Gibson 335 with Ebony fretboard rare?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Caribou, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Caribou

    Caribou Silver Supporting Member

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    I've got a 1987 335 with an ebony fretboard and a friend says that a guy who works at Gibson told him there are no 335's with ebony. He did add that sometimes rosewood looks like ebony. Apart from the fact that it's black, the feel is much different to me. I can't imagine how rosewood could look (jet black) at feel like this (almost like smooth stone).

    So I'm wondering if anyone else out there either has a 335 with ebony, or knows of one. The guy at Gibson was certain he was right, but I'm not so sure....
     
  2. Michael T

    Michael T Member

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    I dont know if Gibson made 335 models with Ebony but even dyed rosewood won't have the same texture as ebony.

    I've seen dyed rosewood and it looks fine and good but doesnt really look THAT much like Ebony upon closer inspection.
     
  3. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Yes, it did happen - it was a very limited run, according to Norm Harris of Norm's Rare Guitars, where I bought my 1987 ebony fingerboard 335. Is yours also sunburst/dot? Curious....

    The only other person I've seen with one is my friend Jeremy (jzilla - here on TGP)
     
  4. Caribou

    Caribou Silver Supporting Member

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    Mine-- from May of '87-- is the red dot reissue. Here are a few pics, including closeups showing the fretboard. Looks like ebony to me-- anyone disagree?
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. SteveSchu

    SteveSchu Member

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    I have the same wood on my Gibson Corvus...it sure looks like ebony to me although everything and everyone says they were rosewood.
     
  6. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    To my non-professional eyes the grain in those pics looks too tight to be rosewood.

    I've only owned one ebony board guitar but that sure does look like ebony to me.
     
  7. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    I think that's happened before on other models too, I've seen an SG that I know has ebony even though they were all supposed to be rosewood. It wouldn't suprise me if they made a few "mistakes" and put an ebony board on one that was supposed to get rosewood.
     
  8. Wildwind

    Wildwind Silver Supporting Member

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    Ebony. It has the characteristic grain, distinct from rosewood. I have no trouble believing it. I've seen too many variations to not believe it.

    I had a 1974 walnut color ES-335 (blocks/trapeze) that had a kill switch below the controls. Nobody believes me. I ordered the guitar from the factory (but the kill switch was a surprise). I've also been told the walnut color wasn't available then...hey, I have a witness. Had I not been stupid enough to trade it off, I wouldn't have to convince anyone. It was a great guitar. I'm sure yours is too - a 335 with ebony would be sweet, IMO.

    Greg
     
  9. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    Look like ebony to me too. What a beautiful 335! :AOK
     
  10. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    [​IMG]

    And here's mine being posed next to a Saul Koll Tele
     
  11. Caribou

    Caribou Silver Supporting Member

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    I can't imagine Gibson itself has been able to keep track of the production variations and parts bin specials over the years. Your 335 sounds really interesting-- too bad you got rid of it! I've come close to sending this one down the river, but I know I'll be haunted by it for the rest of my days if I do...
     
  12. Caribou

    Caribou Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks! She's definitely broken in at this point!

    WOW! That's really beautiful! :AOK Thanks for posting the pic too--I'm glad to have been able to confirm that someone else has an ebony board. I'm curious as to what date in 87 yours was built-- mine came in May.
     
  13. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    You can get a ES-347, same thing with micro tuners, ebony board and quick tuners. I had one for 10 years.
     
  14. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I dunno...how would I find out?
     
  15. Caribou

    Caribou Silver Supporting Member

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    Figuring out the date goes like this: The first and fifth numbers in the serial number tell you the year. The three numbers between those tell you which day the guitar was built.

    Mine starts like this: 81427, which means May 22, 1987.

    The last three numbers in the serial tell which plant the guitar came from.

    Here's an online tool to give you the info:

    http://www.guitardaterproject.org/gibson.aspx
     
  16. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    I remember passing on a blonde dot RI in the early 90`s ... used for 800 bucks! It definitely had an ebony board
     
  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    FAR too open and grainy for ebony, imo. Ebony approaches bowling ball smoothness.
    We need expert opinion, here.
     
  18. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

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    I had a '93 cherryburst LP standard w/a ebony fingerboard.
     
  19. lestratele

    lestratele Member

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    Interesting. I believe the fretboard on my 1988 335 is ebony also. Real tight grain on mine. Tighter than the grain in the ebony board on my Martin D-28, as a matter of fact. Just goes to show the variety you will see in wood.
     
  20. fisheric

    fisheric Member

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    im not so sure that is ebony, it looks exactly like the ebonized rosewood fretboards i have seen.

    now, i havnt seen every species of ebony, but i dont remember seeing any that had the same pores as rosewood. and the ebony boards i have seen are so smooth that they are shiny. like someone earlier said it is smooth as a bowling ball, or glass.

    anyway heres a picture of a ebony board i found using GIS

    [​IMG]
     

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