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'60's 345 dating...

Mark Kane

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
5,734
I just got this a few weeks ago in a super smooth deal off REVERB. It was sold to me as a '67 which it could very well be but I'm thinking it may be a little bit earlier. It's got the higher spaced logo and crown, wide bevel guard, and what looks like original control knobs. I pulled the varitone works and harness and the "uncanned" pot is dated 65/29. It appears stock with no breaks or serious damage. I've never seen an Ivory varitone knob so I'm assuming that was added. I'm really happy with this guitar. I've got a Callaham bridge on it now as the original was mounted with the screw towards the trapeze and half the strings are riding on the screws and buzzing. The bridge is in good shape though so I'll guitar around to flipping it at some point. Serial # 8003XX Anyway, any thoughts....

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Mars Hall

Active member
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
1,824
Cool guitar! Gibson started narrowing the nut width on necks in or after 65. If it’s narrower than 1 and 11/16”, it would be presumed 65 or later, otherwise it could be 65 or earlier.
 

OKGuitar

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
938
Looks to me like a 66. There were lots of changes made between 66 and 67 and not all at once. The wide bevel guard was definitely gone by 67 as were the reflector knobs, although anybody can change those. The higher headstock inlay is a little trickier on 345's because that feature was mostly gone by late 66 but seems to show up later on occasion on 345's especially. The 1 5/8" nut could indicate 65 but the serial says no but Gibson serials are notoriously unreliable from 65-69. See how much fun this is? The pot codes only tell you the earliest it can be but they bought a lot of pots and who knows how long each batch lasted. My guess? The 1 5/8" high inlay neck was left over from 65 but the guitar was built in 66. The serial was reused 4 times --in 66, 67, 68 and 69, so good luck with that as an indicator. One last thing, measure the nut width again but not the nut itself. Measure on the neck just below the nut. That gives you a more accurate reading. The nut can sometimes be proud (not flush) of the fingerboard giving you a larger reading. It sure looks like 1 9/16" (1.5625 if you have calipers) to my eye but photos can be deceiving (and yes, I usually can tell 1 9/16" from 1 5/8" from 1 11/16" by eye). It's rarely exact either. Many, if not most 1 11/16" nuts are slightly under (1.66 or so) on ES's-less true in SGs which are often slightly over. 1 9/16" nuts are often 1.58" which is slightly over. I don't see enough 1 5/8" nuts to have a handle on them. They really don't show up that often-mostly mid 65.
 

Mark Kane

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
5,734
Thanks for all the comments, much appreciated. Your in depth sharing was great as usual Charlie. I knew there wasn't a precise all inclusive answer but wanted to see if maybe there was something new out there I hadn't heard or seen.
 
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