Gibson ES-225TD--any experience with one?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Shark Sandwich, May 13, 2008.

  1. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    I've been thinking about picking up a Gibson ES-225TD, which were made from 55-59. Basically it's a thinner ES-175 with less ornamentation. I'd like to hear from anyone that has some experience playing these, as I've never played one. Are they neck heavy? What about the trapeze bridge? What does the neck feel like? Any other pros/cons? Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    great, undervalued guitars. Or at least they used to be - haven't done any price checks recently. Asking prices on just about anything vintage is still really high.
     
  3. snarkle

    snarkle Member

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    Great rock and blues guitar...just as useful (although a little less fancy) as a P-90 equipped ES-175. And every one I've played has had a great neck...those were the magic years.

    If you use light strings, though, the bridge/tailpiece combination might be harder to intonate than something with a tunamatic.

    Wish I had one myself...
     
  4. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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  5. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    I think they are awesome. I love thouse guitars, because they are thinner than 175's. very comfortable. Pretty cheap compared to the others in that era. I remember it feeling pretty comfortable not really heavy at all either way fairly balanced.

    I like them a lot. Probably the only thing I don't like are the old tuning machines, but that's easy enough to change.

    The Epiphone Sorrento was fairly similar I think.

    Between the ES125TD's and ES225 TD's those are some of my favorite guitars from the era.
     
  6. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    I <3 them. I have 4 of them. I don't find them neck heavy at all. They won't work well with lots of gain, though.
    (1 1959 225TD not pictured. Ignore the 175)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    nice collection!! are you thinking of selling any of the double pickup models?
     
  8. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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  9. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Most get the Les Paul style trapeze removed and get the wooden saddle style bridge...apparently it's hard to mute on the LP style tailpiece.

    Looks like it would be great for blues.

    JD
     
  10. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    Not at the moment, but I'll keep you in mind if I do.

    I think you're thinking about when the trapeze TP was used on the 52-53 Les Pauls. Because of the neck angle/Trapeze relationship on those Les Pauls, the trapeze had to be underwrapped making muting impossible. No such problem occurs on the ES-225's or ES-295's as the Trapeze is meant to be top-wrapped, and muting is just fine & dandy.
     
  11. RadackGuitars

    RadackGuitars Supporting Member

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    Some of them had one P90 in the middle position.
    I tell you what...if may look funny, but they put it there for a
    reason, that's the sweet spot and they sound amazing.
     
  12. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Yes..that's the deal i was told about them by a friend...generally he knows his stuff, so I took his word. Glad to hear I was misinformed.


    I like the look of those guitars and would definitely want one...perhaps with a Bigsby? Ah yes- that's nice.


    JD
     
  13. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    I got lucky, and have one with a bigsby. I got it locally. The guy said he bought it in'61 and it had the Bigsby on it then.
    It's an OK guitar. Not one of my best.
    As always play before you buy, or buy with an approval period whenever possible.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

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    I've always wanted one so bad. So bad it hurts.
     
  15. henry_lee

    henry_lee Member

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    +1

    I too want one so bad that it hurts!

    it's the penultimate guitar for me.

    russ, what's so bad about it? perhaps it needs a new home? ;)
     
  16. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    There's nothing 'bad' about it. I just have other guitars that resonate, and sustain a litle better. The frets are low and narrow too. Great feeling neck though.
    I said it was Ok, cause it not one of my 'go to' guitars.
    Maybe I should play it more.
    Don't misunderstand me...It doesn't suck or anything like that! It's a nice guitar! (like OK!)
    It might like a new home.;)
     
  17. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    I would say it compares closer to a 330 than a 175; even closer to a 125TDC. I got a '57 225 as a substitute for the 330 I wanted but couldn't afford. The bridge/tailpiece gives it a very unique sound; much like a wraptail does on a LP/SG/Firebird: that immediacy to the attack and a different sustain quality. A very comfy gtr to play, too. I did have a skinny necked, sixties 330 with the one, center mounted p.u. Definately a cool sound, but the p.u. polepieces got in the way of my pick and I hated the neck. The 225 has a neck like a '57 LP. Nice! Affordable? In the words of Inspector Clouseau, "Not anymore!".
     
  18. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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  19. henry_lee

    henry_lee Member

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    hmm... thanks for the insight. interesting to hear comments from actual owners.
    still sounds like the holy grail for me... well, maybe a late-50's with Bigsby B6.

    one more question, how is the neck angle on these?
    do they have the same neck / joint angle and break
    angle like en es-175? it sure looks like it.

    oh... and that sunburst '59 on eBay was listed a few months ago.
    such a shame it's priced in the stratosphere!

    HL
     
  20. ~el gringo loco

    ~el gringo loco Member

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    lost it in the flood in New Orleans, but man, what a sublime guitar.

    Best thing about it, for me, is that it had a sound that was unmistakeably that of a '50s Gibson Electric Guitar. It sounded like a 225, to be sure, which is to say a hollowbody Gibson with P90's, but it sounded like more than that, too. It sounded like early Freddie King, early B.B. King, and if I really opened it up it had a great snarl and hump that was quintessentially '50s Gibson.

    I didn't dig where the neck joined the body -- would have preferred more frets above the joint, and the frets were really small on mine. They were original and playable, but I would have preferred just a little more height. In every other way it was a monster -- it would do a sweet, lush jazz thing, a great rockabilly/swamp pop thing, and man, when I really got on it it would just sing like a bird.

    And fwiw, I really liked the trapeze tailpiece; it had a conventional tailpeice/bridge on it when I bought it but the original was in the case. I put it back on during a string change, and man, it worked great. I come from a tele/blues/Memphis soul sorta place as a player and I never had any trouble muting. It was topped wrapped, of course, otherwise I'd have left it off.

    [​IMG]

    It was mostly ruined in the flood in New Orleans; I saved one of the P90's for a guitar I built outta parts I saved and sold the wood to a cat in Florida who was planning on rebuilding it -- I hope he does, and I'm sure it will be a phenomenal guitar again.

    So go for it, man, they're not for everybody, but if you get a decent example and your mind is right about what it is and what it does you could be very, very happy with the result.

    ~j
     

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