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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by smmllr
    Quite late to the thread, but:
    Oh my... that is sweet!

    Is the finish original? Pickup covers (possible pickups) and bridge are not original, but is the dual pickup routes original?
    Last edited by Steve Z; 07-25-2018 at 03:47 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Z
    Oh my... that is sweet!

    Is the finish original? Dual pickups configuration original?
    There’s some good news and bad news with this 1957 ES-140TN”D”.

    The good news is, yes, it is the original finish.

    The bad news is, no, the bridge pickup is not original. I bought it online already modified. Along with adding the extra pickup, knobs, and switch, the tuners and bridge are newer, and some fool screwed the bridge to the top—what the...? I recieved it with chrome pickup covers and replaced them with cream.

    The good news is because of all the modifying it was quite affordable.

    The bad news is because of all the modifying it will always be relatively affordable.

    The good news is whoever modified it did a very good job (except for screwing the bridge to the top—what the...?)

    The bad news is only 57 ES-140TN’s ever left the facory (see above post from Duchossoir’s Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years), so modifying this particular piece is nothing short of a travesty.

    The good news is I own one of only 57 ES-140TN’s Gibson ever shipped.

  4. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by smmllr
    There’s some good news and bad news with this 1957 ES-140TN”D”...
    Still a cool guitar! If you ever decide to part with it... I may know someone who might be interested

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Z
    Still a cool guitar! If you ever decide to part with it... I may know someone who might be interested
    Steve,

    I’ll note that when it’s time to diminish the collection, though this will be one of the last to go. It’s a nice conversation piece atop my office desk, and a great travel guitar paired with a Danelectro Honeytone micro amp. Also pairs well with my personalized ES-125tdc (see my “praising thinline hollowbodies” post from last week).

    Yours in common tastes,

    Sam

  6. #55
    Another ES-140 live band use...
    Jay Salem, 1950s rock-a-billy guitarist in Johnny Carroll & the Hot Rocks, often used a Gibson ES-140D (full body depth with dual pickups is definitely rare... custom?). Likely playing a 1950-55 ES-140 based on the style of tailpiece.

    JOHNNY CARROLL
    ...At 15, Johnny organized his first band, the Texas Moonlighters; they had their own show on Cleburne's KCLA radio. In 1955, the band won first prize in a talent contest, and enrolled second prize winner guitarist Jay Salem in the band along the way...
    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-jay-salem-guitar-es140-jpg




  7. #56
    A bit more info on the Tal Farlow wned Gibson ES-140... looks like it sold...

    Source: Guy Pearce Knows How to Riff - The New York Times
    Replacing the Silvertone, he moved on to a short-scale Gibson ES-140 ¾, custom finished in a blazing orange-red that was once owned by the jazz guitarist Tal Farlow. This was a different caliber. He went downstairs to ask if he could play it. The store manager, Gordon French, told him he could and took him back up to the loft.

    Mr. Pearce sat on a leather bench and began to strum, trying out a few plaintive Jeff Buckley riffs, a Bob Dylan song. “It’s nice with the flat-wound strings on it,” he said. When the guitar is plugged in, Mr. French told him, “It’s incredibly warm and fat. Kind of luscious.”
    “Mellow,” Mr. Pearce said. He probably meant buttery. Sadly, another customer already had a deposit on it.
    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-red-es140-jpg

  8. #57

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    After seeing smmllr's 57 I feel like I should add mine to the list.
    I received it with the bridge already nailed in place and a few other mods already done. Amazingly I was also given the original bridge, volume and tone pots with bumblebee cap and tuners when I purchased the guitar.
    Neck p-90 is original and I had all cutting and drilling for the extra pickup done by a pro.

    When I first received the guitar my intent was to return it to normal but before long I realized this was something I will never part with, it holds no monetary value to me. When I'm gone someone else can cuss me and figure out what it's worth, I just hope it goes to someone who loves playing it as much as I do.

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-dsc00801-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-dsc00802-jpg

  9. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Renn
    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-dsc00801-jpg
    Renn,

    Thanks for sharing. What year is your little ES-140? Inside one of the f-holes should be a factory order number. There will be a letter in front of the numbers. The letter indicates the year.

    Year Letter
    ---- ------
    1952 Z
    1953 Y
    1954 X
    1955 W
    1956 V
    1957 U
    1958 T
    1959 S
    1960 R
    1961 Q

    source: Vintage Guitars Info - Gibson collecting vintage gibson guitars

  10. #59

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    Its a 57, U938 15.
    Thanks for starting this thread Steve, I don't think there's as much ES-140 content in one place anywhere else on the web.
    Hopefully it will continue to grow.
    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-dsc00810-jpg

  11. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Renn
    Its a 57, U938 15.
    Thanks for starting this thread Steve, I don't think there's as much ES-140 content in one place anywhere else on the web.
    Hopefully it will continue to grow.
    Cool. Mine is a '57 as well... U 9848 32.

