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

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

  1. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    There are a few members here with unbound 73's and my friend bought his new in 73' unbound. Bulli is el wrongo....there have been quite a few discrepancies noted with his book over the years and this is an example. 74' saw the introduction of the weird plastic bushing covers for the tailpiece and sometimes bridge bushings. 74' also saw the the bridge pickup move closer to the bridge midway in the year. The unbound ebony board was completely off the radar in 75'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  2. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    ah k, then its kinda unfortunate that no one has really attempted to do an exhaustive documentation of SGs since 1989.
    even tony bacon's book doesnt really come close...
     
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  3. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    so in my case there are plastic bushings but the pickups are still closer together than the 74 configuration you mentioned. this is also unbound ebony. still not sure of the year lol
     
  4. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    They didn't change the pickup distance until mid 74'. There are 74's with both configurations. The plastic bushing covers make me suspect 74'. Have you tried a serial number search?
     
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  5. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Super cool SG you got there! Congrats... :cheers:.


    Amen on this! I have a '70/'71 Standard with the fretless wonders. I've had this guitar since '78. Two years ago I was contemplating a refret. Local guitar shop owner talked me into a level and crown instead. BAM!!! What a sweet difference! Glad I followed some good advise this time... :rolleyes:
     
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  6. srmd22

    srmd22 Member

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    That is a sweet SG bro, enjoy!
     
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  7. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    did the search
    just gave me a year range of 70-74
     
  8. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    how can I tell if this was a fretless wonder model?
     
  9. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I have no knowledge of the history of these style of frets. Perhaps others will chime in. But meantime, maybe this pic of mine might help:
    2017-10-10 08.26.59.jpg
     
  10. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    just spoke with Gibson on the phone
    they can only narrow it down to 70-75 by the serial lol
    and said to date the pots would be my best bet
     
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  11. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    As long as they are original... and I bet they are. Hopefully we can get you to post the pot codes, or even some more detailed pics if possible... :fingersx:
     
  12. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    control pots are 300k CTS dating from 1973!
    pickups are original tar backs
     

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  13. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    another look
    good look at finish as well
    definitely not walnut
     

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  14. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Which week number?
     
  15. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    week 25!
     
  16. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    The week 25 pots probably didn't make it in to your guitar until 1974 production. I've never seen a 73' with the black plastic tailpiece bushing covers.
     
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  17. gmel1084

    gmel1084 New Member

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    74 sg standard special/limited?
    unbound ebony board
    natural mahogany finish?
     
  18. Cableaddict

    Cableaddict Member

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    I have a '73 (Jan '73 pots, and serial # from '72, so it's a very early one) and it has the steeper neck angle & lower FB.

    It's well known that '73 was the year Gibson reverted back to many of the old design elements. However, I HAVE seen both on '73's so it probably depends on which plant made the guitar.


    - the same goes for tar-back vs T-top pickups, both of which can be found on '73's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  19. Cableaddict

    Cableaddict Member

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    Re the OP's original question:

    Save the original pots, but definitely change the volume pots to 500K audio taper. (CTS VT pots are great) IMO this is a no-brainer on an SG.

    I'm not sold on that "50's" wiring, though, where you change how the tone pot is connected. I like that on a Les Paul, but IMO the SG benefits from a low-mid bump that you get from the modern wring. (which you already have, if it wasn't modified.) It's a tough call, though, as vintage wiring sounds a bit more "alive." - but thin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  20. Cableaddict

    Cableaddict Member

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    This is correct. Actually, late '74 seems to be when they changed the bridge pickup location back to the more standard distance from the bridge. (They did NOT change the neck pickup location, nor the deeper neck pocket, as these were true improvements.)

    ----------------------

    Anyway, to answer the OP's main question with a definitive answer:

    That HAS to be either a '73 or a '74. '71 and '72 had the horrid, front-mounted electronics. All those SG's should be burned, or turned into table lamps.

    The pot numbers and serial number don't give an absolute answer, because at that time all sorts of parts were being used, and SG's were made at both the Kalamzoo and Nashville plants.

    The pickups will be either stickered t-tops, or tarbacks. - Both are excellent, but of course sound very different. It's kind of hard to mistake one for the other, if you pull one out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017

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