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1963 ES 335 Historic

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I am new to this fine forum. I own a vintage ' 66 ES 335 that is 100% original and a 2011 63 ES 335 HIstoric reissue. Both are amazing 335s. Why is it that the histrionic 63 is not historically accurate ? The wrong Kluson tuners are on it ( single ring), there is no serial number on the headstock, etc. The guitar is wonderful and it was made in Nashville. There must be a good reason for this. Thank you for the help.

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The period 1962-1966 was a transition period for the 335. By '66 all the changes had been implemented, such as PAF's to Pat. No. pickups, dot neck to block neck, stop-bar to trapeze, and the double ring tuners came in sometime during this period.

 

The main feature, and reason for the '63 RI was the the block fingerboard markers. Since this was the MAIN change of the 62/63 period, this would be the distinguishing feature of the RI. "Generally" speaking, the single ring tuners and serial number only on the paper label would be historically correct for an late 50's/early 60's 335.

 

Your '66 would have the more "modern" features.

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The period 1962-1966 was a transition period for the 335. By '66 all the changes had been implemented, such as PAF's to Pat. No. pickups, dot neck to block neck, stop-bar to trapeze, and the double ring tuners came in sometime during this period.

 

The main feature, and reason for the '63 RI was the the block fingerboard markers. Since this was the MAIN change of the 62/63 period, this would be the distinguishing feature of the RI. "Generally" speaking, the single ring tuners and serial number only on the paper label would be historically correct for an late 50's/early 60's 335.

 

Your '66 would have the more "modern" features.

Thank you.

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I am new to this fine forum. I own a vintage ' 66 ES 335 that is 100% original and a 2011 63 ES 335 HIstoric reissue. Both are amazing 335s. Why is it that the histrionic 63 is not historically accurate ? The wrong Kluson tuners are on it ( single ring), there is no serial number on the headstock, etc. The guitar is wonderful and it was made in Nashville. There must be a good reason for this. Thank you for the help.

 

As someone who's followed the Historic and other reissues since their inception, my opinion is that Gibson has not generally given the ES-335 the kind of attention and efforts at historical accuracy it's given the '59 Les Paul Standard. For example, the position of the f-holes relative to the pickups on the RI 335s has never been accurate, and generally the neck angle is steeper on the RIs than on the originals. Whereas Gibson gave the Les Paul RIs a nylon nut in 2009, this has not been done for the 335s with the possible exception of the Bonamassa model, as far as I know. (I have a 2011 R0 with a nylon nut, and it has superior tuning stability to all my Gibsons with Corian nuts.)

 

The 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335 (see Wildwood Guitars for info; maybe other dealers also have it) makes some nods toward historical accuracy, such as reshaping of the horns (which have vexed some fanatics for years), the use of nylon at least for the saddles, and a black case with yellow lining (at last!).

 

By the way, the new webpage on the 2013 '63 335 shows it to now have the double-ring tuners, which the 1960 Les Paul reissue has had for many years, even though most original 1960 Les Pauls didn't (the double-ring tuners along with the silver-inserted knobs serve to cosmetically differentiate the R0 from the R9). However, the new specs for the '63 are riddled with inaccuracies (23 frets, dot inlays, etc.), so it's hard to know what to believe on Gibson's website.

 

I assume you deliberately referred to your 63 as "histrionic;" that's probably a more accurate term for the reissues than "Historic." [rolleyes]

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As someone who's followed the Historic and other reissues since their inception, my opinion is that Gibson has not generally given the ES-335 the kind of attention and efforts at historical accuracy it's given the '59 Les Paul Standard. For example, the position of the f-holes relative to the pickups on the RI 335s has never been accurate, and generally the neck angle is steeper on the RIs than on the originals. Whereas Gibson gave the Les Paul RIs a nylon nut in 2009, this has not been done for the 335s with the possible exception of the Bonamassa model, as far as I know. (I have a 2011 R0 with a nylon nut, and it has superior tuning stability to all my Gibsons with Corian nuts.)

 

The 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335 (see Wildwood Guitars for info; maybe other dealers also have it) makes some nods toward historical accuracy, such as reshaping of the horns (which have vexed some fanatics for years), the use of nylon at least for the saddles, and a black case with yellow lining (at last!).

 

By the way, the new webpage on the 2013 '63 335 shows it to now have the double-ring tuners, which the 1960 Les Paul reissue has had for many years, even though most original 1960 Les Pauls didn't (the double-ring tuners along with the silver-inserted knobs serve to cosmetically differentiate the R0 from the R9). However, the new specs for the '63 are riddled with inaccuracies (23 frets, dot inlays, etc.), so it's hard to know what to believe on Gibson's website.

 

I assume you deliberately referred to your 63 as "histrionic;" that's probably a more accurate term for the reissues than "Historic." [rolleyes]

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I find the debates on Gibson guitar fascinating because unlike Fender it seems that Gibson is either just not as transparent with its history or (and I have heard this is true from Gibson employees) Gibson just did not keep good records of its guitars, specs, etc. The lack of consistency on the reissues surprises me. How can a '63 historic reissue be anything other than what is was in '63? Yet, some years Gibson makes them with 57 classsics and other years they are BB Pros. How is the possible? My '66 ES 335 is 100% original and I do not see many differences at all from it to my '63 RI (setting aside the nut width and trapeze tail, of course). I do note that my '66 sounds brighter and more clear than the darker sounding '63 RI. I wish Gibson would put more attention to making great 335 RIs instead of focusing so much on the Les Paul. IMHO, the 335 deserves more respect -- especially since it is the longest running continuously made electric guitar that Gibson has every made. It has been in production every year since McCarty rolled it out in '58. All hail the mighty 335!

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