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Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar Condition 2 - Blemished Tri-Burst, Gold Hardware 886830283239

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Based on the ES-137 Classic, the Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar is the first Gibson archtop to employ a mahogany center block for reduced feedb...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A classic with some very special refinements.

Based on the ES-137 Classic, the Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar is the first Gibson archtop to employ a mahogany center block for reduced feedback and greater sustain. Other features are all Gibson deluxe: laminated curly maple body, binding on top and bottom, bound fingerboard, bound peghead, ebony fingerboard, gold hardware, split-diamond overlay headstock, pearloid split-diamond fingerboard inlays, 6-way Varitone switch that filters tone from fat to thin, and '57 Classic pickups (the original Gibson humbuckers from 1957). The magnets and 42-gauge enamel-coated wire are from the original suppliers and the pickups are built by Gibson on the original machinery.

Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

FEATURES
Laminated curly maple body
Maple neck
Mahogany center block to reduce feedback and add sustain
Multiple bound body on top, single bound on back
Bound fingerboard and peghead
Nut width 1.6875"
Scale: 24-3/4"
Ebony fingerboard
Pearloid split-diamond fingerboard inlay
6-way Varitone switching
Tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece
'57 Classic pickups, the original humbuckers from 1957
Gold hardware
Body based on Gibson ES-135
SPECIFICATIONS

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
GibsonES-137 Custom Electric Guitar
 
4.5

(based on 31 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Beautiful Sounds & Easy on the Eyes

I've been pinning for this Guitar for years now, and just recently saved enough money to finally make the leap and order this girl from Gibson. The second I saw this Guitar, I...Read complete review

I've been pinning for this Guitar for years now, and just recently saved enough money to finally make the leap and order this girl from Gibson. The second I saw this Guitar, I knew it was the one for me. She's automatic Eye candy, break her out among any other Guitars and she WILL steal the show. The finish of the Candy Apple Red is Amazingly crisp.

The tones you can get from this Guitar are plenty enough to satisfy any type or genre of music you play. The six-way Varitone switch is an interesting addition. My main squeeze has been a Fender Strat, so I know my way around these six selector switches. The switch goes from Fat to Thin. You don't get that High end Strat squeal, but its plenty darn close enough to satisfy. You definitely get that Low end Power Blaze from this baby naturally. Whereas I would need to EQ my strat to try and find the same footing.

There was some minor buzzing in strange places, but that was only when I was playing in odd positions, like laying down or holding the Guitar slanted. Another thing is the case fitting, It's very snug, so snug it goes in at a angle. Kinda annoying, but oh, so very minor.

I can write pages about this Guitar, and I've only had it for a week now! I've done some research, and Gibson won't be making this baby anymore for some time. I'm glad I got mine when I did.
If you're thinking about getting this Guitar, don't think anymore, buy it. Its amazing, looks beautiful, and releases that sweet, sweet melody. Needless to say, I'm In Love.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

I tried and I tried, but I can't get no

This was my second ES-137 Custom in the last 6 years from the Gibson Custom Shop.

The tone, or more specifically the RANGE of sweet, sweet tones that can be...Read complete review

This was my second ES-137 Custom in the last 6 years from the Gibson Custom Shop.

The tone, or more specifically the RANGE of sweet, sweet tones that can be pulled out of this thing near effortlessly is amazing. From thick to thin, from growl to snap and everything in between. The sounds are astounding.

The appearance is classy and flashy at the same time. It is put together seamlessly and flawlessly.

Sad to say, though, whomever did the electronics QC at the end of assembly needs to ponder another career. It had one of the worst ground issues that I have ever heard. After 30 years of playing, that's quite a negative achievement.

After being bounced from MF to Gibson, to authorized Gibson repair shop, to MF, to Gibson again to get this resolved, I gave up and sent it back where they sat on it for 8 days in their warehouse refusing to issue a refund until multiple phone calls were placed.

