1974 ES-335TD Need Info

G3sal

Member
Messages
246
Hello all,

I'm the proud owner of a 74' ES-335 TD, Walnut finish and logo pups. I've been researching and asking opinions about the specs of the guitar. One thing that baffles me is the fact that I've seen many of the 335TD's of the late 60's/early 70's with a trapeze tailpiece. Mine has a stop tailpiece, which I heard makes it a rare one. I'd like to confirm this.

I looked the guitar over and saw no signs of it formerly having a trapeze. It also has Kluson tuners that I assume are original. Again there is no sign of the guitar being tampered with.

Anyone have wisdom regarding these instruments that they'd like to share? I appreciate it.

Here's a pic:
n541626053_376711_4386.jpg


Thank you!
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
Walnut finishes began in 1970 according to the Blue Book. I had a 1970 Walnut I had gotten new then and mine had a trapeze tailpiece. Your's may have been a custom order. If a stop was added after the fact you'd see the screw holes on the bottom. You can always write to Gibson or inquire with someone like George Gruhn.
 

gadzooka

Member
Messages
507
Very cool! I think the creme rings are looking good on that guitar. I *assume* the originals were black. Yes, the trapeze was the standard of those days. I have a '68 ES-345 with a stop tail. Even though it was installed very well, the evidence of a trapeze (besides the trapeze being in the case!) is very clear. If you see no evidence, then I suppose it was ordered with a stop. I almost want to say it looks a little low on the body though..?
 

G3sal

Member
Messages
246
Walnut finishes began in 1970 according to the Blue Book. I had a 1970 Walnut I had gotten new then and mine had a trapeze tailpiece. Your's may have been a custom order. If a stop was added after the fact you'd see the screw holes on the bottom. You can always write to Gibson or inquire with someone like George Gruhn.

Thanks, Frank. A buddy of mine who runs a shop suspects the same, because of the whole trapeze thing. Nope, no holes. Not that I'm disappointed, I prefer the stop over the trapeze. I'm just curious. It's hands-down one of my favorite guitars, and sounds amazing. Love the finish, too.
 

G3sal

Member
Messages
246
Very cool! I think the creme rings are looking good on that guitar. I *assume* the originals were black. Yes, the trapeze was the standard of those days. I have a '68 ES-345 with a stop tail. Even though it was installed very well, the evidence of a trapeze (besides the trapeze being in the case!) is very clear. If you see no evidence, then I suppose it was ordered with a stop. I almost want to say it looks a little low on the body though..?


Thanks, Gadzooka. I looked it over for holes, or remnants thereof, it's solid....that's why I'm baffled. So back then, I suppose, Gibson may have taken orders to build custom ES's?

I wonder why Gibson manufactured them with a trapeze as standard?
 

gadzooka

Member
Messages
507
Thanks, Gadzooka. I looked it over for holes, or remnants thereof, it's solid....that's why I'm baffled. So back then, I suppose, Gibson may have taken orders to build custom ES's?

I wonder why Gibson manufactured them with a trapeze as standard?

For some reason, they made a bunch of changes in 1965, including going from stop tail to trapeze. My '67 335 has the trapeze. I actually love it that way. To me, the trapeze is the best-looking tail on a 335, and I also think it creates a different (and good) kind of timbre to the guitar. Maybe a little less sustain than a stop tail, but that's an affordable loss, IMO.

Anyway, your 335 looks gorgeous (despite my preference for trapeze tail). I recently tried out a walnut 74/75 ES-345 and it sounded great.

Oh yeah...your guitar's control knobs were not standard issue in the 70's either. Normally, they came with the black "amp knobs".
 

G3sal

Member
Messages
246
For some reason, they made a bunch of changes in 1965, including going from stop tail to trapeze. My '67 335 has the trapeze. I actually love it that way. To me, the trapeze is the best-looking tail on a 335, and I also think it creates a different (and good) kind of timbre to the guitar. Maybe a little less sustain than a stop tail, but that's an affordable loss, IMO.

Anyway, your 335 looks gorgeous (despite my preference for trapeze tail). I recently tried out a walnut 74/75 ES-345 and it sounded great.

Oh yeah...your guitar's control knobs were not standard issue in the 70's either. Normally, they came with the black "amp knobs".

Thanks again. I bought it from a friend who's dad bought it years ago, and I was surprised at how well kept the guitar was. The case wasn't as well kept, unfortunately. Nonetheless, it has a nice vibe and playability to it. I understand what you mean about trapeze tails. I like them, too. I wouldn't pass up a nice guitar because of a trapeze, lol. :NUTS

I may see what Mr. Gruhn or Gibson has to say about it. It'd be interesting to know....
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,193
Are the logo pickups factory? I thought they generally indicate 1972?
 

G3sal

Member
Messages
246
As far as I know, it's all original. The knobs don't match the "amp knobs" of most of the ES-335s from the early 70s, but they are definitely old and worn in. Perhaps the original owner "upgraded" the pickups/knobs, which I doubt. The only thing I thought was non-Gibson were the tuners, which are kidney-bean tuners, and I've seen those on a few old 335s.

Regarding pickups, logos pups were 1972? They told me it was a 74, but it could just as well be a 72....now I'm really confused :crazy

I found this article, which helped a little:
http://vintage-guitars.blogspot.com/2006/05/gibson-es-335.html

I also found what may be its cousin (this guitar is pretty darn close):
http://exceptionalguitars.com/inventory/detail?sn=GBEL061035
 




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