2013 Retrospective: pickup switches of my guitar collection.  Just because I care about them.  That’s right.

  • 2009 Les Paul Special
  • 1966 ES-330
  • 2009 American Standard Stratocaster
  • 1966 ES-330 (again!)
  • 2012 SG Standard P-90

1966 Gibson ES-330 (plus a Toronto street scene).  

The Epiphone version of this guitar was the Casino.  At well under 7 pounds, this guitar is light as a feather (well…a heavy feather anyway…).  One day I hope to find a 1968 ES-330.  ‘68 was the year they went to the “long neck” on which the the neck join is moved up by several frets (from 15 to 19 maybe?  I can’t remember exactly…), making access to the top-most frets easier.  The ES-335, 345 and 355 always had this join, but it took until 1968 to find it on the 330.


NOTHING says “Christmas” like guitar shopping at Toronto’s much-loved vintage guitar boutique, Capsule Music!:

  1. Wow…I had never even heard of this model before…it’s a 1981 Gibson Firebird CMT.  I like Firebirds enough normally, but this one is really interesting and only $2,350!
  2. Refinished 1967 Epi Casinos.  Yes, refins, but EXCELLENT refins!  And the price reflects the mods nicely at $1,999 - like ½ to 1/3 of the price of an all original 67 Casino!  Unleash your inner John Lennon!
  3. Cool vintage resonators!  On the right is a 1921 National Style 1 tenor at $2,100, and on the left is a 1930 National Style 1 mandolin at $2,400.
  4. TRUCK!
  5. Too quote David Lindley…  "if I had money, I tell you what I’d do, I’d go downtown and buy a 3-30 or two!  I’m crazy ‘bout a 3-30!“  (see below …) It’s a lovely Gibson USA ES-330 in blue - a rare colour even for this modern example.  $2,300
  6. Nice, but recent.  ES-335 in "faded” finish.
  7. I think someone boogered on this Boogie!  :D
  8. Hofner basses - paired with #2 above and unleash your inner Betales!
  9. 1964 Thunderbird IV.  $7,000!
  10. For my mate guitarlust!  A lovely lefty Les (Paul)!


Shopping shopping shopping…

  1. Custom Shop Tele.  Anyone know why that bridge is like that?  I have seen them on a few Teles…and I have no idea what they are supposed to “do”!
  2. Custom Shop Custom Deluxe with the “Closet Classic” treatment!
  3. ES-355.  Don’t see many of these around!
  4. Rain on the scarecrow
  5. Nice discount on a particularly lovely ES-195
  6. Wait…is this an Epiphone version of an ES-175?!?  Why was I not informed?!?
  7. This is a lovely VOS ES-330 on “sale” at $3,250

Even more cool stuff from The 12th Fret guitar shop in Toronto this week:

  1. Very cool 1960 Gibson ES-330TC.  T for “Thinline”, “C” for cutaway.  If there was a “D” in there it would have “Double” pickups.
  2. Vintage Gibson acoustics.  I think that’s a vintage Martin 0-18 on the left.  I love the “0” size.
  3. Vintage Gibson ES-350.
  4. ES-350 (agian)
  5. When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go…DOWNTOWN!
  6. 1980s ES-175.
  7. Another look at that furry Esquire!
  8. Eastman Archtop.
  9. Ladies, you are taking a chance wearing those Montreal Canadiens jerseys in downtown Toronto!  ;)

A few of the Gibsons in my collection.

  1. My newest and bestest Gibson - 2011 Standard “Exclusive” in bullion gold for Sam Ash USA.
  2. 2012 Nighthawk Studio.  I bought this at the Guitar Center on West 14th in Manhattan, and added the pickup covers because I don’t really like exposed coils…
  3.  2009 ES-339 - the best guitar trade I have ever made.  this guitar is brilliant.
  4. 2005 ES-335 VOS
  5. 2010 Les Paul Special Double Cut
  6. 1966 ES-330

Usually when I hear the word “knob”, it is being used by someone derogatorily with reference to me (or some recent behaviour of mine), e.g. “F*ck but that DeeBee™ is knob!” or “In my life I have never so much as met as big a knob as you, DeeBee™, and trust me I have met some pretty f*cking huge knobs in my time…”

But in the context of this post, “knob” refers strictly to “guitar controls”, and not “bellends”, “wankers”, or “boner-biting dick-fart f*ckfaces”.  Just thought I would clear that up before we start.

There’s a nice little cross section of Gibson knobs here, including “witch hat” knobs, which may be my favourite knob name, and “bells” which are my favourite design, but the name ain’t so great…  

Also, you’ll notice that the Ricky knobs are labeled…I am guessing this is because Ric has an arrangement of the tone and volume knobs that is different from Gibson - so if you are used to playing Gibsons, you will be perpetually reaching for the wrong knob (i.e. tuning the tone down when you meant to be turning the volume down and vice versa).

PS: Reaching for the wrong knob is the 3rd leading cause of violent death in Canada.

  1. 1966 Gibson ES-330. 
  2. 1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior
  3. 2009 Gibson ES-339
  4. 1997 Rickenbacker 360
  5. 1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior (again!)
  6. 1968 Gibson SG Special

Growing up in the 80s I was not partial to semi-hollow guitars.  It was the age of Van Halen (at least where I lived it was…) and kids were consciously trying to reject all that had gone before and create something different from the decades that had come before, something that was NOT the 60s or 70s.  Hence (IMO) the ridiculous hair and fashion of that decade! ;)

Anyhoo: compared to Eddie Van Halen’s inventory of bizarre looking partscaster guitars, an ES-335 like the one above (a 2005 Custom Shop 1963 Reissue VOS) looked so incredibly old-fashioned, and my friends and I wanted nothing to do with them!

Then a few years ago, my cousin lent me his 1972-ish Gibson ES-325.  The 325 was a short lived model that was a less expensive version of the 335 - it had mini humbuckers and a control plate to which all the electrics were fastened (like on a Stratocaster).   His guitar was so nice and played so well that a couple of decades of ambivalence regard semi-hollow guitars evaporated inside about 10 minutes!  Since then I have owned several semi-hollow (a couple of ES-330s, a 339, a 335 - above - and a 50th Anniversay Reissue Epiphone Casino), and I can’t imagine life without them!


More shopping at the Long & McQuade Toronto store:

  1. Dig the crazy top on this Custom Shop VOS ES-330! 
  2. Used Sherwood Green AVRI Stratocaster
  3. A new SG (with the new zero fret and automatic tuners…) in a new finish the price tag said was called “Trans Black”
  4. Various Stratocasters, including that AVRI in rare Sherwood Green.
  5. Gretsch
  6. Es-339s and a lovely LPC Black Beauty.
  7. Two Epiphone Emperor Swingsters.  My cousin has one of these.  He calls it the “Sphincter”. :D