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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Help with '67 Sheraton

    Hey guys,
    I'm looking at this Epi Sheraton at the moment.
    Not sure what it is, but something seems slightly off. Maybe it is the binding on the neck which is a lot whiter than on the body? Pickguard also looks less old then the rest of the guitar, as well as the knobs. And shouldn't the fingerboard be ebony? Looks like rw to me.
    The seller says the back of the neck has been oversprayed 'in the middle' so apparently not around the headstock. For the right price I wouldn't mind a neck replair, as long as its well made. I just would like to know.
    Any other thoughts?
    Cheers!!!























  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Fingerboard is correct with rosewood.
    And the fingerboard binding does not get a clear coat [that ambers] on the top surface.
    Pickguard is likely replaced. I think these were tortoise shell pickguards and they were prone to disintegrating.
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  3. #3

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    First of all, it's always great to see one of these that's (apparently) unmolested. Still has its mini-hums, Grovers, in fact it looks all original to me with the possible exception of the knobs. Even if they're not original, they're exactly what I would want on there (as opposed to black witch hats). Minor "issue", imo.

    Sheratons had rosewood fingerboards, not ebony. Some had darker boards (my '62 is quite dark). I've seen lighter boards that looked great after getting some oil in them.

    The binding contrast (more white on the neck and pickguard) is due to the lacquer yellowing on the body binding. The binding on the neck looks correct to me for that era of the Sheraton (it was applied differently in the model's earlier years).

    Couldn't advise you regarding any possible head break/repair, but otherwise this thing looks beautiful to me. The amount of gold plating that's still there is quite impressive! This guitar has been taken care of over the years.

    I'm biased, but I think these are great guitars, and the mini-hums provide a great change of pace tone from the regular hb's of the Gibson "cousins" (3X5's). If the price is right, I wouldn't hesitate.
    Last edited by JimR56; 05-29-18 at 07:07 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Tom may be right about the guard being replaced. I hadn't even noticed the color (tortoise can look black in some photos). Again though, minor "issue". The original tortoise guards are ticking time bombs anyway, and this one looks nice in terms of the fit and finish.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
    Tom may be right about the guard being replaced. I hadn't even noticed the color (tortoise can look black in some photos). Again though, minor "issue". The original tortoise guards are ticking time bombs anyway, and this one looks nice in terms of the fit and finish.
    I have seen another late one [with witch hats] with original guard "still in the case" and the gold is gone [not just worn] from the pickups.
    No 'Civil War' case though.

    ... or, is that a reissue case?
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  6. #6

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Beautiful Sheraton and it all looks correct for it's vintage, with the possible exception of the control knobs....I think Epi followed the same timeline with Gibson in transition from reflector to witch hat style knobs, although the spec change may have been later for Epi, especially because there were so few Sheratons built. The headstock shape and factory installed Grovers are correct. The black pickguard is correct for later Sheratons; not sure when the transition happened from tortoise to solid black, but sometime around '66 or '67. As the other posters stated, the binding is correct and stays whiter because of no lacquer top coat. The rosewood fingerboard is factory correct. The case is also correct in style and interior color for this era, too. The only obvious part that has been replaced is the selector switch knob....it should still be white, not yellowed; the resin for tips was changed around 1960 and don't age like the '50's models. Overall, really looking at the details, I would check the serial # closely, as this Sheraton may be slightly older than a '67 model by aa year or so. Great find...I owned an identical Frequensator equipped '63, and it was one of my favorite guitars.
    Last edited by reddeluxe; 06-05-18 at 08:19 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    I was going to mention that the case appears to me to be original. I'm not sure of it, but the clean-ness and originality of the guitar would seem to increase the likelihood.

    "Civil War" case... not sure I've ever heard that term for these gray/blue cases (and I own one!), but I feel like I should have by now. Anyway, I like it.

