EDS 1275 - mid 70's Restoration - Aug 2019 - Final update !!!

Dazza

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1st off HI to everyone.Being a fulltime gigging Les Paul enthusiast I've been an avid observer here for what seems like years, but this is my 1st post ..... and it might be a doozy.Hopefully someone has some background double-neck knowledge as I see there are several owners around here.

Several years ago I picked up an EDS 1275 on the cheap that had been 'home refinished' a sickly blue.Bleah! Since then a luthier mate of mine has stripped it and I reckon it's about time to finish the restoration job.I'm interested in aquiring as much background info as I can too.

Details:
Unfortuneately there's no serial # tho there is an oval impression on the rear of the 6 string headstock from a badge perhaps ?
It has the smaller 12 string headstock.
From memory I recall the pots date code to late '74.
3 T-Tops (covered) and an obviously non stock Dirty Fingers.
Plastic Tulip tuners ( I've only seen metal on small headstock model)

It's definitely 70's, but when ? In 1 place I read there was no production until late 70's , which does'nt fit with '74 pots, and in another read there were limited runs in certain years, so maybe a '75 ?

I wonder if the tuner buttons were replaced, tho I'm sure the tuners themselves are original being 3 on a strip / 6 on a strip.

I'm currently giging on a cruise ship, working our way back from Europe to Florida and satellite internet is slow and costly, so endless surfing can be pretty futile.

Any info/insights anyone can add would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers
Daz
 

G-Minor

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It was probably a custom order explaining the badge. i know some flying v's in that era had them. if te pots are original it should be 74-75.
Can you post pictures sometime?
 

Mr. D

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I been told all the '70s production EDS-1275s had their serial # stamped on the back of the 12 string headstocks. Maybe it is a custom order.

Can you see the original finish anywhere (maybe in the pickup cavities)? Just curious.
 

Dazza

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1275.jpg
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Thanks for the interest lads.
Like I said I'm currently on a cruise ship, we port in Vigo, Spain tomorrow and I only have a few pictures on hand.I've not even personally seen the guitar for a good 5 years, now I come to think of it , hehe.It's with my luthier mate in Vancouver who's doing the refin.I'm always away working on ships but now I have a decent break coming up I'm thinking I should finally get it done.

The necks, body and cavities were all painted over, but in the stripping process you can see it was originally white, tho personally I'll prefer it cherry.The idea is to refinish it in an aged condition that matches with the actual age/condition of the guitar.
Some type of solvent was used before it was painted blue that very slightly melted the neck binding in places, tho not really noticeable, and a couple of side-dot markers are missing.The pickup covers were painted over too, hehe.

A couple years ago my mate (not the teen) took it to a class he was teaching to show the students. We can see the see where he'd got to by that time.

The necks are (I believe) 1 piece maple.

There's a few dents here and there and some cosmetics to clean up,but (from memory) the necks play great and it sounds excellent.I'm looking forward to catching up with it again some day.

Cheers
Daz
 
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Mr. D

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Those are definately the original tuners. What the hell were they thinking when they decided to paint the guitar that color? I think it's hilarious that they painted the pickup covers too! :laugh2:

I've read that Gibson stopped production of the EDS-1275 in '68 and reintroduced them again in '77. My '79 has 3-piece maple necks and I'm assuming the '77s probably had them as well (I'm not an expert, just my best guess).

Are you going to restore it back to white, or are you going to go with the cherry finish? Either way, I hope it turns out nice once it's done.
 

Dazza

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I'll go with the cherry finish.I've never liked white guitars and it's not like refinishing it different will affect the value.It was a (relatively) cheap aquisition and with a small investment will be a great guitar.

Blue pickup covers too.Bloody silly.Whoever owned it possibly just wanted it to look different from all the other 1275's out there, as if they're that common.He certainly achieved that much.
The tuners are original I'm sure.But the buttons don't match any others I've seen from the 70's, they all had the smaller metal buttons.Certainly with the shorter 12 string headstock as they're so close together.And as the tuner keys dont sit uniform on their respective shafts it makes me think they were replaced.

It's been a while but I do remember the necks felt solid and fast, tho it took a bit of getting used to 12 strings on such a narrow neck, hehe.Even with the smaller headstck it's still neck heavy, but I wear my guitars somewhat low and balance is less of an issue.
I briefly owned an Ibanez lawsuit-era model many years before with bolt on necks.It was bloody awful for just that reason.Like playing a long bow.Just the pressure of holding a chord shifted the necks way out of tune.A massive oversight.
I was younger then and maybe taken in by asthetics.Hmm.Around the same time I bought and sold a stunning tobacco flame top 81 Gibson Heritage Elite.My 'one that got away' story.I was too young to know any better then.

Cheers
Daz
 

stinger

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I have a '78 that needs to be restored. The buttons on the tuners on mine are metal, not the ones like you have. The serial number on mine is stamped on the back of one of the necks and from that number I was able to determine that date of mfg. The necks are three piece maple. Other than that I think yours looks identical to mine.

With mine I painted it black cause I didn't like the yellowed white and I replaced my tuners with Schaller mini's. Both of these actions were a huge mistake. The tuners shifted the weight significantly, making the guitar very neck heavy. The refinishing job I did was poor. So now the guitar has been restripped and awaits some restoration. I plan to go for a cherry finish.

