Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Dot/335 Transformation complete


Recommended Posts

Some of you may remember a few months back I picked up a DW Dot on eBay for $200 and planned to mod into something as close to a '59 ES-335 as I could (i.e. as close as my budget and reality would allow..)

 

I promised to show y'all the pics when I was done, so here they are!

 

The first thing I did was replace the bridge, as the original suffered from the famous buzz that Epi bridges are known for.. (Actually, I'm the one who suffered... I don't think it bothered the bridge at all.. :- ) I got a roller bridge because I was planning on installing a Bigsby... I'm still on the fence about that... Got this bridge from Guitar Fetish for $27... Works and sounds just fine, with no buzz!

 

GdDotBrdg.jpg

 

Then I tossed awful black plastic nut and replaced it with a bone nut and installed set of green keystone tuners, (also from Guitar Fetish...) There was nothing wrong with the Grovers, this was purely for period accuracy.. Besides, I prefer the look of keystones.. In case anyone's curious, these tuners are great! Nice and smooth and they hold tune forever..

 

GdDotHdstk.jpg

 

I had to get the conversion bushings and they were just a hair too big for the holes, so I had to bore the holes out a little.. I used a sanding drum on my Dremel that was exactly the diameter I needed to make the holes accept the bushings for a snug fit...

 

Then I got some black chrome top-knobs... I thought about speed knobs, but almost all the pictures I've seen of a cherry 335 from the late '50s/early '60s had the chrome-tops... I like the look too... Then I installed a new white-tip switch from WDand a set of GFS Vintage '59s, which are supposed to be clones of the Gibby '57 Classics... I don't know how close they are, but these pickups sound incredible! Definitely blows the stock pups outta the water... I highly recommend them!

 

GdDotBdy1.jpg

 

The finishing touch was a 335 style pickguard, crafted by our very own TWANG... (Thanks guy!) This is where I deviated a little... The '59 335 came with the long style PG... Goes all the way down to the tail-piece.. I prefer the look of the shorter pickguard..

 

So there it is... The poor man's '59 ES-335... She may not be up to Gibson standards, but it's a damn sight better than it was... When I got her, she was pretty much a dog... Needed a lot of neck adjustments, switch was junking out, it wouldn't stay in tune for more than a minute and the pickups sounded awful.. I was afraid I was really polishing a turd with this one, but now she's like a whole different guitar!

 

GdDotStnd.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 69
  • Created
  • Last Reply

That looks sweet. I changed the tuners to the same ones on my Dot and used the original Grovers on my LP Jr. However, I found the Keystone Grovers dropped right in with no need to make the holes bigger.

 

If the GFS 'buckers are that much better, I shall have to investigate. I put black speed knobs on mine. Now all I need is a white switch tip and one of Twang's handmade pickguards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice!

 

I had a Dot deluxe in the cherry I did up almost the same, but sold it when I got my Jorma.

 

I did mine with a graphite nut and a 335 pickgaurd in black I had to file a bit to make fit the Dot spacing. Bought the plain black speed knobs but they are Gibsons and didn't fit the shafts. Now I still have knobs for another project....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NICE !!

Great job Lerxst!! Yeah those GFS pups are sweet aren't they?And I like the new knobs too.

And with all the other work you've done,that's one sweet axe man!!Wish you weren't 1000 miles away,I'd love to play that!!

Impressed as always with your projects dude!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice! I should be joining the Dot club next week. I've decided on the cherry limited edition/custom shop Dot Studio over the natural standard Dot. I can't get past how great that color looks. Just hoping to get that final extra couple dollars knocked off the price via some pleading and begging the sales guy. Can't wait to show her off to everyone when she comes home and then again after a couple minor mods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the props, guys! GFS has been berry, berry good to me so far... Especially in the pickup department.. This is the second set of pups I've bought from them.. Last winter I built a Tele from parts and got a killer set of GFS pups for it, based on the recommendations of some of the folks on the old forum.. They were way better than I was expecting.. Same with the Vintage '59s... As soon as I hit that first chord, a huge grin came over my face.. I was actually giddy! I've never played a Gibby 335 with the '57 Classics, so I can't make any comparisons, but I don't care.. These pickups sound so good, it's like sex! Hard to believe they only cost about $80 for the pair..

 

Oh, CB... I've had the pups in for almost 2 weeks now, so the new has worn off a bit.. I was just waiting for the pickguard to come in before taking pics... [-( I'm still jazzed every time I plug that guitar in.. Before that, the Dot was my least favorite guitar.. Now, I can't put it down!

