Up for sale a 1953 Gibson ES-295 in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Considered an upscale version of the ES-175 that featured the same Goldtop finish as the Les Paul of the same era, the ES-295 is a visually stunning and elegant instrument suitable for a wide range of genres. Of course any description of an ES-295 is indelibly linked to Scotty Moore and his expert guitar work with at the time up and coming rock n roll star Elvis Presley. In fact, this exact 295 played a role in the crafting of the Gibson Scotty Moore reissue, and spent some time in Gibson's Memphis factory serving as a reference (purportedly Gibson took measurements of Scotty's original, but needed another vintage example to have in-hand while the model was developed).
Subsequently dubbed the ultimate rockabilly guitar, you simply can't do much better than the ES-295 for incredibly meaty and powerful P-90 tones. The fully hollow maple body delivers great clarity and top end, propelled by the midrange richness and incredible harmonic content of the P-90 pair. Very dynamic and sweet, this ES-295 pairs well with any tube amp of the era for everything from clean, complex jazz voicings to smoothly overdriven golden era country twang and rockabilly rumble. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and currently strung with roundwound 11-50 strings, this ES-295 delivers a wide palette of instantly recognizable 1950's Gibson tones!
The neck has a medium C profile that is modestly slender yet still has a substantial feel, with shoulders that slope back towards the center of the profile gradually. The profile gets slightly deeper in the higher registers of the fretboard, but on the whole stays fairly uniformly deep and consistently shaped. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard sports split parallelogram inlay with original "banjo" fretwire, so called for its very slender width. While original, the frets do show notable and uniform wear on frets 1-6. growing gradually fainter on frets 7-8 and showing virtually no wear further up the neck. It's doubtful that these frets have ever been recrowned, as the frets appear to have their full, original height and play cleanly in all registers with no notably buzzing or dead spots. The 1 11/16" nut width is ideally spaced for chording and accurate lead lines, not to mention fingerstyle playing. On the headstock, the original gold plated Kluson Deluxe tuners are intact with the original swirly pearloid tulip buttons. The gold plating on the tuning keys is truly spectacular, and the tuners turn smoothly with all flathead mounting screws present and accounted for.
The headstock and neck did suffer a break decades ago, and the neck has been very professionally repaired and subsequently stripped down to the bare mahogany. There's only a very light finish currently on the neck profile, and especially in the higher registers, the open grain and pores of the mahogany can be felt on the palm for a very natural feel. Great attention was taken to cleanly repair the break, so that it's perfectly silky smooth to the touch and well disguised to the naked eye as well. The repair extends from behind the 3rd fret on the treble side of the board across the headstock joint to just north of the nut on the bass side. There is also a hairline diagonal split in the headstock veneer, but the crack did not otherwise extend to the headstock and does not go further than the veneer. The original finish was retained on the face of the headstock.
On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, and the wiring harness boasts original pots and paper-in-oil tone capacitors. The creamy thermo-formed plastic "dog ear" P-90 covers are intact, as well as the gold pickup riser at the bridge, only seen on this model. The stock gold "Pat. Pending" trapeze wraparound tailpiece is present, with gold plating that shows moderate wear on the "wraparound" potion, while the feet and trapeze retain notably more gold. Also of note is that this tailpiece is engraved "Les Paul Model" at the hinge, and this rare factory option reflects Les Paul's close relationship with Gibson on new electric guitar development, namely this trapeze tailpiece design. The original pickguard with flower motif and the all important amber switch tip are present, along with three of the original amber speed knobs. The fourth speed knob is still a decidedly vintage Gibson part, yet has less aging than the other knobs. Visible through the bass side F hole, the original Gibson label is completely intact with clear text and ink stamped serial number that dates to summer of '53.
Cosmetically, this guitar retains its original gold nitro lacquer finish on the entire body (the neck has been stripped as previously noted), with gorgeous faint lacquer checking across the top in particular. Aside from the headstock repair, there is one slender repaired crack on the side of the body roughly 2" in length to the bass side of the tailpiece hinge. There are also various small nicks and finish scuffs on the sides of the guitar in particular, while the back remains relatively clean. The finish is still striking and vibrant, slightly greening from oxidation in very slender spots adjacent to some of the binding, and showing zero touchups or overspray. A strap button has also been added to the neck heel and there are two scuffs on the top of note, one directly beneath the treble side strut of the trapeze, and the other parallel to the trapeze on the treble side of the body.
The original smooth brown Lifton hardshell case is included. This case is in fantastic shape, with the original leather handle, working latches, and the metal "Gibson" badge beneath the handle. The green felt interior is also in excellent shape.