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To drill or not to drill - a question for dealers, makers, and collectors

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  • To drill or not to drill - a question for dealers, makers, and collectors

    I LOVE my '49 Gibson ES-150. Plays, sounds, and looks great. Its condition: very good. It's all original, and the case (probably original, but I bought the guitar used, so I can't say for sure) has a new handle but is otherwise period-correct. The old P-90 pickup sings. Normal wear and body checking, but nothing serious. One of the tuners is bent, but all six work fine.

    Here's what I'm wondering: I've avoided adding a strap button out of fear the drill hole would devalue it. Instead, I tie the strap to the headstock, Pete Seeger-style. The result is that it's a little harder to play than it would be if it had (like my other guitars) a strap button at the neck heel. It's not impossible to play, but it is kind of awkward.

    So what do you think? Should I keep the guitar all-original or add a strap button? How much would a drill hole at the heel bring down the guitar's value?


  • #2
    hmmm...are you planning on selling it? If not, IMHO, make it yours. Add the button. You won't be the first...
    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'


    • #3
      I personally wouldn't on a well known brand of that vintage. Get a strap that isn't slippery and it should stay put fairly well.


      • #4
        Daddy Mac - I usually go that way, but with this guitar, I'm hesitating. Even though they're not high-end guitars, the old 150s are slowly appreciating, and I'm looking ten years or so down the road.

        Koiwoi - Yup, I'm doing that. My nylon strap has been making me crazy, so I went to the local shoe repair shop and ordered a 3"x4' strip of medium-weight leather. It should be in in a week or two and cost about $7. (When you know your size, you don't need an adjustable strap!)

        But aside from the slippage, it just hangs a little bit wrong. Certain positions are hard to reach. Guess I can get used to it.

        Other opinions welcome!
        Last edited by Delmont; 05-25-2014, 08:32 AM.