NGD: 2013 70's Tribute

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Kabrijj, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Well-Known Member

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    NGD: 2013 70's Tribute

    or,
    My first order from Stratosphere Parts, and some initial thoughts on the matter, in addition to musings on guitars, life, and all that other kinda stuff

    Often, I find myself thinking to myself: "self, if another SG came along, would you grab it? Or do you already have enough?"

    "Self," I reply, "I would but only if circumstances are correct. It's gotta be something different than what you've already got. And being broke as you are, it's gotta be affordable."

    Well my friends, I'm happy to announce that circumstances worked out in my favor last week.
    Backtracking just a bit, I'd been eyeing a "carcass" on Stratosphere of a sunburst 70's tribute... thinking maybe, just maybe, it'll happen. I know all too well with the "used" or one-off market that if it sells, it's gone forever, but I wasn't gonna force the issue.

    Then, they announce their 10% off Father's Day sale. That guitar was still for sale, but not for long: it was soon on a UPS truck, bound for my house, at a cost of $404.99 (which included shipping).

    27871995866_a71c4a3669_z.jpg

    Now, here's the beauty of the situation (also known as, "how I justify another guitar purchase").

    This guitar has no pickups, but I already have pickups. This guitar has no bridge, tailpiece, or tuners, but as luck would have it, I've already got those, too. I guess that's one of the perks of putting all black hardware on my last SG, huh? :cool:

    I'm not totally sure this qualifies as a NGD, technically speaking, as I've yet to play a single note on this guitar. But hey, that's nitpicking, right?

    27871995266_03defd9237_z.jpg

    Here it is as it looks currently. The bridge & tailpiece posts are installed, and I've stuck a few pots in as a mock up.

    The only pieces I didn't have for this guitar to be a full guitar are knobs, pickup rings, and the toggle washer. I'm debating a pickguard (which will have to wait until the pickups and knobs are on... but I've seen a few ESG members' 70's tribs with pickguards, and I'm definitely leaning towards a small one; SGs to me just kinda look weird without one).

    Of course, I'll need a case and eventually a strap, too...

    27294470014_4d666103ce_z.jpg

    But I'm pretty stoked on it. Kinda like my faded, but with a 'burst, a volute, a crown on the headstock, and 2 extra frets.

    It's extremely lightweight, which is to be expected as it's pretty naked right now... but I think it's gonna be a lighter guitar once it's all said and done.

    I'll keep updating this post as I put this baby together. Most of the parts have already been acquired... just gotta drill some holes for the tuners, do a dab of soldering, and she'll be ready to rock.



    Now, if any of you are wondering about Stratosphere...

    Overall, no issues whatsoever. This guitar is nearly as pristine as they said it was.

    Here's the ad copy from their website:

    Description: Official American Gibson SG '70s Tribute Special Body & Neck- 5 lbs, 1 oz-
    Carved Mahogany Body
    Neck/Profile:
    Mahogany, Medium 70s Profile
    Fingerboard/Inlay:
    Rosewood, 22 frets-
    Scale/Nut Width
    24 3/4"/1 1/16"

    Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
    Neck Profile: .810" at 1st fret, .930" at 12th fret
    Color: Vintage Sunburst
    Condition: Mint
    Year: 2013
    Serial #: 13502xxxx
    Country/Make: United States- American

    Comments: You are looking at a gorgeous USA Gibson SG 70s Tribute Special Body & Neck. This is the perfect instrument for a custom project. It features a medium 70s neck profile and no pickguard holes to showcase the gorgeous top. The body has some stunning natural mahogany grain for super warm tone, while retaining a light weight- the nitro finish provides a nice naturally aged look. The body and neck are untouched, like new. Please note we have blacked out the serial # (only in the picture) so that counterfeiters cannot obtain it. Get a true classic. Buy it today!

    Most of that is dead on true. I would take slight issue, were I a more particular guitar aficionado type cat, with the "mint" designation.

    27906972075_273344d77b_z.jpg

    Their stock picture has a bit of a blemish behind the E string post... but it'll probably be covered up with the tuner, so who cares, right?

