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Ignatius

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Everything posted by Ignatius

  1. No problem. Glad to be of service and also much appreciate the nod of thanks. Sometimes, I'm not even sure if the original poster even finds the answers offered because he or she never returns to a thread after asking a question. Ignatius
  2. I have been proven wrong on Gibson history more than once in the past, but I will venture here to suggest that Gibson hollow body and/or semi-hollow body guitars have not had bolt-on necks as this guitar does (the metal plate with four screws and "Adjustable Neck" written on it is a dead giveaway for a bolt-on neck). Gibson guitars traditionally have glued-in set necks. Notice too that the headstock does not have the normal center "divot" or open book style along its top. Lastly, by the 1950s, when Gibson introduced the thinline semi-hollow and thinline hollow body guitars (which this appears to be), the Gibson logo on the headstock matched the modern Gibson logo (the letters are joined together is a style closer to script or cursive). The f-holes on this guitar are not the typical style used by Gibson either but are a bit wider and placed a bit differently. My guess is that this MIGHT be an early Epiphone import with an altered headstock. It also could be any number of other early Japanese imports that were pale copies of the ES-335. In fact, now that I look at the pickup covers, I see that they clearly show by the width of the plastic that this guitar did NOT originally have humbuckers. The Epiphone EA-250 had a very similar design to this guitar: bolt-on neck, multiple binding around the body (but single binding on the headstock), and binding around the f-holes (which was not standard on the ES-330 or -335). The EA-250 also had odd pickups that were as wide as P-90s but were in fact weak humbuckers. I've seen several EA-250s that were retrofitted with standard humbuckers, and all of them need some sort of extra-wide binding ring to fill in the gap left by the old nonstandard pickups and the new standard replacements. I'd wager this is an EA-250 from the early 1970s. If it has a very thin neck (both thin in terms of depth and a narrow freboard) and looks to be built from at least three pieces of wood (you can tell this from the center stripe of wood running the length of the back of the neck), then it's probably an EA-250. If so, the pickups are not original, the headstock has been altered, and the tailpiece also likely is not original. The guitar is probably worth less than $200--perhaps a LOT less. These can be fun guitars if you don't mind the very narrow fretboard, which quickly makes other guitars hard to play if you use it too often. I'm sure experts in the forum can point out other problems with this example. Ignatius
  3. I stand corrected. Thanks, jannusguy2. Wow, I would have bet the farm on this one that Gibson never made anything like that. I am amazed. It's cool to keep learning about the Gibson tradition, even its odder detours over time. From your link, jannusguy2, it looks like Gibson actually tried to solve the typical Ovation problem of the guitar sliding around one's lap. There are definite sides on that guitar if I am seeing the pictures rightly. Very, very interesting. Ignatius
  4. Without pictures, I can't answer definitively, but my guess is that someone has mounted a Gibson top (probably from a destroyed guitar) on an Ovation back. I am all but certain that Gibson has never made plastic-back, Ovation-style guitar bodies. Vintage value: zero selling value: might be worth a few hundred for someone with an eye for oddities if it is done well; otherwise, probably also close to zero The number you list is NOT a Gibson model number unless I am very mistaken. Ignatius
  5. You might also contact Joe at archtop.com. He sells very nice cases for all sorts of vintage archtops. I bought an ES-125 case from him a few years ago, and while it wasn't cheap, it is a very solid case with a crushed velvet/velour lining and is built to last forever. Almost every time someone sees the inside of that case, people want to know where I got it. Even if you don't buy directly from Joe, he probably at least can let you know where he gets his cases. Ignatius
  6. Ask and ye shall receive. . . . Will a 1967 at $3750 do? 1967 Trini Lopez at Gbase.com Or perhaps a 2009 reissue at $2300? 2009 Trini Lopez Reissue at Gbase.com Gbase also has a few Deluxes below $4800. Always glad to be of service. Ignatius
