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  1. #1

    Esseries Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Does anyone have any insight as to the how/ where Gibson manufactured their Custom Made plaques for Bigsby equipped 335's and 345's from around 1960-65ish? We are all familiar with the normal rectangular plaque, but I have an ES-345 with quite a different looking plate. It's 100% factory and I have only ever seen one other one on a sunburst 335 that Olivia's was selling a number of years ago. Extensive googling does not result in a photo on this, however. Take a look at the link below to my guitar. I'd be very interested to see if anyone has any insight on this or if anyone has seen any other anomalous plates from this era. My guitar is a 64/65, serial number dates it to either year. Wide nut, 64 neck profile.
    If anyone else has one of these funky plates, I'd love to see it. Oh, and my guitar has a "custom" truss rod cover as well. Very interesting...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BvzSiq4FRBW/

  2. #2

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Badass !

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBabyBrandon View Post
    It's 100% factory …
    Curious how you know this?
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  4. #4

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Likely factory work. Besides the Olivia 335 I have seen another '64 335 with the 'moustache' shaped plaque, but without the custom made engraving. Both guitars are in the 177.200s serial # range.

    One of these ads had a pic with the plaque removed, which showed a finish or wood crack, starting at each tailpiece stud and going in opposite directions. This explains the strange shape of the plaque - I assume you will find a similar goof if you take off the plaque on your guitar.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Can you provide a link to a photo of what it looks like under the CM plate. My 63 ES-345 has the standard (boring) rectangle plate.

  6. #6

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by VamboRool View Post
    Can you provide a link to a photo of what it looks like under the CM plate. My 63 ES-345 has the standard (boring) rectangle plate.
    email sent

  7. #7

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    Curious how you know this?
    After seeing enough of these you can tell simply by the way it's engraved and the material used. There is no doubt whatsoever that this is an original factory plate. The zigzag engraving, spot on font, and feel and look of the material and bevel are all tell tale. As far as I know there are no convincing replica custom made plates out there, let alone any in this shape. The exact matching one on a similar year 335 corroborates the plate as well. It is known, just rare.

    The theory of the cracks at the stop tail holes is a good one, except, I don't think mine has stop tail holes. I'm very hesitant to remove the plate because it's attached only with small nails, and I'd hate to not be able to get it back on, or to have to bang it back on there, potentially doing damage to the guitar, but a test with a magnet does not show any attraction to the plate, which you might expect if there were holes with metal threading beneath...

  8. #8

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch D. Bunker View Post
    Likely factory work. Besides the Olivia 335 I have seen another '64 335 with the 'moustache' shaped plaque, but without the custom made engraving. Both guitars are in the 177.200s serial # range.

    One of these ads had a pic with the plaque removed, which showed a finish or wood crack, starting at each tailpiece stud and going in opposite directions. This explains the strange shape of the plaque - I assume you will find a similar goof if you take off the plaque on your guitar.
    Interesting. My serial number is 175022. Close but not super close. Any possibility of posting the photos of the other "moustache" plaque. I think that's probably a good moniker for this thing.

  9. #9

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBabyBrandon View Post
    Interesting. My serial number is 175022. Close but not super close. Any possibility of posting the photos of the other "moustache" plaque. I think that's probably a good moniker for this thing.

    Being a good boy here - email two sent with pics of both 335s.

  10. #10

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch D. Bunker View Post
    Being a good boy here - email two sent with pics of both 335s.
    Got it. Thank you sir! I responded directly to the email. I hope you got it. If I had a photobucket account I'd be posting it up here. It literally is the exact same plate but positioned under the stoptail, indeed hiding cracks at the stop tail holes.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    The only gits I've seen with a "Custom Made" plate was ones that some clown removed the stop TP and installed a bigsby, and the plate to hide the abortion holes left behind.

    Gibson ACTUALLY did that?

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Quote Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
    The only gits I've seen with a "Custom Made" plate was ones that some clown removed the stop TP and installed a bigsby, and the plate to hide the abortion holes left behind.

    Gibson ACTUALLY did that?
    Sure did. Vintage and reissues.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B_yQjFvd-E
    "I am the kind of guy that only buys 100 watt heads just to play at home. I feel like if an amp can't kill a heard of cattle 100 yards away what is the point of owning it."

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    My 2014 Rich Robinson had the custom made badge over the stop tail bushings , common on ES guitars ! The OP badge is something I've never seen !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Jeff West's Avatar
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    It reminds me of a large photo in the Robb Lawrence Les Paul Legacy book, p.170, depicting a '59 LPC that reportedly was refinished in sparkling burgundy and refurbished at the Gibson factory in mid-'60s, with something similar (not identical) added under a new stoptail to hide Bigsby holes. "Previously owned by guitarist Ray Gomez".

  15. #15
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
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    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    Very interesting thread. I agree that the engraving, font, etc looks like factory work. I was wondering if it might have been a run that got tarted up a little to blow out to dealers for extra discount, etc. just to move some guitars. For example, when I was in music retail in CO, one time Gibson rented out a conference room on a Sunday afternoon in some crappy commercial hotel, and invited the dealers to come buy some "special deals". One model I remember was a Cherry Sunburst LP with double whites (not the typical Deluxe set-up), and we bought some of those for an extra discount from usual cost.

    The coolest thing that day, though, was the chance to hang with and listen to Howard Roberts, who had been flown in as a draw.
    Nothing like sitting in a cheesy conference room, with a light beer buzz, on a Sunday afternoon, listening to a true cat show the peanut gallery how it's done. There might have been 15-20 of us there...

  16. #16

    Re: Oddball ES-335/345 Custom Made Plaques

    That's an interesting theory with the price reduction on moving some models and adding an extra little flourish to sweeten the deal. The guitar itself is potentially transitional. The serial number dates it to 64 OR 65, ATB guitar has a stoptail cherry 345 that they are touting as a 64 with a very similar serial number here:https://www.atbguitars.com/store/pro...ail-1964es345/ both that guitar and mine have 1750 (from what I can tell from the photo on the website) as the first 4 numbers, so most likely from the same batch of guitars. As they were moving to 65 specs it may be this guitar was left over in their inventory and they were trying to move it by mid 65 when the new "fast, slim nut" was making its initial appearance. It seems the one that was at Olivia's with the same plaque covering the stoptail holes on a stoptail model (beneath the tailpiece) was from the same era, if not serial number batch, which I do not have photos on. I'd be interested if anyone else knows about any other 175xxx serial numbers and if they might also have some similar plaques or anomalous features.

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