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tsol

vintage ES-175, help id these old Gibson tuners

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Hello

 

So i picked up this ES-175D (thought to be made in 1969) it's general condition is very good for a guitar of this age and it was recently set up by an experienced luthier, it plays & sounds just amazing.

 

The guitar and hardware appears to be all original, except the set of tuners you can see on the picture.

 

They are not original tulip plastic ones but appear to be very old and they are coming from another Gibson, can somebody id what kind of tuners and year made are those ? thank you!

 

And eventually, if i want to get original tuners (of about the same year), what those should be single line, double line etc ?

 

According to the poorly visible serial number i could read (500046 or 500048), the guitar dater project shows it was made in 1965-69 Is there another way to precisely datate this guitar? The original flightcase is badly wornout, there is no gibson logo nowhere and it does really stink that "old" ceiling/cave.

 

thanks for help.

 

 

P6VWWZP.jpg

 

zJsGxZ6.jpg

 

PVF1BRV.jpg

 

e2aJING.jpg

Edited by tsol

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Hi tsol,

Nice guitar. Unfortunately Gibson had lots of serial numbers out of sequence in the 1966-1969 era. I have a 1969 ES-335. The serial # could have been from '66 or '69 based on the best source I've found, the 11th Edition Blue Book of Electric Guitars. The Guitar Dater Project tends to have lots of erroneous info. Your S/N has possibilities of being '65, '66, 68, '69. I thought my 335 was a '66 until someone questioned that based on the knobs, which are the same as yours. In the end to be sure I removed one of the pots and the date code was 1968 making it being a '66 impossible. If you tie a thread or fishing line to the shaft of the pot before removing the nut, it is a lot easier to pull it back into the hole after you look at it. In the 335 there is enough slack in the wire to pull the pot into the f-hole so you can see the numbers. The first number should be the year the pot was made so the guitar will likely be that year or the next.

I'm not familiar with the tuning pegs that are on it. Does it look like there were different mounting holes ever or does it look like the pegs are in the original holes? There were a lot of problems with Kluson tuners of this era staying in tune. Most swapped them out for Schaller's which require new holes to be drill in the headstock. Mine had been switched to Schaller's and back to Kluson's before I got it so there are extra holes in the back of the headstock. If it is a '69 it should have double ring tulip tuners that are engraved Gibson Deluxe. '65-'66 would be similar but engraved Kluson Deluxe.

 

Good luck figuring out the year,

 

JO'C

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Hi tsol,

Nice guitar. Unfortunately Gibson had lots of serial numbers out of sequence in the 1966-1969 era. I have a 1969 ES-335. The serial # could have been from '66 or '69 based on the best source I've found, the 11th Edition Blue Book of Electric Guitars. The Guitar Dater Project tends to have lots of erroneous info. Your S/N has possibilities of being '65, '66, 68, '69. I thought my 335 was a '66 until someone questioned that based on the knobs, which are the same as yours. In the end to be sure I removed one of the pots and the date code was 1968 making it being a '66 impossible. If you tie a thread or fishing line to the shaft of the pot before removing the nut, it is a lot easier to pull it back into the hole after you look at it. In the 335 there is enough slack in the wire to pull the pot into the f-hole so you can see the numbers. The first number should be the year the pot was made so the guitar will likely be that year or the next.

I'm not familiar with the tuning pegs that are on it. Does it look like there were different mounting holes ever or does it look like the pegs are in the original holes? There were a lot of problems with Kluson tuners of this era staying in tune. Most swapped them out for Schaller's which require new holes to be drill in the headstock. Mine had been switched to Schaller's and back to Kluson's before I got it so there are extra holes in the back of the headstock. If it is a '69 it should have double ring tulip tuners that are engraved Gibson Deluxe. '65-'66 would be similar but engraved Kluson Deluxe.

 

Good luck figuring out the year,

 

JO'C

 

Hey, thanks for the input.

 

Uhm.. yea, that is what i was thinking, the way to know the approximate year made is to check what does the sn# says on the back of those CTS pots, but due to the nature of the instrument, going there and the whole dismounting process equals to a very delicate archeological type of cave excavation/exploration. I will stay away of that, and will consider it was made somewhere in between 1965-69

 

Regarding the tuners, definitely not original Kluson/tulips they used to put on a 175 of that year, i believe i have managed to find the make and origin of those and here i'm asnwering myself to my question:

they would be Gibson Nickel/Chrome tulips of the 1970's coming from a LES PAUL / SG! and it is wrong to put those on an ES175, and i decided to get rid of those and give back to the guitar its original state.

 

4544K6v.png

 

 

On the pic of the back of the headstock, you can still see the original holes left by the original Klusons!

 

so i already managed to find a set of original Kluson/plastic tulips of late 1969/early 1970's - it was a pain to find, i was lucky to find a set for not too expensive, (because those usually are going for $250/300+ on ebay)

 

The other thing that i will change (easy to do) is the bridge. That actual brazilian roose wood single block bridge has string spacing too narrow for me, i have mesured the string spacing at the bridge it is 500mm exactly, while standard string spacing is supposed to be of 524mm (specific to ABR-1), and an ABR-1 is what i'm going to put on it., Accordingly to what i had on a ES175 of 1991 i owned before, i prefer more character and brillance at the attacks and this is strict personal preference for my grouby fingers i'm more comfortable on a wider string spacing. - i presume, no harm will be done by swapping the wooden bridge for an abr1 and adjusting/setting up the harmonics accordingly.

 

cheers.

