Gibson Guitars 1550-07 GUS User Manual

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Gibson’s legendary acoustic engineer, Lloyd Loar, was experimenting with electric instruments
in 1924, at the dawn of electronic amplification. However, Gibson’s struggle to dominate the
banjo market took precedence through the 1920s, and it wasn’t until the mid-1930s that the
company once again turned its attention to electric guitars. In 1935 Gibson’s Walt Fuller
designed a pickup that was introduced on the E-150, an aluminum-body lap steel. Early in
1936, the pickup was put in a midline archtop model and named the ES-150—ES for Electric
Spanish, 150 for the retail price of $150 for the guitar and amplifier set.

The original ES-150 bar pickup with its hexagonal housing is now known as the “Charlie
Christian” pickup, because it was installed on the ES-150s and ES-250s that Christian used
to establish the new concept of electric jazz guitar.

Gibson made several improvements in pickup design before World War II, although many play-
ers still consider the “Christian” pickup to be the best jazz pickup ever made. Immediately
after World War II, Gibson introduced the P-90 single-coil, with six adjustable polepieces and
a black plastic cover, usually with “dog-ear” mounting extensions. The P-90 is still in produc-
tion and still sets the industry standard for a single-coil pickup.