Up for sale, a 1959 Gibson ES-225TD in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. One of the cooler and oft overlooked Gibson models of the '50s, the 225TD is essentially a single sharp florentine cutaway precursor of the ES-330. With its fully hollow maple body and Honduran mahogany neck, this 225 is a very resonant and sweet sounding instrument, outfitted with a pair of dog ear P-90 pickups. The pickups have the midrange growl and glassy, dynamic quality of this hotly wound Gibson design, and while each pickup can remain balanced and clear with strummed lightly, there's serious bite and girth to be had when you dig in, especially with a medium wattage tube amp. Weighing a mere 6lbs 8oz, the featherweight maple body has a prominent and authoritative acoustic voice as well, which undoubtedly adds to the lively nature of the electric tone as well. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this ES-225T has been strung with roundwound 11-50 strings and boasts low, comfortable action.
The neck has a full, round C shape profile that's shy of "baseball bat" territory at the nut, but still plenty round. The shoulders on the profile are generous, and the neck does increase in depth as you move up the fretboard, achieving the kind of chunky girth you expect in a late '50s Gibson neck. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard is in excellent shape, with pearl dot inlays and original frets that are in truly stunning shape. The frets have plenty of height and well rounded crowns, with only a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3, and no notable wear further up the neck. The original nut is intact too, measuring 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the Gibson logo is inlaid in pearl, and the guitar has been fitted with a new set of Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines, which match the look and footprint of the originals.
There is an extremely clean and flawlessly repaired fracture at the headstock joint, and this area has been lightly oversprayed with gloss black nitro lacquer and blended with the original deep shade of brown lacquer on the neck profile. Likely the reason this guitar has remained quite cosmetically pristine over the decades, the otherwise original finish on this guitar is particularly minty, and having the instrument out of commission for decades due to this break is the most plausible scenario.
The electronics are 100% stock and untouched aside from one new ground wire, with original pots and tone caps visible through the treble side F hole. We carefully fished one of the original pots through the treble side F hole to confirm the date codes, and these Centralab pots date to the 7th week of 1959. The original nickel trapeze tailpiece and wraparound bridge combo is present, and we've fashioned new floating "feet" for the bridge to closely match vintage spec and functionality. The stock multi-ply black pickguard, pickguard bracket, and factory P-90 riser are all accounted for too, while the amber bonnet knobs are modern replacements. A small plate has been added around the rear strap button where the tailpiece mounts, presumably to reinforce the integrity of the hinge and tailpiece in general. Visible through the F holes, the original model name stamp and factory order number with "S" prefix are clean and intact.
In terms of finish wear, there is very little to report, and the original three-tone nitro lacquer sunburst finish is still very vibrant. There is particularly fine lacquer checking across the face of the guitar, with virtually no checking on the back. The guitar has zero cracks or repairs aside from the previously noted headstock fracture, and the back of the guitar shows only a few light scuffs and finish scratches. Naturally, the guitar does have a few expected tiny dings and nicks from honest use over the decades, but as the photos show, this is a clean example that will delight collectors and gigging musicians alike.
A vintage '50s hardshell case with a green felt interior and textured brown exterior is included.