Edited by tsol

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Yes I can see the original Kluson holes. The good news is when you change them back the other holes will be covered. I just remembered something else. When I was trying to date my 335 I used a small mirror on a telescoping, pivoting stick and a flashlight down the f-hole to see a mirror image of the back of the pot. Didn't work out for me because the closest pot had solder and corrosion obscuring the number, but you may want to give that a try. Here are some pics of my 335. I think it is the same 2-tone sunburst as yours. Also the headstocks look to be the same.

 

DSC00605_zpsz1jwjoh1.jpg

 

DSC00603_zpslbm23vrs.jpg

 

I wasn't so lucky with the peg change. The Schaller peg holes are outside the perimeter of the Klusons.

 

DSCF8978_zpswyz5knmq.jpg

 

I'm not sure about 175's but 335's in '66-'69 have a smaller nut width, 1 9/16" vs 1 11/16. If it is the same for 175's that might eliminate or confirm '65.

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thats one nice 335!

 

it has the same type of volume/tone knobs, definitely of around the same year make, and it is 2 tone orange-burst.

 

are those kluson tuners original? because i see they are single ringed.

 

the set of old Klusons i ordered already are double lined/ringed. -which corresponds to a slightly late design/model/year. :(

 

-the problem is that could have a slight impact on the sale price (by $300-400) in case i sell it to some sharp-eyed / collectioneer / expert.. duh

 

but that kind of thing is definitely not a problem for a player/enthusiast.

Edited by tsol

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The single ring tuners were on the guitar when I got it but they are not exact period correct either. They stay in tune well which is more important to me. The bridge has the original nylon saddles which can be a bit problematic when bending strings. Sometimes they pop off. I had a '66 ES-335-12, 12 string version. Too many strings in too narrow a neck for my liking. I got it with Schaller's installed and the original Klusons in the case. They were junk so I didn't put them back on. I had no trouble selling it for top dollar. I think people realize they get swapped out for a reason.

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The other thing that i will change (easy to do) is the bridge. That actual brazilian roose wood single block bridge has string spacing too narrow for me, i have mesured the string spacing at the bridge it is 500mm exactly, while standard string spacing is supposed to be of 524mm (specific to ABR-1), and an ABR-1 is what i'm going to put on it., Accordingly to what i had on a ES175 of 1991 i owned before, i prefer more character and brillance at the attacks and this is strict personal preference for my grouby fingers i'm more comfortable on a wider string spacing. - i presume, no harm will be done by swapping the wooden bridge for an abr1 and adjusting/setting up the harmonics accordingly.

 

cheers.

 

 

You may need to check your math here. String spacing of 500mm at the bridge would be almost 20". Maybe the string spacing is 50mm, which be a bit narrow at 1.97". Spacing of 52.4mm (not 524mm) would be 2.06", which is pretty close to the string spacing on the ABR-1 on my '59 Historic ES 335.

 

If those witch hat knobs are original, there's a good chance that's a 1968.

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You may need to check your math here. String spacing of 500mm at the bridge would be almost 20". Maybe the string spacing is 50mm, which be a bit narrow at 1.97". Spacing of 52.4mm (not 524mm) would be 2.06", which is pretty close to the string spacing on the ABR-1 on my '59 Historic ES 335.

 

If those witch hat knobs are original, there's a good chance that's a 1968.

 

 

oh my bad, you are right! it's 52.4mm for the ABR1 string spacing and 50mm on the current woodblock bridge that i have!, the difference of 2.4mm does matter, because i just feel more confy at playing ..

 

the witchhats are pretty worn out, with gold insert and appear to be original, i'm a bit pissed because one of them has the "VOL." decal missing (it probably peeled off and was lost), and i just checked on ebay it is about $60-70 for an original one like that. :-(

 

****

 

btw, i came up with another clue to get a more precise year when it was made, lately i have read about the "Gibson Serialization" and noticed that the serial number (500048 or 46) of my 175 corresponds to the "approximate serial range" of 500000-500999 - for years 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969

 

Let's presume, a guitar with a serial number 500001 would have been made in 1965 and another with a serial number of 500999 would have been made in 1969, i believe mine with last two digits 48 or 46 would be among the earliest ones that was probably made in 1965 in the first batch of 100 !

 

If it is a 1965 one, that would be really awesome.. as it could add about one more $1,000 on it's value :o)

 

i still didn't check what reads the serial number on the back of the CTS pots.. but will definitely do that! , i really want to be sure.

Edited by tsol

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soo..

 

i have manufactured this primitive tool to try to read the serial number that is on the back of the pots:

 

ANPvemP.jpg

 

wSjtha3.jpg

 

LDPmVDg.jpg

 

 

despite of the success of being able to see the back on the pot thru that plastic chunk of mirror, unfortunately there was no serial number visible at all, i tried to go for other pots as i could, and it was the same.

 

i decided to check some pictures of how would look like a dismounted ES-175 harness and it seems the pots are enclosed inside "shielding cans" , and those shielding cans has no serial numbers on them.

 

the only solution is to dismount everything , remove the shielding cans etc.. but that is something that i'm not motivated to do at all. [unsure]

 

if there is no other ways at all than that to find the made date

 

i will stay as it, with having in mind this ES-175 was presumably manufactured in 1965 or 68

Edited by tsol

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if there is no other ways at all than that to find the made date

 

i will stay as it, with having in mind this ES-175 was presumably manufactured in 1965 or 68

 

 

Witch hats would be wrong for 1965. You can say that with reasonable confidence.

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