'58 ES-175...need guidance

mad dog

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Why do you like it on the body better than the heel?
Does it hang straighter?

Yes, it does hang straighter. Feels much better. With deeper archtops, always feels to me like the body can tip away from me, when the strap attachment is at the heel. Not well balanced. With thinner hollowbodies, the heel spot works fine. My luthier suggested the rim attachment with the Silvertone. Good call. Feels perfectly balanced, and no twist to the strap as it goes over your shoulders.

My deepest archtop now - a vintage Guild X-175 is not quite as deep as that ES-175 you're looking at. The Guild has the strap button on the rim; I'm happy to have it that way. The Guild is no doubt heavier than that Gibson. The weight hangs from the strap attachment points straight down. Feels more secure than it would be to have the weight all in front of the attachment point at the heel.
 

charlie chitlin

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I have a button on my fat old Gretsch, but I can't remember where...and it's in the shop.
These are minor considerations.
The first order of business is to bring it on home!
 

charlie chitlin

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;)
 

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Telekarster

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I'll try to live with that for awhile and see what happens.
I've never been much of an acoustic guy, so I've had little chance to get accustomed to that.
When I do, it doesn't feel bad, per se...just very different...in a Joan Baez sort of way ;)

FWIW I've tried to get used to that sort of strap tie but I've always found it to be incredibly annoying. If I'm buying a guitar like yours and it has a mod for a heel button, and it didn't come that way originally, I would have no problems buying the guitar i.e. that mod would be a benefit to me, not a detractor from $ in my view ;)
 

KokoTele

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FWIW, I find position #3 and #5 to feel about the same while I'm holding a guitar standing up. #4 feels like it gets in the way a little bit. #2 makes the guitar feel like it's going to flop forward.

1642105029475.png
 

Matt G

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I put a second strap button on my '69 Gibson Crest the day I bought it. . . .
Not to hijack the thread, @jayyj, but I've got a '72 Crest with a broken tailpiece that I've never been able to get replaced. Cracked tailpieces seem to have been a problem with at least one generation of ES-175s, too. I think the Crest has a cut-down ES-175 tailpiece (same general design but on a much shallower body, so can't be swapped one-for-one). If you or anyone else can recommend someone who can provide a Crest tailpiece replacement, I'd be much obliged.

I haven't entirely given up on getting Gibson to fix it, but they've never been at all helpful.
 

charlie chitlin

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FWIW, I find position #3 and #5 to feel about the same while I'm holding a guitar standing up. #4 feels like it gets in the way a little bit. #2 makes the guitar feel like it's going to flop forward.

View attachment 939811
Very thorough! Thanks, Eric.
Despite the balance issues, if I do it, I'm set on #2.
I figure it's the least invasive.
Down the road, if somebody wants to restore it, i figure a new heel cap can make the repair undetectable.
 

jayyj

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Not to hijack the thread, @jayyj, but I've got a '72 Crest with a broken tailpiece that I've never been able to get replaced. Cracked tailpieces seem to have been a problem with at least one generation of ES-175s, too. I think the Crest has a cut-down ES-175 tailpiece (same general design but on a much shallower body, so can't be swapped one-for-one). If you or anyone else can recommend someone who can provide a Crest tailpiece replacement, I'd be much obliged.

I haven't entirely given up on getting Gibson to fix it, but they've never been at all helpful.

No, Gibson don't have the greatest rep for vintage repairs. You'd have more luck with somewhere like Gryphon in Palo Alto for vintage stuff.

I think the Crest tailpiece is exactly as you describe, an ES175 tailpiece cut off after the uppermost screw holes with just enough left over to add a third hole in the center. My Crest has a broken and bodged back together tailpiece and lives in the case with a Bigsby B3 on the guitar, but I just pulled it out and compared it to this tailpiece (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202237476049) and I'm 99% sure if you cut down the hinge section you would have an exact fit for a Crest.

How do you like the guitar? I don't meet many other Crest owners! I'm a big fan of mine, it's such a unique twist on the 330/335 design and I think they're very underrated.
 

Matt G

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No, Gibson don't have the greatest rep for vintage repairs. You'd have more luck with somewhere like Gryphon in Palo Alto for vintage stuff.