Cementing this decision was the FACT that the instrument was used and missing accessories from the beginning. No case key, no truss rod wrech, and a pickguard so scratched up that appeared to have been used by an angry Swedish death metal band as a stage riser.

Oh, and they have re-listed it again here as "new" at full price. Good luck to the buyer of that lemon.

Gibson and MF took each other's hand and plunged over the cliff of fail together with this one. VERY disappointing, and the end of a 30 year business/client relationship between MF and I.

Reviewed by 31 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

I tried and I tried, but I can't get no

By 30yearplayer

from Florida

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • Small Venues

Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

This was my second ES-137 Custom in the last 6 years from the Gibson Custom Shop.

The tone, or more specifically the RANGE of sweet, sweet tones that can be pulled out of this thing near effortlessly is amazing. From thick to thin, from growl to snap and everything in between. The sounds are astounding.

The appearance is classy and flashy at the same time. It is put together seamlessly and flawlessly.

Sad to say, though, whomever did the electronics QC at the end of assembly needs to ponder another career. It had one of the worst ground issues that I have ever heard. After 30 years of playing, that's quite a negative achievement.

After being bounced from MF to Gibson, to authorized Gibson repair shop, to MF, to Gibson again to get this resolved, I gave up and sent it back where they sat on it for 8 days in their warehouse refusing to issue a refund until multiple phone calls were placed.

Cementing this decision was the FACT that the instrument was used and missing accessories from the beginning. No case key, no truss rod wrech, and a pickguard so scratched up that appeared to have been used by an angry Swedish death metal band as a stage riser.

Oh, and they have re-listed it again here as "new" at full price. Good luck to the buyer of that lemon.

Gibson and MF took each other's hand and plunged over the cliff of fail together with this one. VERY disappointing, and the end of a 30 year business/client relationship between MF and I.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful Sounds & Easy on the Eyes

By J-Man

from Mangilao, GUAM

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone
  • Silky Smooth

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Perfect for All Occasions

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I've been pinning for this Guitar for years now, and just recently saved enough money to finally make the leap and order this girl from Gibson. The second I saw this Guitar, I knew it was the one for me. She's automatic Eye candy, break her out among any other Guitars and she WILL steal the show. The finish of the Candy Apple Red is Amazingly crisp.

    The tones you can get from this Guitar are plenty enough to satisfy any type or genre of music you play. The six-way Varitone switch is an interesting addition. My main squeeze has been a Fender Strat, so I know my way around these six selector switches. The switch goes from Fat to Thin. You don't get that High end Strat squeal, but its plenty darn close enough to satisfy. You definitely get that Low end Power Blaze from this baby naturally. Whereas I would need to EQ my strat to try and find the same footing.

    There was some minor buzzing in strange places, but that was only when I was playing in odd positions, like laying down or holding the Guitar slanted. Another thing is the case fitting, It's very snug, so snug it goes in at a angle. Kinda annoying, but oh, so very minor.

    I can write pages about this Guitar, and I've only had it for a week now! I've done some research, and Gibson won't be making this baby anymore for some time. I'm glad I got mine when I did.
    If you're thinking about getting this Guitar, don't think anymore, buy it. Its amazing, looks beautiful, and releases that sweet, sweet melody. Needless to say, I'm In Love.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    ES-137 Dream Machine

    By The Little Piggy

    from Southern CA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    Hmmmm. I should not have bought this guitar. I can't sleep. I can't eat. All I do is play!Sweetness is the tone, sweetness is the playability, sweetness is the build quality of this Memphis sweetheart.Nice fat neck, blocked body keeps it from howling if the gain iis too high, 6-pos. switch works real nice stepping from fat to thin tone.Lemonburst finish is thin and pretty. Frets are well finished, all hardware nicley installed. Switch bat (handle) vibrates a smidge if put in center position but only a problem when not plugged in.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great overpriced guitar

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    The sound is like a slightly warmer Les Paul Custom. It can be very warm and clean, and you can push a lot of gain with it and it can really rock. It doesn't get very bright, and the neck PU is usually too muddy. It gives you a very musical feedback if you learn to control it. It's a workout to play (thick and chunky), neck heavy (neck will fall toward the ground if let go). Finish is great, as it should be coming from the custom shop. The veritone switch is lame, it just incrementally sucks the life out of your sound. It cuts so much volume out that you can't switch it on the fly - you have to set your amp/effects to each setting. Overall my favorite guitar! It rocks if you learn to bring the best out of it.

