335 or 345 copy

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Greenmanelishi
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335 or 345 copy

Post by Greenmanelishi » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:02 pm

Hi guys new to this as this is my first el Degas. Anyone know anything about this guitar. Hollow body with no center block in clown burst.
It is in very nice shape and cleaned up beautiful. I have heard they had maxon pickups but these have nothing at all written on the back and are original. I have also read that some were unmarked. Anyone have any info on them ? I am torn between keeping them I'm after a rewire with new pots and jacks and also bypassing the varatone. I have a few sets laying around a set of Epi classic 57s with the plastic still on them should do fine. Also in need of a tuning gear or set. Will be replacing the horrid stop bridge as the knife edge where it touches the string has plastic edges on it. Have to measure if the poles are the same as a gibsons. I own several guitars and this one is a project and to me screams old black keys . This is my first attempt at posting a photo bucket so here goes. I'd appreciate any info as the only markings is a sticker saying made I. Japan


Image

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charles
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Re: 335 or 345 copy

Post by charles » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:18 pm

I edited in your Photobucket image code.

I do believe these ones with the Varitone are 345 copies. I had one way back when, probably 10 years ago or so. The Varitone was kinda neat but didn't do a whole lot to the tone; I didn't feel the need to rewire to cut it out of the chain in mine but I understand the sentiment :mrgreen: .

Something to watch out for on replacing bridges and similar parts on these guitars is that they use Asian, metric parts - Gibson USA will not fit. Measure twice and be careful!

I've seen some 345 copies with stamped Maxon pickups but I do not know if Maxons are in all of these.

I suspect this is a fairly early MIJ copy - you normally do not see the rounded end on the fretboard where the neck meets the body on later copies.

Hope all goes well - please do keep us updated on your progress! :D

Greenmanelishi
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Re: 335 or 345 copy

Post by Greenmanelishi » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks for the info and editing the image in , not much out there to go on anymore I was suspicious about the bridge because the holes are oblong in case machining wasn't quite on par lol. I have seen some cheaper roller bridges on e bay that are made in Asia would rather elongate on of them than a good Gibson one. Anything has to be better than the plastic knife edges that make string contact on the bridge. That has to be a tone killer for sure. The pick ups look like pics I've seen of maxons that came out a few of these, flat pole pieces, that resin on the bottom and just the over all appearance. I believe the gentleman said 1000s and 2000s were not marked but all told the 57 classics I have might be more suited to it in the long run. At least a complete rewire will be somewhat easier because of the totally hollow body. Gibsons with the tone block always involved the string wrapped around the pot shafts to pull them through lol. I will kep you informed as I really like the feel of the guitar. Can't beat the shape or straightness of the body and neck either. Was especially surprised the pick guard was still there lol
Thanks again

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charles
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Re: 335 or 345 copy

Post by charles » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:34 am

Glad to help. Best of luck, can't wait to see the results.

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Barry
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Re: 335 or 345 copy

Post by Barry » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:24 pm

I agree Charles, a nice 345'sh copy there. Although it looks more like it may have started life as 330 and reworked (at the factory) to give it 345 features. The trapeze tail would have been integral to the 330 design for example because it's hollow.

The bridge appears to be more a Nashville style rather than the more common and narrower ABR-1 found on the 330. And I wouldn't be so quick to remove the "plastic" saddles (nylon I believe). Those were/are the proper ones for a 330 (hollow) body and you'll find they compliment and contribute to the tonal character of this guitar rather than suck the tone.

Switching to metal saddles will sharpen the sound considerably and you'll lose the woody/blusey sound that these guitars offer. Metal belongs on the 335 (solid centre style). On this one the sound will shout at you!

If the plastic is worn, by all means replace them...but stay with the plastic!

Greenmanelishi
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Re: 335 or 345 copy

Post by Greenmanelishi » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:31 am

Thanks for the info on the nylon saddles. Have to see if I can source out a set of them

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Barry
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Re: 335 or 345 copy

Post by Barry » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:13 pm

p.s. Depending on your budget also look at Tusq saddles which will offer increased sustain and last longer than the nylon. :wink:

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