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Help.. [ epiphone olympic special ]

Help.. [ epiphone olympic special ]
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:43:37 PM »
I think my guitar is a 3/4 size Epiphone Olympic. When I bought it in 1980, I was told that it was made in 1963 but the serial number stamped on the back of the neck is 320060 which I read somewhere dates it to 1965 - after they'd stopped making 3/4 size guitars :-). It's got a few scars from before I got it but just superficial, only problem is that the pickup has packed in. Anyone got any ideas on whether I should try and get the pickup rewound, or whether it'd be best to get a new pickup put on there. If anyone has any ideas about age and value I'd welcome that as well.


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Epiphone Olympic
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2010, 12:17:55 AM »
Hi Al,
well, it is a nice old guitar, but I don't think it's a '63.
Is yours 22 3/4" scale rather than 24 3/4"? They had the same body and neck sizes according to the catalogues, just a slightly shorter scale.
You are right that the serial number suggests 1965, and to me it looks more like a mid 1960s Epiphone Olympic Special, particularly this one in the 1966 Epiphone catalogue - the same body shape. Notice the earlier body shape in the 1964 Epiphone catalogue - different to yours.
Another thing you can do is take the controls off, and try and read the pot codes - if the dates are visible it might also give another piece of evidence.
Here are the Epiphone Olympic shipping figures by the way - they were 1960s Epiphones best seller.
I'd get the pickup rewound personally

« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2010, 08:27:37 PM »
Hi Jules,
The neck is 243/4" long, The fretboard is only 18" :-). When I bought it someone had just brought it in from the states - all we knew was that it was an epiphone and sounded good. You're right the body does look like an Olympic special - I thought I'd read that they only did a double pickup version which was what threw me. Got any ideas how much it might cost to get the pickup rewound (and where would be best to get it done) , and what the guitar might be worth.
I've mostly been playing acoustic, (well with the pickup being bust), and have a nice L'Arrivee parlour guitar for that, but I need to play the epiphone again. My friends keep telling me I should get a new pickup put on it as they're loads better - but it sounded fine to me when it was working.

Dave W

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Help.. [ epiphone olympic special ]
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 01:41:44 AM »
The scale length is what matters, not the fretboard length. What's the distance from the nut to the twelfth fret? Measure from the fretboard side of the nut to the top center of the 12th fret and multiply by two to get the uncompensated scale length. Gibson varied that over the years but if your measurement is 12 5/16" to 12 3/8", then you have a regular 24 3/4" nominal Gibson scale length. If it's only about 11 3/8" then you have a short scale (so-called 3/4 scale).


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Pickup rewinding
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 10:09:09 AM »
There are a few companies that do pickup rewinds in the UK. Type it into google, they all seem to be much the same pricewise.
I've only used Aaron Armstrong. Prices are typically £30-£60 depending on exactly what pickup it is, etc.

Thanks again
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 06:30:55 PM »
Thanks Dave the distance from the nut to 12th fret is 12 5/16" which I guess means it's full-sized :-)
Jules, thanks again for the assistance. I'll google some more. I did find this, but it sounds as though it's broken:



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Help.. [ epiphone olympic special ]
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2010, 08:01:09 PM »
Might be worth picking that up or another like it.

Hard to know without seeing it in the flesh, but I'd guess the pickup on yours could have been replaced anyway- note the holes showing the magnets...pretty sure that's not original on these guitars. Either way it wouldn't affect the value much, and would be easy to replace

Nice piece though- value? Somewhere around £500 I'd have thought.

Help.. [ epiphone olympic special ]
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2010, 07:46:30 PM »
I think I'll watch out for another pickup similar to the one in the link and check out getting this one rewound as well.

« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 09:09:12 PM »
Just a belated update. As the guitar didn't have an original pickup and I couldn't find an original(and no guarantee that an original would sound any good), I sent to the US and got one made. It's a perfect fit and sounds good. When Dave Wilson, the guitar tech, was fitting it he discovered that the pickup that was in there was an old Fender Tele pickup that had been cut down and had an extra piece of plastic glued on to make it fit. He also thinks the bridge may not be original as it was made in Germany :-)
However, it's now a nice sounding guitar when you plug it in - as well as being incredibly loud and sweet(for a solid bodied guitar) when  it's not plugged in.
Some more pics but they're rather large images. :-)


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