I Purchased an early 60's Gibson ES-330 on ebay for very cheap. I can't remember but I think it was $800 and change.

Someone put an old set of Dimarzio pickups in it so I was torn as to put a set of Lollars or Antiquitys in it or to make some sort of ring to get P-90s back in.

I found a set of period correct Gibson pickups and paid 85.00 for the pair from a store near me.

I pulled the Dimarzios out and low and behold, they were not properly mounted and the guitar. The humbukcers were sitting above the mounting holes.

I had a Bigsby from a Harmony Rocket I bought at the flea market for $40.00. I had taken it off before I sold the guitar for $750.00 on ebay to some fool - my BIN was $300.00.

So now I have a cool guitar that is semi original (under the orig tailpiece on mine were the holes for the Bigsby) guitar that will sounds and plays great as soon as I wire it up - for well under $1000.00.

Right now, I decided to redoo the wiring. I have some CTS pots wired with orange drops and a new switch - these had been replaced with the pickups.

The same guitar (no mods) just sold on ebay for $3500.00 (Item number: 350078266493)

So don't be a sucker and buy some Asian made POS hollowbody if you only have a grand or so to spend.

Keep your eyes open - there are plenty of deals out there

Here is how I bought it:

The new covers in place covering holes:

Quote by SenorSmiley
don't be a sucker and buy some Asian made POS hollowbody if you only have a grand or so to spend.

wh... no, i'm not even gonna say anything.

Nice buy, but if this is a modification/restoration thread, it should be in here:

Live Rig January 2018

Fender Baja Telecaster/Danelectro DC-12
Boss TU-3, Ibanez TS9, Fulltone OCD 1.7, Boss CS-3, EHX Small Clone, MXR Carbon Copy
1964 Vox AC30TB with '69 Rola G12M "blackbacks"
Elixir Nanoweb 10-52 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks

You guys are always mad because I say save and don't waste your money on a POS when you can look and find the real thing.

I'm pretty happy about it. Plus, I was able to give a UGer a great deal on the Dimarzios because I'm never going to use them.

Say anything you want about POS Asian hollowbody.

Facts are facts - an early 60's Gibson is a better guitar then a POS Asian thing. If you're willing to hold out and look for a while there are plenty of deals. I picked up a 1953 Gibson ES-125 with the original electronics and P-90 for $600.00.

Again, wait and get a deal instead of making Guitar Center rich.

This thread isn't about restoration, it's about getting a decent guitar for a decent price instead of getting a POS because you think you can't afford something good.

I should also mention this guitar has a Brazilian fretboard.
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Jul 25, 2008,
Yeah man, but think about the beginners out there.

I mean they're not gonna know about all this stuff. And like you said, you got lucky. Its not gonna happen in everyones life like that. Its like saying that if I wait long enough I can find the modded body of a Gibson SG and just randomly find a Floyd Rose in a yard sale, along with a lipstick single coil, a, a P90 and a rail pickup. Some guitars are ****, you're right. But you can't just say "wait, and you shall recieve."

Well, with the rant over,
Congrats man! Wicked guitar, and luckyy. Wish I could be that lucky lol. Stuck with an Ashton >_>.
Play it well, do the guitar justice
Actually, if you are always looking you'll find more then you think.

I have a few OFR sitting around. During the 90's you could get them for a song. I have a bunch of Kramer parts because Victor Litz sold them for years after Kramer went out of business. I have bodies, necks, pickguards, etc... I'm just waiting for the right time to unload them.

Flea markets, ebay, craigs list, etc...

I see people paying 500+ for guitars that are just crap. It bothers me because I see so many good deals out there and see so many people get taken.

You may not get exactly what you want but you can find something cool - for example I was not in the market for a 330 - but say I wanted a CS Strat or a Les Paul, I could sell this for maybe 2k and have the money to get what I want.

I say always LOOK and don't be so quick to buy
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Jul 25, 2008,
Mann. I wasn't even playing guitar in the 90's :P

Its ****e here in NZ. The gear here is overpriced, and **** aswell. We have like two main retailers, and they hike the prices up so much. Like a Squier Affinity Stratocaster here is 399 NZD. That equates to like 300 USD for the guitar alone. Thats like twice the prices on MusiciansFriend. But thats for some other time.
You must be stocking up on parts man :P. Seems like you've got alot.
my only issue with it is that you're constantly calling asian guitars "POS" when they really aren't that bad. Sure you could get something better, but its a lot easier to get classic american guitars if you live in america - but not so much the rest of the world.

