Questions for Gibson ES-175 owners

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by fractal, May 19, 2008.

  1. fractal

    fractal Member

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    Hi all,

    I ran across a GREAT deal on a brand-new Gibson 175. I picked it up, played it, and it seemed pretty lively and I liked the feel. I had an old L4-CES a while back, and this brought back memories. But, I had two "quality-control" questions. If you can help, I'd appreciate it.

    1. The top arches in the middle of the neck pickup if you are looking at the side of the pickup in playing position. Is this normal? (i.e., the top curves up from the edge to the neck pickup, then curves back down a bit after it leaves the pickup, creating a peak in the middle of the pickup.) It actually looks like the pickup ring is cut the same way, but it might just be pressing down on both sides.

    2. The bridge itself is very thick, and the holes are not drilled in the bridge base so the screws (that hold the tom-saddle unit) are perpendicular to the length of the strings. It is pretty far off, but the guitar seems to be in tune. (I expected the whole bridge/saddle floating unit to be a little non-perpendicular - NOT just the saddle unit.)

    Thanks! I don't know if I want to go for it, but it is a classic model - and just the kind of guitar I'd want to go for... again.
     
  2. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    I have a Gibson ES-165 (basically a single humbucker ES-175) and if I'm reading what you're saying correctly then, yes the top is arched and yes, the TOM part of the bridge sits at a slight angle, relative to the wooden portion of the bridge.

    I found this picture, of a guitar on eBay. I think it illustrates what you're asking about the TOM angle vs. bridge angle (and yes, this is normal):

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/GIBSON-ES-17...Item?IMSfp=TL080502123a17564#ebayphotohosting

    These are expensive guitars, but they're really nice. I'd buy it if you love it, but save your money if you're not totally smitten. If you do buy it and want to play jazz, I recommend having an ebony bridge made and fitted to the top. I also like Thomastik-Infeld flatwounds on mine.
     
  3. fractal

    fractal Member

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    Thanks fuzz_factor,

    Great picture about the bridge. It is strange that the bridge (wood part) is not slanted.

    I'm afraid that I'm not clear about the top. I know it much arch upwards from the edge, but it seems to go BACK down right after the neck pickup! It doesn't go completely down, but forms a bump that the neck pickup "sits" on. (I tried to draw a crude ASCII drawing, but I guess these pages are HTML so the spacing is off.) It actually peaks right under the neck pickup. Any ideas about this?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. arched_top

    arched_top Member

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    fractal, I used to be confused about the pickup thing too until I realized that Gibson is installing the neck pickup ring upside down. It makes the arch on the top look all weird. After I flipped the ring on the pickup it looks great. It also allowed the pickup to sit more even. Prior to flipping the ring the pickup was slanting down away from the strings. What can you do? It's Gibson!
     
  5. fractal

    fractal Member

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    Hey, arched top,

    The ring was curved, but the TOP was curved too. I'm just wondering if it is normal for the top to curve up AND THEN DOWN around the neck pickup (when looking down at it from a normal playing position).

    It is hard to explain this. Maybe I'll go back with a camera...

    Thanks for the help, though!
     
  6. DaveG

    DaveG Gold Supporting Member

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    I just got a used ES-137, and the top carve is just how you're describing it... I think it's normal.
     
  7. henry_lee

    henry_lee Member

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    hi,

    I own both 1991 and 2006 Gibson ES-175's.


    1. The dip in the body at the neck pickup / area on the high-E side
    is totally normal - I've seen the flipped humbucker rings occasionally
    to compensate for a "better" pickup angle.

    Both of my guitars have P-90's. I decided to cut some hand-made
    spacers / shims out of hard rock maple and shaped them
    to match that top contour. What a job. But it makes the P-90 sit level
    under the strings. (I'm pretty anal that way)

    You could always buy a replacment ring and do the same -
    just file & sand it perfectly to the top contour.


    2. The bridge is "normal". The best I can figure is the bridge base
    is drilled slightly off center to help give a wider string length
    adjustment. Perhaps they're drilled that way for aftermarket sales,
    I know the bridge on my 1991 was really tight to the bridge pickup,
    so that extra angle helped dial in the intonation easier. Otherwise,
    the base would be at like 30 degrees! If it's offset with the high-E
    backwards, that could be a problem.

    If everthing else is groovy, go for it. They're keepers.
    I can take some pics of mine in the daylight tomorrow.


    I hope this all made sense. Long day, one glass of wine and I'm a
    bit loopy already.:p

    HL
     
  8. fractal

    fractal Member

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    Thanks everyone!!

    Great help. I may just have to go back!
     

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