This lovely old Gibson ES330 Semi Acoustic guitar dates back to 1968.
It has been well looked after and cherished by its owner (one of my regulars).
What had started out as a simple problem soon turned into a long and complicated repair. The jack socket had come loose and when the owner tightened it up all the electrics stopped working. This is a common fault with many types of jack sockets because the connecting cables often break if the jack socket is allowed to rotate. This was the cause of this jack socket failure.
To repair this faulty jack meant stripping the guitar down, taking out all the electrics through the pickup cavity and making the necessary repair.
A Convoluted Scenario
Due to the guitar’s age the wiring had become rigid and brittle. Any slight movement to the components or the wiring resulted in a minute fracture in the wiring circuit resulting in an intermittent fault.
The value of a vintage guitar is determined by several factors
- The make
- The condition
- The functionality
- The authenticity
To remove and replace all of this 330’s electrical wiring and components would detract from its authenticity and therefore decrease its value. However, it could be argued that parts have to be changed and upgraded for the guitar to function properly. Should all the working parts on a valuable vintage guitar such as this one (including the wiring) be continually maintained and repaired?
Take part in the poll.
Vote functionality if you think that it is more important to change and replace parts as necessary for the sake of functionality.
Vote authenticity if you think that a vintage instrument should retain all of their original parts and remain completely authentic.
In this instance the guitar was repaired using its existing wiring and components. It was painstaking work as any slight movement, tugging, pulling or distortion in the wiring would lead to another failure in the circuit.
I am happy to report that the guitar is now fully functional, playing beautifully and remains completely authentic, but for how long is yet to be determined.
Should an old vintage beauty such as this one be kept completely original, even if it becomes very labour intensive and costly to do so?
Or should all faulty parts (such as perishable cables etc) be replaced to keep the guitar in tiptop functional condition?
At what point should the old be replaced by the new?
I would be very interested to read your views on this so please feel free to make a comment.