1983 Gibson ES335 What's The Scoop?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by msrecprod, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    I just got an ES335 dated from 1983. I tryed to call Gibson an ask for more info on the guitar, but they said there records don't indicate much from that far back. Does anyone know what PU's were used, and any other cool stuff about this guitar? Thanks
     
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    One of the best 335s I ever played/owned was from this period. Yours probably T-tops. Not the greatest, but not the worst.

    Nowadays, there are many better pickups that can be had.

    I had Holmes pickups in mine, and it was fabulous!
     
  3. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Small block inlays? Coil Tap switch? I had one from 80 or 81 years ago that I loved. I wished I hadn't traded it off for years. Now I have an 81 ES347, which pretty much the same guitar with more cosmetics. I have never changed pups in any Gibson I have ever owned. The ES347 sounds really really good. It doesn't bother me at all that it is from the so called bad years of Gibson.
     
  4. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

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    I have a lefty 1980 ES335TD - with the coil tap switch. I love it. It's totally stock. I'm sure it could use a good once-over from a luthier, but it's a great guitar. I believe the pickups from this era are called Super Humbuckers. The one in the bridge of mine is still the best sounding bridge humbucker I've ever heard.

    [​IMG]

    I bought this guitar in 1986, sold it in 1989 (like an idiot), and found it by chance on the internet in 2001 and bought it back! It was meant to be!
     
  5. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    A friend of mine has a 1980 ES-335 that is one of the sweetest I've ever played (next to a 1960 that I played). If you can get it for a good deal, get it.
     
  6. poolah

    poolah Member

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    Great story! I had an early 70's brown 335 that I sold for $400 in the late seventies and have always regretted. Recently, I picked up this brown 1970, which has this amazing burl-like wood grain I've never seen on a 335. Plays and sounds amazing. Another wrong righted. Now, if I could just get back that '61 Strat...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    Someone had mentioned that it might have Shaw pickups in it. Is there any truth in that, and how would I know what pickups are in it? Is there something on the bottom of the pickups that would say?
     
  8. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    Ok, so I just pulled the bridge PU out, and it had these numbers on it:

    330 283 was stamped in ink

    and Pat No 2,737,842 was ingraved into the metal. Any info on these models?
     
  9. arniez

    arniez Supporting Member

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    My 84 has 57 classics in it with the paf stickers on them,great sounding pickups in this guitar.
    ArnieZ
     
  10. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    I didn't see any PAF stickers on mine????????
     
  11. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

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    When I inquired by email to Gibson about my '80, they were kind enough to send a scanned page of the ES335TD from the 1980 catalog. That's how I know that they are "Super Humbuckers". You all might be able to get similar results id you shot em an email.
     
  12. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I just traded into an '87 ES-335, sunburst, ebony fingerboard, slightly wider neck. The pickups look to be stock. It's one of the nicest sounding and playing 335's I've ever played. The only thing I can spot that's non-original is a Gotoh bridge.

    I think maybe this is an underrated run of 335's?
     
  13. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    If your '83 is a dot reissue-which seems likely to me-the pickups originally would be the "Shaw" paf types which originally had little stickers on the bezels that said pat.appl.for IIRC.Don't know offhand what they looked like from the bottom when removed from the guitar.Check the les paul forum for more info and confirmation.
     
  14. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    Yes It was marked as an 83 dot reissue. It sounds really good. It does have a lower output then my R9 Les Paul, But the tone is sweeter. It was one of those guitars that when I played it, I had to have it.
     
  15. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    I have an '82 ES335 dot reissue in blonde. It's fabulous, though admittedly it hasn't gotten much play time over the past few years. Just one of those pieces that it seems like I would regret selling one day. I'm not sure which pickups it has and I've never opened it up to see. No stickers on the bezel currently, though.
     
  16. righthandman

    righthandman Member

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    This is interesting, I've got an '82 Custom Shop model. The original pickups were very dead and flat sounding, really terrible. I replaced them with some SD 59's and the guitar sounds 100% better now. Anyway, a friend told me he thought he read somewhere that Bill Lawrence had something to do with the design of those pickups. Anybody know anything about that?
     
  17. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    This is truning into quite the saga!
     
  18. skylabfilmpop

    skylabfilmpop Silver Supporting Member

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    I have owned several early 80's es335's all dot reissues if your guitar has dot inlays and a stop tailpiece it is a 58/59 dot reissue, if it has block inlays and a trapese, it is an es-335td. There was also a later 70's to 1980 es-335 called the es-335 crr for country rock and roll which featured the coil tap switch in the treble cutaway and also a version called the es-335 pro which featured late 70's construction, large headstock, 3 piece maple neck, schaller tuners, t-top or post t-top pat number pickups, and a fine tuning stop tailpiece. the dot reissue came out roughly mid 1981 and featured in most cases a 3 piece mahogany neck. they were made both in the nashville and kalamazoo plants, and all featured the shaw pickups which can be identified by the presence of both an embossed pat number in the bottom plate and an inked on six digit number like the one mentioned earlier in this thread. they appeared in many higher end producrion guitars throughout the 80 to 86 period, including les paul standards, customs, standard 80 and 82, elites, les paul studios, studio standards and studio customs. guitars with these pickups frequently had little paf stickers on the pickup rings. personally i have played some of these pickups that are good and some that are dull, not unlike real paf's. they tend on all occasions to be a bit dark imo. there is an interview with Tim Shaw online, a guitar player article, in which he explains that he wanted to recreate the paf sound but had limited funding from norlin to do so and used current production bottom plates with nos pre t-top pat sticker and paf bobbins along with current production poly coated wire and had wider paf style magnets made which to my ear are probably alnico 2. of the early dots i have played some have been stellar, others have been average or below. i recently purchased an 81 dot to replace another 81 dot which was my go to guitar until southwest airlines broke the headstock. the second guitar was a bit of a dud compared to the first one (which was damaged), so i had the first repaired and sold the other. i guess like most gibsons there are ok ones, good ones and amazing ones..one of the best reissue dots i ever played was a later 80's, maybe 88 which seemed to have a thin nitro finish and a gibson abr-1 bridge. in the late 80's though there are the funny bill lawrence design pickups which probably demand replacing. all years of this era the pots are usually 300k and sometimes 100k on the tone post. upgrading to 500k all around is a good move.
     
  19. Anode

    Anode Member

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    Skylabfilmpop beat me to it. I was going to suggest that you probably have Shaws in your 335. I have an '82 ES335, which gibson told me was probably one of the earliest reissues, and it has those same pickups. Those Shaws are regarded as underrated by many, mainly due to the low resistance pots Gibson installed with them. Mine had 150K and 100K pots, so it was pretty muddy until I installed a new wiring harness with a 500K RS upgrade kit, which made all the difference in the world.

    If you'd care to see a photo of mine FWIW, it's HERE
     
  20. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    So only the Shaw pickups had the inked on 6 digit code as well as the PAT NO on the back of the pickups?
     

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