ES-137 Classic Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: ES-137 Classic
The ES-137 Classic combines two classics - the look of Gibson's single-cutaway semi-hollowbody guitars and the hot sound of a Gibson Les Paul Classic.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.4 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 46 
reviews (4) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
ES-137 Classic Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2520

Features: Featuring all the standard Gibson features: - Nice case - Tune-o-matit bridge - A wonderful laminate flamy finish! - Grover tuners, keeping the tone very well (much better than the ugly green ones Gibson uses on many Les Paul modells) - 490R, 498T pickups // 10

Sound: The sound of this music machine. You can get any sound through it. Only problem with the pickups are the pickupcovers - with them on it looks better but they are much noisier. But that problem most guitars with humbuckers have. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was handpicked by myself, it is perfect, (I've had something to complain about with all my previous gibsons, but this one is a real flawless masterpiece). // 10

Reliability & Durability: Before I bought this guitar I've read some reviews about it saying that it'd be rather unstaible on scene. I can tell you that is a lie. I've played this guitar on a big scene (2000+ people) and never had a problem with feedback. It's not like most other semi-hollow electrics, this one has a mahogany block in the middle taking away all the feedback. // 10

Overall Impression: I play all kinds of music from blues to heavy metall on it, I've been playing totally for about 11 years. The ES-137 Classic works with everything (well maybe not if you only play with really heavy dist - then find yourself a solid-body guitar). Compared to a Les Paul Studio (in the same price league). The ES-137C it's much more lively (sounds much better without tons of dist). Even though it has the same pickups. It also feels much better. It also looks better - very beautiful body with f-holes. So if you are thinking about buying a LP Studio you should really compare with this one first. Only drawback it has is that it might be a little big. // 10

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overall: 8.4
ES-137 Classic Reviewed by: Free to Guitar, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1

Purchased from: Bailey Brothers, Birmingham AL

Features: 2006 Gibson ES-137. Pretty Standard features, nothing to write home about. Body: semi-hollow, maple/poplar/maple laminate body. Mahogany center block. White single ply binding around body and neck. 3 piece maple neck, '59 rounded profile. Rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets, trapezoid style pearloid inlays. Two f-holes, florentine cut, black plastic pickguard. Nitrocellulose finish, Tri-Burst. Controls: 2 volume and 2 tone knobs. 3 way Switch. Chrome hardware. Grover tuners, Tune-O-Matic bridge, stop bar tailpiece. 490R neck pickup, 498T bridge pickup. // 7

Sound: This guitar has BALLS. It looks like a jazz/blues type guitar but don't let that fool you. Thanks to the pickups and mahogany block, you can rock out with this puppy. Sounds like a Les Paul with a little something else. Rich, dark, smokey. The neck pup is smooth and glassy, though it has a little too much bass sometimes. The bridge is just hot. Lots of mids. The ES-137 is just for headbanging though. Kill the distortion and you've got some nice cleans. Roll off the tone and you can play jazz. I've tried Jazz, Classic Rock, some Heavy Metal(the pups are hotter than '57 Classics but they won't melt your mom's face), Fusion, and Blues. Nailed 'em all. Great sustain for a semi-hollow too. I did have to lower the pups a little bit, there was a hint of mud in them. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Good factory setup. The finish is a lovely Triburst. Absolutely stunning. The chrome hardware is finished nice and shiny. The wood is pretty good, for plain maple. Binding good throughout, F-holes well cut. Small finish blems around the tailpiece anchors and in the gap between the end of the neck and the body. Otherwise a gorgeous and well made git'ar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: So far it has been quite reliable. Survived two minor falls without a mark. I do baby the finish a bit though. It's a little cloudy on the back side where my shirt rubs against it. It's been 100% reliable for the past year. I do wish Gibson would use Standard size screws though. I replaced the strap buttons with strap locks and I had to use glue to hold one of them on, the screw was so loose. // 8

Overall Impression: I love this guitar. I was searching for a "real" guitar. After playing every solidbody in the store, I looked at this and said "well, I guess I can try it." I got it right then and there. It plays well, has a "different" sound, covers a lot of sonic territory, and it's quite a looker. The body might be a little large for some people but it's never bothered me. My only complaints: I'd have paid extra to get something other than pearloid. It's not bad as a dot but with the trapezoid shapes, it's pretty obviously fake. The neck heel is a little large, though I can still work with it. // 9

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overall: 9.4
ES-137 Classic Reviewed by: chatter4500, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1500

