1969 SG?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Tbkahuna, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Tbkahuna

    Tbkahuna New Member

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    I got this guitar about 20 years ago and it has been sitting in the closet. The headstock was broken off, so a buddy took it to a guitar shop to get fixed. As it is shown is how I got it back. It has the holes for the vibrato, but it obviously is no longer there, and you can see the bridge setup in the pictures. I have tried to gather the information that would help in identifying what vintage it is.

    The pot codes are 1376850 on all 4. It has P90 pickups. There is a dot over the "i". The tuners are Grovers and appear to be newer. I can see holes from the screws from other tuners.

    The serial number is 536971 but is hard to see. I was looking at the back of the headstock where it was repaired and thinking that the headstock was refinished, but I do not know about the rest of it. There is checking all over the body, but I cannot really see any on the back of the neck. Maybe the neck was refinished, but not the body, when it was repaired about 20 years ago. I do see scratches and wear on the body.

    So, my question is what year is this, and is there any value in what I have? Can I do anything to restore it? Is it worth trying to do that?

    Thanks for any and all help you can provide.

    Rob
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  2. Tbkahuna

    Tbkahuna New Member

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    I didn't have much luck with the pictures. Trying again...

    SG Front Small.jpg
    SG Back and Neck Joint Small.jpg
    SG Logo Small.jpg SG Front Zoom Bridge Small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Late 1968 or early 1969 SG Special.

    Pot Code Format = 137YYWW
    137= CTS (Chicago Telephone Supply)
    YY = Year
    WW = Week

    1376850 = CTS 1968 Week 50

    My first SG was a 1969 SG Special.
    Those late 60's SG Specials are my favorite.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  4. Tbkahuna

    Tbkahuna New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I saw your initial post said that was a "Badass" bridge on it. I looked that up to see what that was about. Is that something that should be replaced or is that a good thing to have on there? What kind of value is the guitar as it is now? Would it be better to find vintage versions of the missing parts like for the vibrato (or tuners) or reproduction versions of them to add to it or would that just be wasted money?

    I don't have any experience with vintage guitars like this, and don't want to ruin it or make it a junker (or maybe it is already??) due to lack of knowledge.
    I really want an Angus Young-like humbucker guitar. Before I started doing research on this one, and before seeing such beautiful examples of them that are out there, I thought maybe if it wasn't very valuable I would modify it for a bridge humbucker and put in a Pearly gates or Seth Lover.

    I still need help with what to do with it. Is this an "it is what it is" guitar with that bridge, Grovers, etc., or should I dress it up some and make it look like others? It is quickly growing on me!!

    Thanks again for any help and guidance.
     
  5. skelt101

    skelt101 Active Member

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    If you like the guitar, maybe leave it as is. Nothing wrong with a "player" guitar! (The tuners and bridge are common modifications.) Given there has been a headstock repair, it's probably never going to be a super valuable collectible. For that reason, I wouldn't bother tracking down vintage hardware. Perhaps the reproductions if you were so inclined. But for the love of God, leave that bridge P90 alone! :ohno:
     
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  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That's a Leo Quan Badass bridge.

    When I purchased my 1969 SG Special second hand back in the 80's, the previous owner installed the same bridge. I don't care for the Short Vibrola and prefer the guitar to be strung with the Wraparound bridge only.

    Removing the Short Vibrola and installing Grovers was a common modification back in the day.
     
  7. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    That is a dream guitar, right there!
     
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  8. Tbkahuna

    Tbkahuna New Member

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    Thanks for the input. That is helpful. I had a chance to play it some last night through a couple of tube amps that I really like. One is a 8 watt, handmade, master volume head played through a 4x12 cabinet with Celestions. I also played it through an older 50 watt master volume Marshall through the same cabinet. It sounds very nice and is a really good player. I have noticed the acoustic sustain on it is better than any other guitar I have owned. Through the amps it is noticeable. It plays really nicely, but the action is a touch higher than I like, so I may adjust it a bit. I didn't hear any fret issues any where on the neck, so that is really good.

    The neck is super skinny and will take a while to get used to it. I measured the neck width at the nut at 1.560". I can see why so many have had neck breaks. I don't lean it up against anything!

    I noticed the bass strings sound much cleaner and don't start to break up like the treble strings. I do need to adjust the pickup heights, as they are both about .300" from the strings. Curious, are P90s of this time frame known to be bassy? It may just be the pickup height.

