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Help deciding whether to buy local ES-33...0?

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Hi everyone!

Saw a Gibson ES come up for sale in my neighborhood and I'm trying to decide if I should pull the trigger.  Haven't seen it in person yet (maybe today), so I only have a few photos from the owner to work off.

Best I can tell this is a modified ES-330?  I think the headstock and dot inlays means it might be something like a '59-62?

Couple of "unique" features I've spotted that give me some pause:

  • Screw holes and pickup holes in the pickguard seem to imply the original P90s were replaced with these chrome humbuckers at some point.
  • Trapeze and tune-o-matic appear they might be original nickel, but headstock has gold Grover tuners.  Haven't seen a good picture of the headstock back yet to see if these were clearly replaced or what era they may be.
  • Looks like two of the knobs might be mismatched.  Two with the reflector label, two without.
  • Owner can't seem to find a serial on the back of the headstock or a sticker inside the body.  I think I've seen that 330s might have had a serial ink-stamped inside the cavity instead of on the headstock?

I'm new to the ES world, having bought my first 345 recently.  But this popped up at what seems to be a good price even considering the possible mods.

Would love to hear any feedback on my observations or if there are any tips of what I should look for when I see it in person?  Or if for some reason this looks like a guitar to avoid?




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I have personally found that the most amount of 'vintage' collectors and experts hang out on The Les Paul Forum. There are some guys there that will blow your mind. And the wealth of 'vintage' knowledge will astound. 

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Being a full Hollow Body the Humbuckers will be probably be prone to more feedback issues than the P90’s..

Would the Original P90’s be included with it? IMO, a more preferable Guitar given you already have a 345..  And, if so, should you ever want to swap them out would they be a simple drop in fit? 

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