Good luck with your restoration.
 

TKOjams

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Can't wait to see the re-fin when it's done. Keep us posted, if ya can.
I had one back in the '80's but got rid of it cuz it was too damn heavy. I wish I still had it now, oh well live and learn.
 

dspelman

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Blue pickup covers too.Bloody silly.Whoever owned it possibly just wanted it to look different from all the other 1275's out there, as if they're that common.He certainly achieved that much.
For a long time these were considered simply useless guitars (despite the Page connection) and I've seen at least three of these used over and over again for movie props (resprayed in various colors including one entire psychedelic nightmare mess) and for *store window display* proppage.

I'm tracking down a couple of them -- I have no idea what condition they're in by now, but I'm sort of hoping that the layers of paint have protected them somewhat <G>. I'm guessing that at least one of them has built up nearly a quarter inch of Krylon over the years.
 

Dazza

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I only just realised Alex Lifeson had the small headstock model.That's the only other one I've found pictures of.Anyone found why they made 2 hs sizes ? Some mid 70's oddity.I could see if the original model had the smaller one and they later changed for easier tuner access, but that's not the case.

With so many guitar forums around I'm surprised we don't see a lot more of these.They must be out there somewhere.

Can anyone show me an example of the oval 'badge' that possibly was attached to the 6 string headstock.You can clearly see the impression in that pic.

Cheers
Daz
 

b-squared

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The oval badge would have had the serial number on it. Sadly, it's not stamped anywhere else on Norlins...

Here's the oval badge on my '76 LP Custom.



BB
 

Mr. D

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I only just realised Alex Lifeson had the small headstock model.That's the only other one I've found pictures of.Anyone found why they made 2 hs sizes ? Some mid 70's oddity.I could see if the original model had the smaller one and they later changed for easier tuner access, but that's not the case.

With so many guitar forums around I'm surprised we don't see a lot more of these.They must be out there somewhere.
I think the late '70's production models all had the smaller headstock on the 12 string neck. I'm guessing maybe the thought was to help better balance the guitar by reducing some weight from the headstock area.

Here's my '79 with the smaller headstock -

 

TKOjams

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Mine was an early to mid '80's and would still appear to have the short headstock.

 

Dazza

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That's a great looking guitar Mr.D.
Once again with the oval metal buttons.

I just found this useful note on frettedamericana.com
They have 2 1975 1275's advertised, both with Dec '74 CTS pots.

"According to Larry Meiners's Gibson Shipment Totals 1937-1979 (p. 20), three hundred and thirty four ES-1275 Double 12 guitars were shipped in 1975, out of a total of eleven hundred and forty-five EDS-1275s shipped between 1974 and 1979.
The actual breakdown is as follows: (1974: 1), (1975: 334), (1976: 14), (1977: 42), (1978: 288), (1979: 466)."

I can't recall the exact date-code month when I looked at mine 5 years ago, except I do remember it being '74.It's probably safe to assume it's a '75, and not the solitary model recorded as shipped in '74.That would be a novelty.
 

Dazza

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I'm going to necro-post in my own very 1st thread - some 9 years later !

To be fair I was asked earlier to keep you posted - and I'm happy to say the restoration of this guitar is finally happening. Never mind it being 9 years since I 1st posted about it, it's been over 15 years since I bought it. Events have kept it from being a priority but now I possibly have a situation where I can use it, and my luthier mate in Vancouver has found the free time. He's gone over everything in its' present state and we're deciding what to replace / reuse for the sake of functionality.

Alex Lifeson / Don Felder have similar models with the shorter 12 string headstock and 'on a plate' tuners with metal buttons. As posted earlier my tuner buttons had been non uniformly replaced by double ring plastics which look awful and are too close together. Apparently I'd found an original new condition Gibson Deluxe 12 string tuner set years ago and forgot, so we'll use them and a new Kluson 6 string set to match. I may restore the original tuner buttons at a later date now that I've found a replacement button source.

We'll install a new harness as the old one looks ratty having been oversprayed with laquer (brilliant job) and is likely 300k pots anyway. Having not seen it in 16 years I've not measured them.

I'd love to know who originally painted the body and pickup covers this colour - but more-so why.

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Dazza

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Well what do you know. It has a serial number long lost under layers of paint.
I can only make out 5 digits though, hmm. Blown up full size on the far right is a mark that looks like paint or a partial number lightly impressed. Perhaps a '7'. If it was it'd make the 6 digit serial quite offset in the oval though. The mystery continues.

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Daz
 
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Dazza

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EDS1275 a.jpg

I'm told this is process is not exactly fun. Hours of scraping and then wire brush in the cavities. Followed by the tedium of picking out paint chips from the grain. I didn't suggest going to such lengths.

But the result is fab. Ready for grain filler & colour.
EDS1275 b.jpg


Daz
 

MineGoes211

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I had a late 70s small headstock version in white. I sold it when I married my first ex. I sure do miss that guitar. Can’t wait to see yours finished!
 

Dazza

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3 of the T Tops had their pole screws replaced with hex screws a la Dimarzio. James at Rewind supplied me with replacements. The covers were painted over too, but they clean up a treat.

EDS1275 c.jpg


Daz
 


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