Just got my hands on this 1973 SG standard... educate me!

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by gmel1084, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    33657__10_1024x1024.jpg
    hey guys just bought this beauty and id like some knowledge, knew this was the place to come.
    some guys on the SG Facebook were undecided if this was a 74 or a 73 standard special with the unbound ebony board. the store had it listed as a 73. it was also questionable about the finish. walnut, mahogany, or natural?
    my search lately has been SGs with a narrow nut width and upon research has been the Angus models, Xtra Slim, and Naked P90 model. AND approx 1968-75 SGs?
    this 1973 definitely has a slimmer nut and feels great.
    any more info on what years were the 1.55" nut width?
    this guitar is with my luthier right now.

    -does anyone know if this had 500k pots stock?
    -can we confirm this is a 1973 or 74?
    -are these tarbacks that came stock?
    -did this year come with fretless wonder frets stock?
    -what SG Years have the 1.55" nut width and slim profile?
    -any other info on this particular guitar I should know??
    -any upgrade suggestions?

    thanks a bunch guys!

    33657__10_1024x1024.jpg
     
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  2. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    main difference between a 73 n 74 is the body neck angle.
    73 is flat, 74 has the typical slight angle.

    looks natural.. definitely not walnut...

    should be 300k pots...and a code on it... try Google for once to get some more info.
     
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  3. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    SG Standard for sure. One book referred to these as type 4.
    In 74' they started using the plastic washer covers for the tailpiece bushings. I've never seen a 73 with those but with Gibson it's possible they might have used them in very late 73'.. But regardless this is a great SG. The finish is natural mahogany.
     
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  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    SG nut width 1-11/16 from 1961-1965
    SG nut width 1-9/16 from 1965-1979
    SG nut width 1-11/16 from 1980-present with exceptions such as the models listed in original post.

    Slim Taper vs SG Rounded neck profiles can vary within same year and model. No two necks are the same because they are sanded by hand.

    Neck profile specs are given for thickness at tangent points at 1st and 12th frets. When sanded by hand, the amount of shoulder will vary making each neck unique.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  5. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Whatever year it is, I don't care -- it's flipping gorgeous. I'll bet it plays great!

    I'm jealous.
     
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  6. Razor

    Razor New Member

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    I've got a 70 to 72 SG Std. Who knows what it is. Mines Walnut finish with the Harmonica bridge. I bought it new & it's hard to find out what year it is. The pots date to 1966, so there you go. Mine is absolutely out standing. I have several Gibson's & you just can't go wrong with it. If you can't set it up, let someone do it for you & you'll never regret it. You got to love it.
     
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  7. morningafter

    morningafter New Member

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    here's a 1973 sg standard walnut finish. the 300k pot codes indicate the pots were made during 51st week of 1972, meaning the guitar was crafted in kalamazoo sometime in 1973.
    the nut is 1 9/16"; the tar backed burst busters are nice hot high output pu's (they scream a lot more than my stock 72 LP did) but the bridge pu is of course not as loud as the neck pu. the guitar plays like a dream with 09's (i should probably adjust the nut a little as SG come stock set up for 10's) and the neck is just heavenly...the rosewood on this one is tight and slick with that grip that only good rosewood has (compared to varnished maple). the master luthier who finished this one off did a great job, and was obviously a player. the guitar was rescued from a 5th street sf pawn shop around 1988 or so. its amazing that its made it with me this far; the more it is played, the better it sounds. this baby resonates!

    sg2.jpg sg1.JPG
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Active Member

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    .

    I believe the tar backs were part of the Bill Lawrence years. He tended to like bright and crisp.

    .
     
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  9. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    The bridge tarback pickup is a lower output than the neck pickup? thats interesting. makes sense now
     
  10. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    sounds like u need to either adjust the pickup heights, or the bridge is dying :p
    my '74 both tarbacks have consistent volume.
     
