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Important Note
: Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully somebody will help.

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Gibson Es-225 T Guitar Thinline ( 1955-1959 )

1959 es-225td gibson guitar The gibson es-225 guitars were built in 1955 , very similar to the 1960s es-125tc and the es-125tdc ( better known as the George thorogood guitars )

The es-225 t had a different tailpiece , the strings looped over the bridge , the guitar is a thinline archtop guitar , it has a single pointed cutaway , fully hollow bound body and neck , came with 1

p90 pickup placed in the middle between the neck and bridge which was very unpopular amongst guitarists ( pick ups were covered with black covers ) and came in natural and sunburst finish .

In 1956 gibson introduced the es-225td ( see pic ) which was the same guitar but with double p-90 pickups ( considered a better choice at the time for the price difference ) . In 1959 both the es-225 t and the es-225 td were discontinued .

Vintage guitar price value :
1955 - 1959 > $1600 to $2300 ( es-225 t natural)
1955 - 1959 > $1500 to $2100 ( sunburst )
1956 - 1959 > $2100 to $2800 (es-225td natural )
1956 - 1959 > $1800 to $2300 ( sunburst )

guitar price guideAvg Upward Trend of 7% a year since 2000

Theres a big gap between the prices , the natural finishes tend to be worth more then the sunburst finishes , they were produced in smaller numbers ( more rare and harder to find ) .


48 Comments

  Posted By : Blogger Frédéric

I have a sunburst 1955 and I couldn't part with it. The fretboard is so smooth, the neck is straight and plays great.

Combined with my now gone ampeg superechotwin, it gave me a wonderful rythm tone.

I now play it through a Fender blues junior and coulfn't be more happy with it.

Paid 1200$ canadian dollars in 1999 and I'm happy to see the current value is higher!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

hi frederic

i thought i was the only one who owned an es-225 (lol) ... definitely will agree with you , awesome axe !

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I as well have this instrument and having played many instruments over the years would not trade it for all the tea in China. I has a stunning quality of sound, tremendous range and an action to beat the band. A truly unique guitar.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1957 ES225T that I have owned since 1958. Turns 50 this year and still plays great.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous blues man

awesome , original owner ..very rare. these guitars usually go through multiple owners.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I just got a '56 and I absolutely love it. The neck just feels absolutely perfect and the single P-90 is the best pickup I've ever heard. Paid $1350 and I'm shure it's gonna be worth a lot more someday, even though I will never part with it again - I will sell all my other guitars before this one!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I agree these are amazing things. i just got a '59 and am not sure how I lived without it. with a smaller amp (Magnatone combo, or small ampeg, etc) you can get the bet, easily controllable feedback, leads, rhythym, everything.

I don't see why folks didn't like the one-pickup-in-the-middle setup. Seems perfectly placed and reasonable to me ..if you're going to have one, why not in the middle?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

My father bought this for me in a pawn shop in the late 80s for $400.

Sunburst, single pickup, which happens to sit right under my picking hand. Perfect placement IMO.

Tone through a les paul junior amp is to die for. Beautiful controllable feedback at sensible volumes. Setup is perfect after 50 years.

Most under-rated Axe out there, no doubt.

 

  Posted By : Blogger michael

i also have an es225. mine is a 1955 with original case. i have a few other es125, es125t, es125tc and es125tdc. i like the 225 best of all. curiously, it is the eldest of them also!!

 

  Posted By : Blogger bigsby178

I am looking into buying a 1956 sunburst es225T with a Bigsby. Did these ever come with that type of tailpiece or is that not original? The guitar store claims it is stock but I want a second opinion. Thanks!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a '55 sunburst with the string loop over the back of the bridge, single middle pickup in middle, Dad bought it in Austin in mid '70's. I need to sell it....anyone interested? Jerry 512-694-7593

 

  Posted By : Blogger Blueheart2

I have a '59 ES-225tdn - a lovely blonde, two P-90s, original pink velvet case, on which the hinges are rusting...(sob). I traded a nice parlor Guild for it in 1970.

