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Help me find the year for my ES-335 Was told it was a 1967???

#1 User is offline   electricblustudio 

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:33 AM

Hello everyone,

When I bought my guitar from a shop in boston, I was told it was a 1967 ES-335TD.
It has been sitting in the case ever since mostly and recently I decided it was time to sell it.

So it's up on ebay now (you can do a search if you want to find a listing), but I just got a message from someone on ebay that my guitar sticker inside the body is from the 70's.
Please help me determine the year of my guitar! I want to be honest in my eBay listing.

I will include pics here:
Posted Image
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Thanks SO MUCH!

#2 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:03 AM

.
My oh my, that's in beautiful condition.

Gibson reused some serial numbers in the 60s, so it's a confusing decade. Your serial is either 63 or 67 - so the seller saying it's a 67 is probably correct. The neck inlays and trapeze fit 67.

But the label is more like late-60s/early-70s on into the 80s.

Someone with knowledge of the inside label formats might be able to confirm which year.
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string
08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone...................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o98 Martin D-45VR.....................0097 Guild X-700 Stuart
73 Yamaha G-55A......................................65 Gibson Melody Maker..............Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab)
Keyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220............................................................................o Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider

#3 User is offline   electricblustudio 

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:32 AM

View PostBigKahune, on 19 July 2011 - 07:03 AM, said:

.
My oh my, that's in beautiful condition.

Gibson reused some serial numbers in the 60s, so it's a confusing decade. Your serial is either 63 or 67 - so the seller saying it's a 67 is probably correct. The neck inlays and trapeze fit 67.

But the label is more like late-60s/early-70s on into the 80s.

Someone with knowledge of the inside label formats might be able to confirm which year.


Thanks for the compliment on the condition! I agree!
I appreciate you getting back so fast.

After looking into it, it looks like this label may be from 1969? But it makes sense for this serial to be a 1967...

Hmm...
Anyone have any other insight? I just don't want to give the ebay buyer the wrong year! I take high pride in how I sell my guitars on eBay.

I didn't think to, but I'll add this guitar to the marketplace here sometime by the end of the day.

#4 User is offline   electricblustudio 

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:03 AM

Hello everyone!

I found some resources. These should help:
http://home.provide....cfh/gibson.html

Specifically check out section: http://home.provide....bson.html#specs

http://home.provide....son4.html#es335

I also just got off the phone with Gibson customer support. A very knowledgeable guy on the other line says he thinks it's a 67 based off the serial number and I just sent him pictures.

I'll post an update when he gets back to me.

Any more insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!

#5 User is offline   electricblustudio 

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:22 AM

Hello again!

That website I posted above points it towards possibly being a 1969. When I bought the guitar, Gibson verified the date to be 1967 over the phone. The serial, the ice tea burst and rare oversized headstock were used in '63 and '67. But, if i remember correctly, it was the flatter neck specifications that pinned it '67.

If anyone has any ideas or can confirm the date please do!

Thank you so much again!

#6 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:15 AM

This guitar is later than 1967. It has several overlapping characteristics that complicate the year. I'll ignore the serial number, as it could be several different years based on that. The "Harlequin" purple/white label did not come in until late 1969 at the earliest. 1967 definitely still had the orange oval "union made" label. I have an unambiguous 1968 ES 335 with the orange "union made" label.

Ditto the three-piece neck: generally accepted as 1970, but could be late 1969, as no one knows exactly when that transition was made. No "made in USA" stamp on the back of the headstock ended in 1969 as well.

In all likelihood, this is a late 1969 model. Guitars in this period are easer to date by their characteristics than their serial numbers.

No one would ever confuse this with a 1963, by the way, unless they know nothing of ES 335 history. Mid 1965 and later ES 335's are a totally different animal.

#7 User is offline   adius 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:09 AM

View Postj45nick, on 19 July 2011 - 11:15 AM, said:

This guitar is later than 1967. It has several overlapping characteristics that complicate the year. I'll ignore the serial number, as it could be several different years based on that. The "Harlequin" purple/white label did not come in until late 1969 at the earliest. 1967 definitely still had the orange oval "union made" label. I have an unambiguous 1968 ES 335 with the orange "union made" label.

