#1
I have a potential trade deal for a vintage Gibson tomorrow and I was hoping someone might be able to help confirm it's authenticity. It's supposed to be a 1966 Gibson ES330. I've talked with the seller a few times and he seems legit. I've also checked the serial number online and it checks out as a 1966 model. I just want to make sure it's not a fake because I'm driving 2 and a half hours to pick it up tomorrow. Any help would be very appreciated!!

Pics below:











Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#3
That looks ridiculously pristine for a 45 year old guitar. Even the klusons look sparkling.

From the pictures it looks unplayed, which is strange.

How much?
#4
Pot codes. Only way really.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#5
It's a 1985 Gibson SG
My Electric Guitars:
Ibanez GSA60
Ibanez RG3EXFM1
Peavey Raptor Plus
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Squire Telecaster Affinity (Has many famous musicians signatures so only played once)
#6
Yeah, he said there's some checking in the finish that doesn't show in the photos. But other than that it seems to be in great condition. The story I'm getting is that it originally belonged to his friend, who inherited it from his grandfather when he passed away. It never left his friend's house. Then his friend traded it to him for a bunch of other musical gear a few years ago.

He recently decided to get rid of it because he's in a band and he doesn't feel comfortable playing it out so it just sits at home. He said he'd rather have the cash or a bunch of other music gear that he won't worry as much about. He said he's so worried about something happening to it that he doesn't keep it at his own house (he shares a place with a couple other people). So right now it sits in the case at his folk's house so nothing will happen to it.

I'm trading him a high end guitar and a nice amp, along with some other unrelated hunting items. Total value of my end of the trade is somewhere between $3000 - $3500.

Thoughts??

EDIT: He's valuing the guitar at about $4000. The ending trade value of $3000 - $3500 is the result of some haggling, plus I have some specific things that he wants, and our local used market has been really soft lately (this has been sitting on c-list for a while).
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
Last edited by 57Goldtop at Dec 16, 2013,
#7
What's on the oval sticker under the upper bout (bass side) f-hole? And what color is that sticker?
And don't tell me it's not there.

I think those should be white nylon saddles on the bridge, not metal (can't see what they are in the photos).

Pot codes will tell something. Pulling the pickups and seeing what's on the back may tell you something as well.
Last edited by dspellman at Dec 16, 2013,
#8
That looks really good for that age, no corrosion on any metal parts that makes me suspicious of the actual age. I had a Gibson LP that had finish checking in the first 5 years
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#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
That looks really good for that age, no corrosion on any metal parts that makes me suspicious of the actual age. I had a Gibson LP that had finish checking in the first 5 years


I know, right? It's SO good it makes me itchy.
I have a '67 335-12 that really hasn't aged much since about '68 (there's some ambering of the paint and there's some barely visible checking), but at least it's got some dings from the previous owner.
#10
The case is deff period correct. there is a 66-69 (guy is not sure) on ebay with all original case candy and the case looks the same IMO. But I'm not an expert either so I could be offbase

But the guitar looks too good to be true.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
Quote by 57Goldtop
...

I'm trading him a high end guitar and a nice amp, along with some other unrelated hunting items. Total value of my end of the trade is somewhere between $3000 - $3500.

Thoughts??

...

I'd be playing that beauty by now.
#12
Quote by Robbgnarly
The case is deff period correct. there is a 66-69 (guy is not sure) on ebay with all original case candy and the case looks the same IMO. But I'm not an expert either so I could be offbase

But the guitar looks too good to be true.


yeah, it is period correct (I pulled my grumble about the case out after I went back and looked at my own). It looks a lot looser than mine. Here's something funny about that. Gibson made TWO cases for even its higher end guitars in those days -- the hard shell case (shown) and a sewn-together case that was some kind of chipboard/cardboard, with a red interior. I had both, because mine came with the chipboard cheapie and I snagged a hardshell case from another guitar like mine back (way back) in the day in a music store where I worked. The chipboard case actually lasted quite a while, falling apart about two years ago. The thread simply rotted away.
#13
That guitar looks incredible for the age. The metal should show some corrosion if this guitar has been used at all. Either this guitar spend fifty years in grandpa’s inert-gas closet, or someone has done a lot of work to clean it up, or it’s a fake.
#15
Well, I drove up and checked it out this morning. It's amazing! The pictures he sent make it look much more pristine than it really is. After seeing it in person there was no doubt in my mind it's an old guitar. There is plenty of wear and aging all over, but it's still in amazing condition for a 1966. The neck is straight, no breaks or repairs, and everything appears to be original.

I'll be taking it to a local shop that specializes in vintage guitars to have it officially authenticated and appraised, but so far I have no reason to doubt it. And seriously, it sounds and plays better than anything else I've ever owned.

I'll write up a NGD post as soon as I can put it down long enough to take new pictures. Don't hold your breath though
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#16
g´luck...it´s a Beauty. I´ve done alot of checking on Lp´s and as far as I can tell from the pic´s it has none of the tell tale signs, so if it is a fake it´s def. high end. I´d have it checked like your doing, as said saving 50-100 bucks and not doing it when it comes to those amounts is just daft.

Don´t forget too repost, mabye even with some better quality pics and tell us the end of this wonderful story!!
I believe in god, jesus and the holy ghost.....or as i call them Angus, Kirk and Lemmy
#17
Quote by dspellman
Pot codes will tell something. Pulling the pickups and seeing what's on the back may tell you something as well.

i figured if he bailed on pot codes we'd never see under the pups.

then again, the pots aren't exactly easy to get to on these now are they?


congrats '57! looks great i hope it pans out.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#18
The guy probably isn't inundated with offers so I'd be asking for pot codes and not buying the thing then bringing it to someone to check it out.
#19
Quote by gregs1020
i figured if he bailed on pot codes we'd never see under the pups.

then again, the pots aren't exactly easy to get to on these now are they?

Just need a flashlight and a dentist's mirror to see the stamp. Or I bet iphones are thin enough now you could just stick it in the f-hole and take a picture. I wouldn't want to be the first one to pull the electronics on a clean '66
#20
Quote by Roc8995
Just need a flashlight and a dentist's mirror to see the stamp. Or I bet iphones are thin enough now you could just stick it in the f-hole and take a picture. I wouldn't want to be the first one to pull the electronics on a clean '66

Well, I left my dentist tools in my other pants and all my iPhone photos came out blurry... but I did manage to date the pots using one of my kids' toy mirrors tied to a string. Thanks for the idea!

The pots date back to 1965. That confirms my gut feeling. This baby is an authentic 1966 in amazing condition, and I got it for a steal. So... I'm going to stop obsessing about it now and just enjoy it

Thanks to everyone for your help
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#21
Quote by 57Goldtop
Well, I left my dentist tools in my other pants and all my iPhone photos came out blurry... but I did manage to date the pots using one of my kids' toy mirrors tied to a string. Thanks for the idea!

The pots date back to 1965. That confirms my gut feeling. This baby is an authentic 1966 in amazing condition, and I got it for a steal. So... I'm going to stop obsessing about it now and just enjoy it

Thanks to everyone for your help

Awesome!

#22
And in case the previous owner is a UG member... thanks Jeff! The guitar is beautiful and you were a really nice guy to work with (he even gave me gas money for driving to his area - that's a classy guy right there!)
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#23
if your pot codes are right someone either went to great extremes or it's legit.

i mean, it's not impossible to get 1965 pots.

have you pulled the neck pup out? can we get a shot in the neck pup cavity?

i think it's legit myself, but it never hurts to see the rest.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.