 

Spud, I think that pickguard might be "medium size", then... (or should be) I know I've seen longer ones and the PG that I used to make the tracing for Twang was designated as "short" by WD... But they have 2 335 PGs that are called short.. Maybe the other one stops at the pickup ring.... I dunno.. They don't have a pic of it on their website.. At any rate, I like it, whether it be long or short..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job Lerxst. The Vintage 59s are really great pickups for a very reasonable price. I am extremely happy with mine. I played my Dot tonight and not only did it sound and play great, it is a nice guitar to look at.

 

I hear you about the Bigsby. I had no problem making the decision to put one on my Dot, but my Sherry is another story. Not sure if I ever will. but I use the Bigsby a lot on my Dot.

 

Again, nice job - it looks really sweet!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the props' date=' guys! GFS has been berry, berry good to me so far... Especially in the pickup department.. This is the second set of pups I've bought from them.. Last winter I built a Tele from parts and got a killer set of GFS pups for it, based on the recommendations of some of the folks on the old forum.. They were [u']way[/u] better than I was expecting.. Same with the Vintage '59s... As soon as I hit that first chord, a huge grin came over my face.. I was actually giddy! I've never played a Gibby 335 with the '57 Classics, so I can't make any comparisons, but I don't care.. These pickups sound so good, it's like sex! Hard to believe they only cost about $80 for the pair..

 

Oh, CB... I've had the pups in for almost 2 weeks now, so the new has worn off a bit.. I was just waiting for the pickguard to come in before taking pics... [-( I'm still jazzed every time I plug that guitar in.. Before that, the Dot was my least favorite guitar.. Now, I can't put it down!

 

Spud, I think that pickguard might be "medium size", then... (or should be) I know I've seen longer ones and the PG that I used to make the tracing for Twang was designated as "short" by WD... But they have 2 335 PGs that are called short.. Maybe the other one stops at the pickup ring.... I dunno.. They don't have a pic of it on their

website.. At any rate, I like it, whether it be long or short..

 

COOL! Glad to hear it! Always fun, to find (or restore to), a new "baby," huh?

Congrats, again!

 

CB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great great job - even better because you've brought a DOT back from the edge of an early grave. The only thing prevent GAS right now is that I have done a similar rebuild to my DOT. You form a bond with a guitar when you do a rebuild like that ... I wouldn't swop mine for a Gibson now, it wouldn't mean the same to me.

 

And on a similar subject: it seems to me that your DOT is not a 'poor man's' anything - have you seen the quality of finish on some Gibsons lately? It's a great looking and sounding guitar in its own right - just play it and make it sing.

 

Old Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again, everyone.. I wasn't expecting so much positive feedback! It's gratifying that I'm not the only one who appreciates her... I wish you all could play it it! It's like butter... For a while there, I thought I had wasted $200... Had to wrestle with the neck for a while.. When I got her, she had terrible back bow.. I think the previous owner really monkeyed the truss rod.. (he claimed he barely even touched the thing when he owned it... I dunno..) It was playable, but it had a LOT of fret buzz.. When I went to loosen the truss rod, it was really tight and it seemed to take forever for any relief appear... I was starting to fear that nothing short of an Erlewine jig would make this neck right with the world... Or that the truss rod was broken.. But many turns and many moons later, it finally fell into place.. Now it's perfect.. It's got great low action and not a hint of fret buzz anywhere on the neck... Like you said, Old Bob.. This guitar was literally heading for an early grave...

 

This guitar is stamped "Used" due to a dark area in the paint (dye)... Looks like someone lingered a little too long with the spray gun in one area.. You can see some of it right above the pickguard in the body shot.. It's hardly noticeable.. I owned it for two weeks before even I noticed it... And that was only when I removed the pickguard... While I was struggling with the neck, the topic of "Used" Epis having more than just cosmetic flaws was being discussed here on the forum... Made me a little nervous! :-)

 

BillyBob.. I got the TRC on eBay... There's a seller who makes replacement TRCs for Epiphones there.. I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but if you search "truss rod cover" I think they'll show up.. They're engraved instead of screen printed.. The TRC that came with the Dot was a little deformed, like someone tightened one of the screws too much.. Besides, I never liked the name "Dot" on the TRC..

 

JC, when I originally got the Dot, there was no question in my mind that I was gonna put a Bigsby on, I figured; "It's just a $200 beater", but I didn't expect her to come out as nice as she did.. All my friends who've seen/played her are telling me I should leave well enough alone.. I've never felt the urge to have a tremolo of any kind before, so I don't know how much I'll use it... Some people say a Bigsby improves the over-all tone... What do you think about that? Did you put the '59s in your Dot as well?

 

Digger... Sorry mate, I should have warned you in my last e-mail about this thread.. Knowing the criminal prices they charge for Epis in Oz, a "heads up" would have been fair warning... Seems like I'm always giving you GAS!

 

My apologies to anyone else suffering unexpected GAS as well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...