1970s 335-COPY “LAWSUIT”

 Another craigslist find.
Though it has NO logo or name anywhere on the body and neck, this is most likely Japanese and made in the mid-70s, simply by looking at the blank headstock- it  looks EXACTLY like that of a Gibson (open-book style). Guitars with this distinctive design usually date back to the pre-lawsuit era in the 70s. Japanese manufacturers in the 60s and 70s at first mostly copied Fender and Gibson guitars to a ‘T’ (since they were expensive to get overseas, and actually have NO distribution there), looking exactly like their real counterparts, and sometimes surpassing their build quality, differing only in the name (although some outrightly made fake Gibsons and Fenders, copying the name as well). Gibson and Fender later filed a lawsuit with those Japanese manufacturers, hence the name ‘lawsuit guitars’ from that era.

Fast forward to now.

I answered an ad regarding 3 disassembled guitars- 2 hollowbodies and 1 solid body, with matching necks, all for $40. What caught my eye was the red hollowbody. It had no pickups or electronics, and only had little hardware to go with each, if any. The seller said someone already answered the ad before I did, so I had to wait if the other person flakes out or not. He proceeds to tell me he has another guitar on another ad (a les paul copy), also from the 70s, for $60. I replied it really wasn’t something I wanted, but if i got the other 3, id be inclined to buy the les paul copy too. After less than an hour, I got an email saying they’re all mine for $100. The dude probably blew off the first guy  and decided to sell them all to me. More money in one transaction? Sure why not! 😀

When I got home I looked over my haul, and immediately assessed the status of each. One hollowbody was in a bad shape- the floating bridge was badly cut and shaved down and even screwed in to the top. No cracks but has some deep scratches and marred finish in some places, and the binding is coming off. This is best used as a wall decor. The second was supposedly a refinished Peavey solidbody (in metallic purple!), as it had a peavey US-made maple neck that came with it. I couldn’t find a peavey body that matched it though, but the maple neck will come in handy. Probably recoup the money with selling just THAT! But more on that later. The Les Paul copy was a set-neck, but it had a noticeable break repair between the headstock and the neck. Looks structurally solid though, but needs refinishing (it was originally black). Upon further examination, it was indeed a very cheap knock-off. The body is  made of formed plywood, and it was hollow inside! The pickups DO work, but I didn’t play it long enough. This too will either be sold, or just another wall hanger.

Moving on to the red hollowbody, it was in surprisingly decent shape, no cracks or deep scratches, except for the unnatural warp on the area on the top near the neck pickup cavity. It dips an odd way which makes the neck pickup angle down towards the neck too much when its installed. Multiple pickup rings to compensate for the bad angle corrected it later on, making the neck humbucker sit straight on top. The body was unusually thin though, and after installation of the components later, I decided to go back and add a strip of solid pine roughly 1/2″x 4″x 2″ in size, just under where the floating bridge sits, to provide some support for the top and back. The top had started to come down a bit as the strings pressed down on it. The strip of wood is now solidly supporting it, superglued in place. the neck it came with was surprisingly solid and straight with no cracks or dings to make it unplayable, no buzz when i installed strings later. No other hardware came with the guitar.

I proceeded to rob the other hollowbody of its tailpiece and neck screws, and grabbed spare tuners and a floating bridge from my supply cabinet. Also went and decided on picking out the other parts-  500k pots, wires, jack, and matching pickup rings and knobs. Simple electronic wiring, no coiltaps or phase switching. True to its cheapness, I added a ready-made plastic nut to it.
I had a couple of Bill Turner (BOOTSTRAP! He he…) Zebra pickups from a disassembled Rogue HH Ash, and slapped it on the guitar. Wiping down the grime and dirt from the past 3 decades, and then polishing it up a bit, it turned out quite nicely, i must say! Just look at the pic. 🙂

Sound wise i knew the pickups will do well, coming from the original Rogue body. The hollowbody added a sweet harmonic feedback-prone tone to it, making it rock as I plugged it in the Prosonic. WOOHOO!!! 😀

So now I pretty much satisfied my craving for a RED hollowbody guitar. Ive been jonesin’ for a red one for some time now. I wanted either a cherry or fiesta or Ferrari red, something lighter than the dark Wine Red the P93 Riviera had. Id have preferred a set-neck guitar, but for 4 reasons, this will do well: 1) its old/vintage (at LEAST 35 years old), 2) its HOLLOWBODY (not semi-hollow like the Riviera, no big block of wood running down the middle, and hollow much like a Casino is), 3) its RED (!!!), and 4) it was cheap!

Yet another craigslist rough gem polished, resurrected from the dead. Now excuse me, i-ma-go make some noise!