Gibson ES-137 Hollow Body

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A Combination of Two Classics

Not every Gibson guitar traces its heritage back to the so-called "Golden Years" of American Guitars, which is widely accepted to be most of the 1950s and into the 1960s. The ES-137 is a perfect example. Gibson never built any instrument quite like this until recently. It clearly combines two distinctive influences: The look of Gibson's single cuataway, semi-hollowbodies and the hot sound of a Les Paul Classic. Is it a blues guitar? A rock guitar? Or perhaps a jazz guitar? The answer is, it's all of these. With its feature set, it can play clean jazz or fusion lines. Crank your amp to "11" and it screams just like a Les Paul.

Gibson ES-137 Classic at a Glance:

  • Semi-hollowbody design with curly maple laminated top, back and sides in Tri Burst finish with multi-ply binding
  • Chunky '59 profile mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, pearloid trapezoid inlays and engraved "C" at 12th fret
  • Two hot humbuckers - 490R (neck) and 498T (bridge)

A Very Special New Gibson
Can you say, "Instant classic?" Certainly the critics are unanimous of their praise for this instrument, with its wide array of tones, as well as the handsome lines which evoke those great old Gibson archtops, but this time in a thinner, semi-hollowbody design. It still keeps the traditional f-holes, but thanks to the thinline design, feedback is kept under control. The modern humbuckers can go from dark and smoky to full-out snarl, all depending upon your choice of amplification or outboard gear. The Tri Burst finish is decidedly 21st Century.

Not Too Fat, Not Too Thin
No, we're not talking about the latest fad diet, we're talking about the 1959 ES-137's neck profile. It's not as big as those huge 1958 Les Paul necks, but neither is it as thin as the 1960s so-called "slim taper" neck profiles. In any case, the combination of a nice, rounded three-piece maple neck and the warmth of a rosewood fingerboard is what the ES-137 Classic is all about. It's not for everyone, of course. Today's shredders will want a thinner neck, but the ES-137 is hardly a guitar they'd be looking at anyhow.

Two Smoking Hot Humbuckers On Board
Today's humbuckers truly have it all: Complex midrange, punchy lows and a smooth top end that won't make your teeth hurt. For those seeking the often overused "out-of-phase" session sound which ruled the airwaves back in the 1980s, you won't find it here. If you're looking for a pickup that starts out clean and can really smoke when your amp is on 11, well then, this might be your next guitar!