Its just like how in the 1960s and early '70s we brits seemed to love our fuzzboxes and wah pedals. This is how i managed to get an early '70s JEN crybaby for £15 so easily. there are more classic amps/fx pedals over here than there are classic guitars.

edit: @ boxie: a squier affinity strat over here costs about £160 in shops, which is more than $300 USD. this is why everyone over here seems to either play a knock-off brand or an ibanez.
Live Rig January 2018

Fender Baja Telecaster/Danelectro DC-12
Boss TU-3, Ibanez TS9, Fulltone OCD 1.7, Boss CS-3, EHX Small Clone, MXR Carbon Copy
1964 Vox AC30TB with '69 Rola G12M "blackbacks"
Elixir Nanoweb 10-52 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Last edited by Blompcube at Jul 25, 2008,
Well, if I have $800.00 and I can buy an Epiphone knockoff or a 60's Gibson what am I going to buy?

You may be insulted because I'm telling you the truth but don't take it out on me.

I like Epiphone guitars. I have a really odd Epiphone Olympic in Pelham Blue and I have an old Coronet and a few others.

I paid $50.00 for the Olympic. I think it's a '65. I bought i maybe a year ago at a tag sale.

The new stuff is not as good as it should be for the money. I compare the Asian stuff to what I can get for the same money if I look around.

You can love Asian guitars if you like, it's your right.

To me, I can tell the difference between a nice old Gibson or Fender or an Epi or Squier.

They don't look, feel, sound or even weigh the same.

I don't get it.

To the guy in NZ - I sell guitars to the girl (Boh) from the band Steller a few times a year.

Here is my Epi:

Last edited by SenorSmiley at Jul 25, 2008,
ok sorry if i sounded like i was angry, i'm not, nor am i trying to take it out on you.

$800 is about £400. I look on ebay a lot and its very rare to see somebody selling a vintage fender or gibson or anything like that for less than £1000 reserve. They usually go for about £1700. The only vintage guitars around here that you can get cheap really are cheaply made quite literally POS guitars. they have a vintage vibe to them, but they usually play like crap and don't intonate well at all. thats because thats all we had around that time. I feel blessed to have a classic Ric. the point being, in the UK, for £400 any cheap knockoff guitar will be a hell of a lot better than any vintage guitar we could get for the price. Besides, all the real classics are in london being sold for £2000+ each.

You're aware that i have an Epiphone hollowbody, but i don't feel the need to defend it because i'm quite certain that its a quality guitar (its from 1998, its nothing like the new cheaped-out models). my point being, not all asian guitars are a POS, even though the standards have dropped a lot recently. And yes, i can tell the difference. On wednesday i was playing a gibson in a local shop, and yes, it was a lot nicer than any epiphone i've played, and i'm aware the recent models are nowhere near the standard they used to be.
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1964 Vox AC30TB with '69 Rola G12M "blackbacks"
Elixir Nanoweb 10-52 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
I don't know that there is any difference in an Epiphone made in 1998 and one being made now. I worked in a shop that sold Epiphone in the late 90's - about 02 and all we had were crap.

They are so plastic looking and feeling. IMHO - The wood on the fretboard looks wierd, the inlays look cheesy, the pickups are not that good, the electronics are not that good. The wood is all sub-par.

The old Epiphones were great. I would put my less then $100.00 Olympic over any new one they make

As for there being no deals out there, I always ship to Eurpoe and have sold a lot of cool guitars to people over there. I sold a guy a newer Gretsch for 1000.00 - I had paid $450 for it because the seller had no feedback and one blurry pic - to a guy in the UK.

There are plenty of deals if you're willing to look. Either that or I just seem to stumble into deal after deal. I will sometimes buy something I don't want - like the aforementioned Gretsch - just because I know I can double my money quick.

People can say that the Asian guitars are "amazing" or "better then the (insert high end brand here)" or that they are "better for the money" or the USA model is "not ten times as good".

At the end of the day, for me, the higher end model is always the better deal.

I bought into the Agile thing, the Squire 51 thing, etc... and just ended up with a POS that sounded a little better then what I started with and I took a beating when I sold it.

I say avoid making the mistakes I made. Buy a nice guitar for a good price and don't be so quick to buy something if it's new. If it's something GC/M123, etc... sells they're usually going to have them for a while so it pays to look around.

Remember - buying a 3500 guitar with a couple things that are odd for 800.00 is a better deal then buying a 300 guitar putting 200 worth of parts into it and selling it at a loss 4 times in a row.

