I have several guitars but the one with the most interesting story is my Red 2002 Ephiphone ES-335 DOT with a 70’s Vintage Bigsby tremolo: “Big Red”. It hangs on the wall in my living room next to a Back to the Future Movie Poster (Yes, I know its not exactly like the one in the movie, but it is close enough for me.)
This guitar I found on eBay January of 2016 with a very detailed and passionate product listing (see the text from the listing at the bottom of this post). I fell in love with it.
After winning it on eBay I was greeted with the following message from the seller:
“…By the way…the guitar was named ” Big Red ” I bought her new in 2002 and it was my ” stay at home,,never leave the house guitar” The artwork on the case was painted by me personally.. the wolf image on the case was taken from a 1951 deck of pinup girl playing cards which were purchased by an infantryman stationed in Korea during the war at a PX near wei sham bu ( spelling ?) The guy loaned the cards to me, so that I could copy it and do the painting…
Be nice to Big Red,,and she will be good to you as well,,,
I think the picture on the case adds a lot of character:
I tested it out and honestly the sound was dull and there was a lot of 60hz noise. The noise would go away when I touched the bridge or strings. I traced the issue down to the bridge not being grounded when the Bigsby upgrade was added. You see, the old bridge was grounded via a wire inside the hollow body. That wire was still there but the bridge was not. The old bridge position was decorated with star badges but the Bigsby wasn’t connected to this ground wire when it was installed. I added a jumper wire from the old bridge position to the Bigsby and the noise was gone and it sounded perfect. The moral of the story: Ground your bridges people!
You can see the jumper wire from the old bridge position to the Bigsby in the picture below. It’s not attractive, but it worked. Basically, it was a troubleshooting step that worked and I never got around to installing a more elegant solution. One day I’ll run a wire on the inside.
I also added chrome pickup covers which I believe adds a lot of class to the appearance. Adding them was pretty straight forward. I put a dab of silicon on top of the pickups, slid the cover in place, soldered them to the pickup backings using a solder gun with sufficient power (this is the trick really), and then reinstalled them.
Some might find it strange, but I consider this guitar to be one of my prize possessions. I believe this is because the prior owner clearly loved it and I feel that I have a duty to care for it now like he would have. Also: Back to the Future…
The text from the eBay listing of the guitar:
TODAY FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION,,,I OFFER MY PRIZED CUSTOMIZED 2002 EPIPHONE ES335 DOT GUITAR,.. I BOUGHT THIS GUITAR NEW, STILL IN THE BOX IN 2002 I HAVE PAMPERED IT AND TREATED IT WITH KID GLOVES SINCE… THIS GUITAR IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION,,,THE INSIDES STILL HAVE THAT NEW GUITAR SMELL….
THIS BABY HAS BEEN QUITE CUSTOMIZED.,,,,.A 1970’s VINTAGE BIGSBY B7 TAILPIECE..,,(BIG DIFFERENCE FROM THE JUNK MADE TODAY),,,,,,,A GIBSON ES335 PICKGUARD,,,,,,,A GIBSON SWITCH SURROUND,,,GROVER TUNERS,,,,BONE NUT,,,GIBSON WITCH HAT KNOBS,,,,,GIBSON HUMBUCKING PICKUPS (I AM NOT SURE OF THE MODEL) I AM ALSO INCLUDING A HARDSHELL CASE,, THIS GUITAR HAS BEEN SET UP WITH .010 TO .046 STRINGS,,THE ACTION IS INCREDIBLE AND THE GUITAR SOUNDS FANTASTIC,,,, PLUGGED IN OR NOT !!
THE BODY OF THIS GUITAR FEATURES A SOLID MAHOGANY CENTER BLOCK..AND THE BODY IS BOUND WITH SINGLE PLY VINTAGE AGED WHITE BINDING..THIS IS THE ORIGINAL BINDING,, THE NEWER MODELS USE PLAIN WHITE BINDING…..THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO SCRATCHES,,NICKS ,,DENTS OR ANY OTHER UGLINESS ON THIS BABY,,,SHE’S JUST VERY,,,VERY CLEAN!!!