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  1. #1

    Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    The description from my 335 - 2016 63 Reissue TDCVOS w/ Bigsby states


    "Although the ES-335 kicked off with the "dot neck" in 1958, many players have always preferred the "block neck" version of the early '60s. The 1963 ES-335TD includes the correct body shape with narrower horns,"

    Curious to learn about the narrow horns, and block neck and why these 2 features may have been preferred. The guitar looks great with the narrow horns; does it affect the sound or playability in a way that is more sought after?

    Anyone prefer the narrow horns, vs the larger ones?


  2. #2

    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Eric Clapton.


  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Norton's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    I might be in the minority but I actually prefer the rounder Mickey Mouse ears. I am a sucker for blocks though...

  4. #4
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    I'm definitely a big, round horn man. If you like those, and you want blocks, plenty of '62s have that combo. Apparently, the change in horn shape came about due to wear on the mold, but who knows? Also, some Big Horn examples are not always perfectly even on both horns, sometimes one is a bit more "attenuated" than the other--drives me crazy, as I am definitely an AVH. Don't get me started on the shape of LP horns...

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich R View Post
    ....... Apparently, the change in horn shape came about due to wear on the mold, but who knows?
    I will definitely challenge that story, and go a step further and say that much difference is not even possible from "mold wear". If one has any understanding of how they are made, that would be easy to refute. They are not even "molds" used, actually. They are forming "dies".

    Sounds like another "internet fact". Besides, look at the logic even. There are basically 2 styles. If it was due to wear, there would be the 2 extremes and everything in between. Certainly not the case here.
    "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."

  6. #6
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Quote Originally Posted by wmachine View Post
    I will definitely challenge that story, and go a step further and say that much difference is not even possible from "mold wear". If one has any understanding of how they are made, that would be easy to refute. They are not even "molds" used, actually. They are forming "dies".

    Sounds like another "internet fact". Besides, look at the logic even. There are basically 2 styles. If it was due to wear, there would be the 2 extremes and everything in between. Certainly not the case here.
    Lighten up, Francis--this is just a friendly conversation. BTW, here's your "internet fact":

    "2nd Variant (1962-1964
    ...The post-62 instruments also featured slightly less rounded horns, caused by a burned-out die to press the body into shape"
    Page 232 "Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years"
    by A.R. Duchossoir

    A little less attitude might suit you better, Lumpy...

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    I like them narrow dots are not for me , blocks & narrow the way to go brethren!!
    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 ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    For cherry reds, I prefer the narrow horn block neck variant. For sunburst, the mickey mouse dot neck. The other way round always looks weird to me.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member wmachine's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich R View Post
    Lighten up, Francis--this is just a friendly conversation. BTW, here's your "internet fact":

    "2nd Variant (1962-1964
    ...The post-62 instruments also featured slightly less rounded horns, caused by a burned-out die to press the body into shape"
    Page 232 "Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years"
    by A.R. Duchossoir

    A little less attitude might suit you better, Lumpy...
    So you counter what you perceive to be a bad attitude with one of your own? I don't need yours and your juvenile name calling, so you can take your own advice. I just expressed my POV.

    On topic, thanks for posting that source. It does give that explanation some substance.
    But for the record, I don't believe that source is (directly) correct either. A burned out die? First of all, not the same as a worn (out) die. If it was what is being called a "burned out" die, the probably result was the die was subsequently refurbished with the resulting different shape. Moreover, if/when the shape was changed, the front and backs would need to be changed too.
    Regardless, "burned out" and worn out are not the same thing.
    It is not a matter of attitude, it is a matter of understanding the process and not just believing what one hears.
    "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."

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Worn out mold , die , tooling = BS

    Disclaimer : that’s the final word lock the thread before this nonsense goes any further !
    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 ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  11. #11

    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    My purely speculative guess is that the narrower ears were to maximize the upper fret access and ease of playability.

    That combined with the 'medium' '64 style neck would probably add up to the ultimate ES 335 configuration as chosen by "GOD" himself.

    That said, my ES 335's have Mickey Mouse ears and dots and sunburst finishes. One with a fat neck, one with a slim neck. Clearly, I owe myself a 335 with a nice Goldilocks sized neck.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    My understanding was that the very early ES guitars with the big ears were challenging to final sand and sanders would often burn through the top veneer. This might be a factor in reducing the ear size. Could be some truth to the dies becoming worn and the replaced/refurbished dies were close to the originals but slightly smaller. Would be interesting to learn if the shape change was deliberate or not.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Elliot Easton's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    There's more variation than even 'narrow horns' and 'Mickey Mouse Ears'. I did a session w/ Andy Summers years ago, and his vintage 335 had two distinctly different shaped cutaway horns, with one rounder and one narrower! "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown". Can you see in the photo how the top horn is rounder than the bottom one?[IMG][/IMG]
    "A little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing."

  14. #14

    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Quote Originally Posted by fakejake View Post
    For cherry reds, I prefer the narrow horn block neck variant. For sunburst, the mickey mouse dot neck. The other way round always looks weird to me.
    Ditto. Although for a dot neck, I prefer natural over sunbursts. I have a 2000 59 Dot and the recent 63 Block - both lefty. Not to mention the ES-330, now that looks smokin' in vintage sunburst! Kudos to Mike Voltz on revitalizing ES "Memphis" I await to see what comes post-move...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Easton View Post
    There's more variation than even 'narrow horns' and 'Mickey Mouse Ears'. I did a session w/ Andy Summers years ago, and his vintage 335 had two distinctly different shaped cutaway horns, with one rounder and one narrower! "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown". Can you see in the photo how the top horn is rounder than the bottom one?[IMG][/IMG]

    I see, I see!

  15. #15

    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    P.S. Apropos of Mr. Summers, I love Andy's solo efforts, particularly his collaboration with Fripp... Elliot did your session work see release? Cheers,

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Elliot Easton's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    My preference is also for the narrower, pointier horn, and cherry is my favorite too. The thing is, my favorite electric guitar of all that I own is my factory lefty, mint, early ‘65, sunburst ES-335 w/ factory Bigsby (since it’s a ‘65, no ‘Custom Made’ plaque, thank goodness), nickel hardware and full width nut. It’s my favorite guitar, and those original sunbursts are actually really pretty, but the bottom line: as a lefty, I was blessed to find and own it in either color!
    PS
    Stays in tune like a champ with domed bridge thumbwheels that allow the bridge to “rock” when you use the Bigsby!




    Last edited by Elliot Easton; 09-01-19 at 05:01 PM.
    "A little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing."

  17. #17
    Formerly Lefty Elmo Steve Craw's Avatar
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    Re: Narrow Ears on 335 (63 Reissue Block Inlays)

    Wider ears on my 1964 ES-345. Hey Elliot, next time your working at Andy's studio, I'll bring this beauty over. if you'd like. I was the piano tuner for your last session at Andy's place.

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