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early 90's ES-175DN questions...

#1 User is offline   964racer 

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 02:14 PM

Hi--
I'm fairly new to the site but recently got back into playing my 175 !

I have an early 90's ES-175DN that I purchased used when it was only a few years old. I have a few questions for the 175 experts.. My guitar looks different from other guitars I have seen of this type. The top is natural finish, but that back and sides are a darker wood, similar to the neck (mahogany maybe ?). all other 175's that I have seen have a lighter color body - perhaps maple.). the body is finished in a clear lacquer, so you can see the grain and the color is a darker red-ish color.. Is this an unusual model and is there any difference between the maple body in terms of sound ?

Second question: My guitar as a tune-o-matic bridge which is mounted on two posts. the wood platform for the posts sits on top of the guitar. One problem I continually have had is that the bridge posts like to bend over time (towards the headstock). This causes the bridge to tilt forward slightly. The luthier I took it too, thinks it's not the original bridge because they didn't come with a tune-o-matic. I am not sure I believe that because my guitar was bought used from Normans Rare guitars and it was new (but sold used) with all the tags attached. Any suggestions for the bridge ? btw, the luthier used double sided tape to stick the bridge to the top. Not sure I like this idea, but the guitar's sound didn't change to my ears, so I went with it.

Third question: I actually prefer the 60's style curly trapeze for the 175's rather than the square trapeze I have. I am wondering if I could buy a Gibson replacement (that doesn't involve drilling the guitar or changing holes) of the vintage tailpiece ? I would save the original one of course for the next person...

Thank in advance !
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#2 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

If you could download some pictures that would really help us to maybe answer your questions. I had a 175 a few years back and it was all maple. They are actually a maple, poplar, maple sandwich or plywood type construction. The top had a vintage sunburst finish, but the back and sides were all very dark. But not a different wood, just stained differently. So yours could have a natural finish top and stained back and sides (unusual but perhaps a custom order originally), but I doubt the woods are different. If the back was mahogany it wouldn't really be or sound like a 175 I don't think.

The second issue is more vexing - not sure why the bridge posts would start leaning toward the headstock, but they usually have a wooden compensated bridge, not a tune-o-matic. So again maybe a custom order, or someone replaced the original bridge and that is the cause of the problem. You might go back to Norman's with that problem even though it's been many years since you purchased it, they should be able to figure out a fix.

The two sided tape is no big deal, I have known a lot of people that used it to mark where a floating bridge should be positioned for intonation sake, and as you say it shouldn't effect the tone enough to notice. But it's not going to solve the leaning bridge post problem.

As to the tailpiece, try Jim Bastain/Island Fun House Guitar and Parts he has helped some others on this forum find tailpieces to replace broken ones etc.
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#3 User is offline   Sleeko 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:45 PM

Does yours happen to look like this one?


https://www.youtube....h?v=Ywgit57I5CA
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#4 User is offline   964racer 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 10:35 PM

View Post964racer, on 27 April 2017 - 02:14 PM, said:

Hi--
I'm fairly new to the site but recently got back into playing my 175 !

I have an early 90's ES-175DN that I purchased used when it was only a few years old. I have a few questions for the 175 experts.. My guitar looks different from other guitars I have seen of this type. The top is natural finish, but that back and sides are a darker wood, similar to the neck (mahogany maybe ?). all other 175's that I have seen have a lighter color body - perhaps maple.). the body is finished in a clear lacquer, so you can see the grain and the color is a darker red-ish color.. Is this an unusual model and is there any difference between the maple body in terms of sound ?

Second question: My guitar as a tune-o-matic bridge which is mounted on two posts. the wood platform for the posts sits on top of the guitar. One problem I continually have had is that the bridge posts like to bend over time (towards the headstock). This causes the bridge to tilt forward slightly. The luthier I took it too, thinks it's not the original bridge because they didn't come with a tune-o-matic. I am not sure I believe that because my guitar was bought used from Normans Rare guitars and it was new (but sold used) with all the tags attached. Any suggestions for the bridge ? btw, the luthier used double sided tape to stick the bridge to the top. Not sure I like this idea, but the guitar's sound didn't change to my ears, so I went with it.

Third question: I actually prefer the 60's style curly trapeze for the 175's rather than the square trapeze I have. I am wondering if I could buy a Gibson replacement (that doesn't involve drilling the guitar or changing holes) of the vintage tailpiece ? I would save the original one of course for the next person...

Thank in advance !

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#5 User is offline   964racer 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 10:37 PM

View PostSleeko, on 09 May 2017 - 06:45 PM, said:

Does yours happen to look like this one?


https://www.youtube....h?v=Ywgit57I5CA


Yes it does look very similar , but I have a tunomatic bridge .
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#6 User is offline   964racer 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:16 PM

View PostTwang Gang, on 09 May 2017 - 02:47 PM, said:

If you could download some pictures that would really help us to maybe answer your questions. I had a 175 a few years back and it was all maple. They are actually a maple, poplar, maple sandwich or plywood type construction. The top had a vintage sunburst finish, but the back and sides were all very dark. But not a different wood, just stained differently. So yours could have a natural finish top and stained back and sides (unusual but perhaps a custom order originally), but I doubt the woods are different. If the back was mahogany it wouldn't really be or sound like a 175 I don't think.

The second issue is more vexing - not sure why the bridge posts would start leaning toward the headstock, but they usually have a wooden compensated bridge, not a tune-o-matic. So again maybe a custom order, or someone replaced the original bridge and that is the cause of the problem. You might go back to Norman's with that problem even though it's been many years since you purchased it, they should be able to figure out a fix.

The two sided tape is no big deal, I have known a lot of people that used it to mark where a floating bridge should be positioned for intonation sake, and as you say it shouldn't effect the tone enough to notice. But it's not going to solve the leaning bridge post problem.

As to the tailpiece, try Jim Bastain/Island Fun House Guitar and Parts he has helped some others on this forum find tailpieces to replace broken ones etc.


Sorry I've tried to upload an image , but I've given up..
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#7 User is offline   slimt 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:03 PM

Yes.. some es175s (Laminated) and L4 ces Solid top models had mahogany backs and sides.. both had mohagany necks.. Ive encountered a few with natural tops.. and the mahogany backs and sides..
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