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Gibson ES-137 Blue Burst

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Hi all,

Whats the consensus on these guitars? Ive been looking to add one to my collection and a used one popped up in my area.. this might be my first forray into the Gibson side of life after playing Fenders only for the past 15 years..

 

 

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I'd like one.  Never played one though.  Nice alternative to the 335 shape IMO and I like a blue guitar too.

Very good-looking single (sharp) cutaway f-hole thinline, stop tailpiece, r'wood board with block inlays, the Classic even had gold fittings.  

I played Fender or long-scale guitars for many years, getting a Gibson with the slightly shorter scale length really has opened things up a lot for me, playing-wise.

They are not being manufactured any more either - not at present.

 

Edited by jdgm

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I had a mild interest in them when they were in production, but found ES double-cuts to be a better fit overall.  That said, 137s do have the potential to be quite nice.

Lots of variation in Memphis production from piece to piece, so having a good return policy would be a must.

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I just bought a 2004 ES137 Classic a few months back. There are 2 models: Classic and Custom. Custom has the 6-way Varitone switch next to the Vol/Tone pots. Mine's a Classic and frankly I love it (first Gibson, always been a PRS/Collings/Fender guy). It has 490R and 498T pickups so it's quite hot out of the box; it has a simplified reputation as a semi-hollow Les Paul Traditional, sound is very similar except it's a BIG guitar! Fit n finish is the typical Gibson garbage but I cleaned it up and it grew on me warts and all. FWIW I paid 2k Canadian (approx $1350 US), and after I scraped all the dust and grunge off it I'd call it "near mint" so the price was pretty good as far as Canada goes. Good luck!

Edited by alphasports

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54 minutes ago, alphasports said:

I just bought a 2004 ES137 Classic a few months back. There are 2 models: Classic and Custom. Custom has the 6-way Varitone switch next to the Vol/Tone pots. Mine's a Classic and frankly I love it (first Gibson, always been a PRS/Collings/Fender guy). It has 490R and 498T pickups so it's quite hot out of the box; it has a simplified reputation as a semi-hollow Les Paul Traditional, sound is very similar except it's a BIG guitar! Fit n finish is the typical Gibson garbage but I cleaned it up and it grew on me warts and all. FWIW I paid 2k Canadian (approx $1350 US), and after I scraped all the dust and grunge off it I'd call it "near mint" so the price was pretty good as far as Canada goes. Good luck!

What is the typical Gibson Garbage? Just asking.

I wanted one when I was an electric guy. I owned a '57 ES-225TD. It would not stay in tune. Light as a feather though due to it being a full hollow. My BB King had a Vartione. Never used it. Your not missing much by not having it.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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I have a Es137 Classic in blue burst, I love mine, I have a Es139 as well, just no f holes and only 1 volume and 1 tone

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3 hours ago, Eades said:

I have a Es137 Classic in blue burst, I love mine, I have a Es139 as well, just no f holes and only 1 volume and 1 tone

I'd like to try/buy an ES139....rare in UK, only a handful came in before Gibson thought better of it and ceased production.  One of the HJ era's many variations.

It looks like a less expensive Ron Wood L-5.  Black or sunburst?  Is it as good as it looks and how does it sound?

GAK have a black one online but a high price -

https://www.gak.co.uk/en/gibson-custom-shop-es-139-ebony/923133

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5 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Here is the 225 I owned just to post some guitar porn.

http://GqYSOaL.jpg

 

Lovely!  I almost bought one of the single pickup models, but passed due to the center positioning of the P90.

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I would highly recommend playing a 137 through your own amp (or a like model) to see how you agree with the sound.  The 490s, do give it a hot growly sort of tone, and the laminate wood with slightly smaller body results in a unique tone.  Not quite Les Paul, not quite 335 but something different.  Some people love them others not so much.  The blue finish may look cool, but how it sounds to you is way more important I think.

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I've had two 137'. One black and one tobacco burst or sun burst or whatever.

Both were the best sounding gits I've ever owned and LOVE the Blues Burst finish!

They were just too big for me and, after two attempts to get used to them, I simply could not. Having hardware in my starboard shoulder does not help.

As for the the reference some-ware above regarding the finish being "typical Gibson Garbage" I would say they were both typical Gibson alright. Absolutely perfect in every detail and quite beautiful!

Edited by gampadoug

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The 135's and 137's were victims of narrow minded players who endlessly compare any new model to whatever their fave at the moment is, and never being open minded to judge a new model on its own merits. Then sales slow down, bean counters do their jobs and pull the plug on designs that were not allowed to gain traction. 

Too many players hear with their eyes 😉

 

 

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My 137 Classic is the best guitar I've ever played. I didn't like the 498T bridge pickup so I put a 57 Classic in, which was a perfect fit for it. If you buy that 137 you won't regret it.

And as @gampadoug commented, mine was also typical Gibson (IME), "absolutely perfect in every detail and quite beautiful!"

 

IMG_5758sm.JPG

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1 hour ago, eldorado2001 said:

My 137 Classic is the best guitar I've ever played. I didn't like the 498T bridge pickup so I put a 57 Classic in, which was a perfect fit for it. If you buy that 137 you won't regret it.

And as @gampadoug commented, mine was also typical Gibson (IME), "absolutely perfect in every detail and quite beautiful!"

 

IMG_5758sm.JPG

Beautiful!

 

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