Kalamazoo 60’s Rosewood?

GuitarTalk

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Hi guys,

This may not be the right subforum for this question as it doesn’t necessarily apply to vintage les pauls (but rather ES-style Gibsons of the 60s):

I have 1964/1965 ES-330, is there a possibility it has indian rosewood on it? I know that most sources say that the Kalamazoo plant (where this guitar was made) stopped ordering more Braz in 1966.

I know you’ll ask for photos but I don’t have any at this time.

Thanks in advance for your help! I haven’t seen a single listing for <=1965 ES guitar that doesnt claim the board’s braz.

PS. I found this random 1965 ES on a shop’s site (though based on serial number, it’s more likely a 66’), that claims the board is braz but to me it screams Indian.

https://www.vintage-guitar.de/detailsitem_3318_Gibson-ES-330-TD.html

Let me know what you think :)
 

rockstar232007

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BRW was phased out by '64, but it is a good possibility.

I knew someone who had a '64 SG, with a BRW fretboard.
 

GuitarTalk

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BRW was phased out by '64, but it is a good possibility.

I knew someone who had a '64 SG, with a BRW fretboard.
Official print sources like this one refer to 1966:

 

eric ernest

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PS. I found this random 1965 ES on a shop’s site (though based on serial number, it’s more likely a 66’), that claims the board is braz but to me it screams Indian.

Let me know what you think :)
That board is screaming Brazilian to me...
 

Pete M

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The link you posted to hardly "screams IRW". I've had quite a few boards that were definitely BRW, but when you get them on a guitar, well they just look like fretboards. People could mistake them for Indian, and a lot of people have a preconception of what they think BRW should look like. To me the stereotypical characteristic of Indian rosewood is that it has stripes and tends to have a grey/purple colour to it. This one is way too brown. BRW tends to have chocolate brown to orange hues and it also quite often has dark brown to black streaks and stripes which are less uniform that Indian. To me this looks like Brazilian:

 
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GuitarTalk

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I meant it was starting to be. Pretty much every guitar I've seen/played after that, had IRW boards.
Ah true, well I have yet to see an es-330 from 1965 or 1964 that has an Indian rosewood board / an ad that doesnt claim it does :hmm:

After cleaning the board, mine does in fact look brazilian, dark with red pigments/swirls in certain spots
32B7F866-4F06-432E-B652-93B4E1B7CB9E.jpeg
 

Axis39

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I had a '68 ES-340 that had a beautiful, dark, with red swirls here and there, fretboard. I am sure it was IRW. It was darker, oilier and smoother than the board on my '70 SG. But, even the board on my SG was reddish, and super smooth and shiny.

A lot of my more modern Gibsons have more porous looking RW boards. The color is kinda all over the place, but tends to be grayer.

I'm no expert... I am just throwing out my anecdotal info (not intending to muddy the waters, but....). I am also hesitant to definitely state one wood over another through pics.
 

Cozmik Cowboy

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Does it matter?

It takes an inherently good ear, with a lot of experience, to hear the difference between IRW & BRW in an acoustic body; if you think you're hearing the difference in an electric's fretboard, you might want to adjust your meds :hmm:
 

GuitarTalk

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Yes, it does matter. Value and honest advertising is pretty important for a guitar trader... of course it matters... a lot. Couldn't give less of a sh*t about the tonal differences
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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Does it matter?

It takes an inherently good ear, with a lot of experience, to hear the difference between IRW & BRW in an acoustic body; if you think you're hearing the difference in an electric's fretboard, you might want to adjust your meds :hmm:
377538


As a Martin acoustic fan this is so the case. The top and its bracing have more to do with the tone than the back and sides. Mahogany and rosewood is clearly different.

Cork sniffery imwo.
 

efstop

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View attachment 377538

As a Martin acoustic fan this is so the case. The top and its bracing have more to do with the tone than the back and sides. Mahogany and rosewood is clearly different.

Cork sniffery imwo.
I played three different variations of the J-45 body. The walnut was way too bright, the mahogany was better but the rosewood sides and back was the sound I was seeking, having owned a D-35.
 

GuitarTalk

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Indian rosewood is for poor people, debate settled. :yesway::yesway:
 

Bill Hicklin

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Gibson stopped ordering Braz in '66, but that doesn't mean they stopped using the stocks they had. Same reason PAFS can turn up on mid-60s gits (usually gold ones)
 


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