  8. #8

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by reddeluxe View Post
    The black pickguard is correct for later Sheratons; not sure when the transition happened from tortoise to solid black, but sometime around '66 or '67.
    Hmm... I would be curious to know where you came by this info. It doesn't jibe with what I've seen. When I decided I wanted a vintage Sheraton about ten years ago, I studied the model pretty extensively. I also saved photos of dozens of vintage Sheratons that I had found on the web. Of all the later ('66 to '69) examples I have on my hard drive, there's only one example that looks like it may have a black guard, and it's not even that close to the end of the original run (it's a '67). All of the others (including some from '68 and '69) clearly have tortoise guards, and they all appear to be original 60's material (none that are clearly repros). I've seen photos of many more that I didn't save, and I have no recollection of encountering other examples with black guards. Anyway, just stating what I've observed, for what it's worth.

  9. #9

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Just thought I'd add something else here. Even after owning my '62 for about eight years now, I still like to keep my eyes on the vintage Sheraton market. I recently came across a 1961 example at a shop in Oregon. These early short headstock Sheratons are pretty rare (a lot harder to find than the long headstock examples). This one has a refinned neck (nice job), but it's priced in the same ballpark ($7K to $8K) as the more common long-head examples from the mid-60's. Most of the '60 to '62 examples that come on the market are priced much higher. Anyway, just FYI.

    Store's page: https://www.mckenzierivermusic.com/product/8676

    Their Reverb listing: https://reverb.com/item/7596101-epip...-1961-sunburst

  10. #10

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    For JimR56, it is my understanding that when the Gibson factory started transitioning their plastics (witch hat knobs, thin border truss rod covers, slightly different pickguard shapes and thin borders) for the entire line of ES guitars, including the Epi variants, is when the Sheraton tortoise guard gradually started being phased out. Exactly what precise date, I have no idea, and because of the small number of Sheratons built, this could be over a period of months, with both types being offered during the same time frame. As with all things Gibson, the factory may have just used whatever material was on hand, and if the supply of tortoise plastic ran out, they simply used black? My source is the Special Projects Manager for the ES Division in the Memphis factory. As to the pics of the particular guitar we are seeing, the multi ply binding on the guard itself looks to be correct factory to my eye, though it's possible the original binding was saved from a tortoise guard and incorporated into a custom repro guard, from a specialty supplier such as Mirabella, who do excellent work. Also, the stylized "E" on the guard looks factory correct. I agree with you, that the short headstock models are esthetically superior, and much more rare.
    Last edited by reddeluxe; 05-30-18 at 06:06 AM.

  11. #11

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    JimR56, PS. More Sheraton trivia: Do you know when the switch from matching front/back sunbursts to the solid dark back finish occurred on Sheratons? All the pictures I have found of '67 sunburst models have a matching back 'burst, while the '68 models are solid. Maybe we are seeing a '68 with switched knobs and black guard?

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Thanks a lot for your input everyone!
    I contacted the seller yesterday, and made an offer via ebay this morning.
    Unfortunately I received no reply, and the guitar is now listed as sold.

    I assume there was a local buyer who made a deal outside ebay.
    Its a shame, I've been looking for a Sheraton within my pricerange for years. Last year I played a beautiful '66 at Rudy's in New York, with a hint of olive green in the finish. Unfortunately the hassle with taking it onto the plane and import tax seemed too much, plus it really was too expensive. What a guitar though...it is still at Rudy's


  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    BTW here is another '67 with uniform brown back: https://www.vintage-guitar.de/detailsvintage_406.html

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by reddeluxe View Post
    The only obvious part that has been replaced is the selector switch knob....it should still be white, not yellowed; the resin for tips was changed at Gibson around 1960 and don't age like the '50's models.
    Just for clarity, Gibson did not make or source the switch tips. They came with the switches provided by Switchcraft. And I wonder if Switchcraft actually made them also.
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  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
    "Civil War" case... not sure I've ever heard that term for these gray/blue cases (and I own one!), but I feel like I should have by now. Anyway, I like it.
    I just made that up with that post, as I was about to write blue & gray.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  16. #16

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    I just made that up with that post, as I was about to write blue & gray.
    Utter brilliance! This is why you get the big bucks.

