Gibson ES-275

flume

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,359
What happens when you cross an ES-175 with an ES-295? You get something in between: please to enjoy the tale of the Gibson ES-275, a model that never existed, but should have!

Prior to a trip west to CA, I happened upon this diamond in the rough. A 175 refinished green sometime in the 70s, with P90s unfortunately eviscerated and replaced with nauseating humbuckers and other atrocities too unspeakable to repeat here, not limited to but including painting over the multiply binding on the body top. The cumulative effect was to render the instrument unplayable. Chief among these abominations, as you'll see is the broken neck binding and aborted attempt at tailpiece replacements. The nail in the coffin was the brass toggle switch ring. I'm sure you'll agree with me that this was borderline firewood but for the knowledge that a team of experts on the east coast awaited my mere signal that job was to be done. And done right:






Happily I was able to visit the instrument in person thanks to the happy accident of being in the CA area at the right time and after a quick examination, determined that rehabilitation was within my means.

Enter Team ES-275, known quantities and new talent, all equal to the task. Greg Kurczewski at Metro Guitar in VA would handle the hardware and setup, including installing one of the 295 tailpieces I've acquired in anticipation of just such a need. What it does to restore tuning fork resonance to an otherwise muted tone, can't be overstated and Greg dialed in the full ring and ease of action that must be felt to be believed. Steve Ripley in VA restored the lost binding on the neck and body edge that had been painted over - painstaking work and done with generosity that I can't repay. Jared at BrandonWound pickups was tasked with winding a pair of custom humbuckers that would drop into the routings for that size, but voiced to sound with P90 voicing - full string to string clarity and definition - over the course of a few emails, Jared understood the sound that was in my head and extracted it. Perfectly. And the keystone for the vision: Mike at C-Rocker Guitars in CA was given the formidable task of fabricating an ES-295 style pickguard with floral design in metallic green to match the existing paint and with pickup rings to match. Stike at Rowycko was on call as refinishing emergency response team, but not deployed in the field (another job awaits). We kept the existing finish and the results follow:

Restored neck:

yes Virginia, there is a green 295 pickguard:

the back:

the face:

upright but not uptight:

pairs nicely with this custom build by Billy Penn at 300Guitars:

and here we see the happy family (thus far):


I've gigged it already and it performed beautifully. Did a demo session with it tonight and am happy to say this a model that Gibson never made but I'm glad that Team ES-275 stepped up and delivered!

All good.
 
Last edited:

flume

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,359
Naturally, if anyone wants contact info for any of team that did this restoration work, just contact me. Outstanding in every way.
 
Messages
8,095
While fully aware there has never been a Gibson ES-275, isn't this guitar now spec'd exactly as a later fifties (humbucking p.u.) 295?

Additionally, "Wow!!!" at the shot of the multi-hued 295's!
 

flume

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,359
Yes...but the fun factor of a 275 is much higher.

More to come.
 

jp1977

Member
Messages
1,331
Great job on saving that 175. I was skeptical about leaving the green finish but the end result is pretty cool, pick guard repro work is great.
 

flume

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,359
Thanks all. Yes, the finish is pretty close to cadillac green
with a moderate amount of metallic sparkle to it.

Amazing resonant it became when we took off the bridge/tailpiece and used the trapeze unit.
 

DarklordUK

Member
Messages
12
Hey Flume looks awesome in green as well! I've always wondered why Gibson didnt make the ES175 in more colours, I'm looking for one used right now and they are 99% all sunburst, triburst, wood colours or natural... frustrating! I could get one and respray it but nearly doubles the cost of the guitar (if done right)..

Looks like you need to keep going... the ES135 in blueburst is awesome (I even saw a great one with 3 gold 57's installed), have you thought about adding a blue ES295 or ES175 to your ever expanding colllection :)

btw did anyone see the 1999 ES295 with 1950's style trapeze tailpiece on ebay yesterday? it was very clean, I was about to pull the trigger but someone else snapped it up within 24hrs of it posting... I had emailed the seller to ask if they knew who installed the tailpiece, orthe history on it, they never responded, then it sold.. I actually prefer that look to the 90's bigsby version... bummed I didnt act quicker, I had the funds..
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,443
They look beautiful. That said, I gots to have set-able intonation. I could never bond with that tailpiece/bridge if I tried. Glad it works for y'all, though.
 

flume

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,359
Hey Darklord - thanks - and yours look great too - the pickguard just makes things stand out so much more.

Yes - I'd been watching that gold 295 and wondered about the backstory. I do have a refin gold 295 so repeating a color would be a low priority for me. It just popped back up relisted this morning - pretty sure I saw a ebay alert message. But that was before coffee.

Yes - watch this space for news on things in the realm of "pelham blue";)
 

Frankee

Wartime Consigliere
Messages
25,470
I've seen this photo on this site maybe a dozen times.....and it never fails to impress.
That is the coolest quartet of guitars ever.

 

DarklordUK

Member
Messages
12
Inpired by Flume's ES275 and Red ES295, I picked up a Black 1991 ES-175 relatively cheap last month, in nice condition.. got my local luthier at Truetone to install a B6 Bigsby and C-Rocker custom floral pickguard with matching pickup rings... the finished result is awesome, dont suppose I can call it an ES275 as I've left the 57 Classics in there - for the time being anyway - but its certainly nudged way nearer to an ES295 in appearance... also took some inspiration from the black/gold look of the Gretsch Black Falcon, making this a Gibson version.. can't understand why Gibson don't offer the black or red ES175 with creme rings and pickguard, like they do on Les Pauls..









more pics here:

http://s1199.photobucket.com/albums/...bson%20ES-175/
 
Last edited:




Top