    I will continue to post ES-140 info on this thread as I find it. I hope others do the same.

  12. #61
    Here's a Gibson price list from Nov 1959... notice the price of a ES-140 was $205.... the price of a '59 / '60 Les Paul Sunburst was $280... I bet all those folks that bought an ES140 new and still own it wish they would have spent the additional $75 for a 'Burst


    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-1959-60_pricelist-png

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-1959-60_gibson-procelist-jpg

  13. #62
    1952 ES-140 was $152.50.... add $15.00 for natural!

    Les Paul... $210
    L7-C... $220.00... add $15 for Natural
    L5-C... $470... add $15 for Natural... Wow!

    (FYI... 1951 price lists were the same prices)

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-screen-shot-2018-12-03-8-46-55-pm-png 1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-1952_gibson-pricesheet-jpg

  14. #63
    1967 ES-140 price... $275.00
    faultless (hard) case.... $70.00
    Durabilt (fiberboard soft) case... $13.50

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-screen-shot-2018-12-03-9-05-50-pm-png

  15. #64

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    That faultless case is something I have wanted ever since I purchased my 140 and the only time I've seen just the case for sale it was within $100 of what I paid for my guitar.

    I think purchasing another 140 that has the case is about the only way of getting one.
    Or at least that's how I will explain it to the wife..... after it arrives of course.

    Renn

  16. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Renn
    That faultless case is something I have wanted ever since I purchased my 140 and the only time I've seen just the case for sale it was within $100 of what I paid for my guitar.

    I think purchasing another 140 that has the case is about the only way of getting one.
    Or at least that's how I will explain it to the wife..... after it arrives of course.

    Renn
    I have the same experience... I am on the hunt for a faultess case as well... prices are as crazy high as the case is crazy rare.

  17. #66

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    I have a nice Faultless case for an ES-140 knocking around here somewhere, if someone wants the give me a bag of money for it, or trade something cool with me. I'll dig up a picture or two.

  18. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    I have a nice Faultless case for an ES-140 knocking around here somewhere, if someone wants the give me a bag of money for it, or trade something cool with me. I'll dig up a picture or two.
    sent you a PM. I'm definitely interested.

  19. #68
    Here's a great video of Molly Miller playing a 1957 Gibson ES 140T & 1954 Gibson ES 175 at Imperial Vintage Guitars.
    Great playing!


  20. #69

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    Hi Steve Z, and others.


    I just bought an ES-140t this weekend. I found this one at one of those big annual guitar shows. It's definitely a player's guitar--plenty functional, but lots of cosmetic flaws such as an abundance of checking, a few spots where the clear coat/finish has flaked off, and a spot where someone started a screw hole, but didn't finish (doesn't go through the wood). It was also played A LOT, with light divoting of the rosewood in the top two frets. I also see a bit of cracking in the bridge--and hope that won't be an issue. Frets are in good nick. It's definitely "been around the block."


    Although the seller claimed it was all-original, I find the pickguard suspiciously new looking. Also the seller claimed it was a '53, and I see, thanks to the great documentation in this thread, that the "t" version wasn't made until '56. If the upthread letter-guide is correct, this one is from that first year of production, 1956, with a "V" preceding the serial number.


    It plays really nice, the neck feels really deep C-shaped. Frets are super low. Sounds nice both plugged in and not.


    I became interested in a 3/4 scale guitar after buying a Cordoba mini for travel/couch etc., and finding how much my hands liked the smaller scale, and also a thread on this forum about "guitars for small hands" from another woman guitar player, who raved at how much better she liked her 3/4 scale instrument. That thread mentioned the ES-140.

    I am hoping that this 3/4 guitar helps with some of the hand and wrist problems that I have, and that it can alleviate some of the issues when I do stretches or splayed out chords. It's super cute, weighs almost nothing (shoulder is cheering), and sounds great! Here's a picture of it next to my ES-135. It's like the 135 had a baby!


    This one came with the original chipboard case, which has had a tough life--it works, but it's condition makes me nervous that it might self-destruct in a light breeze. I would like any suggestions toward a secure case for this guitar--either an existing case that could be modified with some foam, or a custom-maker that isn't $$$$. Someone upthread mentioned a Baby Taylor gig bag, but I'm wondering about a hard case... Not interested in a $2000 original case. LOL.


