Gibson ES 175

9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (9.0)/10

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Gibson ES 175 Review Facts

Guitars, there are so many of them on the market. Between the numerous brands and each individual model type, there are a near limitless number of choices out there. But if you are looking for a good, multipurpose guitar, then the Gibson ES-175 is what you are looking for. It is one of the oldest models still in production.

Beyond simply being a well-known name, the company has been creating guitars and selling them to collectors and professionals for quite some time. If you know your guitars, you probably have one or at least know what one you would like to own at some point. So, with this particular model, will you find that dream guitar, or will you still be left looking? Let us head into the details and we will find out what makes this one worth considering, or whether you need something else to meet your style.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Unpotted pickups
  • Laminate figured maple body
  • Titanium saddle bridge
  • Sound Quality
  • Aesthtics
  • Build Quality
  • Price
  • Availability
  • Off-center strings


As with any guitar, the accessories are about the same. Extra picks, the cords to connect it to the amps, the amps and a case are what you need for starters. Of course, to be on the safe side you might add some extra strings in case the unthinkable happens and one snaps while you are playing. Of course, if you handle your guitar properly, the extra strings are usually going to be around for quite some time without use.

The biggest advice any guitar player could be given is to make your case your priority. With an electric guitar, definitely make your cords and amps a close second, however, as your best sound will only come once you have them!

Basic Features

Basically, a person can play this guitar like normal. It’ll work like a normal electric Spanish-style guitar. Of course, almost any guitar can be played normally, without using any of the little extra switches and toggles built into this monster of a guitar. No matter how you use this, you will find that it is nothing to scoff at, as it has been made with skill and care. Be it the laminate figured, single cutaway maple body, the rosewood fingerboard, or the other beautifully crafted pieces, this guitar looks as good as it sounds, which makes it one of the most beautiful guitars on the market.

Advanced Features

To the average player, this guitar is like any other. To a professional player, this guitar is something that will leave him or her with no real complaints. Of course, each individual has their own personal preferences, and there are some who will not prefer this guitar. As it stands, whether you are playing rock, jazz, blues, or other such music it does not matter, this guitar can hold its own. This guitar’s triple toggle switch changes the quality of sound.

This guitar offers three different settings which make it have a slight sound variance. The first setting is the lightest tones, while the third setting is the lowest. This is great when you need to jump between high and low scales for a song and don’t want to either have multiple guitars or pause to tighten or loosen your strings just to hit the proper note sound wise.

Sound Quality

Between the hollow body and the unpotted pickups, this guitar has an amazing sound to it. Hook this bad boy up to a good amplifier and play to your heart’s content, we guarantee you that it will sound great. Though a word to the wise, this is not exactly the electric guitar you would grab for a rock band or want to play hard enough to make the strings snap.

Rather than going for the sound most of the younger and inexperienced players tend to go for, this is more of a blues, bluegrass and jazz instrument. Its settings are specifically set up for making the perfect blend of sounds for this type of music. The quality of its sound for this type of music is honestly quite astonishing, and even those who have been playing professionally admit this is one they want or already have in their collection.


The materials for this wonderful guitar are numerous. While the easiest material to note is rosewood for the one we looked at, there are several other types available for selection for your guitar, and with it changes in color. We want to cover as much as we can without overloading on detail, so here it goes.

The main body of the one we looked at was rosewood, which just looks downright gorgeous in all honestly. The metal on it was a shined platinum finish and gave it a flashy finish that wasn’t too much to take away from the instruments the main body and finish. The backboard and much of the trim was done in a black washed finish which meant you had the perfect trim to make the platinum stand out and at the same time got the muted back for the rosewood to stand out all the more in its darker, but not a too dark color.

Everything is put together with quality materials that any guitar player would be proud to have. Not only does this piece look good, but it will stand up to its intended use with ease, making it a perfect addition to any collection.


Those who have bought any of the Gibson line guitars have rarely had anything to say about being uncomfortable while playing their guitar. They are very well designed for a player to be able to enjoy working with from start to finish. With the ease to switch between three different tonal settings, you don’t even have to worry about the discomfort of switching guitars or messing with the settings for the strings to change it up.

The design is perfect for solo playing as well as for using in a blues or jazz band so that the player does not tire easily. It isn’t heavy, and it simply sits well in the lap or over the shoulder with the strap. It is ergonomically built to keep strain off the wrists and arms as well, so you can be sure you will keep up for as long as you wish to play. With as beautiful as this guitar sounds and looks, you can also be sure you look good while your laying, which may not be a physical comfort, but when you are in front of a crowd, emotional comfort is just as important for presentation and play.


