers.

Introduced in 1949, the Gibson ES-175 was one of the best known archtop electric guitar models, used from jazz styles to pop to rock – even Arena rock in the hands of Steve Howe of Yes! The key difference in the ES-165 is the location and type of pickup – a smaller humbucker in the neck position, and a larger neck profile than the ES-175. With the ‘floating’ pickup, the control – just a volume – is mounted on the pickguard to avoid drilling into the top.   The body is constructed of nicely figured Laminate Maple with Mahogany for the body blocks and neck.   The floating bridge base and bound fingerboard are Indian Rosewood, and all the metal components are gold plated.

This example dates to September 01 2044 and was built at the now-closed Gibson Memphis plant. It is in overall good condition and has an interesting ‘ROADWORN’ marking on the back of the head, applied by Gibson but after the guitar was built, quite distinct from the stamped serial number and ‘Made in USA’ stamp.

The ‘ROADWORN’ stamp indicates that this guitar was auctioned on July 29, 2006 as part of a Gibson Custom Shop move. Many instruments and parts were auctioned, some one-offs, some were tested for use in a tour or performance by an artist, some essentially ‘demonstrators’ but in any case could not be sold as new.  They received the ‘ROADWORN’ brand as is clearly visible in the rear photograph.

Like other Gibson archtop electrics, this ES-165 Herb Ellis plays well and cleanly.

The original hard shell case is included.

Price: $3,250.00 CAD
  • Model: ES-165 Herb Ellis 'Roadworn'
  • Year: 2004
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 02454735, dating to September 01 2004 at Memphis TN
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 09/08/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.776lbs 3.08kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.689in 42.90mm
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