     
    5.0

    Well worth the wait!

    By Swift Nick

    from Washington

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I was torn between a standard ES335 and the ES137 Custom, eventually opting for the ES137 and I'm SO glad I did. For around the same cash I got a curly maple top, an ebony fretboard, varitone and gorgeous custom headstock. Mine is a tri-burst with gold hardware and it oozes class! Mine had sawdust in the case- definitely sawdust! I reckon there must be a joker on the Gibson packing line.The guitar is a pleasure to play, it's heavy but a substantial piece of furniture like this is never going to be light. The 57's and the semi construction combine to give a wonderfully full tone and for the first time in 30 years of playing I'm experimenting with flatwounds. The varitone is new to me and to be honest I have it on 'bypass' most of the time just now.The only finishing flaws I can see are a small scratch on the back of the neck around the 2nd fret and, strangely, the dot above the "i" on the Gibson inlay on the headstock is either missing or obscured. Not to worry.All in all this is a wonderful guitar; a top quality instrument that's a pleasure to own.

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    dusty guitar

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    Returned 3 of these after initial purchase 2 years back. The last one was near perfect and thereby kept. All had small amount of sawdust in the guitar which filtered into the case during shipping. Overall, a very good guitar to keep.

     
    5.0

    My Dream Guitar

    By Carpenter w/ all his fingers

    from Big Sky, MT/Wash. DC

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I've been a closet musician for over 30 years and always wanted a special electric guitar to complement my Martin D-28. I'm a big Steve Howe fan and always thought I'd try and find a vintage ES-175. When I saw the ES-137 Custom I knew that was the Guitar for me.Raves: I have the Tri-Color with gold hardware and visually it is stunning. It's a dream to play and the range of sounds I can get out of it without additional effects is extraordinary. The Vari Tone switch does lose substantial amplification which is easily solved with a volume pedal. The thinner body, additional frets, and price point compared to a vintage ES-175 made my decision for me.Rants:A few minor flaws in the finish out of the box-mainly paint over spray in a couple of spots on to the binding. Several pieces of hardware were loose and had to be tightened (no big deal but I wouldn't want loose wheels on a brand new car!). Gold plating where my hands rubbed it began to wear off almost immediately. Intonation pretty far off out of the box and I'm not good enough to adjust myself.Overall the guitar is a dream and definately an eye catcher. I will never sell it so one of my nephews is going to get very lucky!

     
    3.0

    Love the Sound, Quality Sucks

    By HomePlayer

    from Idaho

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I have had a number of Guitars, have a Strat, Less expansive Takamine, and my current ES-137 Custom. This is actually my third ES-137 -- All three had quility problems, lots of Sawdust, bad glue jobs in the cases, cracks and deep scratches in the finishes, I always felt like I was buying a second -- Very bad quality Gibson! This last one didn't start cracking until about 5 Mo. after purchase ( I do keep the Humidity at about 50% so it shouldn't have cracked ), but did have marks in the back, the ES was dropped shipped directly from Gibson so no one else touched it. The best thing going For the ES-137 is the sound, Sweet! If you don't mind quility problem The ES-137 sounds and plays great, otherwise buy a Fender you'll be happier.

