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1983 ES-335 Question

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Hello,

 

I picked up my first gibson the other day and I was in love. I have a chance to buy a 1983 es-335 custom shop in excellent condition for $3500. I've done some research and that seems high to me. Can anyone tell me how much it's worth? Thanks

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It's a lot of money but not out of the ballpark these days for a flamey blonde 335 of this age. These early Dots are over 30 years old now, and with the numerous changes for the better compared to 70s versions I guess for some it's as close as it's possible to get to a 'classic' vintage 335 without spending a fortune on an early 60s example.

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Did you find that on Craigslist SF? It looks just like a 335 a shop in Marin is selling. They claim it was owned by Joe Satriani and he supposedly used it on some recordings. I thought about inquiring, but I felt the price was a bit steep, and they aren't' saying up front that they have any way to prove it was owned by Joe. If they can produce some documentation on it, I'd say perhaps worth it, but you could do some searching and should be able to come up with a brand new figured top for around 2500, maybe a shave less. Natural might be a touch more expensive. I just bought a plain top burst that is on it's way for just under 2300.

 

If this is the guitar I think it is, and you do wind up buying, it, I'd love to find out if it ever really was owned by Joe. I have a hard time believing it as he's obviously an Ibanez guy primarily, but then I do know he has played a lot of different guitars over the years, and do seem to recall a Guitar World interview where he mentioned a 335, back in the late 90's I believe, but that's some time ago, and I could be mistaken.

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Yes it is his guitar. They offered me a picture with him if I bought it on the spot the other day. They also had him on the phone about it. I'm not looking at anything new as I want an old one even if it's more money. I just wanted to get more information as far as well why buy an 83 if I could get say a 69 or older for near the same price which I don't think I can but that's why I'm asking here.

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The 83 will have a much less skinny fingerboard and neck than a 60s example, and a stop bar rather than a trapeze. By the end of the 60s Gibson were using a three piece Mahogany neck, then switching to three piece Maple with the much disliked volute. By early 70s there was considerable monkeying about with the center block. Aesthetically there are various other aspects (body and headstock outline, inlays, contours etc) that make the 83 closer to an original 335 than a late 60s example. I believe there's also a fan club for certain pickups used in early Dot Reissues, although you'd probably want to confirm that with the seller.

 

On the other hand, although the early Dot Reissues have risen in value and they're undoubtedly old guitars, many would have issue with the idea that these should be considered 'vintage'. Also, although I've seen $3-4000 price tags on these on Gbase, I don't know how many of them are actually selling for that sort of money, so it's hard to predict the resale value compared to a 60s example of which there are many out there and plenty of Ebay completed listings to scan.

 

If you're a Satriani fan, then great, the association is a bonus. If not, this is a long way away from the sort of guitar Satriani is associated with, does not appear to be linked to any famous recordings, and is unlikely to have added value except to a serious fan. I certainly wouldn't pay a penny more for a guitar that had a tenuous connection to a musician I had no interest in. I'd see it as more of a 'close the deal' card for a dealer to play to the right customer than a justification of the asking price.

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Thanks for the information. I do know he used this guitar in the studio on some albums, that's what the store told me. My biggest concern is buying the guitar and not being able to resell for close to what I paid if I ever needed to do so. It felt really good when I played it.

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Yes it is his guitar. They offered me a picture with him if I bought it on the spot the other day. They also had him on the phone about it. I'm not looking at anything new as I want an old one even if it's more money. I just wanted to get more information as far as well why buy an 83 if I could get say a 69 or older for near the same price which I don't think I can but that's why I'm asking here.

 

That's cool. Glad to hear they were above board on it. I agree with Jayyj on this one. I'm a huge Satch fan, but I still don't think I'd buy this 335 if I was looking for Satriani memorabilia, or something I thought might add resale value down the road, personally I'd be looking for examples of the evolution of the JS model Ibanez guitars (especially the Black Dog, Chrome Boy, Rainforest, JS1, etc.). If however, you played and it felt like it was the one, that's really all that matters. I think you can get some excellent examples of 82/83 335's, in natural, and the Shaw pickups for somewhere between $2200 - $3000. I think there is a listing for such on the Gear page at this time. But again, you've actually played this one, and if it spoke to you and you think you'd be inspired to play more if you buy it, then I think it's all the reasoning you need.

 

Best of luck finding the one you want.

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I would go for the 83. But, that's just me, and I don't like trapeze tailpieces. Plus the history of the 83 might play out if you can get documentation for it.

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That's a respectable price for that finish, IMO. It's on the high side, so I wouldn't expect you could get your money out for 10 years or so. Still, those Shaw pickups are considered great (I've played some and was impressed), and the guitar is approaching vintage age at this point. You say you played it and liked it... no chance of them coming down to $3,100? There's value in being able to try the guitar in person, but $400 in value?

 

Check Gbase and see what other dealers are asking for them. I think those dealers often come off their listed prices by $100-$300 dollars.

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They might possibly come down on price. I am not looking for memorabilia, I just love the look of these Gibsons. Perhaps I could get lessons from Joe just for meeting him though which would be intriguing but maybe not after trying to lowball his asking price, ha.

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They might possibly come down on price. I am not looking for memorabilia, I just love the look of these Gibsons. Perhaps I could get lessons from Joe just for meeting him though which would be intriguing but maybe not after trying to lowball his asking price, ha.

 

Hope you let us know what you do.

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Hope you let us know what you do.

 

I ended up buying the guitar impulsively. Don't get me wrong it's so beautiful and plays incredible, but it's a lot of money to be tied up at the moment. Anyone interested? Comes with hardshell and certificate of authenticity.

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Does this have the volute on the back of the headstock? Looks like a Nice 335..

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Looks similar to this. Hope that helps. I can take an actual picture of the back if you want. I think eBay might be the best place for this guitar.

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Does this have the volute on the back of the headstock? Looks like a Nice 335..

 

The ES-335 DOT reissue (1981 onwards) went back to the original headstock angle without the volute.

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So I'm confused. The serial number reads as 83 Nashville plant but this is a custom shop edition and gibson custom shop didn't open till what 1994? So when was this guitar made? I don't get it.

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