Gibson ES-135 – U.S.A. – 1956


Electric Semi-Hollow Thinline archtop guitar


Laminated maple body

Rosewood fretboard

Two P-100 pickups


In 1956, the ES-135’s single Florentine cutaway was combined for the first time with a semi-hollowbody. The ES-135 has a solid wood block in the center of the body.
The low price was reflected in some features of this model. The wooden block was not made of maple but of balsa wood. The neck of laminated maple wood was not nicely finished, the pickup covers were plastic and not chrome, and the rosewood fretboard had only simple round position dots. The floating trapezoidal tailpiece reduced the tension of the strings on the top.
The P-100 pickups were very similar to the P-90s, but they were basically early Gibson humbuckers. Not everyone liked the rounder sound and the humbuckers were quickly replaced by P-90s. However, this was too late the ES-135 was taken out of production after only three years.

Last updated on 12 May 2020
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