A real mystery SG...

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by PermissionToLand, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    981
    I say a "real" mystery because most of the time it's just a Norlin model or something. This one is really a head scratcher.

    https://loviesguitars.com/product/used-gibson-les-paul-custom-sg-1961-reissue-white-1991/

    So the seller claims it's a 1991 1961 Reissue. My first two guesses were; something based on the 1992 1967 Reissue or a 1991 Custom with a batwing added. But it can't be either of those because the serial number is the custom shop format. It dates to 1998, but the heel design is that of a '61 Reissue, while by 1998, the Historic Custom was introduced already with the Historic heel design. Why would this not have it, then? That and the beveling not being as deep as a Historic make it obvious the body is from a '61 Reissue.

    Also, I can't quite make out whether the neck binding is the thin Historic style or not.

    Anybody?
     
    SG standard likes this.
  2. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,338
    Likes Received:
    1,603
    I must admit I don't know a lot about 90s SGs - but I don't recall ever seeing a batwing pick guard with 'Les Paul Custom' written on it. (The seller does say it may have been changed). As for the binding, I thought it, and the nibs, looked thick in the long shots, but when I saw the close ups, it's clear the nibs are very small, and the fret is rounded off before the nib.

    I'm just glad it doesn't have a Maestro, or I'd have serious GAS right now...
     
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    1,607
    Serial number is CS format and would indicate 1998 as you stated. Everything looks legit like other late 1990's SG Les Paul Custom '61 Reissues seen online with the exception of the small guard being changed to a batwing. The owner probably had a batwing made with the "Les Paul Custom" engraving to match the engraving on the original tenon cover when it had a small guard.

    My theory on the incorrect posting it as 1991 model is that the seller looked at the 1st and 5th digits which happen to be "9" and "1" and assumed it was a 1991 model. In order for 1st and 5th digits to indicate the year, the serial number must have at least 8 digits total for that method to work for models from 1977-2013. Those serial number formats are usually found on regular production models, not CS models.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
    dub-setter, flognoth and SG standard like this.
  4. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,954
    Likes Received:
    6,448
    Location:
    Michigan
    Also, if it's a custom shop model, it could be anything the buyer requested
    and have nothing to do with any Gibson production models... Isn't that so?

    The Custom shop builds whatever the customer fancies, and can pay for, isn't that so?
    If you pay custom shop prices, don't you get to tell them everything you want for
    your dream guitar?

    Why then would it be for sale on the internet? Maybe the original owner went over
    the high side, and the custom SG was offered for sale by the grieving widow.

    It doesn't look like a fake to me. It looks like a custom SG. But since the seller
    shows the Serial # clearly, the prospective buyer can verify that number with Gibson, isn't that so?

    If all these things weren't so, I would insist on getting the guitar appraised by
    a legitimate expert. If that wasn't possible, I'd run, not walk away.
     
  5. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,338
    Likes Received:
    1,603
    Not quite. I know they had a program called 'Made-to-measure', but I'm not sure if it's still available, I couldn't see it mentioned on their website - perhaps it's only available via a dealer, or just in the USA. TBH, I don't know much about that.

    But if you look at Gibson's site, and select Products > Electric Guitars, you'll see a column on the left with 'Model Year', 'Model', 'Brands', etc. Under 'Brands' you'll see 'Gibson USA', 'Gibson Custom' & 'Gibson Memphis'. So, if you select '2018', 'SG' and 'Gibson Custom', you'll just see the 'SG Standard Bohemian', and the 'SG Flying Eagle' - these were the two Custom shop SG designs released in 2018. Select '2016' and you'll just see the 'Standard Historic SG Standard' - which sounds extremely standard for a custom shop model. :)

    With these Custom Shop models, you get what Gibson give you... even if you're paying custom shop prices (that Flying Eagle SG is $8,299).
     