    27628650940_154621f9b9_z.jpg

    There's also a very small chip in the finish on the front, near the D string post. Whether or not they chose this particular camera setting on purpose or not... I'm inclined to give 'em the benefit of the doubt.

    27628651460_e144c1dd56_z.jpg

    You can kinda see it here a bit better.

    Needless to say, the "kid on Christmas" version of me unwrapping this guitar was just a little bummed, as "mint" means no flaws whatsoever (at least, that's my understanding of the term...).

    27906970205_37db59ac66_z.jpg

    But, in the grand scheme of rock n roll, it's pretty minor. I'm sure it's gonna see some more dings & scratches during its tenure with me (however long that may be).

    Everything else about the guitar is pretty minty.

    27871995746_31ebc159fa_z.jpg

    I love the fretboard grain, and the body grain/color ain't too shabby, either. That gives me just a little pause, as I'm not 100% convinced I wanna cover it up with a pickguard... especially since I don't already have the guard, but there's only one way to find out for sure, right?

    The packaging from Stratosphere was top notch. The guitar was wrapped in a sheet of foam, heavily bubble wrapped, then put into not one but TWO cardboard boxes. Relatively impressive there, especially since they didn't charge me anything for shipping.

    I can't really comment on their customer service, as all I really did was click a button and they mailed me a guitar.

    Here's a few more pics, for good measure (sorry most of them are from Stratosphere... but they have a nicer photography setup than I do :smile:)

    27628650530_a9f2ca417f_z.jpg

    27871995436_5bd25ccef7_z.jpg
     
    Biddlin, Hector and thatbastarddon like this.
  2. Gibsg

    Gibsg Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, I hope you will make something different than the stock Gibson SG.

    If you want a shinny finish do it now, Virtuoso Polish works fine.
     
  3. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    As an owner of a 2013 '70s trib, I congratulate you! Mine is one of the nicest SGs I've ever played. fret ends needed just the tiniest bit of attention from my fret end file to be perfect. Everything else was perfection.

    Great grain on that as well. HNhuskuvaGD!!!
     
  4. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    CONGRATS enjoy the journey of the build!
     
  5. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Very Nice looking SG.
     
  6. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Well-Known Member

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    This.

    First time for everything, right? :smile:
     
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  7. thatbastarddon

    thatbastarddon Well-Known Member

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    Fleshing out an empty husk can be a lot of fun! Looks like you found an excellent foundation too...Best of luck!
    :cheers::dude:
     
  8. ivan H

    ivan H Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to seeing what you make of it. Nice platform by the way, congrats. Cheers
     
  9. Gibsg

    Gibsg Well-Known Member

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    Black switch ... Black hardware ?
     
  10. Metal89

    Metal89 Well-Known Member

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    I have the same colored ones, I love the dirty fingers that come in them stock and yes it's light. Congrats!!!
     
    ScottMarlowe likes this.
  11. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    Gonna be honest the '70s profile combined with DF were something I could NOT say no to when they were closing them out at $599. Mine's also one of the lightest SGs I've ever played. Very light, but very rigid. Can't be much over 6 lbs if that.
     
  12. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Well-Known Member

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    Update time, whoo!

    Woke up today itching to make some progress on this guitar.

    After some soldering, the wiring was done, but not without some struggles.

    27888984726_984ff60755_z.jpg

    I'm going with EMGs in this one, primarily because I've already got the pickups (57 in the bridge & 66 in the neck). As mentioned above, I'm broke and trying not to break the bank on this "project." And already having a set of Grovers, bridge & tailpiece, strap locks, etc, made buying the husk an easier decision.

    Not knowing if a battery would fit, I ordered some small 25K pots and wired it up. It fits! But... the pots don't fit. At least, not nicely -- compared to the nice Gibson/CTS/USA pots, the shaft on these little buggers is too small to fit nicely in the holes in the guitar. So, I used some oversized washers (outside) and rubber grommets (inside) to shore things up a bit.

    27923343605_2d8bdb7c43_z.jpg

    Those dopey washers look kinda absurd, but they knobs will cover them up.

    After soldering, I took a break to prepare myself for drilling holes into a Gibson.

