ES-330 (1962): Need some help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Six Strings, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    I just bought a 1962 ES-330 (and am thrilled) and have a few questions I'm hoping you can help with:

    1. The saddles are white plastic. Is that original? I've never seen (or at least noticed) plastic saddles before on a Gibson. They are in quite good condition. If they are replacements, does the group recommend replacing them with metal saddles?

    2. The Kluson Deluxe tuners are very tight. Can these be oiled to aid in their movement?

    3. Playing through my AC-30, the guitar hums a lot. When I hold the jack going into the guitar, it gets grounded at the hum drops out. I tried it with an alligator clip from the jack to my belt (thereby touching my body) and that dropped the hum too. Is there a way to "hard-wire" something to reduce hum or am I forced to stick with this type of fix?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

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    the saddles are most likely original, thats how they came.

    the tuners should loosen up a bit with some good oil.

    the pickups are sigle coil (P90's) and they will hum due to the 60 cycle hum that all single coil pickuups have. no way around that really, but if you say that it gets quieter when you grab tha end of thr cable, then there could be a grounding issue that any good tech can fix properly.

    enjoy!
     
  3. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Thanks. In terms of the tuners, is it proper to place a drop or two in the tiny wholes that are in the tuner cases?

    I suppose I should take it to a tech to get a good setup and once-over, but I am not wanting to give it up yet!

    Thanks a lot.
     
  4. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

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    yeah, a drop in the hole on the back of the casing while turning the tuner with a stringiwnder to get the oil nice and mixed up. once setup, you will freak. a nice 330 is a great guitar to have! post pics!
     
  5. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Thanks again.

    You got it, I'll post some pics in the next day or two.
     
  6. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    OK, here are some pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The tailpiece looks like a replacement to me.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    Very nice guitar, better hang on to that one, they ain't making old guitars anymore.
     
  8. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

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    very nice! that tailpiece doesnt look like a replacement, but if it is, its the correct type. ill bet it sounds great. enjoy it.
     
  9. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Thanks to you both--I am loving her. If I can tame the hum just a little (and I can with the alligator clip solution) I will be cured of my GAS for a good while. The reason I think the tailpiece might be a replacement is that it is much shinier that the trapeze. But maybe they were made out of different finishes to begin with?
     
  10. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Is it safe (and advisable) to spray a little DeOxIt onto the volume and tone pots? There's a little crackle going on there.
     
  11. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Careful with the oil in the tuners.
    If you over oil them the oil can leech into the wood and stain it.

    I think it was Dan Erlewine that showed how he injected vaseline into the tuners with a syringe.

    Stew Mac sells a nifty little thing for cleaning pots.
    It goes on over the pot shaft, then you stick the tube from the deoxit into a hole on the side of it and squirt it in.
    It has a hole on top so you can insert a small screwdriver to turn the pot while cleaning.
    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Electronics/Pot_Cleaning_Cap.html
     
  12. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    The tune-o-matic bridge is the old style ABR-1 (it probably says that on the bottom) and it would be the type used by Gibson at the time - including the nylon saddles. It does seem, however, that the bridge has been flipped around at some point. It was probably during a string change since it is loose and will fall off if you take off all six strings to clean the fretboard. The six screws that hold the saddles usually face the neck. Check to see that the notches in the saddles match the string size - big to small, and that the intonation is okay. Otherwise you'll need to have it set up properly (a pro setup will benefit any instrument, especially a classic like this one).

    You could replace the saddles but you'd need a reason first. Gibson's replica Crossroads model is made to copy Clapton's 1964 Es-335 and the nylon saddles didn't slow him down any (to coin a phrase).

    I don't see any harm in a tiny drop of sewing machine oil, using a needle-oiler, in the holes of the Kluson tuners if they haven't been oiled in awhile. Good idea turning the peg-winder while you're doing this.

    Now, for that hum. Take a multimeter and see if there's continuity between the strings (or the bridge or the trapeze tailpiece) and the ground on your output jack. If not, then there's probably a loose connection and you need to have the "string ground" restored. This will accomplish the same thing as having your hand on the plug, only your hand is on the strings. A wire would run inside either to the stud for the bridge or to the tail where it would connect to the tailpiece - anyone know exactly how they hooked up the string ground on thinline hollowbodies with trapeze tailpieces? (on an ES-335 with a center block or a Les Paul, a bare wire touches the stop tailpiece insert and runs to the controls).

    Oh and I have to agree that's a beauty you have there.
     
  13. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Thanks a lot. I have a multimeter and will check this later. What exactly am I looking for, and what setting would I need on the multimeter? I assume I'd need to pull the jack out.
     
  14. noctilux1

    noctilux1 Member

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    Your sunburst 330 looks beautiful. I had a '62 cherry 330 with black p90's. Should have never traded it but I had the hots for an old Gretsch 6120. Oh well. Everything looks right on your guitar. Can you post a shot of the headstock, front and back?
     
  15. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Sure. Here are some shots of the headstock:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

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    man that thing is clean huh?
     
  17. Sub City

    Sub City Supporting Member

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    Nylon saddles are correct for '62. They're on my 62 ES-345 and I have seen them on other '62 ES guitars. Seems like Gibson used both metal & nylon saddles on 62-64 models that I have seen. My 64 ES-330 also has nylon saddles. Both my 60 & 64 ES-330's have the tight tuners. Vaseline through a syringe? Man, that's getting technical!
     
  18. noctilux1

    noctilux1 Member

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    those are the cleanest tuners I have ever seen on a 330 of that age
     
  19. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    Yes, She really is clean. Some belt wear on the back, and otherwise she's fresh as a daisy.

    Here is a detailed photo of the bridge--the saddles are definitely screwy, but the intonation is fine. I'm tempted to leave it alone. What would you all do?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Six Strings

    Six Strings Member

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    OK, I am diving in. I thank you all so much for all your help so far. Here is what I have done and what I need to know:

    1. I've removed the trapeze and this is what I see:

    [​IMG]


    All there is is this piece of solder with a small piece of wire hanging out. Where is that wire supposed to terminate? I assume this is where the grounding problem s coming from.

    This is what it looks like under the tailpiece:

    [​IMG]

    There are more screw holes than necessary, for one thing. Is the wire supposed to come out of that central hole and connect to the solder on the tailpiece.


    2. I have changed the orientation of both the bridge and the saddles. Since the screws were facing back, I have turned the bridge around and am reversing the saddles. The saddles were all in a jumbled array. I have changed them to slant as usual for wound and unwound strings:

    [​IMG]

    This profile view shows how off center the saddle notches are, though:

    [​IMG]


    What would you recommend I do about this? There is enough room, I think, to cut new notches (I have a good Stew-Mac nut file I could use). Or do you think I need a new set of saddles?

    Thanks again.
     

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