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1994 Excellente


Zoonyboy

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Hi to you Excellente fans, and I know there are a couple of you out there. For your records, I have number 12 of the 1994 Montana guitars, here in the UK. I believe it was some kind of trade show or artist demo guitar 20 years ago, but has moved around England a bit since then. It is a pretty standard spec wide nut great sounding guitar in natural. The anniversary label says number 12 of 250, as it would, just before they ran out of steam. I have nice vintage G's like a J-185 and an early '50's J-200, a rope guard Frontier and a '63 Texan, and this is is right up there with them. So that's one more accounted for! Someone played it a lot, and wore some of the colour off the guard, and there is also a sound hole pickup (no holes) with a jack at the endpin (hole) no cracks though. Still looks fresh.

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Hi to you Excellente fans, and I know there are a couple of you out there. For your records, I have number 12 of the 1994 Montana guitars, here in the UK. I believe it was some kind of trade show or artist demo guitar 20 years ago, but has moved around England a bit since then. It is a pretty standard spec wide nut great sounding guitar in natural. The anniversary label says number 12 of 250, as it would, just before they ran out of steam. I have nice vintage G's like a J-185 and an early '50's J-200, a rope guard Frontier and a '63 Texan, and this is is right up there with them. So that's one more accounted for! Someone played it a lot, and wore some of the colour off the guard, and there is also a sound hole pickup (no holes) with a jack at the endpin (hole) no cracks though. Still looks fresh.

 

Hi Zoony:

 

Thanks so much for letting us Excellente fans know where the originals and reissues have ended up besides in Japan.I have No.7 & 9 (both naturals) of your same Anniversary series.You are right in saying that they are great sounding guitars.For your information,and incase you don't know, Montana only made 13 of the Anniversary series and 9 of the hand made Ferguson-Walker ones.

 

Regards,

 

Moose

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Thanks for all the replies and info everyone! I'm attaching a couple of very average snapshots, showing the Excellente and Frontier together. The Frontier has a 1980's "improvement" in that a rosewood insert has been made to fit the ceramic saddle hole, and an old school saddle fitted within that. Sounds great. But so does my plastic bridge '63 Texan with the ceramic saddle. Checkout the superhuman nut width on the Excellente!

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Sounds great. But so does my plastic bridge '63 Texan with the ceramic saddle.

Question about the plastic bridge on your Texan:

 

Can you confirm in which year it was made?

 

Above you say it's a '63, but in your signature it's listed as a '64. Off hand, I can't recall seeing an original Texan with a plastic bridge, and would think the window of production on that must be pretty narrow.

 

Btw, I'm probably one of the few people around who is perfectly okay with retaining the plastic bridge. As long as the area in question remains structurally sound & you find the tone pleasing, no need to change a good thing!

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Off hand, I can't recall seeing an original Texan with a plastic bridge, and would think the window of production on that must be pretty narrow.

 

 

 

Gibson slapped plastic bridges on various guitars between 1962 and 1966. I have played 1963 and 1964 Texans with plastic bridges.

 

Not sure if the Texan as well as other Epis also got those oversized laminate bridge plates - another one of Gibson's not so great ideas in the 1960s.

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Re. the plastic bridge Texan, with serial number showing 120364 making it a '63, and only 256 made in sunburst. It has the shorter, earlier headstock. It sounds exactly like Paul McCartney's. His is probably entirely different bridge-wise, and has the longer head, but it sounds the same. One of the best dreadnoughts I've heard or played. When I find out how to delete some image files out of this forum I'll post a photo!

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Re. the plastic bridge Texan, with serial number showing 120364 making it a '63, and only 256 made in sunburst. It has the shorter, earlier headstock.

Your overall collection is stellar, and the Texan sounds very interesting indeed with the shorter headstock & plastic bridge.

 

I've had a number of guitars with the plastic bridge & still have one ('66 Epi Cortez), and have also done a conversion from the plastic to an ebony bridge on one guitar - which actually changed the tone slightly in a negative direction! Regardless, structural issues on that instrument required that the change be made.

 

I recently picked up a 2005 McCartney '64 Texan replica made by Terada in Japan. The bridge is rosewood, which is true to the original. It's a wonderful guitar & impressively nails the mid '60s Gibson tone & feel. It has also helped to fuel a greater interest for me in this model. I had always tended towards the shorter scale roundshoulders, but this one has given me a different perspective on the long scale versions.

 

Anyway, would enjoy any pics you might be able to share, and particularly one of your J185. The J185 was a holy grail guitar for me for many years. Last year I finally picked up a 2012 version & love it, but you actually have the honest-to-goodness true holy grail from the first year! Can't get any better than that.

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Paul McCartney`s 1964 Texan, originally had the plastic bridge too! If you look at early footageand photos of the guitar there are no pearloid dots visible on the bridge, all wooden bridge Texans (Like Gibson J-45/50s) have the pearloid dots covering the bolts. The plastic bridges although having two extra bolts didn`t have this feature.

 

I have no idea when the bridge on McCartney`s Texan was changed to Rosewood.

 

The plastic bridge although widely used on lesser models (Caballero/Cortez), seems to show up only on some, and not all Texans from 63/64.

 

 

 

 

Steve.

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Paul McCartney`s 1964 Texan, originally had the plastic bridge too!

Very interesting! I have looked a little and found one shot of another '64 with a plastic bridge, and everything '65 & later with rosewood & dots. This would help explain why McCartney's instrument now has rosewood with no dots. One thing I find odd is that when McCartney's rosewood bridge was installed, the saddle channel was not cut for a lefty. Instead, inserts were used to gain proper intonation. I suppose they may have sourced out a pre-cut righty bridge at the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Plastic bridges, or so we are told, was an attempt to use a lighter bridge to get livelier top action. Not sure the results were positive. Years ago discussion was had about re-bridging a Gibson to rosewood or such and if this would degrade the value from not being 'original'. Consensus was, the better quality bridge did not detract from the value, except for a very, very few fastidious collect.

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