    Don't get me wrong, I've drilled holes in lots of guitars. I've taken a dremel to a lot of guitars. I even used a drill press w/ forstner bits to take out a LARGE amount of wood on a Strat (sort of an "oversized swimming pool" route, if you will). But never to a Gibby.

    As has been said in this thread already: first time for everything.

    27923342515_f2c78b52e3_z.jpg

    Then it was a simple matter of putting on the tuners, pickups, and strings. Honestly, the hardest part was taking the damn pickup rings out of their packaging.

    27888981276_4ef585c487_z.jpg

    And now, it's done. Well, not quite, but pretty damn close (still gotta do some fine intonation on the setup... and maybe a pickguard). Done enough to play some tunes, anyway!


    27888975226_661d031c0c_z.jpg

    Of everything here, I had all the parts except the pots, knobs, pickup rings and toggle washer. Ordered the knobs and pots a few days ago, and hit up GC on the way home from work yesterday... bringing me to a grand total of $448.75 put into this guit. Not too shabby for a broke-ass like myself!

    27923341245_b975187b2b_z.jpg

    I do kinda think I want to go with a pickguard on this one. As much as I love the grain & color, an SG just looks weird without one (to me).

    I'm also debating these knobs instead of the reflector tops:
    27822239202_1149629a00_z.jpg
    ...thinking they might look good, and sort of color compliment the headstock logo & crown. (although I do like the black & chrome look, and the reflectors add to it, overall)

    27923344495_8da366425f_z.jpg

    Speaking of the headstock, I'm not sold on the TRC, either. Maybe I'll make one from rosewood down the line when I get more motivated.

    But I'm gonna go play this thing some more, now. Time enough for all that later! Just had to share with you all here at ESG ;)
     
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  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    looks great... I'd say don't garble up a lovely guitar by covering the wood with
    Plastic. Just play it.

    But it's YOUR guitar, so follow your heart. If you find that the EMG pickups don't cut it
    you could replace them with regular humbuckers from Rose pickups or the Golden Age
    humbuckers from StewMac. Couple those with a high quality wiring harness and you'll
    be in SG heaven.

    But that's splitting hairs, IMHO... Now that you've got all this good work done,
    you should play it for a long time before doing anything else. well done!
     
    Raiyn likes this.
  14. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    All of the tribs I've seen have had such beautiful finishes it would feel wrong to cover them up.
     
  15. joseph07081

    joseph07081 Active Member

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    I put a pickguard on both of my Tributes (50's and 70's) but I am going to agree with everyone else, yours does not need it. That is one beautiful piece of wood.
     
  16. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    Dude....that thing is GORGEOUS----congrats!!!knobs....I like the ones your proposing but reflectors are nice to.....thats a toughy
     
  17. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Well-Known Member

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    That's one badass looking SG!
     
  18. joseph07081

    joseph07081 Active Member

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    I am liking it.
     
  19. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Good job. Don't screw it up with a pickguard, unless you really have to cover that gorgeous wood.
     
  20. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Well-Known Member

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    Thus far...

    I'm digging the reflector knobs. They compliment the pickups rather nicely. PLUS, the "gold ring" knobs would be coming from China... so I'm probably gonna rock the reflectors for the foreseeable future.

    The pickups? As I mentioned, I have 'em laying around, just waiting for use. It's the EMG 57/66 set, which I had never used before but heard good things. The 57 in the bridge is nice, but the 66 in the neck is AMAZING. Thick, syrupy tones... I'm pretty impressed by this one. The 57 bridge is no slouch, but the 66 is just so tasty it kinda outshines the bridge pup. Digging them both a lot.

    Pickguard. Ahh... It seems the consensus here is don't do it.

    I agree, the wood grain is very nice... but I'm still torn. SGs just look kinda funny (to me) without. Guess I could always use some double sided tape and try it out for a bit, right?

    No guard:
    27606074253_16016f22af_z.jpg

    w/ guard:
    27606070423_9574157031_z.jpg

    Ah, decisions, decisions. There's certainly worse dilemmas to have :cheers:
     

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