    I did notice the bridge leans forward a little due to the clearances. However, it is not near as much as on some of the ones I saw pictures of when researching that over the last couple of days. I haven't checked the intonation yet, but nothing stood out when playing it.
    I may just make a thin spacer to level it up.

    Overall, I am glad to know what I have, and have revived it a bit by getting it out of the case! I appreciate the help that you have provided.
     
  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    From 1965 up until the late 70's or early 80's the nut width was 1-9/16.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  10. jk67SG

    jk67SG New Member

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    Nice find. Personally, if it were mine, I'd try to keep it as close to original as possible, but do what feels 'right' for you. The nitro checking in your pic is pretty normal for SG's of this period, mine is about the same. Again, I wouldn't have it re-finished, and keeping it original could make it more valuable, even if it's just to use to replace the body on another old SG that suffered a crack in the body. The headstock crack was pretty common, I had an SG Jr that the headstock was snapped off at a gig when someone walked past and knocked the stand and guitar over. I wish I had kept it, because a lot of people say that a headstock repair, if done right, can be as strong or stronger than it was before the break.

    It you decide to replace the tuners, Grover does make tuners that look exactly like the Klusons that came on the guitar, and it looks like they would mount in the same holes with the same screw holes, so you could just swap them out with no drilling- research this though, because I've only seen photos, never actually checked the measurements. My Klusons (from 1967) are working just fine.

    Whether or not you decide to adjust the truss rod, lubricating the nut so that it doesn't seize is a good idea.

    The serial number on my '67 was difficult to read also. It looked like some of the numbers on it weren't pressed in as deeply as others. About a year ago I got a UV light when I was looking at used guitars, to look for repairs or re-finishing that might have occurred and not been disclosed by the seller. I decided to look at my SG one day for no particular reason (I bought it in 1968 in a pawn shop for about $300, I probably paid too much for it because that was what they cost new back then, but this guitar was talking to me ;-) . When I hit the back of the headstock with the UV light the serial number stood out like a light... it turned out the serial was stamped plenty deep enough but the nitro was so thick in places that some of the numbers were obscured. You might try that on your guitar, you never know. It it was refinished where it was cracked, that should stand out too.

    Other thoughts... if your output jack gets noisy, buy a .25 caliber barrel brush and short handle and use that to clean the jack. It will be a tight fit, but twisting in in one direction, as you move it slowly in will clean the oxidation well without taking any plating off the metal- take the cover for the controls (volume & tone) off the back of the guitar and move the brush in until it reaches the connector tip contact and it will clean that too, but don't go in far enough to bend the contact. It will be a tight fit, but as long as you always twist in the same direction it will move in and out just fine. If the pickup selector switch is noisy get a 'relay contact burnishing tool' and use that on the switch contacts. It will feel smooth to the touch but it's just abrasive enough to clean the oxidation off without damaging the contact plating. I still have the original switch and connector in my '67, and they work just fine after all these years.

    Getting intonation and tuning right on any guitar can be 'interesting'. I've used various tuners over the years, but last year I saw the tuner that a local luthier was using, and ended up buying a used one like it on reverb. It is a Peterson strobe tuner with 'sweetened' guitar tuning settings on it. It's heavy and built like a tank, and you could easily use it as a wheel chock when jacking your car up to change a tire (not recommended by Peterson, or myself for that matter), and it made me throw out all my other tuners. They make other models, not as big, not as bulletproof, but a few of them have 'sweetened' tuning settings (and some alternate tunings) and these are the ones I'm recommending. It has really cut down the time it takes to tune up and eliminated most post-tuning 'adjustments'. Peterson also has a library of in-depth articles about tuning guitars and various other instruments if you want to find out more.

    Good luck with your SG, the years we have are some of the best, I have a number of other really great guitars, but my SG was first and will always have a special place in my heart.
     
  11. jk67SG

    jk67SG New Member

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    My SG neck clearly feels much thinner than my '60 LP TH neck. But the LP is 1.690" at the nut and the SG is 1.593" (slightly wider than yours if the dimension you gave was at the nut). But there's only 97 thousanths of an inch difference between my two guitars. The LP definitely feels beefier, no question about it. The most significant difference between my two guitars is the neck profile. My LP is pretty much somewhere between a 'C' and a 'D' shape profile. My SG neck profile is also somewhere between a 'C' and a 'D' shape from the body but somewhere between the 5th and 7th frets it transitions to somewhere between a 'V' and a 'C', so where the nut width is not that much different between the SG and LG, the amount of wood behind it is.

    That, plus the angle of the headstock make it more prone to breaking there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020

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