1959 was a pivotal year for Gibson. The Les Paul Standards produced that year became perhaps the most consequential and influence electric guitars ever made. While collectors go ga-ga over a '59 Les Paul, it's well know that the Gibson electric line was particularly impressive from top to bottom in 1959. Something special was happening in Kalamazoo in 1959, and every electric guitar plays, sounds, and feels a cut above the rest.
Introduced in 1955 and only made for a few years, the ES-225T stands out in the Gibson electric lineup. In many ways, this thinline hollowbody bridges the gap between Gibson's archtop beginnings and the hotrodded electric rigs that rolled out in the '60s. The ES-225T is fully hollow, but only 2" deep. In your hands, it feels lightweight and comfortable on your lap, and there's even a florentine cutaway so you can get all way down the fingerboard.
For electronics, the ES-225T has a single P-90, but interestingly it is installed in the middle position. With the volume and tone controls, this unique pickup placement gives you a wider range of sounds. It can do the mellow, archtop sounds, but it can also bite. It can push an amp hard, but it mellows as you roll off the volume and tone. Its an expressive guitar with natural acoustic resonance.
This ES-225T has the Factory Order Number S8222-31, which dates to 1959. The pot codes date to the 52nd week of '58. This 1959 ES-225T feels like a rare find. It is in nice condition for its age with minimal checking and wear, but there is a finish scuff on the edge of the headstock. It plays clean and smooth all the way down the fingerboard, and the P-90 barks and growls.
This 225T is an impressive Kalamazoo Gibson made the most critical year in electric guitar history. It feels like a time capsule from 1959, and it also packs versatility and a wider range of sound than you might expect from a single pickup. This 1959 ES-225T includes its original chipboard case—which is cool—but it is totally worn out and not suitable for much more than show and tell.