Ditto the three-piece neck: generally accepted as 1970, but could be late 1969, as no one knows exactly when that transition was made. No "made in USA" stamp on the back of the headstock ended in 1969 as well.

In all likelihood, this is a late 1969 model. Guitars in this period are easer to date by their characteristics than their serial numbers.

No one would ever confuse this with a 1963, by the way, unless they know nothing of ES 335 history. Mid 1965 and later ES 335's are a totally different animal.


I agree. I have a '68 and it has the orange label. What is the width of the nut? Can't see it but no volute behind the head stock and it does have a block of wood under the pick ups, correct? By the way, it is a beauty.

#8 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:19 PM

View Postadius, on 21 July 2011 - 08:09 AM, said:

I agree. I have a '68 and it has the orange label. What is the width of the nut? Can't see it but no volute behind the head stock and it does have a block of wood under the pick ups, correct? By the way, it is a beauty.

Looking at the close-up, I'd say the nut width is no more than 1 9/16" unless that is a gigantic TRC.

What exactly do you mean by a "block of wood under the pickups"? Are you talking about the oversized side rout under the bridge pickup for installation of the wiring harness through the centerblock rather than through the f-hole? My '68 has that, but my '59 Historic has the small wire hole.

#9 User is offline   adius 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 01:28 PM

View Postj45nick, on 21 July 2011 - 12:19 PM, said:

Looking at the close-up, I'd say the nut width is no more than 1 9/16" unless that is a gigantic TRC.

What exactly do you mean by a "block of wood under the pickups"? Are you talking about the oversized side rout under the bridge pickup for installation of the wiring harness through the centerblock rather than through the f-hole? My '68 has that, but my '59 Historic has the small wire hole.


Yep, I meant center block. That nut puts it in the 67-68-69-70+ range. No volute. I agree that it is likely a '69. They stopped running it under the pups for a while in the early 70's but returned to it later in the decade (I have a '77 with the center block that is also a 1 9/16 inch neck). Again, it's a beauty.

#10 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:30 PM

View Postadius, on 21 July 2011 - 01:28 PM, said:

Yep, I meant center block. That nut puts it in the 67-68-69-70+ range. No volute. I agree that it is likely a '69. They stopped running it under the pups for a while in the early 70's but returned to it later in the decade (I have a '77 with the center block that is also a 1 9/16 inch neck). Again, it's a beauty.


The narrow nut started sometime during 1965, and I believe it continued--apparently with a few undocumented exceptions--until the dot re-issue came out in 1981. I believe the large side cutout in the centerblock started sometime around that same period, when they realized it saved a couple of minutes and there was less risk of scratching the finish on the lower f-hole by installing the harness through the pickup rout, already soldered together.

The other thing you have to consider on ES 335s--and all Gibsons, for that matter--is that there are few clear "model year" changes. Transitional year guitars in particular have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Even some of the "authoritative" books and websites disagree on when some of the changes took place.

#11 User is offline   adius 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:34 PM

View Postj45nick, on 21 July 2011 - 02:30 PM, said:

The narrow nut started sometime during 1965, and I believe it continued--apparently with a few undocumented exceptions--until the dot re-issue came out in 1981. I believe the large side cutout in the centerblock started sometime around that same period, when they realized it saved a couple of minutes and there was less risk of scratching the finish on the lower f-hole by installing the harness through the pickup rout, already soldered together.

The other thing you have to consider on ES 335s--and all Gibsons, for that matter--is that there are few clear "model year" changes. Transitional year guitars in particular have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Even some of the "authoritative" books and websites disagree on when some of the changes took place.


Always wondered why Gibson did that with the center block. Great info.

#12 User is offline   fretplay 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:19 AM

I have an ES 330 made in the 'missing years' of the sixty's. It is stamped on the headstock but no label inside.
Doe's this date it in anyway.

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