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merciful-evans

1970s ES-335

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I may visit this auction. I probably wont bid on this, but it certainly is a looker.

Early 70s serial no: 130259

 

It is not in great shape, but no serious problems. Needs fret levelling, set up etc. Headstock has been repaired. Condition described as 'Fair'. Est £1000 - £1500

 

 

335.jpg

335bak.jpg

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I owned a 74/75 335. Was my main blues band axe for 20 years. It was the sweetest playing guitar I ever owned, and I literally played it into submission.

 

That said, I would never even consider buying a guitar with a repaired headstock, regardless of the price.

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Headstock crack or break devalues the instrument considerably. Strength of the joint is debatable because it depends on how the work is done. I'm tend to agree with Larry and others on this one.

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At what the internet says is a 50% discount, I would DEFINITELY buy a guitar with a repaired headstock.

 

I would add though, I would take a good, hard look at the repair. I don't buy the "stronger than before" thing. Stronger than what? Before it broke? Stronger than another that never broke (yet)?

 

The MAIN reason to be leery, and such a "standard" 50% price reduction I think, is you really can't tell how good a repair is/was. You can guess, but looking won't tell you how much glue, what type of glue, or what the wood actually looked like before it was glued.

 

Still, a broken headstock is nothing to stress out over, most are easily repaired. It happens.

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There is no structural concern with a proper and professional repair, but....

 

Personally, I would never knowingly buy a guitar that I knew had had MAJOR structural repair. As a "buyer" there are just too many options. From '71 through '75 Gibson built about 13,000 ES-335's, surely there are more than a few on the market that have not been busted up and glued back together.

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There is no structural concern with a proper and professional repair, but....

 

Personally, I would never knowingly buy a guitar that I knew had had MAJOR structural repair. As a "buyer" there are just too many options. From '71 through '75 Gibson built about 13,000 ES-335's, surely there are more than a few on the market that have not been busted up and glued back together.

Yea, but....but...but....HALF PRICE!!!!

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Headstock repairs for me depend very much in the nature of the repair. People quote the 50% off thing add ad nauseum but there's a world of difference between a clean break along the grain with plenty of surface area to glue and a mess of dowels or filler covered in opaque overspray. To me there are examples of guitars with headstock breaks that in no way deserve a 50% hit in value and examples that are worth little more than the value of the pickups and hardware.

 

I respect Larry's viewpoint that there are plenty of unbroken guitars out there but guitars with issues such as minor headstock breaks, changed parts etc can be a good way into a vintage instrument for people who might otherwise not be able to afford that level of guitar, particularly where the high value golden era models are concerned.

 

The chief issue for me with headstock breaks is the resale issue - there are so many people who won't touch a guitar with a headstock break, and so many who expect a rock bottom price on them, they're a risk if you think you might need to resell the guitar further down the line.

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Headstock repairs for me depend very much in the nature of the repair. People quote the 50% off thing add ad nauseum but there's a world of difference between a clean break along the grain with plenty of surface area to glue and a mess of dowels or filler covered in opaque overspray. To me there are examples of guitars with headstock breaks that in no way deserve a 50% hit in value and examples that are worth little more than the value of the pickups and hardware.

 

I respect Larry's viewpoint that there are plenty of unbroken guitars out there but guitars with issues such as minor headstock breaks, changed parts etc can be a good way into a vintage instrument for people who might otherwise not be able to afford that level of guitar, particularly where the high value golden era models are concerned.

 

The chief issue for me with headstock breaks is the resale issue - there are so many people who won't touch a guitar with a headstock break, and so many who expect a rock bottom price on them, they're a risk if you think you might need to resell the guitar further down the line.

That's what I think. To me, there is no way a guitar with a well repaired headstock break is only half as good, or worth half as much.

 

But, they are. That's almost a rule, but I don't really think it's a fair one.

 

I don't have any, but knew lots and played lots who did. Most of the time, you don't even notice, you have to look.

 

Just my opinion, but it all comes down to chances of breaking again, and how much to repair it. Any break, ANY, can be repaired, even if it means splicing a piece into it. Even if it has a splice and dowels and such, repaired is repaired. At that point, the QUALITY of the guitar is how it sounds, plays, and feels as it is at that moment.

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That's what I think. To me, there is no way a guitar with a well repaired headstock break is only half as good, or worth half as much.

 

But, they are. That's almost a rule, but I don't really think it's a fair one.

 

I don't have any, but knew lots and played lots who did. Most of the time, you don't even notice, you have to look.

 

Just my opinion, but it all comes down to chances of breaking again, and how much to repair it. Any break, ANY, can be repaired, even if it means splicing a piece into it. Even if it has a splice and dowels and such, repaired is repaired. At that point, the QUALITY of the guitar is how it sounds, plays, and feels as it is at that moment.

 

Thanks to all here for your views. I've learned something from you.

 

Stein, I think you nailed it right there for me.

 

But as I said, I'm unlikely to bid on the 335, but I will certainly give it a good once-over if I do make the auction.

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I'm with L5Larry on this one - they made a gazillion of them so why buy one that's taken a major shot and been glued back together?

I bought a beautiful Martin that developed a headstock break (damaged in transit) and I didn't even try and negotiate on price, it went right back.

Better to save your pennies and get one that hasn't been damaged.

 

 

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I owned a 74/75 335. Was my main blues band axe for 20 years. It was the sweetest playing guitar I ever owned, and I literally played it into submission.

 

That said, I would never even consider buying a guitar with a repaired headstock, regardless of the price.

 

I would never even consider buying a guitar with a repaired headstock DING !

 

4H

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Is that guitar a 335? It has a tail piece like used on a hollow body rather than the stop bar I'm accustomed to seeing on 335s? Maybe in the 70s they used that design?

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Yes, they used trapeze tail pieces for quite a number of years.

Most people hated them but I liked them on the two 335s that I bought new back then.

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Trapeze tailpieces were used on most 335 models from 1965 to 1980 (the ES355 stuck to a vibrato and there were a few late 70s oddballs with stop bars such as the Pro and ES347). It was essentially a cost saving device, since there are less stages in fitting a trapeze and Gibson in 1965 were trying to cope with a huge upsurge in sales. Many feel the trapeze alters the feel and tone of the guitar but there are still a lot of great trapeze equipped 335s out there.

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I have a 1970’s Gibson ES-335. It’s 1970, 1971 or 1972 according to the serial number. It’s in excellent condition. Trying to find out the value on it, anybody have a source to find out? Thanks.

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The 2020 Vintage Guitar Price Guide list 1979-1976 ES-335 all colors Trem & Trap: $2,800 to $3,600. I go by this and what they actually sell for on eBay and Reverb to determine what they are worth in todays market.

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