  17. #17

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by reddeluxe View Post
    JimR56, PS. More Sheraton trivia: Do you know when the switch from matching front/back sunbursts to the solid dark back finish occurred on Sheratons? All the pictures I have found of '67 sunburst models have a matching back 'burst, while the '68 models are solid. Maybe we are seeing a '68 with switched knobs and black guard?
    This is a good question, and I don't have an answer. For some reason (maybe just by chance), I have come across very few sunburst Sheratons made after 1965. Of the very few I've saved photos of, I don't have photos of their backs. I haven't got any photos of any '66 examples in sunburst, so the time of the transition to the solid dark back is a mystery to me too.

    By the way, I have photos of two all-walnut finished Sheratons, one a '68 and one a '69 (and both have tortoise guards).

    With respect, I have to say that I remain unconvinced that Sheratons ever went to black pickguards as a stock feature. The '67 example linked to above (at the german shop) is yet another example with a tortoise guard (and it's got black knobs).

  18. #18

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by fakejake View Post
    Thanks a lot for your input everyone!
    I contacted the seller yesterday, and made an offer via ebay this morning.
    Unfortunately I received no reply, and the guitar is now listed as sold.

    I assume there was a local buyer who made a deal outside ebay.
    Its a shame, I've been looking for a Sheraton within my pricerange for years.
    I tried to find the listing, and was not successful. Can you give us an idea of your price range, and what this one might have sold for?

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
    I tried to find the listing, and was not successful. Can you give us an idea of your price range, and what this one might have sold for?
    You can find the seller here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/rockmoose...1&_ipg=&_from=
    It was listed for approx 4000$, with options for offer. If the seller is legit, my guess is it sold outside ebay for just a bit less than that.

    I'd love to have either a Riviera or a Sheraton, but I can't spend more than about 4500$. My problem is I'm in Europe and there are very few of these models around here...

  20. #20

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Thanks Jake. Sounds like you narrowly missed out on a nice deal. Oh well, keep your chin up and your eyes open. They're out there. By the way, I'm in California, and I got my Sheraton from a seller in England (London). So you never know where they'll turn up.

    I think you're more likely to find a Riviera in that price range than a Sheraton. More affordable, and you'll get the same great tone.

    I found this Riviera here in the U.S., and their website indicates that they will ship outside the U.S.:
    http://www.williesguitars.com/index....rch/60/found/1
    https://www.gbase.com/gear/epiphone-...967-sunburst-3

  21. #21

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Thanks for clarifying the Switchcraft selector switch tip information, Tom Whittrock. That makes me 100% certain the tip has been replaced. The timeline should still be accurate, even though Switchcraft was the supplier, the tip material was changed. I even think Charlie Gelber did one of his educational posts on his ES 335 site about the color timeline of the tips. JimR56, I will try to do more research about the black/tortoise guard mystery through Gibson itself, to try to get a definitive answer....also when the back finishes became solid in color. From the photographic evidence, it probably has to be late '67 or early '68.
    Last edited by reddeluxe; 05-30-18 at 11:34 PM.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    While I don't have copies, there are 50's era electronics supply catalogs that offered different color switch tips being available just like the cream and black ones Gibson used.
    Imagine some 1950's military electronics board, with lots of switches marked by colored tips. And lights [like on old Fender amps] with different colored gems.

    Exactly how Gibson sourced any and most of the individual electronics parts might have been from a variety of sources.
    And I think Gibson bought the switches with switch tips on them [of a color Gibson approved].
    That said, I think the switch and the tip might have different part numbers.
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  23. #23

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    For Tom Wittrock: here is the scoop on the Switchcraft switch tips, garnered from several internet sources. You are correct, the tips came installed on the switches, and were used by several other guitar manufacturers, beside Gibson. From around 1949 through 1960, the tips were made from Catalin, a formaldehyde based poured resin, similar to Bakelite, but a totally different formula and manufacturing process. It becomes darker with more UV exposure and will eventually end up with that dark orange/brown shade that we have all seen on '50's era guitars. It starts only as a surface discoloration, but eventually penetrates all the way through the thickness of the piece. The next material was called Plaskon, which is a much whiter shade and a totally different resin formula, that does not darken with age or exposure. A few leftover Catalin tips made it into very early 1961 Gibson models, but from that point forward the tips were Plaskon. I think modern tips are some form of poly plastic, but not sure.