     
    5.0

    The Ultimate

    By da taiga

    from Big Island, Hawaii

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    Previously I owned the Ibanez AS-50, Gibson ES-335 Studio, The Joe Pass Signature by Epiphone and the ES-135. A little over a month ago I bought this ES-137 Custom Tri-burst and decided that it'll be the final guitar that I'll ever need. Although the color without lights looks like the sunburst(which is what attracted my eye), I love it! Overall appearance: ebony fingerboard, MOP inlets, '57 Humbuckers etc., just suits me fine. In my opinion, probably it's the best "small hallow-body guitar" gibson ever put out. The craftsmanship is superb and well worth the price.

     
    5.0

    Better looking than a Les Paul in my opinion

    By Sgt. Pepper

    from Ney York, NY

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    Oh my god, this guitar is so amazing....I love how it looks, especialy the one with sunburst finish....I think it looks and sounds better than a Les Paul, even though it costs a little more, but you get what you pay for. If you're looking to buy another guitar, don't, buy this one! seriously....You can even use this guitar as an acoustic!

     
    5.0

    very nice !!

    By wjpjr27

    from Greenville S.C.

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    while this guitar looks like the 4k-7k top enders it might play better than them. The center block holds down/eleminates feedback and the 57s p/u is clean and sharp.or mellow with the veirtone switch. Dont likes: the 3 ply top though the top has a arch to it I understand the reason behind it and like I said it dosn't cost 7k

     
    3.0

    Versatile!!

    By eddiez

    from Belle Mead, NJ

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    This is an incredible instrument. The range of tones it is capable of producing is extraordinary...and it is simply a gorgeous axe (I have the tri-burst). Its a little pricy, but worth every dime. I can't put it down.

     
    5.0

    Best All Around Guitar I've Owned

    By GibsonGuyES137

    from Fremont, CA

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I love this guitar. Its range is phenomenal. Unless you?ve owned a Les Paul, it?s hard to imagine the feel or the sound quality. It can mimic anything from the twang of Telecaster to the ballsy crunch of the legendary 1957 Les Paul all with very little effects. It plays Johnny B. Goode to Hot Rod Lincoln to China Grove to Whole Lotta Love to Breezin? and Girl from Ipanema with the mere flick of a switch. Country thirds just roll off your fingers like honey. The sustain matches or exceeds that of a Les Paul. If you play Jazz comps, you'll fall in love with this thing.As you would expect of any Gibson, the workmanship is excellent (I was almost afraid to touch it). Fresh from the factory, the guitar was setup almost perfectly. Perfect intonation with no buzzing anywhere. I've owned LPs and Strats but this is now my favorite. I got the Triburst. It is just gorgeous to look at and a joy to play. A guitar with great WOW factor.

     
    5.0

    Best archtop buyt out there!

    By LilDrumr15489

    from WIlmington, NC

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I have had the pleasure of owning this guitar for a couple of years. The varitone provides many different sounds without the need for too many extra effects (other than an o/d of of course). workmanship is superb, finish is flawless. This guitar is well owrth the money.

     
    5.0

    Great Instrument

    By Ronnie

    from Memphis, TN

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I've had mine for about 18 months now. My L4 was so prone to feed back. I needed something classy. I love the 57 pickups and thought the center block would be a good feature. I was right. Quite honestly, it wasn't love at first sight. I didn't know the neck was a 50s 'U' profile, but now that I've worked with it a while, I really like the feel of the chunky neck. My Les Paul has the 60's style neck and I like it, but it's good to give your hands a change in feel now and then. As one guy stated, bends are easier and more controllable on this neck, although I don't agree that it's a good 'shredder' guitar. You really should use a thinner neck for that, although it can be done on this. The workmanship on mine is as close to flawless as possible. I'm sure if I took a magnifying glass, I could find some. BTW, don't believe what you read about finding 'sawdust' in the case when you buy a new Gibson. If anything its polishing compound and while I agree they should clean that out. It doesn't hurt the guitar. Just wipe it off. The finishing and sanding are done before the guitar is painted. They don't sand painted guitars. I've been to the factory. Some people are impossible to please. I run into that in my business. I installed a Bigsby on mine and had a few tuning problems at first. The strings, especially the 2nd and 3rd, kept binding in the nut slots. I've slowly corrected that problem by lightly sanding the nut slots with 600 emory cloth, careful not to sand the slots deeper. I put a little wax in the slots to reduce friction as well. I use 11's on this guitar, which are a slightly thicker than the stock 10s, so that was part of the problem. The guitar works for me. I can get impressive volumes without unwanted feedback. It's a heavy guitar - at least as heavy as my Paul. Of course, my Paul only weights 7.8 lbs, light for a Paul. I expected that because of the mahogany block and the size of the body. The variatone is a nice feature which I've only experimented with. However, you can't duplicate a Tele or Strat with it. That's why I own a Tele and a Strat. It's a great guitar for the money and has been a very practical and eye catching addition to my collection. I had an ES-135 some years ago and missed it after I sold it, so I've learned my lesson: if you find a good guitar, keep it. You can trade and trade, but you'll always miss that guitar. I'm hanging on to this one!

