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  • 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

    Edit/Update:
    So yeah sorry, the post is a lie. It's an ES-330 not 335. Thanks for all of the advice guys. I am most definitely going to keep it and play it. When I finally got it tuned and dialed in on my amp. I could not get enough of it. Even just playing that simple ac/dc lick. My wolfgang doesn't sound that cool! I will bring it in for a setup and maybe they can replace that saddle or something. I get so excited I pick that low e string hard and it flys off sometimes lol. The only thing that makes me a little bit nervous is when you go to schedule a setup at my local music store (They are good people, it's not a shady shop), you basically have to schedule it out several weeks because they're so busy and you leave your guitar there. I don't really want to leave such a high value piece there for a long time. Pics and the short vid below:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PhG...w?usp=drivesdk

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pgf...w?usp=drivesdk

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Pm...pUB0lVISxwxSh1

    I have a feeling my lesson this week will consist of Stray Cat Strut

    Original Post:

    my dad was cleaning out his attic over the weekend and ended up giving me his old gibson (which his dad originally bought). He said since I got back into guitar maybe I could get some use out of it.

    So, visually, the guitar is in mint condition. No dents, no nothing. I went to a shop and got some new strings put on it and cleaned it up a bit.


    I guess my question on it is, is this more of a guitar I should just put away and not play? Do I risk breaking it by using a guitar that old? It seems to work fine. I plugged it in and tried it. Only thing that I noticed was it goes out of tune quickly. Kept going sharp while trying to play. I considered bringing it to a shop to get a setup done on it but I didn't want them to be like oh yeah it's so old the neck snapped while we were trying to do ____ lol.

    Also, it's a semi-hollow body right, so, would that even be good for practicing Van Halen/ACDC which is what I currently play now on an evh head.

    I'm tempted to just kinda put it away and not hurt it for now.

    Also another weird thing, the low E string keeps coming off the plastic teeth board towards the bridge (sorry I don't know what it's called but each string goes between teeth there).
    Last edited by chillytouch; 11-13-2019, 07:55 AM.

  • #2
    Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

    This is entirely subjective. You can do whatever you want with it, but I get that you're looking for additional perspectives.

    In terms of actually playing the guitar, if it's nothing special for you, I'd say practice on something less valuable and either sell it or keep it for special occasions. If you love playing that specific guitar more than others, then just play it and be careful with it - store it in the case, don't play drunk, etc.

    That guitar is worth enough that you should talk to your dad about what he had in mind for it.

    Also, make sure your insurance (home owners, renters, whatever) is covering it.

    Sent from my BlackBerry using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

      Originally posted by ibanezrocks View Post
      This is entirely subjective. You can do whatever you want with it, but I get that you're looking for additional perspectives.

      In terms of actually playing the guitar, if it's nothing special for you, I'd say practice on something less valuable and either sell it or keep it for special occasions. If you love playing that specific guitar more than others, then just play it and be careful with it - store it in the case, don't play drunk, etc.

      That guitar is worth enough that you should talk to your dad about what he had in mind for it.

      Also, make sure your insurance (home owners, renters, whatever) is covering it.

      Sent from my BlackBerry using Tapatalk
      Thanks for the advice. I will do that. (The insurance). He is kind of indifferent. He wants me to use it but I dont think the guitar is for me. I will maybe just keep it as an heirloom. And while I do want a wolfgang usa, I could never sell it. Once my dad is gone that's kind of the only major thing I'd have left.
      Last edited by chillytouch; 11-13-2019, 08:00 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

        A mint 1966 ES-335 isn’t going down in value...
        Oh no.....


        Oh Yeah!

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        • #5
          Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

          Guitars much older than yours are played every day by touring musicians.
          Stringed instruments many hundreds of years older, and much more delicate than your semihollow are working just fine.


          Its not going to crumble to dust just doing the very thing it was constructed to do. Use, but not abuse is fine.

          The tuning issue is the nut, get that fixed and you're good to go.

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          • #6
            Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

            go rock it out. but don't get wasted and drop it. pretty simple.

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            • #7
              Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

              If that were mine, it would be cleaned up, set up and in 100% working order as I would play it frequently and learn as many Alvin Lee licks as I can. There's no way in the world I would sell something like that whether it was my style or not. An heirloom and memories should be cherished.