    THANK YOU for all the documentation and research on this model of guitar. It was really helpful.

    -melne

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-two-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-hdstk-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-bk-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images 1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-fr-jpg 

  21. #70
    melne,

    Congrats on your new (to you ES-140t. Thanks for sharing and glad you are finding it as fun to play as I do. Great pic with the little fella next to the ES-135.

    As for your question about the pickguard, the shape is right but I do see how the color/pattern is a bit different that typical 50's tort guards. It could still be original, not sure. The volume and tone nobs are not original as those are form the '60s as well as the tailpiece. A 50's tailpiece would be nickel rather than chrome. These tail pieces are know to break so many, including my '57 ES-140t, have chrome tail pieces from the '60s. Neither item is a deal breaker on a great little jewel like the ES-140t.

    If I find a good case option, I'll post it here. As for now, if I go somewhere it is only to a friends house and I use the original chipboard case.

    Cheers!

  22. #71

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    Hi Steve Z, et al.

    I found a great case option for the ES-140.
    Someone upthread mentioned a Baby Taylor case, so I went to Guitar Center to check it out. Baby Taylor bags are actually too small, but Taylor has a new series called the GS Mini, and also a GS Mini Bass. These are 7/8 scale guitars.

    I tried the gig bag cases for both the guitar and bass from the GS Mini series--both fit the ES-140 *almost* like a glove. SKB makes molded hard cases for these guitars, and they would probably fit just as well, but they didn't have any for me to try.

    Both the guitar and bass cases seemed to be constructed well. The bass one seemed a bit more durable--the method by which the lid is attached and zips differs between the two models. Each offers a velcro neck support inside.

    It has a lot of vertical space, so if you have the ES-140 (the thicker one), it should accommodate that. For the 140t, I will have to add about 1" of foam in the bottom to support the body. I also added an additional rod of foam around the cutaway.

    I ended up choosing the bass version, because it seemed to be a bit more beefy. I'm quite pleased. I'm happy to leave the vintage and possibly dodgy chipboard case at home.
    Hope this is helpful!

    -melne
    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-oa-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-caseopen-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-wfoam-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-nofoam-jpg1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-gsminiopen-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images 1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-gsminiclosed-jpg 

  23. #72
    melne,


    Good info on the cases, thanks for the pics. Glad the Taylor case is working for you.

  24. #73
    Below is a pic of an '57 ES-140T in its original chipboard case (agree not sturdy at all) and a '65 ES-125 3/4 in its original hardcase. Too bad there isn't more of a demand for a perfect fitting case for these little guitars.

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-es-125_140_cases-jpg

  25. #74
    Here's another great pic of Nora Jones playing live with her '56-'58 Gibson ES-140N (most likely a very rare full body 1956 based on the tailpiece)

    source of photo: good morning with... Norah Jones - Sleeping Wild (Live From Austin ...

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-nora-es140n-jpg

  26. #75

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    Hi Steve Z,

    I am restringing this guitar, and for the first time I noticed that the bridge might be installed... backward? Have a look at this and tell me if this is the case. (I have only ever owned fixed-bridge guitars before--this is my first archtop).
    As I closely look, I see wide, deep notches that are under the high strings, and small, shallow notches under the low strings. Seems wrong to me... And the only close up photo I could find on google images of this bridge shows that all six notches are very shallow.
    Let me know if I should 180 this bridge before I carry on with restringing.
    The more I explore this instrument, the more Frankenstein-y it seems, but it sounds great and I like it anyway, in spite of it's cobbled together bits and bobs.
    Thank you!
    -melne
    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-br-jpg

  27. #76
    melne,

    Looks like your bridge has had the string grooves cut deeper. I am not sure which way would be best, probably the deeper grooves for the low E side.

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-57bridge-jpg

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-65bridge-jpg

  28. #77

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    Thank you, Steve. From your images, and the one image I found on the internet, it looks like this bridge has been terribly "modded" on its life journey by someone. Surprisingly, the intonation is not terrible. Thank you for taking the time to post the images. I will be on the lookout for a replacement bridge. In the meantime, I'm going to 180 this thing and see what happens.
    Thank you!
    -melne

  29. #78
    Fun price fact from November 1959....