Also, you shouldn't feel the need to "defend" your guitar to anyone. In the 1980's I played a Les Paul Standard - Gibson while most of my buddies played BC Rich, Kramer and later on Ibanez. I'm only one person with my opinion.
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Jul 25, 2008,
Also, if you're looking for a rare Fender PM me and I have something you may be interested in that I would be willing to let go for a good USA price.
well i hardly ever buy guitars or amps new anymore, so thats no concern. I don't think i've paid more than £350 (about $700) for a guitar.

I know the newer (2006 onwars i think) epiphone models look plasticy and crap but the same really can't be said about my sheraton. my dad said it was almost as good as the rickenbacker he's used for the last 30 years (though he is a bass player). I wouldn't go that far but its definitely a good quality guitar.

I'd probably be interested in the fender (depending on what it is) but i have no money at the moment. I get given a small amount of cash for going to college (government thing) but i don't get any money in the holidays - and i've spent it all on gear over the last 2 years. don't know if i'll get it next year - i get given this money because i'm supposedly "below the poverty line" but if i can afford to buy some gear with it.. maybe i'm not as deprived as the government think i am.
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Fender Baja Telecaster/Danelectro DC-12
Boss TU-3, Ibanez TS9, Fulltone OCD 1.7, Boss CS-3, EHX Small Clone, MXR Carbon Copy
1964 Vox AC30TB with '69 Rola G12M "blackbacks"
Elixir Nanoweb 10-52 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
I have some Rickenbakers as well. I have a 330, a Carl Wilson and an older 4 something. Great guitars.
you do realize with a guitar like that the price goes way down the more you modify it right?
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I do realize that by putting period correct parts back on it the price goes up as opposed to having the wrong parts on it.

That's why I said a stock one sold for 3500, I could probably get 2k if I wanted to sell once it's back the way it should be.

I'm a guitar player, not a guitar collector so if I can get something that someone did something to that either makes the guitar play/sound better or I can put back I'll do it.

If you take all the electronics and hardware off, an old Gibson is still vastly superior to an Asian POS.

If you can get one that has had a few mods, great! You'll end up with a better guitar for the same money.
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Jul 25, 2008,
BTW - the 1965 Mustang in the pic next to the Epiphone cost me about $100.00 not too long ago. Needs to be rewired but I'm thinking of parting it out as it has an L series serial number neck plate.

Lots of deals if you're willing to look.
Finally got it back to original specs. I put CTS pots with orange drops and the original era Gibson pickups.

All in all it ended up costing about $1000.00 total (I think). I had the Bigsby from an old Harmony.

Quote by SenorSmiley
Finally got it back to original specs. I put CTS pots with orange drops and the original era Gibson pickups.

All in all it ended up costing about $1000.00 total (I think). I had the Bigsby from an old Harmony.

thats a strange cat you got there! and the guitar is nice too.

I still stick with my opinion that its a lot easier in the US to get a good deal on a vintage guitar than it is in the UK - i do spend a lot of time checking for things like this.

I know an anonymous guy from an anonymous old rock band that most people on this forum probably haven't heard of, who collects guitars, he has 431 but most of them are old obscure 1960s guitars which were imported to the country in the 1960s (the kind of thing you'd see the beatles playing in their early days, for example) which he got for £10 and stuff. He did manage to get a 1954 fender stratocaster though
Live Rig January 2018

Fender Baja Telecaster/Danelectro DC-12
Boss TU-3, Ibanez TS9, Fulltone OCD 1.7, Boss CS-3, EHX Small Clone, MXR Carbon Copy
1964 Vox AC30TB with '69 Rola G12M "blackbacks"
Elixir Nanoweb 10-52 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Hold on. .earlier in this thread, did I really hear someone saying that if you have a grand, you should get a 1960s Gibson ES over anything esle.

You realise that those deals are near impossible to find, and when you find them, there's always a high chance it's fake.
Sure it'd be a great world if we could all jump onto ebay and get a 1960s Fender for $120 like you claim to have done.
But alas, not everyone finds these deals, so don't look down on people who buy guitars that aren't under $100 and that aren't pre-1980.

Though that is a tasty guitar, but why modify it so much and risk lowering the price?
I'm all for adjusting a guitar to how you yourself likes it, but on a 1960s Gibson ES-330 I wouldn't risk it, you'd be able to get a hollowbody that sounds just as good that isn't as valuable to that shit (believe it or not, guitars made in the 60s don't emit a natural godly sound just because of the era they were made in, you can get good sounding guitars made in any other era.)

You seem to be confused.