Purchased from: Alto Music

Features: My 137 was made in 2009 in Memphis like the rest. I bought the Blue Burst finish, simply beautiful! I was extremely hesitant to purchase this, as it is semi-hollow, not fully hollow, and I play jazz blues and some funk (nothing too distorted though) and I was looking for the sound of my friend's Vintage D'Angelico archtop without coughing up 10 grand for such a unique guitar. There is a 3 way selector Switch and 2 humbuckers (490R and 498T I believe). I think the bridge pickup isn'tas good as the neck pickup. // 8

Sound: I play jazz and blues through this guitar and this fits the bill beautifully. I play though a reallyyy old Fender Champ, it sounds so beautiful! Get a decent amp if you get this guitar, it deserves such a luxury. It's got humbuckers, so there ain't much noise. The tone rolled down on the neck pickup provides such a beautiful sound that just lights up the world. I also play through a self-made Strat for heavier blues but that poor guitar hasn't gotten much playing time lately... Ok so there is one con. The bridge pickup just feels sorta weak to me. Perhaps I had been playing single coils too long but I need something with a lil more pop, because right now I can't get a good funk sound out of this (it doesn't have to be good, just useable so I don't have to lug around 2 guitars). That is just personal preference though, and it shouldn't be a problem when I put in a hotter pickup. I give the neck pickup a 10/10, the bridge position an 8/10. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Don't EVER get a guitar like this without getting a full setup from an experianced guitar tech. It makes no sense. I tried a non set-up 137 and thought it was rather horrible. I asked a sales rep if there were any set up ones in the store and he showed me a used one that felt good (the pickups were switched out to these horrible metal pickups and metal isn't my style). Just get it set up, no questions asked. Gibson has pretty good quality control, I'd be surprised if someone found a dud. There was a rather stupid flaw in mine that I think is in every 137: the wires in the hollow part of the guitar weren't secured properly and sometimes they would rattle like hell at louder levels. It's very silly and VERY easy for a tech to fix, so just ask him to do it when you get it set up, no big deal. My tech told me about it when he set it up (took him 3 hours to figure out what was rattling, poor guy). // 10

Reliability & Durability: I will gig without a backup when I find an indestructible guitar. Having said that, this guitar should last me a lifetime. Keep the humidity and the air pressure right and it should outlast me. Everything about it seems really strong (and it's reallyyyy heavy!) so just be careful. Take care of the guitar, it will take care of you. // 10

Overall Impression: A friend of mine described this guitar as "classy" and ever since then, it's been my Classy Guitar. It is the best way to describe it; don't try to play anything too dirty, but it can handle tube drive. The blue burst looks beautiful and it sounds beautiful and can handle anything I throw at it (but don't actually throw stuff at it, poor life choice). If someone stole it, I'd track the S.O.B. down and wreck him. I don't think I'd replace this guitar with something more expensive even if I could, as I can get a much stronger blues sound from here than I could get from a typical archtop, and the jazz still sounds jazzy and gorgous, and I couldn't find anything quite like it. This thing is classy I named it Clarissa. One thing I wish it came with is a cookie. // 10

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overall: 9.6
ES-137 Classic Reviewed by: gibsones-137, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 1900

Purchased from: Long & Mcquade

Features: - Made in 2004, in the US - Semi-Hollow body - Cherry Sunburst finish on Flamed Maple - Gold Hardware - Tune-O-Matic Bridge and stopbar - 22 Fret scale neck w/ Rosewood fretboard - 2 Volume and 2 Tone control nobs, and three-way selector - Gibson 490 R and 498 T pickups // 10

Sound: I play a lot of ska/punk and rock and this guitar does it all and sound amazing doing it. I've been running it through a Traynor DynaGain 60, usually with the high gain boost on, and it sounds awesome. There is a lot of low end in this guitar but the highs and mids still come through sounding amazing. On the clean or bright settings it sounds absolutely beautiful as well. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar is a little high, but I believe that is just how the person who owned it before me set it up, as I bought it used. But it's not high enough that I care to change it, I've gotten used to it, and nobody else who has played it has complained. The guitar contained no flaws when I got it, and the only flaws it has now are a couple small cosmetic marks due from being played a lot. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would have no problems performing live. The hardware seems to be very solid and reliable, the strap buttons have not moved at all, I've owned the guitar for 4 years now and I haven't needed to tighten them. The only problems I've had with finish is a small amount of veneer cracking, which is bound to happen as I live in Canada and in a basement that is always cold. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is a perfect match for the style of music I play, sounds absolutely amazing for the upbeat ska/punk I play, but still has the balls to play some hard rock. Overall I can't really say anything bad about this guitar, it is my pride and joy. If it was ever stolen I would definitely buy another one after I got out of jail for murdering the person who stole it. // 10

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