    ES-140T was $195.00
    '59 Sunburst Les Paul Standard was $265.00

    Best ES-140 buyers wish they would have spent the extra $70

    1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-screen-shot-2019-04-23-5-09-27-pm-jpg

  30. #79

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    There is a deep body, sunburst ES-140 at the Music Go Round in Duluth MN, at least it was there around Christmas time. There was another deep bodied ES-140 around the Twin Cities a few years ago that unfortunately had a humbucker installed. I haven't seen the second one around in a long time.
    Thanks john

  31. #80
    Here's a great clip of Jesco Hoop playing her white ES-140T and another guitarist playing a sunburst ES0140T. Not jazz, but cool to see the ES-140 getting time on stage
    White ES-140 probably not original finish as I've never heard of anything but sunburst, natural and Tal's red guitar.

    Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
    My workhorse is and has been for many years, the Gibson ES 140 3/4 scale slimline hollow body, and I use flat wound strings. The result is a darkened timbre. I use the Fender Deluxe, and I generally play through a Line 6 M9 for effects. I also play Martin acoustic guitars. I have a wonderful 000-28 Martin that was given to me by Mark Knopfler and a beautiful Martin Tres given to me by my father.
    source: Tone Talk with Jesca Hoop - Guitar Girl Magazine


  32. #81

  33. #82
    Norman's Rare Guitar of the Day!


  34. #83

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    Damn , I want one now ....

    anyone makin a cheap copy of these ?
    in short scale hollowbody
    i want 22+1/2 ish scale and not much bigger

  35. #84

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  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals
    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals

    Johnny Carroll's guitar player played one; here he is in a clip from the greatest rock and roll movie ever made.
    Ha, couldn't help noticing Johnny Carrol's pompadour completely deflates by the time he has finished lip syncing to that song and he ends up looking more like a 1964 Beatle than a 1955 Elvis.

    Also it's an interesting look at an ES-140D from the era.
    Last edited by MattR; 11-01-2019 at 01:38 AM.

  37. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Z
    Norman's Rare Guitar of the Day!

    I have a 1956 full body ES140...a superb guitar in all respects! FWIW, The tailpiece on the Norman’s guitar looks unoriginal and far too big for the guitar. Perhaps this effects the break angle on the bridge?

  38. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by David Dvorin
    I have a 1956 full body ES140...a superb guitar in all respects! FWIW, The tailpiece on the Norman’s guitar looks unoriginal and far too big for the guitar. Perhaps this effects the break angle on the bridge?
    Indeed the tailpiece is not original. Breakage at the hinge is not uncommon on all these style tailpieces from the period, which is why I have a spare fullbody ES-140 tailpiece in case I find a great deal on one that needs original parts. The pick guard is not original as well... would have been a tortoise material. Seems like Norms would have mentioned the non-original parts other than the tuners.

  39. #88

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    Hello,

    I recently acquired a 1956 ES-140N. The serial number starts with V. It's in it's original case and seems to have entirely original parts. What I'm curious about is the rosewood (I think) veneer on the headstock. I've scoured the net and I can only find these guitars with black headstocks. Was this an extra option Gibson offered at the time?

    The provenance: the guitar was given to me as a special gift from a long time student. He purchased the guitar used in the early 60s. If it's a copy, it's the finest copy I've ever seen. I love this guitar! I've had less than a week and it already has considerable sentimental value.

    Thanks for any insights offered!

    Best,

    Ben
    Attached Images Attached Images 1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-20191203_133433-jpg 1956/7 Gibson ES-140T - Natural-20191203_133503-jpg 

  40. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Bgateno
    Hello,

    I recently acquired a 1956 ES-140N. The serial number starts with V. It's in it's original case and seems to have entirely original parts. What I'm curious about is the rosewood (I think) veneer on the headstock. I've scoured the net and I can only find these guitars with black headstocks. Was this an extra option Gibson offered at the time?
    ....
    Hi Ben,

    I dig the full body natural finish. The rosewood (?) veneer is indeed new to me. I have never seen another headstock like that... can't say if its original or not. I really don't know. What I do know is that I'd love to find a full body natural finish ES-140 someday. Enjoy the guitar!

    Thanks for sharing the pics and the story!

    Cheers,
    Steve

  41. #90

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    Just joined this forum. I have enjoyed reading through.

    I actually have this guitar and its original CA girl case. It was my mothers. My dad had gifted it to her the year I was born. He lived down the the street from Les Paul and my grandfather and he had done work on his house as carpenters. Still wish the family had my dads original Les Paul.

    So, mom had it for years. When she passed I acquired it. It's all original. The tuning pegs are crumbling, as they do. Don't know what happened to the amp. that went with it, but the cord that plugged into it is here.

    From time to time, I consider selling it. Easy to say until I get sentimental. But if someone gets me on the right day, maybe. I'd say it's in good to very good condition.

  42. #91
    ManyStrings,

    Great guitar with a cool story. Thanks for sharing.

    post a pic sometime... always great to see me of the little guitars!