12/18/2016

2010 Gibson Custom Shop ES-137 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar





Gibson's ES-137 (or, ES-137C on this guitar's label) is a modern model that combines a bunch of different classic Gibson features into one instrument. Its body shape is the cutaway, 16" lower bout outline famous from the ES-175 while its depth is a slimmer 2" that recalls their slim hollowbodies of the late 50s and 60s. It has tonebar bracing on the top which also recalls the hollowbodies but there's a center block connecting top to back (like on Gretsches) that effectively turns this into a semi-hollow guitar along the lines of an ES-335. Also like an ES-335, it carries twin humbuckers, a TOM bridge and stop tail, and a more "pushed-out" neck with a joint at the 16th fret.

All of these swap-arounds add-up to a guitar that has a fundamentally jazzy tone and looks like an ES-175 but with more feedback resistance, comfort, fret access and sustain like an ES-335 or similar. It can definitely rock out, but I personally think it works best as a jazz box. This one comes with all sorts of original sales and case material denoting that it's a "Custom Shop" model and that it's got a fancy tri-color sunburst.

A friend of mine bought this new in 2010 and played it a bunch for a while and then lightly after that. He's since remained mostly an acoustic player and so off it goes. I gave it a light fret level/dress and a fresh setup with 46w-10 strings and also cleaned it up a bit. There's light use-wear here and there with some light buckle scratches on the rear and it could use a nice going-over with good polish (I'm out of my favorite polish at the moment), but it's still quite clean and has held-up the last 6 years beautifully. My buddy used 56w-13 wound-G strings on it and the neck has remained stable under all that tension. It's currently setup on-the-dot with 3/32" E and 1/16" ADGBE action at the 12th fret.


Acres of flamed maple definitely give this an air of class, no?


I like the metal-buttoned "keystone" Rotomatics. This has a 1 11/16" nut width and a slim-to-medium C-profile to the neck. It feels about like a late-50s or early-60s Gibson electric neck and it's made of 3-piece maple.


The Les Paul-style inlay is catchy. This has a standard 24 3/4" Gibson scale length.




All the hardware is quite good quality.

Do you see the lady by the stop-tail? It's a water-slide decal and should come off with a little effort, if desired. I left it on -- why not?



The bound pickguard looks great.















An original, high-quality, arched-lid, TKL hard case comes with it. It even has a dust cover and all of the original sales material, warranty information, and whatnot is tucked-in.

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