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    1,607
    That is correct because I checked into having one made to my own “custom” configuration several years ago with a dealer. In order for them to do it one would need to order a minimum of 25 guitars. The policy may be different today, but I doubt back in 1998 they were producing 61 Reissue Customs with batwings because someone didn’t like small guards.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
    PermissionToLand likes this.
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,954
    Likes Received:
    6,448
    Location:
    Michigan
    SG Standard said:
    "With these Custom Shop models, you get what Gibson give you... even if you're paying custom shop prices (that Flying Eagle SG is $8,299)."

    Kernel says, "I fart in their general direction..." If they want to charge ten times as much
    for the same thing I can buy for $800.
    french-taunting.jpg
    Some might maintain that getting an SG standard made in the custom shop
    is somehow better than buying one in a pawn shop, cleaning it thoroughly,
    and having it set up by a world class luthier. But I don't believe it.
    So lucky me, I don't have to pay the stark raving prices.
     
  8. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    953
    Likes Received:
    1,028
    I'll be honest, I can't really see the serial... but that's certainly a regular SG Custom with a replaced pickguard. Might be pre Custom Shop, might be after... It does have the big screw-on tuners and a regular USA case... That'd point me more towards a regular USA production SG Custom than a CS one, but I don't really know for sure.

    You mention the neck binding... I think the customs always had the larger one, even in the 60's. In the Standards there's definitely a difference in thickness from the original ones and the reissues to the regular USA models. The binding on pre 2013 SG '61 reissues (as well as the Les Paul Classics from that era) has some kind of in between thickness, in my experience.
     
  9. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    981
    Here's the deal though; it's based on a '61 RI when, in 1998, the Custom was a totally different body and neck because it had moved exclusively to the Custom Shop Historic Collection. A historic would have this heel design:

    historic heel.jpg

    ... and the deeper beveling of a Historic. But this guitar has the '61 Reissue heel and beveling.

    I don't believe that was the case until recently, with the "Made 2 Measure" program started in 2014. The "Custom Shop" really was just a sticker on limited runs at first, and only became a dedicated shop in 1993. Then, they started introducing more historically accurate models than the standard production lineup. However, they did one-offs for customers before the Custom Shop existed, back in the '60s and '70s.

    Yeah, Made 2 Measure is still available. That's actually why the official lineup for the Custom Shop is so thin since 2014. There's no SG Custom anymore, and no Historic SG Special. But of course, you could order either one of those if you want, through the M2M program. I think this makes more sense anyway for the Custom Shop. At that price level, you should be getting your ideal guitar, not something built to predefined specs that cannot be changed. And it's not like $3000+ guitars sell fast, so leaving dealers with stock that may get passed up for not being exactly to somebody's liking, is an issue.

    Yeah, for many years that was a complaint about Gibson; a custom shop that didn't make custom builds. For this to be legit, it would have to be a limited run, possibly for a large enough dealer. I can't find any other examples or any info, but then I have no idea what it may have been called or where it was sold.
     
    SG standard likes this.
  10. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    981
    Okay, I've made sense of it; the early Historics still used the '61 RI heel and had shallower beveling.

    Here I found a regular '98 Custom with the same heel: https://www.tuneyoursound.com/collection/gibson-les-paul-sg-custom-1998-john-5

    And the beveling is not quite as deep as current Historics, which is magnified by the Batwing pickguard, because it sits further from the edges of the body.

    And as for the pickguard, you can see in this picture the original hole from the Angel Wing pickguard just barely poking out down by the switch:

    [​IMG]

    And I have to say, I really like the idea of putting the "Les Paul Custom" engraving where the tenon cover would be on an Angel Wing.

    So that seals it; it's a 1998 Historic Custom with a Batwing added.
     
    bwotw and SG standard like this.
  11. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    981
  12. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    380
    Well, if the CS makes an artist endorsed model, it won't be true to what the artist specified . didn't Gibson lose some endorsers because of that?
     
  13. Lynurd Fireburd

    Lynurd Fireburd Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    154
    Brent Hinds comes to mind. He was pretty vocal about it too.
     
  14. jtees4

    jtees4 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    182
    The only thing I know for sure is that is a very pretty SG! But seriously, how can someone expect to sell it with so few pix??:rofl:
     
    PermissionToLand likes this.

Share This Page


Recommended Links: PAF Pickups, Luthier Forum