Help me identify this SG?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by NY-Pete, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Hi guys... I just bought this SG (as a restoration project) from a friend who says he’s had it for 20 years. Looking at the serial number it’s from ‘97, but I can’t figure out what kind of SG this is.

    I have a ‘96 standard, but there are a couple of things that are strange/different about this one.

    The first thing is that having trapezoid inlays, it looks like it’s also a standard, but the binding on the neck doesn’t extend over the fret ends... re-fret you say? That’s what I’m thinking too.

    The other thing that’s strange is the rear cavity. I’ve never seen a shape like that and in the half hour I spent looking around online, I did see a model called the “All American 1” or the “SG-X” from this era that had the same shape. Those guitars had 24 frets though and this has the typical 22.

    Apart from the shape of the rear cavity, it also appears that the route extends under a veneer so the shape of the cavity is larger than the cover if that makes sense.

    I haven’t taken the scratch plate off to see what’s going on under there, but as you can see, there’s been a lot of work done over the years.

    I was thinking that maybe someone used a lawsuit era SG to fake a Gibson, but the dater project site seems to return the serial number as legit and I can barely make out the “Made in USA” stamp.

    Oh and before you ask, the previous owner says that someone tried to turn it into a 12 string. :shock:

    Any thoughts you guys have would be awesome!
     
  2. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2020
  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    A pic or two will do wonders for this thread....
     
  4. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Sorry about that, but they are still waiting for the moderators to approve...
     
  5. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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  6. SG John

    SG John Well-Known Member

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    Looks like one of the pickups might be a Tim Shaw humbucker. Got a serial number or any pot codes to try to get an approximate date of manufacture?
     
  7. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    668DE4F4-B3F8-4F37-B14E-8770A020D3A6.jpeg The serial is 90207500, so that’s early ‘97, but that’s as much as I know. The pots look like they’ve all been replaced.

    How can you tell that one of the humbuckers might be a Tim Shaw? They seem to look the same... although they have both been sloppily potted. Slop pot pickups?
     
  8. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    The shape of that control cavity is not a Gibson that I am familiar with. The two most common shapes for SG Specials, Standards, Customs are pictured below.

    [​IMG]

    That guitar has the bound neck and trapezoid inlays of an SG Standard, but missing the crown inlay on the headstock that is typical of SG Standards.

    The serial number stamp font looks legit though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  10. sazista

    sazista Active Member

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  11. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Exactly! The cavity is what’s tripping me up... but now that you mention it, the missing crown is weird too.
     
  12. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    What's the truss rod adjustment nut look like?
    Is it a 5/16 acorn hex nut?
     
  13. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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  14. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Yep and I think those models both had 24 frets, this one has the usual 22. Totally weird...
     
  15. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    what's going on there with the gibson headstock inlay? it looks crooked?

    btw, this may be far fetched...but is there any chance it still is an SG-X...just the last 2 frets have been removed? then binding etc all done to it to convert it to look like a standard?
    cos the pickup cavity does look like it was purposely routed out to take in a neck pickup.

    and seeing the amount of work previously done, trying to convert to a 12-string etc...it may just sound plausible :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  16. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Tim Shaws should have four brass screws on the bottom, a single braided wire output, and usually an ink stamped date. Not every pickup with this combo is a Tim Shaw but I think all Tim Shaws have this combo. To really nail it down you need to take off the cover and look at the magnet and spacers. But at a glance, both of your pickups have the brass screws and single braided wire, only one has the ink stamp and it's pretty worn. It's possible the other did too but it is even more worn - i.e. gone. In this era I understood that Shaws were used on SGs until around '86 and then they switched to the Bill Lawrence circuit board pickups. Yours are certainly not those. Very will could be Shaws.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  17. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, this is really interesting. Here are some new shots...

    1AE3DD92-4E40-48D9-9EC3-582465345307.jpeg
    The truss rod is the 5/16ths acorn. The piece of wood covering it was broken, but I set it on the fretboard. The nut is non-original and the fit is pretty awful.

    D0AC87C6-6194-4708-9829-44264D17EC18.jpeg
    As far as modifying the neck length goes. I guess that was possible. The end is pretty sloppy as are the trapezoid inlays. They aren’t as clean as Gibsons of this era and you can see filler around almost all of them. So maybe the neck was modified to look like a standard? It just seems like a weird mod to make.

    43863033-FE58-4CF6-B0EC-796CC8E46C80.jpeg
    Here’s a better shot of the logo. What’s weird here is that it looks like the pearl was removed and filled in with the same white paint that was used on the body. I can’t quite tell what’s going on here yet. Some of it has broken out and left gaps that seem deeper than the veneer itself.


    A couple of other interesting/weird things Going on here:
    05C9B359-F2ED-487B-A45F-68C12F8DD97C.jpeg
    When I removed the Grovers, some of the white paint pulled off and I could see what looks like the typical SG red stain underneath. I’m pretty convinced that this white is non original as this point and judging by how yellowed it’s become, it does look like it’s been this way for a long time.

    C7387BB9-BE3C-4765-A7EC-BD42DF1C5F82.jpeg
    The other surprising thing was an extra hole that was hidden under the scratch plate. I don’t know if it’s left over from the factory config or if it was just a past mod gone wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  18. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    ah better pics.
    it certainly does look like an sg-x that was heavily modified.
    may be seeing things here...but...there is an obvious faint indentation where extra 2 frets may have been.
    as for this mod being done, well there are guys out there who convert 22 fret guitars to 24 frets...so it is plausible that someone actually did thought of doing the oppositie...
    [​IMG]


    as for that extra hole...well...here's an overlay with a SG-X.
    as you can see, that extra hole lines up nicely with where the original volume used to be...
    and extra holes obviously drilled including one for the new output jack...which explains the extra routing for the cavity.
    [​IMG]

    but seeing as its a 1997...that would make it the 'all american' instead...which was available in that dark red almost brownish stain u have since discovered hiding under.
    guess the name doesnt matter anymore since it's been bastardized...but at least u now know its an original gibson :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  19. NY-Pete

    NY-Pete New Member

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    Wow, awesome detective work! When I saw the extra hole, I did think that it seemed close to where the original volume knob on an x would have been but blew it off because it didn’t have the two scratch plate screw holes next to it. With all the other work that had been done, I’m sure those would have been easy enough to fill.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  20. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    WHat the heck is going on there on the side of the headstock?!
     

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