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Es175 vs es225


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Hello all, I'm looking for some opinions, I'm mostly a Les Paul player but have curently ben playing jazz for the past 9 months or so and am currently in the market for what elese a new Gibson lol, I've been thinking of an es 175 or a es225. I like the 175 but since I've played mostly Les pauls for the past 20yrs I wonder if the thicker body will be uncomfortable which leads me to the thinline 225 or perhaps a different model.anyways hope to hear opinions on the two models Pros and cons or even another sugestion ok thanks

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The deep body of the 175 will take some getting use to, but the fullness and depth of the tone will never be equaled by thinline model. You can't go wrong with a nice 175, and it will also hold it's value better because of the popularity of the model.

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On the other hand, the ever-shrinking vintage market would likely assure the value of a 225 simply because it's a 1950s Gibson. As you well know, the 175 is one of the most prevalent jazz guitars, which is why I'd step off the beaten path and scoop up a 225, personally. If you're playing jazz you're gonna put flatwounds on it and smother the tone anyway, whether it's a 175 or 225 (I know it's not as simple as that but still)... If you have a line on a cherry 225, go with the one that feels and sounds best to you... there certainly isn't a shortage of 175 to compare it to! And realize that on these older guitars, each one will have different tonal character and feel different from the next, sometimes drastically so. Good luck and happy hunting!

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I'd go for the 175. Its the most played jazz guitar of any of the guitars used for jazz. There is a reason for this. Its easy to get used to the big archtops.


I've played Les Pauls for years and still do (I still own three) but the 175,L4,165,150,L5 etc (all big bodied archtops) are unbeatable for that real jazz sound.

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My biggest problem, which I discovered thru hind sight unfortunately, was trying to acheive a result from something "close" to what I wanted. Example: 175 tone from a 125. Not gonna happen, because in the end, the 125 is not a 175.


Your situation is different I understand... you are concerned about comfort. You want the 175 but you're not sure the depth of the 175 will be conducive to your playing. However, I don't think you'll achieve the tone you desire with the 225.


I recommend that you get a 175 with the pickup config you want, try it out - give it a good work over in various ways to see first hand whether you can adapt to its dimensions. If not, you can probably recoup your entire investment on resale, then pick up a 225 or other slim hollowbody platform.


I have a '71 ES-175. When changing from a Les Paul, Strat, SG, etc, the gauge is immediately noticeable. However, amazingly enough, with a properly adjusted strap that is soon forgotten as the fat and mellow tone drips out of the guitar.


There's nothing quite like an ES-175. Nothing.

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I think he's after a hollowbody, whereas the 135/137 have center blocks.


Not trying to flog a dead horse, but it bears repeating: when you're talking about Gibsons from the 60's or before, each specimen within any given model can be drastically different from the next specimen of the same model. The neck profile and width; & resonance and tonality of the wood can be crazy different within the 175 line, or the SG line, or the 225 line, or whatever model you want to talk about... idiosyncrasies are abundant and can really make a dramatic difference in feel and tone.


I'm just saying, sometimes you have 2 specimens side by side that could be identical twins, and other times you will be speechless... they will sound TOTALLY different. Night and day.


I would not be surprised in the least to hear of a 225 that sounded dark, fat, and mellow through a dry amp signal.


I also wouldn't be surprised if someone told me it sounded dark, fat, and mellow as a result of flatwounds, zeroing the tone knob, and EQing the amp to taste...

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"... as the fat and mellow tone drips out of the guitar. There's nothing quite like an ES-175. Nothing.


I used mine to record with today.

Honky Tonkin' Boogie Woogie music.


Used Garage Band on my iMac.


Used the same guitar track at one point and just converted it to three separate tracks.

Three tracks from one take. Big Wheels (custom settings), Bright Country (Default), Direct Bass.


Nothing like my ES-175.


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howdy -


thought I could shed some light since I still own both '54 ES-175 and '57 225TD (pic attached).

I also have a reissue 175 w/ P-90's (<--- over there in my avatar dressed up as an ES-295).

These are the only electrics I own, so I play them every day and have been spending years with

them as my sole electrics.


Just for reference, I've gone through many, many hollow / semi-hollows... new and old Gretsch's

(67 Nashville, 64 Double Annie, modern Duo Jet, Sparkle Jet, Country Classic) then a 50's ES-125,

1960 125TDC, <-- SMOKIN' GUITAR!!!.... a couple 1990's ES-135's, a Historic ES-5, even a handfull

of Danelectros (vintage and reissue) and a few different era's of ES-175's.


After all that, I discovered the ES-175 is my favorite guitar of all time. If I could only have one, that would be it.

It feels right, sounds right and plays right. Mine happen to be setup as Gretsch killers (Bigsby, pinned bridges).

