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StevenColwell

Unusual headstock mark - help!

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Hi there - I have been given the task of helping good friend identify and restore (if possible) her father's guitar. It has laid in the unopened box for eleven years ... until lat week.  Firstly....IT WAS STILL IN TUNE! It is (i believe) a 1964 Gibson 345. It has most original parts and is amazing. It does require a trapeze tailpiece if you could advise on that.

 

I have a question about the headstock - which has "PP34" stamped on it. The other Identification is on the sticker inside the body. Anyone know what is this?  What does PP34 mean?

My friend just wants to hear the guitar played again and I am arranging a number of artists to play it and record its sound - which by the way - although the strings are grimey, and the guitar is baked in nicotene and dirt - still sounds incredible!

Any help you can give would be appreciated. Best wishes. Steven. Located Bishop Auckland, England

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Gibson serial numbers are hard to track as they changed the methods used several times over the years.  The sticker inside confirms the model as an ES 345 TDC but I have neve seen a serial number like that.  

I would suggest you email the same photos to Gibson Customer Service and they might be able to figure it out.

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Did someone replace the neck with a non-Gibson neck?

shouldnt the headstock serial matchbthe serial on the sticker in the body?

Also, some of the trap inlays look off center.

Not an expert, just guessing.

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My guess was Pre Production, maybe an employee was trying out something new like different pick ups and the radical three knobs look?

It looks like the tail piece has been moved around, too.  If so, maybe to get the strings to line up with the pick up screws better.

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On 6/1/2020 at 5:31 PM, Twang Gang said:

Gibson serial numbers are hard to track as they changed the methods used several times over the years.  The sticker inside confirms the model as an ES 345 TDC but I have neve seen a serial number like that.  

I would suggest you email the same photos to Gibson Customer Service and they might be able to figure it out.

65405--which is the way I read the number on the label--is a 1964 serial number.  (look at the way the two 5's are made on the label) I have no explanation for the number on the back of the headstock.

Maybe the extra holes in the top are from a removed Bigsby?

Edited by j45nick
added additional thought

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The "C" in "TDC" stands for "Cherry" (red)(finish).   The sunburst finish appears original, so...???

I have never encountered that type of stamp on the back of the headstock.

Clearly the guitar had a vibrato tailpiece at one time, but these modifications are very (very) common, so no real worries there.

I would want to find out whether the pickups are original or replaced, so along with the other question marks surrounding this guitar, a visit to a reputable vintage guitar shop might be a good idea.

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Maybe an employee guitar with a left-over neck from some project.

Details such as the position of the crown on the headstock, ear shape, and serial number are all consistent with 1964. I've seen these mid-60s 'bursts fade in unusual ways, just like their acoustic flat-top cousins, but TDC looks a long way from this finish.

I had a '68 that had faded almost like some cherryburst Hummingbirds. I'll have to look to see if I have a picture of the label in that one.

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Odd head shots.  From the front, the truss rod cover looks about 2mm too high above the nut, the nut just looks wrong how it slopes down from the left to right and the thistle inlay is bent to the right.  From the rear, it looks like the tuners' screws are aligned on one side but not on the others; I've seen this on other Gibsons but not as pronounced as this.  Looks like an Epiphone bridge.  As noted already, this should be a TD not a TDC so the label style is wrong.  Very weird.

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