I LOVE my guitar and will never, ever sell it. It sounds great through any amp and on its own. I don't understand why it's not more sought after.
BTW, I do NOT think a Bigsby was ever a stock feature of this guitar!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous pdqwjh02

i have a 1956 gibson es225t sunburst finish...looking to sell...in great shape.
pdqwjh02@yahoo.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I wore out some frets and the fretboard on my 225T. Sent it to Gibson restoration services. Plays just like new. Love this guitar.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I own a 1956 ES225 by myself and paid Eur. 1285 for it. March 2007 Tonica Groningen. I don't like the guitar. Lots of buzzles an rattles. Poor fret board also. Hard working guitar therefore I sell it for less then Eur. 1200 onto a guitar dealer in Holland.

 

  Posted By : Blogger Delirium Tremens

Mine, from the data on serial/factory order number information I could gather, was built in 1958 (has a "T" prefix on the number stamped inside upper f/s-hole).

I bought it from a college friend in 1972 who was and still is a Hot Tuna fan and wanted to get a better acoustic guitar for that sound (right, Steve?).

I took it and rendered it non-collectible for some but made it my "do any gig" axe, which it remains today.

Mods: replaced frets with heavier than stock frets; in the center P-90 spot, I put a Schecter Strat replacement pickup, integrated into the bridge pickup circuit (via a small bridge-circuit toggle switch); in the usual pickup locations, stock Gibson humbuckers (covered but magnet poles exposed), each with a coil-cutter switch. Also added in/out of phase switch between bridge and neck circuits. It may look like robo-guitar, but to me it's exactly what I needed for a huge range of gig and recording situations.

I have other guitars, which I love for their unique attributes, but this is my all-around, most flexible, "do any gig, anywhere" axe. I love it, will never sell it, my daughter will inherit it along with my other guitars, piano, and French horn, when I die.

Craig Starr
Danville, NH

 

  Posted By : Blogger jess level

Guy's this is a son's best xmas ever...
My father and I were at a church yard sale in 1967 where he stubbles acrossed this poor Gibson 225 in a pillow case. I can remember the look he gave me... Like a little kid, so it was.
Years later he hear of this gutiar going thru "The World of strings" in Long Beach, Ca. and comming back PERFECT. My father played that everyday in his band. I had the oppertunity to see that guitar hanging in a glass case in his home...wow. So he calls me this morning, and tells me " I'm sending you the Gibson 225 for xmas... is that all right with you...?"
I am so happy !!!!!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Guess I have one of the "rare ones."
It is an ES225TN (blond/natural) that I purchased new - FON says it's a 1956.
All original except the machines - had to replace them when the plastic disintegrated.

Notesmith

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a ES225 that my dad bought for me in 1965. It cost him $50.00. I was 15 at the time. The ES225 is in excellent condition. Any guesses as to it's worth?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous sliding pete

I own a 1956 sunburst 225T since 1999, paid 2600 DM,
about 1300 € and it's the greatest guitar I ever owned.
I play it everyday, mainly through a 1984 Fender Concert
II, a killer combination! Listen to it on my website.
I'll play it til I die,just like my 2002 National copy and then it's gonna pay for my funeral!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I found one in the garbage best guitar i have ever owned

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

My parents bought and ES225 back in 1957 so my guess is its a 56 or 57 sunburst. Elvis had been on TV and everyone wanted to play guitar. This was for an older foster brother to use while he stayed with us. They also purchased a Fender Princeton amp at the same time. As I grew out of my Clarinet and a push from the Beatles I got serious with the Gibson. This guitar to me is like a Stradivarius. Gold only has value when you exchange it for something. Thus my Gibson guitar is priceless.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