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  11. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    ah just realised u mention unbound ebony board...i dont recall any '73 having that as it was a '74/'75 thing.
    so '74 it is.
     
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  12. lcw

    lcw Active Member

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    OP - that thing is SICK looking!!! Nice one!!!
     
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  13. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    just got it back
    will post pics and vids
    pickups sound way better with a proper setup
    it is 300k pots and the original nut and frets
    thoughts on changing the nut to bone and getting 500k pots and a refret?
    whats better to keep all original?
    thanks
     
  14. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    500K pots will make the guitar brighter and give it more snap when the controls are fully open. But they aren't magic. If you're happy with the sound, I'd leave that original if possible.

    If the nut is in good shape and guitar stay in tune I'd leave that alone. The bone nut crowd is selling some hokum. It will only affect the tone on open strings. Maybe. And who can say if its better. There's an argument for synthetic nuts being more consistent and less likely to have soft spots.

    A refret would only be called for if the frets are in bad shape, with divots and valleys. Even then, there should be one level and crown available, and your guitar may have already had one. Ask your luthier if you're not sure. Don't refret until you need to, but if you do, I wouldn't hesitate. I believe these are instruments and they should be played. An "original" but unplayable guitar is useless to me.

    P.
     
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  15. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    You're going to find a variety of opinions on this topic.

    Personally, I swap out all of my pots for 500k and replace the nuts as a rule. I only get a re-fret if the it is needed. A re-fret can always be done later.
     
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  16. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    got it back
    plays so good wow
    thanks for the info guys
    only thing I could see is a refret in the future
    I normally like thick frets for playability.
    anyone know the size of the original frets on these standards? appox?
     

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  17. morningafter

    morningafter New Member

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    thanks. nothings dying. my pu's are all per spec: output/resistance, height, distance from strings, etc. i balance the volume by turning down the neck pu a little. i was under the impression from reading these forums that that is normal for an sg.
     
  18. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Good move, getting your old guitar set up properly by a pro luthier. The neck pickup on a Gibson is usually perceived to be louder because of simple physics... The strings move more over that p'up than they do closer to the bridge.

    The solution is to turn the neck p'up down to 8 and run the bridge p'up at 11, as you have already figured out. Or the solution is to install a much hotter pickup in the neck position. Modern Gibsons are all designed that way.

    I'm one who suggests that if you have a vintage SG, it's your duty to restore the instrument as much as possible, and not to mod it with whatever seems fashionable and special at this point in time. If you like a guitar with thicker frets than were installed on your 74, get one.
    If you like the bridge p'up to be hotter when you flip to it for a solo, use a pedal IMHO.

    I agree with Paul G. that playability should be your guide, and that old instruments are best when someone is playing real music on them. Like the guys restoring an old B-17... they keep the dashboard looking like it did, but install modern navigational and safety equipment behind it. Keep the old girl flying, but keep everybody safer than they were in 1942.

    I say play the old warhorse for what it can do, rather than trying to mod it so it sounds or feels like something it's not. A guitar like that has a unique tone and feel, something from another time. It's a piece of history. So many guitars from that period were mercilessly butchered, it's rare to find one that wasn't.

    I actually love to mod guitars, but I choose to mod my Epiphones (which respond really well to this) or my recent SG faded special, which Gibson made and sold by the train car load. I treat my older instruments with respect, and they reward me with their unique and individual voices. Which is what I like about them.

    But in the end, it's your guitar. Thanks for showing it off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
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  19. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    The unbound ebony fretboard SG Standards were introduced in 1973. Some were also made with bound boards but the majority were the unbound ebony versions.

    Here are some pic results of a search for 1973 gibson sg standard to prove my point: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q...sc=7-17&cvid=CC5237044DE64B0F96087252E246E7AC
     
  20. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    well, there is the possibility that they are dating that via pot codes.
    but as mentioned elsewhere here...the info of unbound ebony boards in 74 / 75 is from the gibson sg book by john bulli.
     

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