Other Guitars

Is a Gibson ES 175 worth the cost?

1

I’m primarily a Chet/Jerry/Merle player. I have mostly Gretsches of course. However, in recent years, I’ve been getting more into jazz. Now I have the opportunity to buy a 1967 Gibson ES 175 locally. It plays great and sounds wonderful. The finish is original and looks pretty nice but has some checking. The tuners and tailpiece are reproductions. It’s $3,300. Do you think it’s worth it?

2

Well pix help, but sounds like a decent price, really. Some from that era had the super narrow 1 9/16th neck tho. If you could get it down to $3100 or so even better. Still new ones are quite good and are found for somewhat less.

3

I'm not one to argue with a nice ES-175 ! Sounds like you already really like it. Go for it! (Maybe check comparable years/ conditions on Reverb to see if pricing is in line..?)

4

Well pix help, but sounds like a decent price, really. Some from that era had the super narrow 1 9/16th neck tho. If you could get it down to $3100 or so even better. Still new ones are quite good and are found for somewhat less.

– DCBirdMan

Had a '67 ES335TD. Beautiful instrument, but that 1 9/16" neck just couldn't grow on me.

5

It plays great and sounds wonderful.

That almost answers your question, doesn't it? It's not a bad price in any case, and they're great guitars.

6

My first 335 was a '65 which sounded wonderful but the neck was awful. That narrow nut made it very difficult for me. If it has a regular width neck it should be a good guitar though.

7

My 1969 Gibson ES335 -my first real electric, bought new - has a 1 9/16 wide nut. It’s the guitar I grew up playing, and have been playing it a lot recently. But yeah, it’s narrow.

8

My 53 es 175dn is one of the best guitars in my collection. It will remain with me for the rest of my days.

9

It plays great and sounds wonderful.

That almost answers your question, doesn't it? It's not a bad price in any case, and they're great guitars.

– WB

I would have said the same thing if WB hadn't said it first. The price is in line with what I see out there.

11

I haven't heard the one you're talking about but I bet it sounds just as sweet as those I've played/listened to. I like a wider neck at the nut so I've had my eye on some Eastman models and the quality is excellent.

One model of interest is AR503CE with Seth Lovers, and a 1.75"' wide neck at the nut, laminate back and sides and solid top. https://www.eastmanguitars....

or the Kent Armstrong equipped AR372CE that is all laminate: https://www.eastmanguitars....

12

if you're an archtop fanatic, i guess. personally i wouldn't pay north of $3000 for any guitar, but if you've got to have it i guess you just gotta.

13

A good 175 is a wonderful thing; it’s about the only archtop design on which I can forgive the Florentine cutaway (a personal aesthetic hang up of mine - but a pretty strong one, which speaks to the goodness of the 175 format).

Innumerable jazzers aren’t wrong about its inimitable fusion of woody warm silky luxury of tone and clear articulation; what Steve Howe did with his in the early years of Yes shows that its applicability goes beyond jazz. Buddy of mine had one when we played together years ago, and it was always a joy to hear.

Assuming the example itself you’ve asked about is All That, the price is in line.

My own 175, however, is the 1980s Matsumoku-made Westone Session II, which I’ll put up against any guitar of the type. It’s exquisitely built, with plays-itself action and gorgeous tone compliments of great pickups and the thinnest lam top of any guitar I own. And if you don’t require the G-word on the headstock, it fully looks the part and will certainly satisfy the urge.

These guitars are going for twice their cost new, because anyone who’s come across one gets how good they are - and not that many were made originally. They were better distributed in the UK, so that’s where they’re more often found; I got mine from there probably 20 years ago.

I find one there now, on EBay, and it looks to be a pristine example. Unless you’re already inclined to accept an 80s Japanese version of an American original (and are hip to Matsumoku’s reputation), I don’t suppose you’re likely to get excited about it. But if you’re after the form and function more than brand name prestige, this is a third the price of the Gibson and well worth consideration. (And I’m as proud of my Session as I would be of a Gibson - maybe more, because I know what I paid, and what I got for the money.)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/We...

14

I used to have an early 70's Gibson ES-175, and loved it. But prices have escalated out of proportion. If you love the ES-175 format, and the Gibson name is important, then $3,300 is within the ballpark of current pricing. If the name isn't a must, there are wonderful ES-175 alternatives out there by Eastman, Peerless, Epiphone and Heritage, as well as the older Matsumoku ones branded Ibanez, Greco, Westone, Ventura, Lyle and others.

I currently have a 2001 Samick made Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II, which I actually like better than my old ES-175.

15

Another Eastman fan ova heeya.

16

OK, the Westone Session II.

17

Don't let anybody talk you out overspending your hard earned cash for a prestige brand guitar. Throw it in the back of your Beemer and off to your gig you go. Just check your Rolex to make sure you're not running late!

18

I've certainly played lots, but never owned one, but did have an ES295; the only guitar that I regret parting with. Of all the ones I've played, some were clunkers, many from the 70s have sinking tops because Gibson used braces that were bent to the tops contour instead of carved, and a few were really nice. Most from the 60s were beautiful, and with a good setup, maybe even a clunker can be brought to life. My favourite was and still is the model with the natural finish and a single P90 pickup. I have to say though, my 1960 Gretsch 6124, set up as a jazz box will hold its own against any ES 175, and at about half the price. https://soundcloud.com/royp... Me thinks the Gibson prices reflect the brand, not the quality.

19

I think they're fine guitars. Been getting into jazz lately myself. I bought a new ES-175 at a good price from CME a couple of years ago. I liked everything about it except for the narrow width at the nut. I think I could have adapted and i also think that I should have made a new nut as the outer strings were a little too close to the edge of the fretboard. The 57 classics sounded very nice. I only sold the 175 after I got my Benedetto Bravo Deluxe, which ended up being a perfect fit for me.

Sounds like a reasonable price for the '67 if inspection reveals it's all that it should be. If you don't need vintage, the Eastmans are nice. Also check out the Heritage 575. Heritage guitars are made in the old Gibson Kalamazoo factory. A bunch of former Gibson employees bought the factory and much of the tooling when Gibson moved out and have been making top quality guitars ever since.


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