NGD Gibson SG Original

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by skeeterbuck, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    Just a few pics of my recent acquired 2014 SG Original in Dark Cherry with my SC Classic and '63 Vanguard Amp.

    [​IMG]
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  2. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    Look great, enjoy.
     
  3. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    Very nice! Sooo shiny!
     
  4. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    That SG is a shmooth and shexshy as a pancake. Congrats! :thumb:
     
  5. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    Nice guitar. I really like the dark red ones.
    Also like the Vanguard. I had one of those through the '80's.
    It was a good amplifier, unlike it's namesake rocket, which was a terrible amplifier.
    (Come to think of it, The Vanguard was a terrible rocket.)
    (The amplifier was a terrible rocket too.)

    Just type Vanguard rocket failure into your search engines......

    Anyway, best of luck with the new guitar.
     
  6. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    All the Gibson amps from that era had spacecraft names?

    Vanguard
    Atlas
    Titan
    etc.
     
  7. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Wow,beautiful SG
     
  8. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Those dark Originals are some of the best looking 'standard' SGs Gibson have made in recent years. Nice pairing with the Classic too: Humbuckers/P90s, Bat/Angel wing, Block/Dot inlays...
     
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  9. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    The guitars and amp are gorgeous.....
    Also who does your decorating because that CHAIR IS TO DIE FOR!
    Pulls the whole room together. and brings out the grille cloth on the amp! Well DONE!
     
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Look who's artsy-fartsy talking !

    Nice pair of horns there skeeterbuck !
     
  11. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    :lol:I am in printing (have been since the 80's) and use art and color every day---I just dont go FLAUNTING it:rofl: --at least 2 of my multiple personalities are artistic---most are psychotic----but hey who is counting?
     
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  12. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    I also think the Gibson amp needs a vacation here in the Central Florida area for a decade or 4
     
  13. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    Hyman Roth loves SGs and lives in Florida, too. Don't forget to invite him, unless you want to sleep with the fishes.

    hyman_roth.jpg
     
  14. John61

    John61 Active Member

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    Beautiful guitar :cool:
     
  15. jjudas

    jjudas Well-Known Member

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    Man that's nice!
     
  16. JCarno

    JCarno Active Member

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    Beauty!! Welcome to the SG Original club!! :cheers:
     
  17. Dave_Death

    Dave_Death Well-Known Member

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    I hope that Woo does not barge in and pee on it
     
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  18. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Yes, welcome to the club!

    Kewl!

    I absolutely cannot play mine too much. I love that guitar.
     
  19. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    Here's some history on the amp.

    It's a 1963 GA-77 RVTL Vanguard Amp from the Crestline Series

    I bought this from a dealer in Vintage Guitar Magazine over 20 years ago. As you can see it in excellent condition and even came with the original leatherette brown cover. The amp was all original including the tubes. I didn't know much about amp repairs at the time I purchased it but upon inspection realized that several of the filter caps were leaking and needed replacing. The amp's tone was OK but nothing special and was quite bright sounding. After replacing the leaking caps I played it for a short time but then retired it for something that more suited my needs at the time. Every now and then I would get the amp back out and "give it a spin" so to speak, be underwhelmed as before and return it back to it's corner of the storage closet.
    Fast forward to 2 years ago. Well I get the amp out for it's usual "spin" again. I had been several years and I guess I figured like fine wine that the amp had aged by now and would somehow sound better than before. Well as you can guess that didn't happen. But, this time it was different because since the last time I had done some work on other tube amps and had even built some amp kits and was much more familiar with the workings of tube amps. I would guess that I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Anyway I decided that I would go through the amp again and this time would not stop until I could get it to sound like something I could enjoy. My goal was to preserve the Gibson tone but just sweeten it up some so it didn't sound so scooped and bright.
    I started by testing every component found to no surprise that the all the filter caps that I didn't replace the first time were bad and needed replacing. I had also learned that the other coupling and tone caps were of a very poor quality so I replaced them with new ones of the same values with the exception of the two coupling caps that feed the grids of the 6L6 power tubes. They were originally .02 and this is rather small value so I replaced these with .047 instead which warmed up the overall tone. There were also some smaller (.005uf) tone caps that were retained. I didn't want to mess with the tone stack if I didn't have to because of a concern that I would get away from that overall Gibson tone for lack of a better description. If you ever played or heard these Crestline amps I think you'll know what I mean.
    Another thing I need to mention is that it's not uncommon for Gibson amps NOT to match their schematics and this one was no different. There was a compression circuit in this amp that was connected to channel 2 that was not on the schematic. The idea was to keep the amp from distorting and the volume was increased. Keep in mind that this was a time when distortion was disdained and was to be avoided if at all possible. This circuit did just that. If you turned up the amp too much and started to overdrive the circuit it would reduce the output to prevent the amp from distorting. There was a pot to adjust the amount it compressed the signal but even on the minimum setting the results were too drastic so this was easily disconnected. This was one of the reasons that channel 1 sounded better as it wasn't constricted like channel 2.
    The voltages all checked out OK but the next snag was when I went to bias the RCA black plate output tubes. They were way out of balance and with an amp like this with fixed bias setting and only a single value resistor this was a bummer. I was really hoping to keep these tubes as these are considered some of the best 6L6 type tubes ever made but since they were so mismatched I decided to replace them. After trying several different new production tubes I settled on the TAD small bottle 6L6's which I think sound really nice. I also added an 25K bias adjustment pot in series with a 10K. This allows an bias adjustment from between 10K-35K that should be able to accommodate any reasonably matched output tubes. I wired it in such a way that if for some reason the pot should fail the full 35K will overbias the tubes to keep them from red plating.
    The amp was now sounding rather good with the exception of the speaker. The original 15" JBL with the aluminum dust cap was just way too bright for this amp. As you may know a speaker change is one way to significantly alter the tone of your amp. Since it was a 15" I didn't have many to choose from. After listening to all the different ones on youtube etc. I went with a WGS 15" ceramic. This proved to be the missing link and the amp sounded much warmer with the WGS as opposed to the JBL. I know that original JBL have a kind of cult following but in this amp it was just way too much clarity to a circuit that was too clear to begin with.
    Channel 2 still has a overall brightness whereas channel 1 is rather pleasant on its own. The key to amp's best tone is when you jump the two channels together that it retains the clarity and warmth that make this amp something special to me.
    I hope I haven't bored you all too much with this rather long posting. If you want, I can post some gut pics. Just let me know.
     
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  20. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    Thanks! I'll let the wife know as she's the interior decorator.
     
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