1- I never claimed to have purchased a 1960s Fender on ebay for $120.00. I did purchase a 60s Fender Mustang but it was not on ebay.

2- You talk about modifying the guitar. I actually reversed mods that had been done - I took out the aftermarket humbuckers (sold them to someone here) and put in period correct P-90s. Replaced the aftermarket pots with CTS, etc..

I also removed the Japan tuners and put on some Allparts repros. I wouldn't have pt the Bigsby but I had one lying around and the holes were drilled.

I think most people in the know would agree that a modded guitar such as this one put back to the way it should be is more likely to bring a decent price then the way it was (import tuners, replaced humbuckers instead of P-90s, import tuners, etc...). Plus the pickups that were in it were actually a set of the first Dimarzio replacement pickups availible. They were too high gain and were not installed correctly (luckily, as the body was not cut up) and the guitar played great but didn't sound all that good. Now it sounds great.

3- If you read my other posts in this thread, I stated I was not looking for this guitar. I am happy with it but would have bought it at this price even if I didn't want it - as it could be resold for a decent profit.

As far as it being fake, there were good pics and a 330 would not be worth faking to this level - especially with the detailed pics in the auction. When I bought this I was looking for another CS Strat but couldn't let this go.

4- I don't know how many early 60's Gibsons you have owned or played at length, but the majority of these are pretty darn good. The 335s have a really good track record at this time.

5- The crux of my post was that if you have a small budget of about 1k you can get something that will hold it's value or appreciate, sound good and be a cool piece instead of just throwing your money away on something from GC or MF.

What I'm getting at is there are plenty of super deals out there for people who look. You may not find exactly what you want, but if you buy low you can always sell for a profit and keep saving.

Sure, there have been nice guitars made before, after and since but this was a super deal. I look for super deals on guitars. If I see something undervalued I jump on it even if it's not exactly what I'm looking.

If you're not into old Fenders and Gibsons that's fine. Stick to whatever you like.
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Sep 25, 2008,
I think it's you who is confused.

1: I didn't say you bought it off ebay, I said that "it'd be a great deal if we could jump onto ebay and buy a 60s fender for $120" this may have been refering to your Mustang purchase yes, but it was merely stating that you have an eye for bargain where others don't seek out collectors items/don't have as much luck as you appear to have.

2: I understand you were making it era correct, but even then, the bigsby, is as you put it, off an old harmony guitar, this doesn't exactly give off "Expensive vintage guitar" it gives off "a quick mod" which I'd do to, say an old beginner guitar, not a 60s Gibson, I'm just saying it's a bit risky messin' with such a collectors item.

3: I didn't say you were looking, I said you were telling people who are looking to get a 60s Gibson instead of any other guitar, which is a pretty off comment, and I didn't say that this exact one is a fake, I was saying that at that price, many "vintage" guitars have the chance of being fake.

4: I didn't say they were bad, I'm just saying, you seem to think any guitar out of the 60s/70s are bad.

5: People don't ONLY shop at GC/MF, and this is an example of you saying new guitars aren't good, new guitars can sound great, I've not bought one used item of gear (as of yet, when I get a bit more cash I'll definately be buying some older strats), and each purchase so far has been quality, I accept that used gear and collectors gear is great, but not everyone is in for that.

I'm fine with Fenders and Gibsons, you seem to love to jump to conclusions about people, assuming that because they've picked a flaw with YOUR comments, that they must hate the company you like. I remember when I "hated" soldano, just cos you were chattin' bubbles about one. Seriously, don't act like that, it pisses people off.

Much Love.

How do you or I know that this guitar didn't have a Bigsby originally. As I have said, the holes were there and the Bigsby I put on there was period correct (from an old Harmony Rocket) and it's exactly what would have come on this guitar from the factory and required no holes.

Please explain how putting on a bridge that was offered from the factory comes off as, "a quick mod".

Lastly, I really am not into guitars from the 1970s. My cutoff point for Fenders is early 73 (later 73 models when the weight goes up and the pole pieces are flat don't interest me). I do like some of the CS stuff but now that they are making a lot of those I find myself less interested.

You say that I hate anything not made in the 60s/70s but on Youtube and in my profile I have pics of some of my collection. I have Martin and Gibson from the 50's, I have Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Danelectro, Line 6, etc... from the 80's, 90's and 00's and I have some import POS guitars like a 51. I really don't get why I would own a bunch of guitars that I hate.