I think the Crest tailpiece is exactly as you describe, an ES175 tailpiece cut off after the uppermost screw holes with just enough left over to add a third hole in the center. My Crest has a broken and bodged back together tailpiece and lives in the case with a Bigsby B3 on the guitar, but I just pulled it out and compared it to this tailpiece (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202237476049) and I'm 99% sure if you cut down the hinge section you would have an exact fit for a Crest.

How do you like the guitar? I don't meet many other Crest owners! I'm a big fan of mine, it's such a unique twist on the 330/335 design and I think they're very underrated.
Thanks, @jayyj. My Crest's tailpiece was also bodged back together (my father had a well-meaning friend who fancied himself a master metalworker, but it's a mess). I fear that cutting down one of those would just make another mess, but perhaps the manufacturer could do that before plating it. I'll look into it.

One of life's great blessings was that as a lad, I took guitar lessons in a small town with a ridiculously big and well-stocked guitar shop. It was chockers with vintage kit which most people only dream of playing. And for the price of a lesson, I got to sit for hours using anything they had - and I did. In terms of straight playability and tone, my hands-down favourite was an early-'70s Howard Roberts Custom. But another favourite, and the prettiest thing in the shop by far, was the Crest. A few years went past, they still had it (it was fabulously expensive, even back then when it was totally out of fashion), but I had some dosh and I bought it 'new old stock'.

It's sweet to play and sounds great, although mine now wants a long spell with a vintage repair / restoration shop. Underrated, I think, because they're so rare most people will never get a chance to try one.
 

jayyj

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Thanks, @jayyj. My Crest's tailpiece was also bodged back together (my father had a well-meaning friend who fancied himself a master metalworker, but it's a mess). I fear that cutting down one of those would just make another mess, but perhaps the manufacturer could do that before plating it. I'll look into it.

One of life's great blessings was that as a lad, I took guitar lessons in a small town with a ridiculously big and well-stocked guitar shop. It was chockers with vintage kit which most people only dream of playing. And for the price of a lesson, I got to sit for hours using anything they had - and I did. In terms of straight playability and tone, my hands-down favourite was an early-'70s Howard Roberts Custom. But another favourite, and the prettiest thing in the shop by far, was the Crest. A few years went past, they still had it (it was fabulously expensive, even back then when it was totally out of fashion), but I had some dosh and I bought it 'new old stock'.

It's sweet to play and sounds great, although mine now wants a long spell with a vintage repair / restoration shop. Underrated, I think, because they're so rare most people will never get a chance to try one.

I think the 175 tailpiece would be an easy fix - it just needs one straight-line cut, the corners rounding off and a hole drilling. You could either do it with a nickel one and plate it after or go straight to gold and touch up with a gold paint pen (given where it is you'll barely ever see that bit anyway so it doesn't need to be perfect.

Whereabouts are you? There's got to be somewhere with the right level of expertise to sort it out for you. I'm UK based so don't know the US wonderfully well but could ask around. As a starting point though Gryphon mentioned before is a good west coast option, TR Crandall in New York over the other side, Joe Ensalaco in Chicago, Holger Notzel in the South are all very highly regarded repair people specialising in vintage.
 

charlie chitlin

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These tailpieces appear to me to be soldered.
Solder doesn't stick to steel, but it will stick to knickel plating.
Maybe they were brazed before plating.
Either way, if one comes apart, it shouldn't be a difficult repair.
The biggest hassle would be plating.
 

charlie chitlin

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Better...
And...as you can see, I'm giving the headstock strap attachment a go.
I'm getting used to it, but I also happen to have a vintage button and screw at the ready.
 

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charlie chitlin

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There...I did it and I'm glad. ;)
It helps that I had a vintage button and screw kicking around.
I tried the strap on the headstock for quite awhile, but 45 years of history wouldn't allow me to get comfortable.
The balance is not perfect.
My ES225 has the button on the shoulder and it hangs right, I just couldn't bring myself to drill a hole there.
The heel is black and easily put back to stock appearance if someone in the future wants to.
 

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Blazer

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Steve Howe from Yes had been asked how he could amplify his ES-175 through Fender full stacks without it exploding in feedback. His reply: roll all the low end out of it, the guitar has enough of its own.
 




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