Gibson 1982 Standard harmonica bridge confusion

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by BenjiSG, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. BenjiSG

    BenjiSG New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a Gibson SG Standard from 1982. The serial number and pots seem to match with that.

    What confuses me is the fact that it has a harmonica bridge which i thought were only used up until the late 70s. The jack is also placed on the front.

    1.JPG

    It is left handed, which I was thinking would make no difference. However, I did come across these SGs for sale

    which have the same thing.

    But any others I come across have the jack on the side of the body and a smaller tune-o-matic.


    I was thinking someone retro fitted the harmonica, but now i'm re-thinking that having come across these other models. I've never seen an 1982 right handed with the harmonica or jack on the front.

    Is it possible this is weirdly a left handed thing? The more I look into this the most confusing it seems.

    I've tried to add some example images and youtube videos but i'm having trouble upload this thread with those in.

    If anyone has any knowledge of this era guitar it would be great to know.

    Thanks
     
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  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    Very cool SG!

    1970’s features carried over into the early 80’s and 1982 is about right. Notice that you have the small block inlays which is a feature that 1970’s SG had.

    Just out of curiosity, measure the nut width to see if it is 1-9/16” instead of the modern 1-11/16” width. The narrow nut width was used from around 1965 until the early 80’s.

    I had a 1982 Flying V in the past that also had the narrow nut width before they switched back to 1-11/16”.

    The side jack feature I have seen used up until 1991 on some models.

    I doubt anyone retrofitted the Harmonica bridge, which used to be a running joke around here, but in the past I have read about people replacing a perfectly functioning Nashville with ABR-1.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  3. BenjiSG

    BenjiSG New Member

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    I caliper the nut at just under 40mm. I believe that converts closer to 1-9/16 but not exactly.

    I'm wondering if they changed this model half way through the year. It just seems bizarre all of the 82s i've seen left handed are like this and right handed have the other features.

    Perhaps for the late 82 / 83 they didn't make any of this model that year. I've been looking for a 1980 SG left handed for a long time. I'm pretty sure they didn't make any that year though.

    There doesn't seem to be much on the web about this.

    I forgot to mention another difference. Mine comes with the brown with pink internals case, not the chainsaw one.
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    It's not uncommon to find features that overlap between transitional years.

    1. Batwing vs Small Guard
    2. Nut width
    3. Volutes
    4. Missing dot over the "i" of headstock logo
    5. Made in USA stamp on back of headstock
    6. Type of bridge

    Perhaps the plastic latches on the original chainsaw case broke and the previous owner purchased a new case. Those brown and pink cases are typical from the 1990's.
     
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  5. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Also, by 1982, Gibson was in trouble and Norlin factory managers
    might have been told to use up stocks of parts rather than making more.
    By 1985 the company changed hands and the Henry J era began.

    So it makes sense to think that they were making guitars out of whatever
    parts they had around. Especially left handed ones.
    Gibson has always done that, it's a sensible thing to do
    from a management point of view. Some Gibson (and Fender) models were
    designed to do just that. They didn't consider that regular guitar players
    would be measuring and comparing guitar models so closely, and in public.

    No one in 1982 could have imagined the amount of "year class"
    OCD that seems commonplace now... They had no internet, and guitar commentary
    had to be made by snail mail to magazine editors. Musicians talked a lot about guitars
    as we do now, but didn't get instant world wide audiences for their remarks and rumors.
    *grins

    ...as we do now
     
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  6. brazilnut

    brazilnut Active Member

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    I had a 1983 Norlin with a harmonica bridge and a front-mounted jack. It was cherry, and had a pencil neck with a narrow nut. I remember I could only squeeze my fingertips into the cowboy chord area with difficulty. It was not as nice-looking as yours, but had wonderful warm fat tone.
     
  7. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    Brown case with pink lining was definitely a 90's thing. Agreed that Gibson always did things with leftover parts and as their catalogs said..."specifications subject to change without notice."

    Speaking of 80's SG's... I'm daydreaming for this one... it's the hard to find cherry sunburst standard that i wanted back then but was too poor. You mostly see the 83 and 84 STandard in Vintage Burst or Cherry. It's supposedly in mint condition.
    https://reverb.com/item/23113965-gibson-sg-standard-1984-sunburst
     
  8. BenjiSG

    BenjiSG New Member

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    100% agreed. That makes a lot of sense. Just to be clear I wasn't moaning about Gibson, more just curious about the differences between what I have and what I was seeing around.

    It seems likely it's exactly something like that. All the left handed versions I come across are like this

    https://guitarchimp.com/products/1982-gibson-sg-standard-left-handed-lefty-rare

    (jack on the front - harmonica)

    and right handed like this

    https://reverb.com/item/793363-vintage-1982-gibson-sg-standard-electric-guitar

    (jack on the side - smaller tune-o-matic)
     
  9. BenjiSG

    BenjiSG New Member

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    Hi People,

    I just purchased a new SG and I am going to sell the 1982 SG in this thread.

    Does anyone have an idea of how much something like this would be worth?
     
  10. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I've linked this thread to one where the guy inherited a right handed SG
    and is trying to decide what to do with it, since he's left handed.

    He may be interested in your guitar. Or not... that's for you guys to
    work out.

    Here's his thread:
    http://www.everythingsg.com/threads/dad’s-sg.36298/
     
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  11. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Nice lefty Norlin SG. $1700 is the max. to me.

    The harmonica bridge looks stock to me, the bridge position is parallel with the humbucker. If the bridge was a Gibson ABR-1 or a Nashville position should be different


    Temp 293.jpg
     
  12. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Member

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    I think finding a harmonica bridge might offer the easiest solution for the righty to lefty swap. Looks as if there's enough travel on the saddles to accommodate it.
     
  13. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore New Member

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    There is surely nothing more awful in the world to look at, than a harmonica bridge at a less-than-proper ninety-degree angle.:cool:
     

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