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Late 80's ES 335

Bluesidae

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782
Saw a late 80's Gibson 335. I never see or think about this age of Gibson 335. What is the story on them? Quality? What would it have for pickups? Any advice for me?

Thx
 

JP~)

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1,265
Think from about 88-90 had the Bill Lawrence p/u's. Mine has them, they sound good to me. The guitar itself is well made. This era seems to be overlooked, but the guitar is great and those were low production years for Gibson. I think the only other difference from other re-issues is that it has a Nashville bridge. The pots might also be 300k but I haven't confirmed that so maybe others will chime in.
 

Bluesidae

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782
thx. Nashville bridge differs from the re-issue bridge how? How do the Bill Lawrence pu's compare with a 57 or a burstbucker?
 

JP~)

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1,265
The re-issues have the ABR-1 bridge. I can't compare how the Bill Lawrence p/u's differ from PAF's on a 335 as I only have one 335 guitar and would be speculating. I can say that I just had the guitar cranked through a 59' Tweed Deluxe, 66 BFVR and a Germino half stack and both guitar and p/u's sounded very good. The p/u's respond very well to the volume knob on the guitar if you are a knob twister
 

rjsc5

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416
I am probably in the minority, but I prefer the Bill Lawrence pickups to the Classic 57's if in fact that is what is in my 1989 335. My neck is also dead straight with a low action, more than I can say about many I see hanging in the store racks. I am very pleased, but I am not the original owner so I have no idea what has been changed. All I know is I am not changing anything in mine, and I consider myself kind of hard to please. I looked for years before I bought one, and I am not a Gibson fanboy. YMMV
 

JP~)

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1,265
I am probably in the minority, but I prefer the Bill Lawrence pickups to the Classic 57's if in fact that is what is in my 1989 335. My neck is also dead straight with a low action, more than I can say about many I see hanging in the store racks. I am very pleased, but I am not the original owner so I have no idea what has been changed. All I know is I am not changing anything in mine, and I consider myself kind of hard to please. I looked for years before I bought one, and I am not a Gibson fanboy. YMMV

Mine is the same. With some relief in the neck, it still has the lowest action of any guitar I have. Check the p/u screws, one tell tail sign w/o pulling them is the original p/u screws have a large head.

Also, I don't know that we are in the minority about 'liking' the Bill Lawrence p/u's. I think it's more that not very many people are familiar with them due to their short production or might be chasing a PAF clone tone.
 

Bluesidae

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782
Re: p/u screws... not sure I understand. Can you post pics (or a link)?

What is the finish on your guitars?

thx!
 

Average Joe

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12,069
Haven't tried many of that era. The 87 I had was a right dog though - all the acoustic properties of a solidbodies, bad neck binding, bad fret crowning, collapsing bridge, tone and volume knobs that killed all the treble, and the thing was heavy as well. I was too star struck about (finally) getting a real Gibson semi to notice these things when I bought it.

Not saying they are all like that but mine was rubbish.
 

JP~)

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1,265
Re: p/u screws... not sure I understand. Can you post pics (or a link)?

What is the finish on your guitars?

thx!
Here's a pic of my 88'. The screws that mount the p/u to the p/u ring have a large head on them. I believe this is typical of guitars with the Bill Lawrence p/u's. The finish is nitro. There's a thread floating around here from a few months back where an employee of Gibson talks about the years 88-92 being years where Gibson made a big effort to get back to building quality guitars. They were also low production years.

 

Bluesidae

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782
Ok. I see that they are large. Overall you are happy with your 335? All stock? Nitro? But it is a beauty
 

JP~)

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1,265
Yes. I'm very happy with the guitar. It's all stock as far I can tell. I would expect around 2.5K for one in very good condition, at least around here. The finish is Nitro and before Gibson started using plasticizer. For an 89' you can expect good wood and craftsmanship, but hard to say what can happen to a guitar over 20+ years. If you can't play/inspect the guitar before buying it, just make sure the seller will accept a return for any reason within a reasonable time period.
 

Matt L

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11,558
I had an early-'88 dot with Tim Shaws. Beautiful guitar, low action, weighed almost 10lbs and was very dark/dull because of the stock pots. If it was lighter, I might have kept it and swapped out the electronics, which is exactly what the new owner did-

 

73Fender

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3,980
FWIW, the employees who went up the street to work in the new CS location in 1993, were on the production like at that time. I remember the thread on this time period from when I was deciding to look for an early 90's Studio LP. Found a 93 for cheap on CL and after some TLC I love it. Also had a former Gibson CS worker confirm this in a PM on another forum. Here:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/archive/index.php/t-1117031.html
 

JP~)

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1,265
Thanks, man. I just put mine on the bathroom scale and got 8.8lbs. I think the Shaw's are the only p/u made by Gibson that I haven't ever played or had in a guitar that I owned. I also don't think you will get many opinions on the Lawrence's since the production with them is small.
 

Bluesidae

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782
That is an awesome thread. It is a very interesting thread and it has peaked my interest in Gibsons from this period. Thanks!
 

Matt L

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11,558
I had the Bill Lawrence pickups in a 1990 Les Paul Standard, and I hated them. Very blah tone, compressed, just stale. Swapped in some '57 Classics and the guitar came alive.
 




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