1970 SG Custom Polaris White - Custom order?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by tzurby, Mar 17, 2020.

Tags:
  1. tzurby

    tzurby New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    I have a batwing SG Custom in polaris white. The serial number (it's hard to read) is 617153 which refers to 1970 to 1975, except 1973 (according to Gruhn). There are other 1970s features:

    "Made in USA" , volute, swimming pool pickup routing as used in 1970. The heel joint is 1970 ff.

    But then, there are features of a pre 1970 SG Custom, most notably the Polaris White finish, standard (for batwing SGs) from 1966-1968. Then came the walnut finishes (1969-1971).

    Also, the scale of the neck is 24 5/8", used 1966-1969.

    The batwing pickguard has wide bevel angles, used from 1966-1968.

    I could not find out whether the headstock is Medium Open Book (1966-1968) or Narrow Open Book (1969-1971). Also, whether it is Holly veneer (1966-1969) or Resin impregnated fiberboard veneer (1970-1971). The size of the headstock is exactly as on my 1961 SG Custom.

    Also, I don't know when Gibson reissued the black speed knobs (maybe they have been installed later). The knobs should be: Gold Witch Hat w/ pointers (mid 1967 - 1971).

    My guitar has a repaird neck and a drilled hole in the middle of the knobs for a mini toggle switch. Pictures in the next post.

    I did not find a single 1970 Polaris White SG Custom on the internet. So, is this a custom order guitar?

    https://www.bilder-upload.eu/upload/2b04af-1584352547.jpg

    https://www.bilder-upload.eu/upload/d1130a-1584352594.jpg

    https://www.bilder-upload.eu/upload/388488-1584353108.jpg

    https://www.bilder-upload.eu/upload/19c05d-1584353149.jpg
     
  2. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    301
    Access denied...
     
  3. zhivago

    zhivago New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    18
    Let's see if this works:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. zhivago

    zhivago New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    18
  5. tzurby

    tzurby New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    I don't know why this picture site is down. I resized the pictures to 640x480. And I used another service.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    loafie likes this.
  6. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    1,183
    The best you can do is asking to Gibson.

    I'm not a Norlin fan, here is a 1968 model:

    Temp 4128.jpg
     
  7. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,889
    Likes Received:
    1,585
    It looks like you read my wiki!

    So, first of all, Gibson allowed custom order finishes back then, so that may explain your finish. It could also be an old refinish, looking into the pickup and control cavities may shed some light on that.

    The scale discrepancy could very easily be a result of the more hand-intensive build process back then leaving greater room for error.

    The pickguard has the shallower bevel angle as best as I can tell from your pictures.

    The headstock width didn't really change for Customs because of the binding. I may need to update the wiki to reflect that.

    The Speed knobs are not original.

    The swimming pool and Made in USA stamp narrow it down to late 1970. I can say this with high certainty.
     
    tzurby likes this.
  8. tzurby

    tzurby New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes, I did. This is an excellent website. I wanted to quote it in my initial post, but somehow I got failure messages, possibly because of this link.

    Here is the "swimming pool" cavity. Looks excactly like the one referring to 1970 on your SG-Wiki. The work is pretty rough, not neat.

    [​IMG]

    This guitar does not look like it has been refinished to me. Here are some more pictures:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Does this look like a refinish?

    There is some strange crumbling to be found in the control cavity:
    [​IMG]

    You are right. My fault.

    I read somewhere, that Gibson reissued the 50s knobs in the 70s. Maybe this is the case here? But maybe they were added later.
    Though I bought the guitar when I lived in Switzerland, the guitar must have been used by somebody from the US. There is a name scratched in the back of the vibrato's metal cover, and a phone number (566-xx-xxxx), typical for US phone numbers. So, this guy might have changed the knobs.

    So, most probably this is a standard late 1970s SG Custom, only the polaris white finish is non-standard.

    It sounds great, by the way. And it plays well. Extremely low action (E: 1,2mm, e: 1,3mm) without any buzzing.
     
    PermissionToLand likes this.
  9. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,889
    Likes Received:
    1,585
    Honestly, I am not an expert on finishes, so I wouldn't be comfortable giving an opinion on whether it's a refinish. The way the clearcoat is flaking off seems weird to me. But I don't see signs of another finish in the cavities.

    Is it the paint crumbling in the cavity? I can't really tell.

    It can be hard to tell sometimes if it's the wide bevel angle or not. Especially when the pickguard is white.

    I believe Speed knobs were first designed in the '70s, although I'm not certain on that. You may be thinking of Bell knobs from the '50s. Gibson didn't start using Speed knobs on SGs until 1973. Also, yours look unusually tall, although it could be the perspective.

    I bet she's a load of fun. I love the sound of T-Tops!
     
  10. fernieite

    fernieite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Toronto (age 57)
    I can't tell in the photo, but if the pots are original, what are the date codes? 36th week of 1970 on a couple?
     
  11. fernieite

    fernieite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Toronto (age 57)
    Hey, btw - where's this Wiki page you speak of? :cool:
     
  12. tzurby

    tzurby New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    fernieite likes this.
  13. fernieite

    fernieite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Toronto (age 57)
    Thanks for the links! Should almost have a sticky in this section with those Wiki links. Great job by PermissionToLand! :cool:
     
    PermissionToLand likes this.
  14. Gbux

    Gbux New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    Wow!!! The Glen Buxton/Alice Cooper model!!! Way nice!!! It wouldn't be a Custom Shop guitar?
     
  15. ezypikins

    ezypikins New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    24
    IF it sounds good who cares. Don't take it apart just cause you need to tweek on something. AHHHHHHHHHHHH. PLAY THE THING
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice