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Gibson ES-150
Gibson ES-150.png
Gibson ES 150 "Charlie Christian"
Manufacturer Gibson
Period 1936-1941
Construction
Body type Hollow
Neck joint Set
Woods
Body 16" wide, solid spruce archtop, solid maple back and sides
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Rosewood with pearl dot inlays, 24-3/4" scale
Hardware
Bridge Ebony archtop-style bridge adjustable for height
Pickup(s) One steel magnet blade-type single coil in the neck position (Charlie Christian pickup)
Colors available
Sunburst

The Gibson Guitar Corporation's ES-150 guitar is generally recognized as the world's first commercially successful Spanish-style electric guitar. The ES stands for Electric Spanish, and it was designated 150 because it cost $150, along with an EH-150 amplifier and a cable.

After its introduction in 1936, it immediately became popular in jazz orchestras of the period. Unlike the usual acoustic guitars utilized in jazz, it was loud enough to take a more prominent position in ensembles.

Jazz guitarist Eddie Durham is usually credited with making the first electric guitar solo in 1938 with the ES-150. The most important player of the ES-150, however, was Charlie Christian. Because of his popularization of the guitar, the instrument's distinctive single-coil pickup is known by his name. His flowing solos and warm sound revolutionized the jazz guitar and, to this day, influence countless players.

Because the instrument was never intended to be played acoustically, there is a notable difference between the ES-150 and other archtop guitars. The inside of the solid spruce top is not carved to follow the contour of the outside, which renders it unsuitable for transforming the strings' energy into sound. This feature minimizes the problematic feedback that plagues amplified guitars that are designed more like acoustic guitars.

After WWII, the ES-150 was re-introduced as a 17" hollowbody with the top, back, and sides constructed of laminated maple . The post-war ES-150 was fitted with a P-90 pickup, replacing the original blade or "Charlie Christian" pickup in the neck position. This model was discontinued in the mid-1950s.

In the late 1960s, Gibson introduced the ES-150DC, which was a significantly different instrument, despite its similar model number. The ES-150DC was a hollowbody electric guitar with a double-cutaway body similar in appearance to the semi-hollow 335 guitars (except for a greater body thickness). It featured two humbuckers, a rosewood fingerboard with small block inlays, and a master volume knob on the lower cutaway. This model, however, was not particularly popular, and it was discontinued by Gibson in the mid-70s.

The ES-150 in its original design, along with the ES-175 and the L5, made up the heart of Gibson's jazz guitar lineup.

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