  7. I see your point, Sam, from a basic logical perspective, but remember that all the ES-125 models are "descendants" of the basic ES-125/ES-100 model. It was originally an acoustic archtop that had a pickup added to it. The earliest models had solid tops and only moved to laminate due to feedback problems. I don't think the basic structure ever changes: the whole line is an acoustic archtop that is cut up in various ways (cutaways, thinned out body, etc.). In contrast, the ES-330 is a variation on the ES-335 model and was always an electric guitar. I looked on gbase, which had about fifty ES-125s in all its various permutations, and only the one you posted and one other had mounted bridges. Otherwise, regardless of year or shape, all the rest had floating bridges. Your dad got an amazing deal on that guitar if there are no other problems with it, theywererobots. Have you tried it out with an amp yet? Those old P-90s can sound very, very good as rock guitars if that is what you are seeking. A bit of overdrive moves them into a very rich growl. Likewise, though, their clean sound can do jazz very well. With a proper setup, the guitar should also be very easy to play so I wouldn't shelve it too quickly! Ignatius
  8. I am fairly certain that all ES-125s came with floating bridges originally. Any like the one you posted, Sam, were retrofitted later in life with mounted bridges. A mounted bridge undermines the resonance of the arched top of a hollowbody like this, and even though the ES-125 has a laminate top, the resonance is still important to the sound. It's a different game with an ES-335, where the solid block down the middle already is impeding that resonance. I'm secretly hoping the OP chooses to hold on to his ES-125. They tend to grown on people over time, and I have yet to hear from a person who didn't later regret giving up his or her ES-125. Ignatius
  9. I doubt there will be mounting holes for the bridge since the ES-125 in all its forms was a fully hollow-body guitar. If there ARE mounting holes, some serious damage has been done to the instrument. Everything else that Sam noted is a right concern, especially that Epi truss rod cover, which I hope to God does not mean that someone drilled holes in the headstock for it. I think the pickup is a replacement unless things changed a lot in the late 1960s (and they well could have). In the '50s, the ES-125 had a slope-shouldered, more rounded and lower profile P-90. Those P-90s are much closer (if I am remembering rightly) to the neck pickup on the old LP Jr. The ES-125 is known for this problem because no one currently makes P-90s with those low-profile covers anymore so a period-correct replacement is not possible without shopping on the vintage market. I suspect the volume and tone knobs are also replaced. The split in the seam binding between the neck heel and the body is typical and may not be a problem, but it does reduce value. I saw in your other thread that eBay has some of these going from $1500 to $3000. The latter number is wildly out of range, and I would say that in a good economy, one could get $1500 for this one if all the cards fell into place. I'm not so sure right now. You might be better off holding onto it until you are sure you could find someone who wants it. The higher prices typically go for the two-pickup versions or for pristine originals. This one is neither. The ES-125 was the Gibson low-end archtop for decades, and at one point, it was the best-selling Gibson of all time. There are a lot of these out there so they don't command the prices right now, but they are slowly increasing in value. Ignatius
  10. Hey everyone-- This may be an odd question, but I am wondering if I can reshape a vintage dogear P-90 cover. I am considering having Jason Lollar wind a new P-90 to add as a lead pickup to my ES-125. I am considering a Lollar because he can make and wind pickups to complement already present pickups in a guitar. On top of that, he is able to work with old pickup covers and to build a new pickup to fit a vintage cover. I ran across an old low-profile dogear P-90 cover very similar to the odd ones used on the '50s era ES-125. They do not extend as high as modern dogear P-90s, and they are more rounded than the current versions (nowadays, the dogears tend to look a lot like soapbars with wings). The only problem is that this one is somewhat deformed, as though heated to a high temperature and bent to fit an archtop and flattened/stretched out a bit (probably in an attempt to match the footprint of a more modern P-90). The job was not done very well, though, and I'm wondering if the old plastic on these covers can be heated (steam, boiling water, etc.) and reshaped back to original form. If so, then I think I might have a vintage cover that would fit perfectly with the mojo of my already somewhat doctored ES-125. Any thoughts you might have would be much appreciated. If I don't find an answer here, I might just contact Mr. Lollar directly. Ignatius
  11. Hey Bob-- Okay, now you've got me thinking. I really like my ES-125, and I wonder what one of those there pickups would sound like in it. Or what about two of them (bridge and neck)? I wandered over to the Duncan site and saw that there is also a stacked P-90 there that would be hum canceling. That could be the bee's knees, too. Have you heard any of these Duncan specialty pups? And how did you get your post count run down to forty-five posts, my good man? Ignatius (By the way, hi to both you and Mark. I've been spending time elsewhere of late.)
