Here is a vintage 1969 Gibson ES-175 hollowbody electric guitar. This particular example, serial number 831284, is in near mint, all original, condition and features several custom factory upgrades, including: all Gold hardware, a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, a 1 11/16″ nut width, and a corresponding “CUSTOM” truss rod cover. This extremely rare guitar is most likely a one-of-a-kind, special order, ES-175 from ’69, of which perhaps only one was shipped in this incredible configuration. While the upgrades seem subtle, they are particularly interesting and unusual. Both seasoned collectors and serious players will appreciate the understated exceptionalism of this truly unique ’69 Gibson ES-175.
Serial Number: 831284
FON Number: 12191
Nut Width: 1 11/16″
Weight: 7 lbs.
This Custom ’69 ES-175 features: the original Sunburst finish, a triple-ply bound maple top, a bound maple back, maple sides, a 1-piece mahogany neck, a rosewood fingerboard with double-parallelogram inlays, (2) Pat No humbucking pickups, a rosewood-base adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge with original nylon saddles and a custom ordered factory Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, crown headstock inlay, Kluson Deluxe “double-line” tuning machines, a custom ordered 1 11/16″ nut width, black witch hat knobs, all Gold hardware, and a non-original vintage hard shell case.
While Gold hardware is a potentially visible, albeit infrequently, ordered option on some vintage guitars, it is particularly less commonly found on late-1960’s electric guitars. The guitar also features a gold truss rod nut, another small detail that most original gold hardware guitars have. But not only does this guitar sport custom hardware appointments (gold parts/truss rod cover/truss rod), it actually features a completely special pre-’65 nut width for the neck. During early-mid ’65, Gibson reduced their nut widths from the traditional 1 11/16″ to a more confined 1 9/16″, which is the width they remained for the duration of the ’60s thereafter. It is generally results in what is regarded as a less comfortable, and subsequently less desirable, neck profile, with the only instruments retaining the original width (Gibson Les Paul circa ’68-’69) being worth in excess of $10,000.00. We have never owned nor have we seen a comparable late-’60s ES-175 with the wider nut width. This is a very rare detail, that we believe may be completely unique to this guitar only.
Furthermore, this special specimen is in near immaculate 100% all original shape. The original finish is vibrant, rich, and unfaded. No weather-checking is evident, and there are only 2 visible dings. Though there is very slight evidence of wear, the gold hardware is in the same corresponding condition, and virtually untarnished. The original large frets are in nearly entirely intact, and there is no neck wear to disclose. The condition would conservatively be rated a 9.5/10, and is quite fit for even the finest collections. In fact, most would probably presume it to be a reissue!
The guitar includes an era appropriate, though probably not original, blue interior hard case. The original case would have the same exterior with yellow interior, but since the guitar is such an interesting version, there is a remote possibility it would have come with an atypical case.
ES175, ES 175