              If you don't want to play it much, that's fine. Have it in good working order and keep it put away in its case and take it out when you feel inspired to play it. And a huge YES on the insurance.
              Last edited by ErikH; 11-12-2019, 03:29 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                also, post some pics

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                • #9
                  Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                  @blakejcan

                  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PhG...w?usp=drivesdk

                  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pgf...w?usp=drivesdk

                  I know they're not the best pics haha. but there she is. As you can see, I took the pics before I noticed the low E string fell off whatever that set of teeth is called there.

                  Also, aside from learning Van Halen I always did want to learn Stray Cat Strut
                  Last edited by chillytouch; 11-12-2019, 02:15 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                    The whole point of a guitar is to play it. Your dad gave you the guitar so you could play it. So play it! It's doing nobody any good sitting in a case.
                    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                    Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                      Owning some rare birds, i would go a slightly different direction....

                      Considering the history and such a wonderful guitar, i would keep it and constantly baby it... I would play it probably all the time at home or in the studio and when not used keep it in a case with humidifier, insurance all the other things mentioned previously 2 protect your investment. also note that many insurance policies do not cover antique value, should dig into this one ... You don't want the insurance co giving you the equivalent of a brand-new 335 if yours gets stolen or dies in a fire flood etc

                      On the other hand, I would absolutely never take it out in the real world. All gigging guitars get damaged. The only exception is when you have a tech who is paid to protect that guitar and even then accidents happen.

                      Outside of the house, I would find a modern guitar that feels and plays like your 3:35 and there are many options available these days.

                      I own one exception to the rule... A mongrel 61 Les Paul SG that was modified in the 70s. As result it doesn't have the ridiculous rare Bird value as yours probably does. So it's fun to take it out and yes it has been beaten senseless over the years but it's a tough puppy.

                      Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
                      Last edited by zionstrat; 11-12-2019, 04:02 PM.
                      What's so Funny about Peace Love and Understanding?

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                      • #12
                        Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                        Originally posted by zionstrat View Post
                        Owning some rare birds, i would go a slightly different direction....

                        Considering the history and such a wonderful guitar, i would keep it and constantly baby it... I would play it probably all the time at home or in the studio and when not used keep it in a case with humidifier, insurance all the other things mentioned previously 2 protect your investment. also note that many insurance policies do not cover antique value, should dig into this one ... You don't want thr insurance vo giving you the equivalent of a brand-new 335 if yours gets stolen or dies in a fire flood etc

                        On the other hand, I would absolutely never take it out in the real world. All gigging guitars get damaged. The only exception is when you have a tech who is paid to protect that guitar and even then accidents happen.

                        Outside of the house, I would find a modern guitar that feels and plays like your 3:35 and there are many options available these days.

                        I own one exception to the rule... A mongrel 61 Les Paul SG that was modified in the 70s. As result it doesn't have the ridiculous rare Bird value as yours probably does. So it's fun to take it out and yes it has been beaten senseless over the years but it's a tough puppy.

                        Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
                        Thanks,

                        I am new to guitar still so I don't go gigging so at least that's one thing I don't need to worry about. All I do is go to lessons once and a week and then play at home.

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                        • #13
                          1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                          I would get it set up to play and keep it. A 335 isnít really my type of guitar either but I donít think Iíd sell this one. Itís a valuable enough instrument and there is sentimental value too, so Iíd definitely keep in good condition and playable.

                          The ďteethĒ on the bridge are called saddles.

                          Beautiful guitar BTW. Congrats!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                            that can be a great guitar and it should be played. its probably worth $5k +/- depending on options and condition. as a new player, i would keep it and play it at home if you like and maybe get something more suited to your current taste. you may want a hard rock guitar now but in a few years your taste may change and you will most likely not have another opportunity to get a guitar like this, let alone one that was your dads and purchased by your grandfather.

                            the white teeth you are talking about are the bridge saddles, which are nylon on this guitar. if the low e keeps popping out, the saddle could be broken or worn down or need to be re-notched.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 1966 Gibson ES-335, too old to play?

                              Pics plz... I need new erotica for my solo sesh later.
                              ďFor me, when everything goes wrong Ė thatís when adventure starts.Ē Yvonne Chouinard

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