     
    4.0

    A Beautiful Guitar

    By Love Gibson Guitars

    from Kansas City

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I had the same problem some others did with this guitar. The varitone module was flopping around inside the guitar when it was brand new. The action was also buzzy, so I had to pay to get both things fixed. However, as others have said, the tone is really amazing. The varitone switch cuts the output significantly, but if you are recording, you'll be amazed at the tones you can get with that switch and the right amp settings. In a live setting, be prepared to boost your volume if you use the varitone switch. The price of these guitars keeps going up, so I'm really glad I got mine when I did.

     
    5.0

    Great Guitar

    By Blake-kp9kf

    from Arkansas

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    This is an amazing guitar. I just received mine today and am very pleased. I had to wait 4 months on it because of mis-communication with the Custom Shop, but it was definitely worth the wait. If I had had to, I would've waited another 4 months for this great piece of art.Varitone switch is very cool, bringing out many different sounds. This guitar also sounds very well with distortion, which was very surprising. I use a Boss DS-1 for simple distortion and it sounds absolutely fantastic!Great buy for anyone interested.Oh and the pearloid diamond inlays are sweet!

     
    5.0

    Best kept secret from Gibson

    By JP-b1N0R

    from Montreal

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    First though was to buy a Les Paul... then a ES-335, but when I tried the Custom 137 I just felt in love with it. Here's why: the neck is thick, solid and has a good touch. I hated the 60's neck on both Les Paul and ES335, too thin and uncomfortable. Not as heavy as the Les Paul and sounds PERFECT: I discovered a new amp with it!!! Versatile and good looking. I found that the better price/quality value is on the Custom 137. Feel that I am not paying too much for the name -as for other models on the brand- Best kept secret from Gibson.

     
    5.0

    Superb Guitar after you get thru the minor nicks..

    By ricr

    from Venice Beach

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I got mine about two years ago and had to send it back to the factory because the bottom was coming unglued to the egde. Gibson sent me a new guitar with a beautiful flame on the cherry sunburst and this one has stayed together. Although, I also had a minor issue with the new one, ie, a low hum or rattle. I brought it to the guitar shop and they solved it by binding loose wires in the cavity of the guitar. All said and done, this guitar is not only gorgeous, but rocks and rolls with the best of them. It screams and sings.And it just keeps gaining value...

     
    5.0

    The sound is what matters

    By Geezerguitarguy

    from Reading, PA

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Comments about Gibson ES-137 Custom Electric Guitar:

    I've had wiring problems, finish bubbling and fret finishing issues, and the gold plating was wearing off the bridge by the third week in use. Fact is though, the sound is so good and the pickup/varitone combination so versatile it makes the axe worth double what I paid for it. I can go from thick archtop warmth to clear country twang to smokin' overdrive in the space of a click or two, and all the real deal. No feedback unless I'm "playing" the amp and I want it. Great neck profile, truly excellent pickups.Outside of a straight unplugged jazz or acoustic gig, it's my main stage axe now. Only minor gripe onstage, it's HEAVY.

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