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Norlin era 335's


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Have been looking at a Norlin era '81 ES-335TD in Tobacco Sunburst.

 

I recently sold a '74 due to the nut being just to narrow (40 mm). This ones 43 mm which works for me.

 

What's every one's thoughts on the Norlin era guitars and 335's in general? If heard they are hit and miss...

 

[confused]

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I had a Norlin era 74/75 ES-335 (tobacco sunburst). It was probably the nicest playing guitar I've ever owned (don't know the nut width). I was VERY satisfied with the guitar in every way, and between 1980 and 2000 I literally played the guitar to death. The frets were very worn, and the bridge had "fatigued". I had the bridge re-arched so it was playable, but chose against the removing the original frets so I could sell it for premium dollars as "all original".

 

2886928044_06c0f4ddae.jpg

 

I sold it for 4X my purchase price, and replaced it with a new 2000 "Historic" ES-345.

2338123474_c869048ccc.jpg

 

There were many incredible Norlin era Gibsons, and I still have my 1975 Les Paul Standard (the first guitar I ever bought "brand new"), and see no reason to ever replace it.

 

2326350693_3d02ec8b74.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Larry. I agree with youand I really thing that there are good and bad in these Norlin guitars. I'm gonna go and try her out anyway....

 

BTW,..here's a photo...

 

GVES-335TD81Norlin.png

 

[biggrin]

 

Interesting. I'd understood that '81 was when they returned to stop bar and dot neck. Am I just completely wrong about this or was it a change that occurred in the course of that year? Adrian Utley of Portishead used to be very keen on his Norlin-era 335, I believe, and sounded good on it. Not sure I'd want the trapeze, but the coil tap would be a very nice tool.

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That's an interesting ES 335, but the features don't quite add up to 1981. The coil tap, trap tail, witch hat knobs, and block neck all say pre 1981, probably 1979. It's hard to judge the nut width from the photo--could be either 1 9/16 or 1 11/16. In any case, get the serial number before deciding what year it is. Go to Charlie Gelber's excellent website, es-335.org, for some of the best info out there on vintage ES 335s.

 

My own Gibsons include a 1948 J-45 (owned since 1966), a '68 ES 335-12, and an '09 Nashville '59 ES 335 Historic.

 

Good luck.

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That's an interesting ES 335, but the features don't quite add up to 1981. The coil tap, trap tail, witch hat knobs, and block neck all say pre 1981, probably 1979. It's hard to judge the nut width from the photo--could be either 1 9/16 or 1 11/16. In any case, get the serial number before deciding what year it is. Go to Charlie Gelber's excellent website, es-335.org, for some of the best info out there on vintage ES 335s.

 

My own Gibsons include a 1948 J-45 (owned since 1966), a '68 ES 335-12, and an '09 Nashville '59 ES 335 Historic.

 

Good luck.

 

best acoustics I've ever heard were a '46 and '47 J-45.

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Norlin ran Gibson from late '68 into '82. They made a lot of boneheaded changes to cut costs (Norlin was made up of a couple of MBAs who worshiped the bottom line) but that doesn't mean there are no good Norlins. I had a '70 LP Deluxe with all the "bad" features -- pancake body, volute -- and it sang.

 

GibsonLesPaulDeluxe.jpg

 

I sold it after I got my dream guitar, a blonde 335.

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I have a 1981 wine red es-335TD with coil tap and trapeze tail (replaced with Bigsby). They were made from 1977 and discontinued late 1981. Coil tap is nice and adds another voice to play with. I love it, but honestly, I haven't played other 335s enough to compare.

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Hi,

 

There are really good Norlins and I still own a '74 Les Paul Custom which I bought brand new and it's a great guitar. Great neck and great sound albeit a bit on the heavy side. It has been refretted with slightly bigger frets and I replaced the machine heads as soon as I bought it with Schallers as the Gibson machine heads at the time were very variable in standard. I'll never sell it!!!

 

5f8be93d.png

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Correction: Norlin sold Gibson in 1986. A friend has a gorgeous bird's-eye maple ES-340 in natural from 1969. The wood in it puts my '00 lightly figured 335 to shame, plus his has turned a lovely amber over the years. By the way, everything I have ever read on the 340 has said that natural was a rare finish, but every one I have seen or seen a picture of has been blonde.

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How long did the Norlin era last?

 

Norlin ran Gibson from late '68 into '82.

 

Correction: Norlin sold Gibson in 1986.

 

According to what I've read,

 

In Dec 1969 ECL Industries took control of CMI. Gibson Inc. stayed under control of CMI until 1974 when it became a subsidiary of NORLIN industries.

 

In January 1986 Henry Juszkieicz, David Berryman, and Gary Zebrowski bought Gibson for 5 million dollars.

 

I read it here on page 3:

http://www.music.ultraviolet.gr/download/GIBSONEL.PDF

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  • 9 years later...

There's nothing wrong with Norlin era Gibsons. People complained the headstocks broke off too easily. They came up with the volute to remedy the problem. Everyone hated that, even though it kept the headstock safer. When it comes to guitar, its best to form your own opinions. I used to believe many wives tales about music equipment. Most of it is nonsense. I ran across a '77 Gibson Les Paul Custom. I love it more than any guitar I've ever owned which is around a hundred or so. It is my best friend and is on my mind daily even though I own several Gibsons.

Screenshot_20201223-160236_Gallery.jpg

Edited by Mykegriffin
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  • 2 months later...
On 3/17/2011 at 5:43 PM, lpdeluxe said:

Norlin ran Gibson from late '68 into '82. They made a lot of boneheaded changes to cut costs (Norlin was made up of a couple of MBAs who worshiped the bottom line) but that doesn't mean there are no good Norlins. I had a '70 LP Deluxe with all the "bad" features -- pancake body, volute -- and it sang.

With postings on non-LPC guitars in this Norlin discussion from many years ago, I am still tempted to chime in here  (LOL) ... I have a Norlin '79 SG Standard that was made in Kalamazoo.  The guitar is fantastic, such that I am tempted to find a late '70s Kalamazoo-made Les Paul.  

AOUOH2p.jpg

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