My father left me his ES-225T, sunburst. I remember when he bought it new in 1958. Would love to keep it, but we're moving into a smaller place. If anyone is interested in buying it, or the Magnatone Amp (same year), please email jenngrove@yahoo.com. Both are in excellent condition.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1956 ES 225 t Tobacco Sunburst I have had since I was 14 in 1965. I played it in several garage bands in Bellrook Ohio while in high school. I will NEVER part with this instument, I'm glad to read I am not the only one to feel this way. I also still have the DanElectro ac/dc amp. This has played its best thru a ROLAND 4*12 Chorus amp. It will play mellow jazz & finger style to screaming Hendrix. It is also very light, easy on the shoulder
A few years ago I had it refretted by Jack Cassidy in N.C. (Jack was Brian Mays roadie guitar tech, also Joan Jett & Stryker as well others)
When I got the Gibson back from Jack the action was reduced in half, words cannot express the thanks & gatitude I owe Jack for giving me back this guitar better than i could ever dream of, thanks Jack.
The guitar has withstood the test of time, the neck, the finish, & electronics are perfect. It has well withstood living on our boat, which I was very concerned about.
If you have a chance to buy a 225, buy it, it has been so under rated over the years
Jam on,
Tim Donley, Stuart, Fl

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a es 225t 55´, sunburst and I love it too. I´ve replaced the long tailpiece wrap around bridge. Got a new toneOmatic that I reliced. Plays great.
Just one strange thing...the dots are not completly centered on the fretboard.
Drunk Gibson worker?
Martin linder, Sweden

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I've got a '56 225TD and stumbled across it back in '91 when I was going to buy an Ibanez shred beast. Thank goodness I bought this, and for under a thou, a real bargain. A previous owner has stripped the OG finish and it's a bit the worse for wear but it plays amazingly. I want to get her back to the OG natural finish and sort a few other issues but EVERYONE loves this guitar and I'll never sell it.
Andy
Australia

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I bought a 1956 ES 225T about 6 months ago and I can't put it down. It is in like new condition from a guy who owned it for 34 years. I had the frets dressed and guitar set up and it plays fantastic! I am very happy with it and I think they are under priced in the market place. The 1956 P-90 pick up sounds like no other. It's a keeper for sure!! John

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I inherited an ES 225t from my dad, I remember it was a sunburst. Unfortunately he had sanded it down and stripped all the pickups and electronics out. It also has two holes sloppily cut for pickups above and below the original pickup hole, I'm not sure if he did that or the person that owned it before him. I'd like to restore it best I can. Even in it's sad shape it still sounds beautiful and I enjoy playing it very much.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Without a doubt the best buy in the the vintage Gibson market.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

just bought a 58 es225 for 500 usd. holla

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have an es 225 t natural with the single pick-up in the middle. My aunt bought it for me in 1956. Loved it then and still do. Still has great action. I just read this model wasn't that popular among guitarist. I understand that but anyone who has ever play mine is amazed at the great sound.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

To the fellow who asked if the ES225T came with a Bigsby.. I have had one since 1956 and it has one....

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a Es-225t, sunburst, single pickup right in the middle..!!
I bought it in 1958.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I've got a 57 TD that has a floating tune-o-matic and trapeze tail piece. Supposedly it's original, but even if it's not the thing just sounds amazing! It is the only guitar that I can play for 6 hours and still want to play for another 6. Sore, tired fingers...never! Tonal variation...unbelievable! Switch pickups, spin the knobs and you'll always find something different without even touching the amp. If you can get one, do it, but don't tell anyone...if they become to popular I won't be able to buy another one.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

ich habe eine ES 125 ende 1960 mit 1 pickup museumscondition
die klingt jazziger als die mit 2 pickups die ich auch schon gleichzeitig hatte u. verkauft habe.

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I had one that was in bad shape..Neck was reset . p90 was covered from factory with blank and humbuckers were installed in the 50's but I assume someone snatched the PaF's and replaced them with gibson embossed pickups in the 70's.Has Bixby tailpiece.There was felt glued to he back.Amazingwhat some people do. Guitars head stock was broken and I think it will be a good idea to dsend it to gibson to restore it.from dkavan4710@aol.com

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I own a 1957 ES225-TD. Previous owner removed the stock tail piece and replaced with an old Bibsby clone. I'm thinking about returning to the stock piece. Someone at a guitar store said he'd stick with the Bigsby because it's harder to keep the strings tuned with the stock tail piece. Is this true???

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

From the click of opening the guitar case to the end of the limited 60 cycle hum of the '56 Fender deluxe amp, there is nothing that really compares to playing my '58 ES 225TD. The feel, the tone, the smell, you really feel as though you were transported back to the greatest era of rock 'n' roll.

