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sok66

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About sok66

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  1. The old Kalamazoo factory way of refretting and retaining the nibs was to remove the binding, replace, level and dress the frets, then reattach the binding and respray the neck and backside of the peghead. They wouldn't feather in the new finish at the neck joint, they'd just mask it off at the seam, leaving the obvious buildup of lacquer. When I worked in retail back in the day I had enough customer complaints about this method that I found a local guy to do it who would do the finish feathering, but inevitably he couldn't do a perfect, invisible blend. We finally gave up and just told the customers they'd have to sacrifice the nibs. I have read about some lutiers being able to get the frets out and back in while protecting the nibs, but I can't believe the fret ends could be cut so perfectly they could fit well. JMHO, but I prefer sacrificing the nibs. YMMV, of course.
  2. I read this AFTER I'd ordered a "Scratch & Dent" Midtown Standard LE from an online retailer. You guys had me scared about the Midtown but mine arrived in outstanding condition. No build quality issues anywhere other than a loose jack nut. Setup was near perfect, just had to adjust a few things to my preferences, restring and go. Says on the headstock it's a 2015 model. Has Grover machine heads, not that G-Froce thing. I can't find a single thing that would suggest to me anyone had ever played it before I got it. The box had been opened, but that was it. I swapped out the knobs and switch tip for some reflectors and an amber I had in my stash. Time will tell, but I only paid $749 for the thing and at this point I'm thinking I may have gotten the steal of the year!
  3. Geez, dude, yours is a very sad tale. We all expect more from Gibson. Sadly, Henry's Gibson has apparently suffered the same fate as Norlin Gibson of the 60s & 70s. Quality issues due to cost cutting, an unhappy workforce, production quotas, etc. You'd never see that kind of mess in an Asian-made guitar costing a fraction of that. So, I await the arrival of a Midtown Standard LE in sunburst from AMS. The price was great, but it was sold a a "scratch & dent." Fit & finish-wise I expect it's going to be like your first two. ZZounds is offering the same deal, and calls theirs "blems." I suspect Gib-O had a run of dogs and just blew them out to the dealers to get some cost back. If it can be set up to play well that's all I'm looking for. These are fairly close in spec to Fender's old Ibanez made Esprit/Robben Ford models, one of my favorites all time. I have one that I hesitate to take out any longer as they've appreciated and are fairly hard to find. The Custom Shop versions (out of production) are gorgeous, but actually don't have the tone of the first gen models. I have been around Gibsons since 1960 and have had a love/hate affair with them since the late 60s. In '69 I started running te guitar dept at my local music store. Armed with a 40% store discount I ordered an L5 in natural. It arrived some weeks later from Kalamazoo with a natural top, but walnut back & sides. Close inspection showed the back to becovered in numerous spots of filler, likely from somone rolling the body over a screw, etc. Over & above that the board wasn't flat above the 12th, there were numerous flaws in the binding & other details. I should have refused delivery, but being young & excited I took it anyway. My Gibson rep refused to do anythng about it. I never let him forget it. A few years later I bought a new ES335 that must have been the worst one they ever made. Same old, same old with Gibson. Like a beautiful woman you love madly who always has a cold and has a bad temper.
  4. Geez, dude, yours is a very sad tale. We all expect more from Gibson. Sadly, Henry's Gibson has apparently suffered the same fate as Norlin Gibson of the 60s & 70s. Quality issues due to cost cutting, an unhappy workforce, production quotas, etc. You'd never see that kind of mess in an Asian-made guitar costing a fraction of that. So, I await the arrival of a "scratch & dent" Midtown Standard LE in sunburst from AMS. The price was great, but it was sold a a "scratch & dent." Fit & finish-wise I expect it's going to be like your first two. ZZounds is offering the same deal, and calls theirs "blems." I suspect Gib-O had a run of dogs and just blew them out to the dealers to get some cost back. If it can be set up to play well that's all I'm looking for. These are fairly close in spec to Fender's old Ibanez made Esprit/Robben Ford models, one of my favorites all time. I have one that I hesitate to take out any longer as they've appreciated and are fairly hard to find. The Custom Shop versions (out of production) are gorgeous, but actually don't have the tone of the first gen models. I have been around Gibsons since 1960 and have had a love/hate affair with them since the late 60s. In '69 I started running te guitar dept at my local music store. Armed with a 40% store discount I ordered an L5 in natural. It arrived some weeks later from Kalamazoo with a natural top, but walnut back & sides. Close inspection showed the back to becovered in numerous spots of filler, likely from somone rolling the body over a screw, etc. Over & above that the board wasn't flat above the 12th, there were numerous flaws in the binding & other details. I should have refused delivery, but being young & excited I took it anyway. My Gibson rep refused to do anythng about it. I never let him forget it. A few years later I bought a new ES335 that must have been the worst one they ever made. Same old, same old with Gibson. Like a beautiful woman you love madly who always has a cold and has a bad temper.