  24. #24

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by reddeluxe View Post
    I will try to do more research about the black/tortoise guard mystery through Gibson itself, to try to get a definitive answer....
    I suppose it will depend on how much experience and knowledge any particular Gibson source can offer. It's not always so straightforward when trying to get information from contemporary company sources. In my many years of participating at the Gibson forums, I noticed multiple instances where members (and visitors to the forums) posted about having questions answered by Gibson employees, and the company clearly failed to provide accurate information about their own history. I assumed it was younger employees who were sort of in over their heads in that regard.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
    Thanks Jake. Sounds like you narrowly missed out on a nice deal. Oh well, keep your chin up and your eyes open. They're out there. By the way, I'm in California, and I got my Sheraton from a seller in England (London). So you never know where they'll turn up.

    I think you're more likely to find a Riviera in that price range than a Sheraton. More affordable, and you'll get the same great tone.

    I found this Riviera here in the U.S., and their website indicates that they will ship outside the U.S.:
    http://www.williesguitars.com/index....rch/60/found/1
    https://www.gbase.com/gear/epiphone-...967-sunburst-3
    Thank you Jim!

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
    Just thought I'd add something else here. Even after owning my '62 for about eight years now, I still like to keep my eyes on the vintage Sheraton market. I recently came across a 1961 example at a shop in Oregon. These early short headstock Sheratons are pretty rare (a lot harder to find than the long headstock examples). This one has a refinned neck (nice job), but it's priced in the same ballpark ($7K to $8K) as the more common long-head examples from the mid-60's. Most of the '60 to '62 examples that come on the market are priced much higher. Anyway, just FYI.

    Store's page: https://www.mckenzierivermusic.com/product/8676

    Their Reverb listing: https://reverb.com/item/7596101-epip...-1961-sunburst
    Jim, did you see that one in person? On Gibsons the early 60ies necks are supposed to be rather thin- is the same true for Epiphones?
    Oh- and did the early ones have a 5 piece neck? Pretty sure it was a onc piece necks on the post 64 models I've seen so far.
    Last edited by fakejake; 05-31-18 at 03:03 AM.

  27. #27

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    Quote Originally Posted by fakejake View Post
    Jim, did you see that one in person?
    No, I just did a web search today and found it.

    On Gibsons the early 60ies necks are supposed to be rather thin- is the same true for Epiphones? Oh- and did the early ones have a 5 piece neck? Pretty sure it was a once piece neck on the post 64 models I've seen so far.
    I haven't personally handled many 60's Sheratons. I knew what I was looking for and what features I liked, and that's what drove my decision to buy my '62. So, I can't speak with any authority about the feel of the necks in general. The neck on mine is fairly thin depth-wise, but has a pretty wide nut (between 1 11/16" and 1 3/4").

    I can tell you that the earliest Sheratons (1958 to 1961) had the 5-piece necks left over from Epiphone in NY. They had started to switch over to using some Gibson-made parts (mini-hb pickups, knobs, etc) before '62, but it wasn't until '62 that they started building them with the one-piece mahogany necks. Without even seeing a rear view showing the neck, you can tell a '61 from a '62 by the fact that the '61 has the older, fatter style "Epiphone" headstock script logo, and the '62 has the more modern streamlined logo.
    Last edited by JimR56; 05-31-18 at 01:01 PM.

  28. #28
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    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    a Lot of Sheraton knowledge on this thread, so I'll ask a couple of questions:

    Can a black pick guard with no E on it be stock for a late 1960s Sheraton?

    What kind of tuners are stock?

    What kind of knobs?

    Thanks. Have loved the look of these babies for years and would like to play one, at least for a while.

  29. #29

    Re: Help with '67 Sheraton

    We are having a discussion about when or if during the Sheraton's history, black pickguards replaced the original spec tortoise patterned 'guards. This seems to be a mystery, but there are a few examples of black pickguards that appear to be factory pieces. The control knobs generally follow the historical progression that Gibson knobs did, with the last models having witch hat knobs, like their Gibson counterparts. The stylized "E" on the pickguard is fairly easily removed, because they were an added on applied piece. The tuners should be factory gold Grovers for the timeline you are talking about.

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