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Jeffrey85

1969 ES-335 Prototype? Help!

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Hey guys!

 

I have a 1969 Gibson ES-335 in a walnut finish that my father has owned ever since he special ordered it back in 1969. It looks just like any other 1969 ES-335 that I've seen except that it has an odd looking metal button in it. I took the guitar to a local Guitar Center store to do some minor investigation. They told me that they think the button is a stutter switch (kill switch). When they peaked inside the guitar, they told me that the switch seems to be as old as the guitar and made from genuine Gibson parts. However, they were highly skeptical that it came with this feature from the factory only because they haven't seen any other ES-335s like it before.

 

It's peculiar because there aren't any other 1969 ES-335s that came with this feature straight from the factory. However, my father is 100% certain that the guitar came with this stutter switch installed when he ordered it. My father isn't senile, so I believe him. So, this information leads me to believe that this guitar may be some sort of one-off production or perhaps a prototype that was accidentally sent out to my father.

 

I would definitely appreciate any information that anyone may have. Hopefully I can figure this out!

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interesting...and nice 335! I suppose if your father remembers it specifically, then it must be a factory option, albeit a rarely ordered one, at least on 335s. I've never seen it before. Is it one of those switches that engages with a loud click-click?

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.

Interesting. I've never seen a Gibson with that type of switch installed by the factory.

 

Did you have a look at the hole the button is sitting in? . Is the finish on/in it? . Or is the top wood in the hole bare (no finish)? . What I'm after here is whether the hole for the button was drilled before the guitar was finished, or after?

 

 

.

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Spitball - Yes, the switch functions by "pushing/clicking" it. Do you know if Gibson offered any hardware like that back in 1969?

 

BigKahune - Thank you for your insight. Removing the hardware is a great idea, but I'm afraid to take it off because I wouldn't want to damage the guitar in the process. Is there another way you can think of to determine if the switch is original? I tried reaching out to Gibson directly but no response yet.

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Spitball - Yes, the switch functions by "pushing/clicking" it. Do you know if Gibson offered any hardware like that back in 1969?

 

Not to my knowledge...but I don't know every option they offered, and your Dad's word implies that they did.

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Hey guys!

 

I have a 1969 Gibson ES-335 in a walnut finish that my father has owned ever since he special ordered it back in 1969. It looks just like any other 1969 ES-335 that I've seen except that it has an odd looking metal button in it. I took the guitar to a local Guitar Center store to do some minor investigation. They told me that they think the button is a stutter switch (kill switch). When they peaked inside the guitar, they told me that the switch seems to be as old as the guitar and made from genuine Gibson parts. However, they were highly skeptical that it came with this feature from the factory only because they haven't seen any other ES-335s like it before.

 

It's peculiar because there aren't any other 1969 ES-335s that came with this feature straight from the factory. However, my father is 100% certain that the guitar came with this stutter switch installed when he ordered it. My father isn't senile, so I believe him. So, this information leads me to believe that this guitar may be some sort of one-off production or perhaps a prototype that was accidentally sent out to my father.

I'm trying to understand the origin of this guitar. You said that your father "special ordered" it. What do you mean by that? Often when someone "special" orders a guitar, it has some special or unusual feature or variation which the buyer asks for. So the implication here might be that your father special ordered it with this switch, and yet you're not really explaining it as though that was the case. You said that he told you that it came with the switch installed, but not that he ordered it that way, or why. You even go so far as to say it could have been an accident that he received this guitar, but you don't tell us what his reaction was. Very confusing and puzzling. So, was your father surprised when he got the guitar and it had the switch on it? Satisfied? Bothered? Ambivalent? Did he not investigate or inquire about it? I think it's a stretch to suggest that this is some kind of "prototype", because it has one minor non-stock addition to it.

 

Your father may not be senile, and I mean no offense, but 1969 was a long time ago. People don't always remember things correctly. Just watch a few episodes of Antiques Roadshow, and you'll see examples of people finding out that their family stories about their objects are often not completely accurate.

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"I took the guitar to a local Guitar Center store to do some minor investigation."

 

Guitar Center is probably the last place to go for accurate information. If you want an accurate assessment of the guitar, you need to consult with someone who is a subject matter expert; not a "B.S. artist".

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"I took the guitar to a local Guitar Center store to do some minor investigation."

 

Guitar Center is probably the last place to go for accurate information. If you want an accurate assessment of the guitar, you need to consult with someone who is a subject matter expert; not a "B.S. artist".

Forgot to mention this. I agree completely.

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Looks like it was added after the guitar left Gibson IMHO. It is always possible that Gibson put it on the guitar however it simply doesn't look like a Gibson product. Regardless nice guitar! jim in Maine

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