You can hate Soldano or Gibson or anything else, it's certainly your right. Personally, I like my old Fender amps, my Soldano and older Fender and Gibson guitars better then what I could get for the same money at "large chain music store".
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Sep 25, 2008,
Many things are retrofittable.
And how do you know your "Harmony Rocket" (which I believe is a budget guitar) had the same model of bigsby, or the same year bigsby.

And with Fender, I believe you swore by your Fender 1974 Tele Deluxe? I have a memory yes.

And for that last comment, please, just stop talking, I never said I hated those things. YOU said them because you seem to think any negative comment against you, is a personal vendetta against everything you own.
And that's bollocks, have you tried everything you'd find in a chain music store?
You'd be surprised, somethings can rival the guitars you own. Just cos they've got a few years on 'em, it means nothing when you get a genuinely good guitar.

EDIT: You may own those guitars BUT you seem to think buying anything at all new is worse than the holacaust, as you proved with your "My guitars are better than anythign you'd find in a guitar shop" comment.

EDIT II: "import POS guitars like the squier 51, why would I buy guitars I hate?" you make very little sense, you're calling your guitar (which is a guitar valued by modders) a piece of shit, then asking ME why you'd buy it if you don't like it?
Hell, if you think it's a "POS" why DID you buy it?
Last edited by Punk_Ninja at Sep 25, 2008,
if you buy a POS shit guitar how the **** can you expect it t be even close to a well made american guitar?

If you bought a high end Edwards guitar, i bet you'd be stumped at saying which was the american made counter part in a blind test,

same with, i dunno, say a top of the line Fender Jap Strat from the 80's over its american cousin...

bu yeah,

its great to be you

1977 Burny FLG70
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Well, back in the day Bigsby only made a few different bridges. The model I had is what would come on a Gibson ES-330 from that year. I guess you don't seem to get that a Bigsby is not really a mod on this, as the holes were there and it is period correct.

I have a 1973 Tele Custom. There are pics of it in my profile. I have never owned a 74 Deluxe, so I would say your memory is not that good.

Again, why would I buy a new Gretsch, Line 6, Fender CS, Martin D-41, Squier, etc... if I thought buying new was, "worse then the Holocaust" - which is pretty offensive.

I bought the 51 after reading forum posts that stated with a few changes it would be an amazing guitar. I got one put new tuners, pots, cap, bridge and pickups (Gibson HB and Duncan SC) and it's really not all that great. It has been sitting in a closet for a couple years.

I could tell the difference between an 80's Jap Strat and the USA model simply because the necks are a different profile and I am familiar with both shapes. The 80's Fenders are pretty good guitars.
Last edited by SenorSmiley at Sep 25, 2008,
A mod would be a modification, which is changing something, say, if I changed the wilkinson bridge on my Carvin strat to a Fender style traditional bridge. That would be a mod, it'd then be a further mod if I swapped them back, so it is a mod.

And you were raving abotu 74 Deluxes at some point, in fact, it may have been bashing the 74 deluxe reissue, where you were saying "Get a 73 custom like I have they're better" or summin' like that.

And it's not offensive, I never said anything offensive abotu the holocaust, I was using metaphor, and to evidence my comment: "Personally, I like my old Fender amps, my Soldano and older Fender and Gibson guitars better then what I could get for the same money at "large chain music store"."
This is saying you don't like new guitars, and why ask me? Ask yourself, you obviously think they aren't worth the money, why spend it on them?
You apparently have a family to support, why spend all your money on guitars that you claim to be worse than your other guitars?

Anyway, I must dash, I have to pick my sleeping hours precisely as i need to be up for 10pm tomorrow to drive to wales for a 3am ferry to Dublin on saturday, was fun speakin' again.
Can I have the old humbuckers? Nice buy
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Yes, I would agree that a 73 Telecaster Custom or Deluxe is better then the reissue. I still don't understand how that makes me rave about how great a 74 is.

I like some new guitars fine. Again (as I have said) if I had a small budget of 1k I would probably not buy something new when I could get something better used. Most of my newer guitars cost more then 1k.

I sold the humbuckers to someone here for very cheap.

Another deal I got on ebay recently is Fender Japan S/N 12. It was under 300.00.

The point of this thread - keep your eyes open. There are lots of good deals out there.
Well GAK sent me a guitar twice by accident , sadly it was only a squire tele
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Once I was at GC Boston. I walked out with a Gibson that was tagged wrong. It was worth about 4500.00 at the time and I got it for 1500.

My receipt had the correct serial number and what I paid so legally I was covered although they did call me many times to try to get me to switch it for the one they thought they were selling me.

A lot of things slip though the big chains.