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ES-225 TDN, ’59



In 1955 Gibson developed a line of thin-bodied electric guitars to appeal to players wanting a smaller more comfortable instrument, but without the weight of a solid body guitar. This line consisted of three guitars: The upscale Byrdland, the mid-priced ES-350T, and the economy ES-225T.


The ES-225T looked much like a plainer ES-175, but measured only 1 and ¾” deep (compared to the ES-175’s 3 and 3/8” depth). When it first debuted in the summer of 1955, it had only a single pickup mid-way between the neck and the bridge. By the summer of 1956, successful sales drove Gibson to introduce a natural finish option, and a two pickup version. The 1959 Gibson catalog states: “The ES-225T series of thin-bodied, cutaway guitars offer outstanding professional instruments in the popular priced field. Combining the rigidity and tone features of a solid body guitar with the light weight, easy-to-hold shape of conventional styling, these instruments are available in single or double pickup models.”


The 1959 ES-225 TDN pictured has all the features typical of that model including: a laminated maple top, back and sides, a single bound top and back, 24 and ¾” scale mahogany neck with bound 20 fret rosewood fingerboard, and two P-90 single coil pickups. The strings are held in place by an original Les Paul style combination bridge-tailpiece.

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