Holiday Giggle

OK, lessee here, uh, dot neck? check. Orange label? check. Stoptail? check. Double cutaway, two humbuckers and red? check. Gotta be a 335. Is it me or is this not a real 335. I don't mean to ridicule the reader who sent this but I gotta believe that the joke is on me. Looks like a legit Jazzmaster on the left, so I'm thinking, yeah, the joke is on me.

I get a lot of emails asking me to identify the year of a particular ES-335, 345 or 355. I’m more than happy to date your guitar and tell you some interesting ways to date them yourself. We all know there are fakes out there and some of them are very convincing, so I can’t blame someone when they send me a photo of what they think is an ES-335 that turns out to be someones very clever imitation. The nice folks in the Far East have gotten very good at imitation and, as they say, it’s the sincerest form of flattery. The photo I got yesterday wasn’t flattering anybody. In fact, it was more of a cold slap in the kisser than flattery. Wow. This guitar couldn’t look less like a 335. Now, to be fair, I wrote the owner and told him that I thought it was a joke but that I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I still think I was being punk’d but I played it straight with the gentleman who sent me the photo. I dunno, maybe the obvious to me isn’t so obvious to others.  I did send him a side by side just in case I wasn’t being clear about my firm belief that this guitar wasn’t made by Gibson, although I have to say some of the Norlins got pretty close (remember the Sonex?). So, for my holiday giggle, can you tell which is the real Gibson and which is the fake. First prize is a week in Schenectady. Second prize is two weeks. Just a quick update-I heard back from the unfortunate owner and he says it was no joke. I guess what’s obvious to me may not be clear to folks who have less familiarity with guitars than I do. This is, by the way, exactly why the Chinese and others can get away with selling fakes. Do your homework before you buy. A 335 is a pretty big chunk of change for most of us.

2 Responses to “Holiday Giggle”

  1. Michael says:

    I was just Googling “ES-335 images” a few days ago to get some headstock info and came across one of these fakes…advertised as a GIBSON, for $479.00, new. I mean…are some people really that dumb? If so, that’s kinda scary.

  2. OK Guitars says:

    Not so much dumb. When I first started paying really close attention to 335s, I wasn’t aware of the difference between Mickey Mouse ears and pointy ears. They all looked the same to me. Now I can tell with one hand tied behind my back. I think it’s more about really paying attention. It’s also the “too good to be true” rule. You know it, I’m sure.

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