There are several different aesthetic styles for this guitar, though it was designed with specific music types in mind as mentioned earlier. That said you can be guaranteed one of these beautiful appearances will match whatever feeling you are going for.

The rosewood, for us, seems to give that old school ‘man in black’ feeling off even with the reddish tone that makes up a large portion of the body. It fades out into black and with the black trim to the pieces, it just brings that quiet yet impressive feel to the table. You aren’t likely to be soon forgotten with an instrument this pretty, nor with the sound it produces.

As for the style of music it is aimed with, yet again, you could play something harder, but it almost seems a shame to do on something so beautiful. Blues, bluegrass and jazz were what was in mind, though we can honestly say it would be great for country music too. When we think Johnny Cash, this guitar definitely fits as well for his style, and in our opinion, that was a style all of its own.


If used as intended this guitar will last you for years and years, it may even outlast you. One thing we know is that from everything we found out, it seems you will need to replace everything else before you need to replace the guitar itself. This is an instrument built to last and be played for all to enjoy.

The only real complaints we have seen aren’t really in the durability but in the overall initial design. Some of the strings appear to be slightly off center and the lacquer used can leave ridges or bumps along the neck joint. These are small problems when considering that the end result is a guitar that seems to outperform most others one could grab for what it is designed to do.

In truth, those who have had the honor to either play or own this quality made instrument, there have been next to issues in durability. It holds its own and then some in being an instrument you can rely on.

Ease of Use

Whereas it has its genre of play, this instrument is easy enough to pick up and play, that many feel it can climb out of its field and still give a player and listener both the satisfaction of sound in other areas. With how easy it is on the arms, wrists, and hands, finding where you need to hit to get the proper tones and notes is something many have done quickly. It does lack some setup due to the way the switch is, and certain tuning abilities that your normal guitar would have, but that hardly seems to interfere. We listened to several genre’s and riffs being played and could not help but nod our head and enjoy.

While it is designed for more advanced and professional players, it seems this is something a beginner could pick up and ease into with a little work. The fact that its sound draws the attention so rapidly, and you can hear a clear difference between notes only adds to its playability. A quick flick and you can go from a higher riff to a lower one and not have to mess with much of anything else.


This goes hand in hand with just how easy this guitar is to learn and play. We listened to several people play this beautiful instrument and were tempted to spend the rest of the evening listening to it. The sound is immersive, and according to those who were doing the work, it took little effort to bring out this quality. From the smooth transitions to the more dingy sound of punk or goth style music, this guitar held the attention.

If we were to base our review entirely on sound and performance, we could say for certain this guitar ranks out near the top, and that is with comparing it outside its genre. The design is simply well thought out and well put together to perform and leave one breathless.


Considering how expensive it was to get your hands on one of these lovely guitars a few years ago, the price tag on it today is bound to take your breath away just as quickly as the guitar itself is. The version available is only $85 currently, however the Gibson ES 175 is such a coveted instrument for its high quality that it will likely be gone quickly. Your best chances for finding it on a site like Amazon is to hope someone puts it up privately.

If you are looking to get one new, though, you are looking at a much higher price tag usually. This particular guitar typically runs over 1k and is worth every cent to collectors, so you may find yourself fighting to get your hands on it at this low cost. Be prepared to be saving up and hunting for this one to get it safely in your collection, You will need to plan ahead and take the first chance you have at purchasing it when you see it (as the rosewood, the darker version we were looking at vanished while we were writing this article!!).

Key Features

Great sound
Easy to play
Three level tone
Beautiful appearance

Bottom Line

If you want quality and reliability with your guitar purchase, this is the one for you. With a beautiful sound that can shift through any genre of music and leave a mark that is unforgettable and great, you will get that with this instrument. When they designed this particular ‘old school’ feeling product line they broke the mold.

If you are new to guitars, an old hand, or simply have to have something to impress everyone, you won’t be let down with this purchase. This item simply is that touch of old with the technology of new that don’t normally come together well and makes it seem like anyone should be able to handle it. With a company like Gibson though, most collectors will tell you, their reputation makes it so you don’t really have to wonder if you have one of the best. The ES 175 is no exception to that rule, if anything, it exemplifies it.