Gibson ES-150

March 17, 2009

Gibson ES-150

I went to the City Screen Basement Bar in York the other week and saw Mr David Viner play. I really like the sound he was getting from his guitar and it also looked pretty amazing too. After a little bit of ‘googling’ around, I found out that it was the Gibson ES-150. Very nice and very expensive!

The Gibson ES-150 is thought of as the first Spanish style electric guitar. ES after all stands for ‘Electric Spanish’. The 150 is from the amount in dollars that it cost (with the EH-150 amp and cable) when it first hit the shelves in 1936. $150 for a guitar of that quality! If only it were that little now :(

Over the years it has been widely used by Jazz musicians because of the loud sound it made that could be more clearly heard in larger orchestras.

The guitar became more popular yet by guitarist Charlie Christian and because of this popularisation, they named the pickup after him.

Wood-n’t it be nice…

The is a big difference between the ES-150 and other archtop guitar. Basically the inside of the guitar back is not carved to match the outside. This means it is not suitable for turning the energy from the strings into sound, which in turn reduces the problem of feedback that you get from other electro-acoustic guitars.

After the war, the “Charlie Christian” pickup was replaced with a p-90 pickup, but this was dis-continued in the 1950’s. Later, the ES-150DC was introduced. It looked a lot different and was in fact more a hollowbody electric guitar than an archtop guitar. This model was not as popular as its predecesor and was discontinued in the mid 70’s.

In summary then…

  • It has an interesting history
  • It looks great
  • It sounds great

Final thoughts…

Where do I buy one?