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80's Era 335 Dot Inlay Question

YourBlueRoom

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May 6, 2022
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I recently bought a post Norlin ES-335 manufactured in December 1986. The dot inlays are a bit ill defined or deteriorated around the edges. I did find pictures of some other examples from the late 80's that seem to have the same characteristic. Is this common on Gibson guitars from this era? Is it caused by age, substandard inlay material or poor manufacturing? I appreciate any insight anyone can provide.
 

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Strings Jr.

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Jan 17, 2016
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Perhaps Randy has an answer:
Sorry, but I don't have a definitive answer.
Age? I doubt it. Doesn't show up on earlier guitars.
Substandard material? I doubt that too. If so, all the inlays would be bad.
Poor manufacturing? Most likely. When Henry took over, one of the first things he did was have a massive layoff of employees in all areas of the plant. Didn't go by seniority. Not really sure what he went by, but I remember a lot of the older, more experienced people being let go, never to return. That, coupled with intense cost-cutting measures, took it's toll on quality.
 
Last edited:

YourBlueRoom

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Joined
May 6, 2022
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2
Sorry, but I don't have a definitive answer.
Age? I doubt it. Doesn't show up on earlier guitars.
Substandard material? I doubt that too. If so, all the inlays would be bad.
Poor manufacturing? Most likely. When Henry took over, one of the first things he did was have a massive layoff of employees in all areas of the plant. Didn't go by seniority. Not really sure what he went by, but I remember a lot of the older, more experienced people being let go, never to return. That, coupled with intense cost-cutting measures, took it's toll on quality. In this case, I can imagine him trying to stretch the tool life on the bits for the inlays, resulting in a smaller hole that had to be "filled" around the edges.

Thank you for the insight! The more I look at guitars from this era the more I see the same inlay issue - which makes me feel better that there is nothing out of the ordinary with my 335. This is a picture of a 1987 SG Special...

1667834679304.png
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,196
I wonder if there are similar trends for trapezoids, parallelogram, and block inlays during the same period, or it's localized to 'bad dots' because they are smaller...?
 
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