Cheers

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

January 2011. Bought my first Ebay ax. A 1957 ES225TD. Took me a day to clean off the nicotine(yeah I know,ambiance and all that jazz.I play em,I don't smell em. The pots were extremely crusted as this guitar has spent its' life on the California coast.I've got to believe in previous owner spirit. This guitar posseses my fingers!

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

My 225TC, which I bought from Joe Satriani (because as you can imagine he wasn't using it very often!), has this amazing bloom off the pluck. Almost like a fretless bass. Is this because of the way the strings wrap over the fat bridge? Does anybody else hear and love this characteristic?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

my es 225t has fon (factory order number) impressed on the back of the headstock in addition to printed inside of back of body. is that normal?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I have a 1957 ES-125-TD, double P90, sunburst. Anyone interetsed davidlebeau@hotmail.ca

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

Traded away a used camera for my 58 T Sunburst around 94.
Cash invested around $500. The camera worth about three at the time.
Good to Very good condition, all original with the exception of the tuners.
I plan to replace them with reproductions.
There's a possibility that the head stock has been drilled for upgraded machines, but I have never bothered to check. I have it looked at regularly to make sure it ages well, but have only had it set up. It has never needed any repairs, and is wonderfully playable. I have been offered cash from nearly everyone who has played it, but like most of the posters, mine's not going anywhere either.
Old Uncle Dino

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I had 2 55's from 79 to 96.Iwas told they were es125 but they were 1955 es225t.I tuned one standard the other to open E for slide.Awesome guitars but didnt hold tune very well as I am hard on guitars and they are delicate for much gigging.Also hard to copy modern tones[that was the job]but man what a TONE! Bend the G at the 9th fret and it would PLAY ITS OWN SONG!Open E slide was a gas.Hard to control feedback on loud rock band duty but worth the effort in tone and onstage panache.I used them with 2 Earth GL2000 tube heads with 2 3x15 Kustom cabs,all white sparkle tuck&roll padded,up all the way all the time!Bar gigs and back aches forced me to dial it back a bit and I started just using my great SG and a Fender 75[very good]but never quite the same.If you want to truly feel a guitar that is ALIVE IN YOUR HANDS there is nothing quite like a 1955 ES225T with the "middle" p90.

 

  Posted By : Blogger Terry

I have a 1957 ES225T (Original Owner) I need a new pick guard. The original is warped. Anyone have any info?

 

  Posted By : Anonymous Anonymous

I'M GOING TO BUY A 1955 225 ES SINGLE PICK UP , SHE IS A BEAUTY AND I CAN'T WAIT TO TAKE HER HOME ! GUESS I'LL NEVER PART FROM HER BUT YOU KNOW HOW THIS THINGS GO ... I COLLECT THEM AND TO ME IT'S LIKE GO BACK TO THOSE YEARS AND FEEL THE SAME VIBRATIONS AND BE YOUNG AGAIN (AT HEART AT LEAST) - AND AS THE SONG GOES ... 'CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE' WITH GUITARS OF THIS KIND , MARCO FROM MILAN ITALY ( CLASSIC & VINTAGE GUITARS COLLECTORS ) fancyguitars@gmail.com

 

  Posted By : Blogger Cereal

These guitars are awesome, and still great value even with vintage crazyprices.

In late 58 and 59, right before they stopped making them in favor of the new ES-335 and 330 models, Gibson wised up and put normal trapeze tails and regular bridges on some instead of the silly wrap-under tailpiece/bridge that they learned years earlier from the Les Paul model was lame. These usually have single piece carved/compensated wooden bridges. If you see one, single or double pickup model, get it. You won't regret it. They have genius necks, sound like God, play like buttet, look sexy, and generally cost less than parts from other guitars of the same vintage. BELIEVE IT!

 

  Posted By : Blogger Paul

Own a 1957 ES225TD in excellent condition. One little nic in the finish, otherwise in perfect shape. Cool thing is I was born in 1957, so the guitar is the same age as I am. Wouldn't part with it for anything.

 

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