But can be put right back into jazz territory with the original bridge + tailpiece.


As a direct comparison, I can offer my experience rehearsing and gigging the 225TD and ES-175 together:


ES-175: body fits perfectly no matter where I sit or stand (I'm roughly 5' 7" / 5' 8", toward the slender side)

ES-175 tone is to die for, especially with P-90's. Works well with a 35w and under tube amp without having

ridiculous feedback. Really depends on your live setup. Again, tone for days and my all-time favorite guitar, period.


ES-225: In a word - FUN! Kick A** guitar. Blows away any 125, 135, 137, etc. (again, talkin dual ' P-90's here)

Mine is setup with a pinned ABR-1 and vintage Bigsby. I've tried all the various bridge combos including the

original trapeze. For what I play, the ABR-1 + Bigsby is heaven. You can crank a 225TD and get some glorious,

musical feedback... can even get into twangy Tele territory with the bridge pup. The guitar delivers, especially at

louder, more overdriven volumes. My 1960 ES-125TDC was a killer too, but the 225's have a fit and finish

that feel way more solid and are beautiful to behold. The only downside to the thinner body is that it seems

to move around more in my lap while sitting down. Standing up, you can totally rock out....lol. They feel great

playing live standing up.


I really think it depends on what music you play and what you're looking to do. Lately I've found myself

semi-considering selling my 225TD only because the 175D is where my heart / head lives. I play through a

'66 Princeton Reverb and a '67 Vibrolux Reverb and they are both really well suited for alt country / roots /

country rock where I kinda live musically. When I play the 225, it's AWESOME... but there's something lacking.

When I plug in either ES-175, I feel right at home. I really think the extra 1" or so depth adds so much to the

tone of the hollow body. Just a bit deeper and fuller. Hard to imagine, being laminate and all.


But for me, the ES-175 is the best sounding, best designed 16" electric archtop ever made, period.

I am hanging on to the 225TD in case I need to rock / twang a bit more. It keeps me from buying a

Junior, a '54 Les Paul or another Tele (god forbid another F****r I end up selling!).

So it's actually saving me money. #-o


Hope this helps!




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Love both your guitars and I can relate to your comments about the 175 body shape etc. Unfortunately I don't own a 175 but I do own a 165 and an L4 and love them both. The 165 and L4 body shapes are based on 175's. I find the 175 body shape to be very comfortable even after having played Les Pauls for years.


I have a few guitars but the one that stands out for me is the L4! The deep bodied archtop is such a joy to play.

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Hey guys, thanks for the kind words. they're definitely in good company with all the guitars here!


165's, L-4CES's, etc... I love them all. If I were a full on jazzer I'd have and L4CES for sure.

Oddly enough, The '57 is about the only humbucker I like. Just a P-90 guy through and through.


Speaking of neck profiles... my '54 ES-175 has a much thinner neck than the '57 225TD.

the 225 has a substantial shoulder to it. Kinda interesting since it was more of a low end / beginner guitar.


Brundaddy, I wish I had a caliper to measure the depth of the neck on my 175/295... (in my avatar)

It's HUGE - you'd probably love it! Larger than the '57 profile, much larger than the '54.


What happened to the OP? Wonder if he's tried / compared any yet?

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I converted my ES-225 TD to a Stew-Mac floating wooden bridge and tailpiece. Very inexpensive and easy to convert, no additional holes required. The problem with the original wrap-around trapeze bridge is it is not well compensated. Ipso facto, if you are playing jazz you are not strumming cowboy chords, you are playing up the neck, so intonation is critical, and a well-compensated bridge is something I want. I think the original metal wrap bridge, on its metal feet, sustains a little more and sizzles more, but for Jazz you may want the woodier archtop sound anyway, depending on style of course. "Jazz" isn't dead, it just smells funny (thank you, Frank Zappa.) I put flat-wound strings on mine, and now it plays and sounds great acoustically, so cool that I am considering a transducer bridge to bypass the P-90s entirely when I want to. The P-90s are well known and another topic altogether, they will flat scream if you want, but won't deliver that humbucker "squawk" if that's what you like.



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first off id like to thank everybody for all their input it helped!! however after some serious consideration and several trips to the music store, and with a more realistic view of the type of music i mostly play, ive actually gone with neither 225 or 175 but an es 335 ... im more of a fusiony type than straight traditional jazz, all though i do dabble in it but not my main style. i found the 335 to be unbelievably versatile. i can get a pretty damn good jazz tone with neck pickup and the tone rolled off and thats without flatwounds on her and for fusion its just smooth as hell. she plays unbelievably smooth and fast there was no going back after i picked her up. maby some day ill go for the 175 but for no its all 335!!well thanks again guys ill post some pics if i can rember how to do it lol

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