ES-125 review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7 (6 votes)
Gibson: ES-125
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Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 10
Well, I try to stay within Jazz bounds when playing this guitar but of course I will sometimes stray and I will say this; it accomodates Blues and Rockabilly quite well. I play it through a Fender Twin Reverb (1965) and the sound is nothing short of creamy and delicious. It comes equipped with the stock P-90 pickup which delivers warm, smooth, full tone. If you are a fan of Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, etc. you will like this guitar. It is pretty Standard in terms of sound, I mean there isn't a WHOLE lot of diversity to speak of in one pickup, but like I said it works well with Blues and Rockabilly old Country kind of stuff.

Overall Impression — 10
Again I try to stick to Jazzy stuff with this guitar and it sings. If you do not feel right about forking out $3,000 and up on an old Gibson Jazzbox, this is a healthy alternative. I regret nothing about this purchase and would gladly buy it again if it were lost... seeing as how it's so cheap. I love the simplicity, the tone, the vibe, and the Vintage feel. I really do not dislike anything about it I kind of wish it had neck binding but that isn't going to keep me from loving it. I chose this guitar because I had played on one a few times at the local Guitar Center and loved it so I thought "Well, I do not need another ES-175 or 335, and I do not have $8,600 to spend on the Wes Montgomer L-5 so I think I will get this." Of course when I went back to buy it, it was gone. Obviously I got lucky and found it on eBay for about $600 less than what Guitar Center was asking. Whew! Lucky.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will stand Live playing and has. The hardware is grade A, everything is original on it. The strap button is really solid in fact it almost seems as though it's a protuberance rather than an addition. It's quite dependable. Since I am not strictly a Jazz player I could not honestly say that I would play this without a backup but even if I was I like to have a wide variety of tones so I would always have a few extras. (L-5, ES-175) Still, though very solid guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Since I bought it used, the setup was great. The action was just right for me and the pickup was of appropraite placement. Everything about was primo, the only flaw is 51 years of playing and that's hardly a flaw! Anyway no oxidation or rusting, there is some minor checking which does not bother me, in fact I kind of like it... adds to the Vintage vibe, nothing about this guitar dissapointed me.

Features — 10
This particular git-fiddle was made in 1957, it has 20 frets with Dot inlay, a wonderful Rosewood fretboard (and bridge), Transparent finish, I believe it's a Mahagony body, original knobs, a very nice Roseweood bridge contributes to the scrumptious tone and it has the Kluson tuners which, by the way are very cool and very original. A Gibson hard case was included.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jac the frog
    Mine is a 62"TDC" exaltly the same but with the thin body and of course, more "Rock&Roll attitude" . Fantastic Guitar and so versatile :Classic jazz sounds to Ted Nugent and all between .
    xdsx43
    My dad has one of these. He let me practice on it when i was a kid. He had the thing for like, 20 years. It's just starting the wear and tear. The finish is starting to wear down. He always calls it the "Little Gibson". It's an amazing guitar, i would never play it if it was mine though.
    samturner31
    I aint got this guitar but my grammps has one an I admit this is my fav Gibson ever it one of the main resons I go to visit my gramppy
    diamondking117
    I like the double pickups, but I'm not a huge fan on the body. I also prefer a slotted headstock.