The guitars that have become synonymous with Charlie Christian are the Gibson ES150 and ES250. The ES150 was produced in 1936 and was Gibson's first association with the standard electric guitar. Charlie Christian adopted the ES150 in 1937 as his guitar of choice.
The development of the pickup enabled the guitarist to become a fully fledged member of the group no longer limited to the rhythm section or having the band quiet down during solos. Charlie had something to say and at last his voice could be heard. In 1939 the ES250 was produced. Charlie received his ES250 in April 1940 Christian played these guitars until his death in March 1942.
Underlying this early technology was the pickup first developed by Gibson for use on a Hawaiian guitar. Next came the ES150, later a model with a notch in the blade under the 2nd (B) string was produced, finally the ES250 was made with 6 poles, one for each string. It is these pickups that create the sound that is associated with these guitars - and of Charlie Christian.
Seven original Charlie Christian pickups (of contrasting years but the identical model) were painstakingly stripped then each part was analyzed and reconstructed to the exact match specifications. After this process we started the all important sound comparison tests. The conclusion is that our pickups are an identical match in sound reproduction to the average sound taken from a cross section of our 7 original pickups (the difference is often loss in magnet strength (over time) and inconsistent hand wound coiling (standard to Gibson’s techniques).
Long thought to be unobtainable you now have the opportunity to use one of the most sought after pickups in guitar history, giving you the authentic Charlie Christian sound once again.
The process of re introducing these pickups back onto the market has been a long one, involving sourcing pre-war materials from all over the world and ensuring the specifications between the originals and the current pickups are as similar as we could make them.
Three different versions have been built to the original spec, the 1936 ES150 model with the straight blade, the later model with the notch under the B string and the ES250 model with the six separate pole pieces.
As you can see we have gone to great lengths to ensure we are giving you a top quality product that is as close to the original pickup as possible. They don't just look authentic they sound completely authentic and we are very proud to introduce this limited run.
Welcome to the reintroduction of the Charlie Christian pickup