  5. I purchased a Memphis '59 ES335 back in 2009, year of its manufacture. Back then I was curious about all the different '59 335s that were being produced and one of the Gibson moderators on this Forum clarified the confusion a bit. He said the 50th anniversary '59 ES335s were produced in the Nashville Custom Shop and (aside from the certificate and orange label) could be identified by a light colored neck and an open wire channel under the bridge pickup (not an accurate feature for a '59 by the way), while the Memphis '59 would have a dark colored neck, a solid center block and no open wire channel, which is correct for a '59. Both have the chunky neck profile and long pickguard. The Nashville '59s had the redlined case, the Memphis models have the grey lined case. I've not had the opportunity to set them side by side, but I can tell you my Memphis-built '59 ES335 has become so much my go-to guitar over the past six years I've started selling much of my collection.
  6. My first 335 was a bought new '72 in walnut with a trapeze. I had many tuning stability issues with it and a few years later had a stop tail installed. End of issue.
  7. My first 335 was a bought new '72 in walnut with a trapeze. I had many tuning stability issues with it and a few years later had a stop tail installed. End of issue.
  8. When the 335 family was intorduced in '58 the Bigsby tailpiece was quite popular. Gibson made them available on 335s on a custom order basis. Unfortunately, installing one left the stop tail stud holes exposed, which Gibson would cover with the "Custom Made" plaque seen on some vintage models. On some they also used pearl dots to cover the holes. Eventually (1965 - '1980) Gibson switched to the trapese in order to make the Bigsby installation cleaner. Plus it saved production costs. When guys switched to lighter guage strings in the mid-late 60s the trapeze became a tuning issue, as it wasn't a stable as the stop tail. Plus, many feel the stop improves tone and sustain.
  9. Oh, by all means. PM me and we'll exchange photos. Warren is very difficult to contact. Kind of a hopeless pursuit.
  10. Wow, Chris, that's wonderful you have Warren's 335. From memory I recall it had a rather large neck like a 59, which is what I've always refered to it as. One of the best 335s I ever played. Did you get it from Warren? I'm playing it in this photo, taken in Spring '66. Broke a string on my Ric and borrowed it for a set. Joe's playing the '66 335 shown above.
  11. And then there's my "player" 335, which is an '09 Nashville-built '59 Reissue. One of the best all around 335s I've ever played, has an "IT" factor I rarely find in new guitars.
  12. My '66 ES335, which has quite a history. It was purchased new in early '66 by my bandmate in the Gloria-era Shadows of Knight, the late blues great, Joe Kelley. Right after he bought it Joe wanted a Bigsby, so while on the road we found one in a music store and I installed it for him in a hotel room. Turned out I didn't quite nail the centering, as I used the strap button hole as a guide. Since the strap button hole wasn't centered to the bridge & nut centerline, the Bigsby was off center as well. Joe played the 335 for about 6 months before switching to a vintage Tele. Then I started playing it several months later when my Firebird VII was stolen. I switched to Tele in summer '67, so we sold it off and never saw it again. FASt forward 40 some years, in 2008 it popped up on Ebay and I recognized it on sight from some unmistakable nicks & dings. By then it had been well used and had suffered a rather poorly installed stop tail & Nashville style bridge, plus some Schallers. Regardless, I bought it on the spot. My local luthier refretted it, reinstalled the original Klusons and cleaned it up a bit. The result is a fine, killer sounding mid-60s 335. This is a photo of yours truly with the same 335, on the cover of the mid-67 edition of Gibson Gazette, a trade publication Gibson put out occasionally back then. Gibson marketing VP Bruce Bolen was a personal friend & Northwest Indiana homeboy and kindly did a piece on our band. Bruce later became President of Gibson. Great fun to have this guitar come back to me the way it did!
  13. I have never had a good experience having a Gibson refretted by removing the binding to retain the "nibs". This is historically the way Gibson did refrets at the factory, and the way they recommended their certified techs do it. It requires respraying the neck, because of that the best jobs looked bad to me. Frankly the nibs weren't worth saving. I have the frets laid over the binding. The jobs look great and the guitars play great. YMMV, of course.
  14. When I ran a retail store in late 60s / early 70s I inherited one in the inventory of guitars that had been ordered by my retiring predecessor. He told me it had been ordered by someone who never picked it up and forfeited his deposit. It sat around for years, no one wanted it until one day a guy came in and asked if he could get it down. He sat there and played it for several hours. We cut a deal for $250 with the case. Just ahd to get it off the inventory. That would have been around 1970.
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