Electric Guitars/Hondo II es-335
QUESTION: Just looking for some info on this Hondo II 335 copy. After mentioning how much I wanted a 335, a lady told me she saw one in a thrift store for $25. I bought this guitar in the following condition: no strings, bridge or stop bar, some of the machine head bushings missing, original tuners would not hold tune, and in need of re-fretting. I bought the missing parts and decided to refret it myself and it turned out real nice. It looks black but when it is really clean it is a deep red/brown. I have had it about 18 years now, and recently gave it to teenage my son to learn to play. He wasn't thrilled with it and returned it to me after a couple years. As I was cleaning it up, I removed the pickups and noticed they were stamped "Patent Applied For" and 'made by gdco' (if I am making it out correctly). I believe this to be a 'lawsuit' guitar, and am curious to it's value with the parts replacements I have done. It is showing it's age but still a good player with great sound. I have less than $80 in it total. Thanks in advance.
ANSWER: Hey Michael,
Thanks for writing! Sorry it took so long to get back to you but I was out of town. This is a lawsuit Hondo. It was most like made in the late 1970s just prior to the lawsuit settling. The indicators are the profile of the headstock which is like Gibson's "open book" headstock as well as the Klutsen tuners. There is a market for these guitars and I'd put a value, once fully restored, of about $600-$700. Let me know if you need advice regarding the restoration. Do no refinish the guitar since that destroys its value. Stay in touch...Johnny
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QUESTION: Thanks for the answer! it was worth the wait. Do you think the pickups are "PAF's" given the stamping? Is the 'made by gdco' indicative of Gibson in some way? I have misplaced through the years the original knobs and truss rod cover, but I have replacements. The TOM bridge and stop bar are Gotoh, I replaced the black pickup rings with cream ones just because I liked the look better, and the tuners are Chinese no names but hold tune really well. I probably should have been more careful with the pieces/parts but in my mind it was just a great deal on a good guitar. How would this devalue the guitar, and where would one find an interested collector? Thanks again.
Thanks for writing back! The pickups are most likely PAFs because it was common practice for Hondo and other copy guitar manufacturers to use brand name parts. The pickup manufacturers did not have an exclusive contract with companies such as Gibson so they appear on a number of other brands. As for the minor parts, such as the knobs and truss rod cover, these can be replaced with originals, just search Ebay for them or email elderlyinstruments.com. The Gotoh parts are after market parts. In fact, I used Gotoh parts for all the Hondo guitars I've owned because they're well made and less expensive than other replacement parts. What counts, when it comes to a guitar's value, is the body/neck being in good shape and maintaining the original finish. Since your Hondo has had only replacement parts added to it, the value remains the same. As for finding a collector, try a posting on Ebay or even your local Craigslist. Let me know if you have any further questions. I'm going out of town for three days but will try to answer any further questions as soon as I get back. Stay in touch...Johnny