Thursday, 8 September 2011

1979 Gibson ES-175CC Charlie Christian with rail pickup

Always had a soft spot for hollow body archtops with florentine cutaway (not the budget though), and you cannot do better than the Gibson ES-175 (well yes actually, you could do better by avoiding sunburst finish), but watching at this 1979 Charlie Christian model, I realize that I've always associated rail pickups with loud guitars exclusively aimed at 1990s metal - and almost always see them doubled in humbuckers (or even quadrupled in double humbuckers). 

So I wasn't aware that this elegant one rail pickup in hexagonal art deco casing to which bebop/pre-cool jazz guitar player Charlie Christian gave his name is actually one of the first modern pickups, introduced in 1936 and replacing the previous horseshoe magnet pickup created by Rickenbacker. It equipped the first ES (Electric Spanish) Gibson model - the ES-150 - and allowed Christian to more or less invent guitar soloing due to its louder output. Replaced by subtler six poles pickups, it was reintroduced in 1978 for this ES-175 that is not a signature model of course since Christian passed in 1942, but a tribute.

You will find more information on Charlie Christian pickups here.


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