ES-175 - '63 or '67???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by JSeth, Jan 24, 2008.


  1. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    :cool:
    Hi guys - first thread on this forum - I have an old stock ES-175. When I got the guitar in 1985, I wrote (pre-net!) Gibson to ask the year - their response was that due to fire which destroyed old records, it was either of the 2 years mentioned ('63 or '67). They said I could break the solder-seal on the pups and there would be a date or identifying # there... I've had no reason to do this and am reluctant to 'un-do' something original. Does anyone know any way to id the year from visual clues? Will it make a difference in the sale price, should I decide to sell it? It's in very nice shape - not mint, but close; rosewood 'board and saddle/bridge, great fast neck...
    Any thoughts/ideas/tips?
    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    Pot dates may be visiable with a mirror and flashlight. There may be dating info available from other sources.

    ps I have a 63! Nice guitar.
     
  3. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Some pics and more info could probably answer it -- though you'll get even better info at the Les Paul Forum, which has a lot of fine-tooth-comb equipped vintage nuts.

    One quick thing: if the nut width is skinny (1-5/8" or less), it's likely a '67.
     
  4. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    Just tell us what the serial number reads on the tag inside the upper f-hole.
     
  5. shuie

    shuie Silver Supporting Member

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    '60s Gibson serial numbers will usually only narrow it down to two possible years. The parts, the placement of the inlay on the headstock, and the verbiage on the orange label usually give the clues that help identify which year it is. Post a picture of the front of the headstock, the hardware, the plastic, and the text on the orange label and someone here should be able to help.
     
  6. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    nut width is 1' 11/16' - no number on tag inside upper bout f-hole - just says Gibson ES- 175 TD and the standard gibson stuff, warranty against faulty materiels or workmanship. Back of the neck stamped number is 109482. Any help?
    John
     
  7. shuie

    shuie Silver Supporting Member

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    Does it say 'Union Made' anywhere on the orange label? Does the crown inlay sit slightly above or below the A & B tuners on the headstock?
     
  8. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    '63.

    I've NEVER seen a wide nut 175 from '67
     
  9. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    Good point. A '63 won't. A '67 will...
     
  10. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    Will what make a difference in sale price? '63 vs. '67? You betcha!
     
  11. henry_the_horse

    henry_the_horse Member

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    Are the humbucker covers finished in nickel or chrome?
    nickel= 1963
    chrome=1967
    Are the control knobs similar to fender blackface amp knobs or are they gold tophat knobs with silver metal top insert?
    gold tophat w/ metal insert=1963
    blackface amp knobs=1967

    Regards
     
  12. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    Thanks so very much for all your input... I now know that it is a '67, at least from all your tips. Even tho' the nut is 1 11/16", the gibson tag inside says "union made" - the knobs are "fender black-face" type as well... since the pup covers are still shiny, I'd guess chrome there. Sooooo, it looks like I'm the proud owner of a 1967 ES-175! It is a great guitar, plays fast, sounds great - at least the 'board pup does (the only one I use!) - and it's in great shape... plus, I bought it in '85 for $450!!!
    John Seth
     
  13. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    John, try to look inside the f-hole with a mirror and get the pot date codes - that's a more real answer. Knobs can be pulled off and changed, nut widths can vary (though I agree with Mark, generally wider necks = early 60's, narrower neck = later '60's). Henry the Horse has the knobs right, but '67 was a transition year - some (later) have knurled knobs, some (earlier) have skirt knobs.

    Nobody who doesn't have to goes inside a hollowbody guitar to change out the pots - it's a real PITA. If you could post pot date codes, and pics, you'll probably get closer to the true answer.

    As Mark also wrote, there is a significant price difference between a '63 and a '67. Either way, either year, cool guitar. My perception is that Gibson messed around less with the ES-175's than they did with other guitars form the late '60's to the early '70's.. I've played some '70's ES-175's, up to like '74, that were simply great guitars, even with knurled number knobs (GRIN).

    EDIT; ooops, on re-read, the label is telling - Shuie has it right, if it's "Union Made", it ain't a '63. Still, look at those pots - my curiosity button has been pressed.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  14. shuie

    shuie Silver Supporting Member

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    The pots should have the cans on them. The placement of the flowerpot inlay on the headstock will tell you if its a '67 or earlier.
     

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