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Update and evaluation regarding this rare Gibson ES330 Single pick-up model from 1962 – Plus new low price – Was £2290 – Now £2000

If you wish to appraise this ES330 on how it performs then there is little to fault – Keeping your playing  to a more simplistic and melodic format – ie the blues style of Gary Clarke Jnr, or the more simplistic pop styles of riffs of say The Beatles Day Tripper and it is fine – It ain’t a SRV or EVH guitar – Any potential change of pick-up is your shout but well worth trying first as there is not a lot to fault about it – Volume and tone pots function with only a hint of ‘crackle’ around the lower levels – The frets are fine with loads of life in them – wide and not high (but the recent fret dress will have reduced that a touch to where it is now) – but still enough height to bend – No hint of a re-fret required, unless of course you had a specific requirement to do so – but my guess is 5-10 years of good playing in it still – Plays well with 10’s and I’d probably try 11’s or 10-52’s – The  rosewood fretboard is fine and only shows light nail wear around first 2/3 frets but no issue
Body/neck join fine – no issues and no ‘lacquer/splits’ in that area that might have been created as ‘stress’ from a fall or missue
The headstock repair looks worse than it is – more of a split/fracture than a clean break – It is more than acceptable regarding stability, but I dare say that if the repair work had been carried out today, by  a competent repairer, then it would have been touched up to the point that it would be very hard to detect
84909 is the serial number – only the 4th digit is hard to read
Neck finish is smooth – but nitro lacquer worn to wood around the 2nd to 7th fret area – Lacquer on body is mainly lacquer checking with only an area on the front/rim that is worn to wood from your right forearm
Overall, a 50 plus year old guitar with plenty of vintage character – Yes you could buy a cleaner example and I’ve seen them on Reverb or similar but effectively with a weak pound £4K is now minimum pricing and that excludes shipping and tax/vat and many now come with a £5-6000 price tag
I could play it as it is – if you changed the pick-up you’d probably need a P90 style in a humbucker size case, so look at the likes of Oil City or Bare Knuckle but I think the current humbucker works as it is  – It has a history and maybe some of that looks worse than it is yet it is still eminently playable – To me there is no gain replacing retro parts for original parts, like the tuners and bridge, as vintage parts now attract silly prices, with no guarantee they function adequately anymore

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