I just got this 1956 ES-175D body. I'm starting from scratch on hardware and looking for advice. I have several questions
It appears to have had a Bigsby (two holes in top). Seems like I should replace it just to cover the holes, but I am not sure I want/need one. I've never used one. I've never even held or had a good look at an archtop before. There are none in the shops here in Anchorage
1956 was the last year of single coil pickups. Should I go for original (P90?) or humbuckers? I assume Gibson switched to humbuckers in '57 for a reason
I really don't understand how the pickguard mounts. There is a pin (or broken screw?) on the side of the fretboard, and a hole in the side. I have a side bracket but don't understand the pin
I assume its valuable. It has an easy-to-repair crack in the side. I can do a pretty good job on the crack, but does it deserve a professional luthier's touch?
In that same theme, does it deserve "Only-the-best" hardware and original, possibly vintage parts?
I got it for a steal and will probably never sell it, so my concern about value isn't for me--its respect for the guitar. It will outlive me and I don't want future owners cursing me. But, I am curious what people think its worth