  12. Now THAT is a very interesting theory that could be well worth exploring. I totally forgot about the old Gibson appliance company. Regarding the other ideas about copies: it seems unlikely that the old logo was located where those screwholes appear now (and in any case, this guitar is not a copy to begin with); it would not be financially feasible to swap necks on a real Gibson with a fake. The Gibson necks don't bolt on like Fender necks, and neck removal/replacement for a Gibson is VERY expensive and time-consuming work. I don't think many of these guitars of the '60s had attached logo plates--and even if they did, they most likely would have gone where the Gibson logo is located. And in any case, I've seen these holes on non-refinished genuine Gibsons, which suggests that in most cases, they are something aftermarket, rather than a part of the guitar when it was manufactured. Ignatius
  13. Hey KSDaddy-- You are the man! I am impressed. On a lark, I actually took you up on your offer, and I emailed the pictures from this thread to Gruhn Guitars and explained the ongoing discussion. I just got a response this morning from George Gruhn himself. I didn't ask permission to post his reply so I won't, but the summary is this: I owe you a steak dinner. Mr. Gruhn agrees with you one hundred percent and only added to the general discussion that not only are the logo redone and the trussrod cover and pickup replaced, but so too are the tuning machines. He estimates the collector's value somewhere near zero, but yes indeed, he is confident this guitar is a post-1966 Melody Maker. I am very impressed. I knew you know your stuff, KSDaddy, but this counts as an out-of-the-park home run in my eyes. If you're ever in Chicago, and we can work it out, I would be honored to treat for that dinner because it would be great to get to know you in person as well! (Oh, and TLSG, thanks for the welcome back. This is part of why I came back. I missed the learning so much! Somehow, graduate school alone just isn't enough.) Ignatius
  14. I hear what you're saying ballcorner, but no one has yet explained either the irregular Gibson logo or the three-screw trussrod cover. Based only on the pictures we've seen, I don't know how one can verify that the body alone proves it is a Gibson--and that appears to be all that is left of the original guitar if it is a Melody Maker. I'm not claiming to know it all here; I am trying to learn, and I have learned much from ksdaddy in the past so I'm not questioning his knowledge. I do know, though, that until one knows how to spot the guitar as authentic, such an odd beast should be assumed to be fake. In another thread several months back, we saw what all of us took to be a heavily-modified ES-125, but there was no way to verify it as such because so much of it had been altered. When the original poster contacted Gibson, customer service was not even willing to say the guitar was a Gibson for sure--and that guitar looked more like an ES-125 than this one looks like any Melody Maker that I've seen. So I'm hoping that I can hear from people how they are able to verify this is a real Gibson, rather than, say, a modified Epiphone or an outright fake. Ignatius
  15. Hey AlanC-- It's great to hear that the guitar is working out. Don't feel bad about the pictures; I still haven't posted mine yet. I do not seem to be able to photograph a guitar without making it look like a cheap piece of junk, no matter what I do. I still need to figure out how to post 'em once I figure out how to shoot the pictures in the first place! Anyway, I'm not surprised at the chunky neck. My early '50s ES-125 also has a big ol' neck like that. It takes some getting used to, but it has a good sense of heft and strength once you get the feel for it. I tend to find a lot of modern guitar necks now feel flimsy in comparison (at least on electric guitars). The back and sides of your guitar are a different color from the front because they are made from a different wood: I believe the tops of the ES-150 and the ES-125 are spruce, and the back and sides are mahogany (which also is the wood out of which the necks are made). The dots on the fretboard match with the pre-1950 version of the ES-150; they did not have trapezoid inlays until 1950 and later (which makes them one of the distinguishing features between the post-1950 ES-125 and ES-150; the ES-125 retained the dot inlays over its entire model lifespan). So if your instrument has a 17" lower bout, then based on what you've told us (dot inlays, P-90 pickup, and silkscreened modern Gibson logo), you can rest assured that you have an ES-150 made between 1946 and 1950. Enjoy. That instrument is a treasure. Ignatius
  16. Hey Blaster-- I'm glad you updated this thread; I'm very interested to hear the report once you hear from Gibson. I'm glad to hear you have the official papers--at least one mystery is solved so far. Ignatius
  17. I'm still not sure how one knows it is a Melody Maker: the trussrod cover is wrong; the logo is wrong; and the pickups are wrong. We also just heard ballcorner say he saw one of these years ago that was an India-make fake. What evidence is there that this ever was a Gibson? I've seen lots of rip-off SG-style bodies; they were quite common in the '70s. Or am I missing something here? I was up in the air whether it was a fake or heavily-modified, but ballcorner's comment did it for me--along with the fact that we have no evidence here at all that it ever was a Gibson. Ignatius
  18. Oh, man. Just when I thought I was safe! A re-issued 330?!? This is the best guitar news that I've heard in ages. Ignatius
  19. That's great to hear' date=' Mike. I'm betting you mean Spruce [b']Tree[/b] Music and their website: www.sprucetreemusic.com. If so, I've never heard anything but good about them. If you have a minute when the guitar is done, drop a line to let me know what you think of the store's repair work. I'm hoping to get back to Wisconsin on a permanent basis one day down the road, and it would be great to have a good place to use for repairs--and for shopping! I am close enough to the border as it is that I might be willing to drive a guitar up there now if the work seems worth it. Ignatius
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