Gibson Es 100
|Gibson's ES series might possibly be the best electrics the company ever produced. They got their start in the 1930s with the first-ever model, the ES-100. This inexpensive archtop electric was an entry-level model designed not only to introduce acoustic guitar players to the world of electrics, but also to help Gibson get its feet wet in this burgeoning new industry. The ES-100 began a line of guitars that would flourish over the next four decades and make Gibson one of the premier makers of electric archtops.
The ES-100 was a fully-hollow, thick-bodied guitar at nearly 17" wide and 3.5" thick. Amps specifically designed for guitars were crude back then, so the fully-hollow body was not a real issue. However, by the late 40s and early 50s fully-hollow electrics were causing feedback issues that were corrected with the design of the semi-hollow body. That makes these early ES guitars somewhat unique.
The original 1938 model featured a flat back, single blade pickup at the base of the neck, rosewood of fretboard, dot inlays, and a single bound neck. In order to keep costs down and production as basic as possible, these early models had no ornamentation and came only in the Sunburst finish.
The ES-100 was slightly modified beginning in the 1940s model year by replacing the pickup with a rectangular model placed in the bridge position. World War II brought the interruption of production in 1942, and when it resumed in 1946, the ES-100 was re-branded as the ES-125.
With only four years of production the ES-100 was a short-lived guitar with plenty of character. It didn't produce the greatest sound, but then again, none of the early electric archtops did. It was a good guitar to get Gibson started on the electric archtop road and provided important lessons that would go into developing much better guitars in the future.
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