SG Deluxe 71 restoration tips

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by dannyleloup, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. dannyleloup

    dannyleloup New Member

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    Dear members,
    first of all, sorry for my approximate english. There is no such dedicated forum in France, and I'm happy for discovering this one. Thanks all of you for contributing to so many helpful information.

    I recently purchased a 71 SG Deluxe. I'm very happy with it, but I decided to restore it to its original condition. I need your help for some advice. But I think also that, speaking together, my own experience could help, having the opportunity to have the guitar completely dismantled for the time being.

    First, let me show it to you before removing all the components.

    vue ensemble.jpg


    Dos.jpg

    Manche.jpg

    Vibrato et control box.jpg


    pickup.jpg


    Serial.jpg


    As you can see, 1 tuner is not the same. I have choice between finding the same as the others, or to install Grover.

    So my first question is about tuners. Most of the Deluxe we can see on internet are equipped with Grover. As far as you know, was it an upgrading, or some were equipped with Kluson and other with Grover?

    Thanks in advance, and again, happy to meet you!

    Dan
     
  2. Dagger

    Dagger Member

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    image.jpeg Wow that guitar is the odd ball of the Norlin era that I'm quite fond of to the point that when I had a neck pickup installed on my all American 1 sg I put a Les Paul pickguard on it
     
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  3. Dagger

    Dagger Member

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    If your looking to restore it to its natural beauty you'll need pickup covers " not sure if that year had Gibson embossed ones as some other 70s models do" as for the tuners I'm sure someone here has a hookup. Try and avoid eBay if possible as the prices on vintage parts is usually astronomical. I have to ask how does it play and how does it sound it looks cool as f@&$!
     
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  4. dannyleloup

    dannyleloup New Member

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    Hi, thanks. I already have the gibson embossed covers. I will speak about pickups later on this thread!
    I sounds.... great!
    Honestly, it's my first SG, I had choice between a new one, or this one, for moreless the same price. As I love restoring, I choose the second option!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  5. Dagger

    Dagger Member

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    Oh man I can't wait to see it brother or Sister and welcome to ETSG. Let me be the first to give you some likes.
     
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  6. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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    hi

    congrats!

    regarding the tuners..
    some sell also the tuner heads only.

    maybe you can find one as tulip in nickel or chrome
    so you can replace the green one.


    just an example
    https://www.ebay.de/itm/6pcs-Guitar...uner-Tulip-Buttons-Chrome-Metel-/191669009776
    (don´t know if they fit firmly on yours, because they are not screwed on)





    if you want to replace the whole set i would go for
    klusons or gibson deluxe ones (new).

    https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/tuners-kluson-nickel-metal-keystone-knob-3-side

    the prices for used tuners from that era are insane..
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  7. dannyleloup

    dannyleloup New Member

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    Thanks! but I already have a set of Grover, and an extra Kluson.
    The point is: which ones were original?
    If Kluson were, it would be much more easier for me, as no need to refill the upper fixing hole.

    Grover tuners.jpg
     
  8. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    eh bien, bienvenue a ETSG!

    To answer your question, I believe this 1971 SG deluxe is unmodified
    and the tuners shown were the originals. Comme ca...
    Headstock back@100.jpg
    Headstock@100.jpg
    They differ from the snot-green (ou coloeur merde d'oiseau) Kluson tuners
    that were traditional before 1970.
    There is a lot of confusion about the equipment of Gibson guitars at this time
    period... Gibson had been taken over by an investment corporation called Norlin,
    and they made random changes as they wished,
    and introduced their changes without any announcements.
    They would never have believed how much people fuss over
    the details of these guitars now, 49 years later.
    They may have installed the Kluson style tuners on your guitar
    because that's what they had in the parts bin...
    Grover tuners were made in USA in the '70s, and these also had the reputation
    of being the best after market tuning machines.

    For this reason, many owners of early '70s Gibson guitars would
    remove the stock tuners and install Grovers.
    The 1971 Gibson SG was different in many ways from the
    guitars built in the 1960s, and many players disliked the changes, and tore these
    instruments down and rebuilt them.

    Much of this was unjustified, of course. Guitars like yours and like the one I have
    illustrated (which belongs to a friend) have recently been rehabilitated in the
    popular opinion, and their value has increased, and their owners are more likely
    to desire to restore them to their original equipment. Original pickups and hardware
    are now high priced, when during the '70s these things were often simply discarded.

    Good luck with your project, and be sure to post more photographs when you can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I have a dear friend who owns a 1971 Gibson SG Deluxe, and who is the
    original owner. He bought it as a young man, and never modified it, and
    then he became an architect and worked hard for 45 years before having
    a near-death experience which changed his life and his priorities.
    He developed a very new perspective on living.

    So he came looking for me, (among other old friends) trying to figure out
    what was important and what was not. He talked music with me for an
    afternoon, and said he would come back and show me his old guitars.

    Couple weeks later, he walked into my photography shop with this:
    upper bout@100.jpg
    I couldn't believe it... this is the most pristine vintage guitar I have ever seen.
    It's like he climbed into his Time Machine, and went back to Al Nalli's Music Store
    in 1971 and bought it for $350.... and then came to my shop and showed it to me.
    body top view@100.jpg
    He graciously allowed me to photograph it. I told him I would try very hard
    NOT TO DROOL on it. The guitar is NOT marred on the upper bout... those are
    reflections in the fine Gibson Gloss finish, showing the curtains and furniture
    in my studio. Voici un autre:
    body close@100.jpg
    So if you have questions about your restoration, some of my photographs may
    answer some of your questions.
    Neck Joint@100.jpg
    After I took some pictures, and recovered a bit from my envy and shock, I
    suggested that he take his old guitar to my favorite luthier for setup and a
    check-over. He did this, and the guitar now plays perfectly and sounds really fine.
    This last photo shows one of the unusual features of Gibson SGs from this time:
    The neck is parallel to the body.
    body low oblique@100.jpg
    Players who are are used to Gibsons are also used to Gibson's famous 4 degree back angle
    to the neck. For some reason, Norlin's designers decided to eliminate that in 1971, and
    built SGs with no back angle. They also decided incontinently to eliminate
    the lovely bevels in the SG's crescent cutaways.
    This made them unpopular, and they didn't sell well, and the
    echoes of musicians discontent still echo to this day. By 1974 Norlin had been forced to
    re-instate the back angle in accordance with Gibson Tradition.
    They brought the bevels back in slowly, and later.

    So they only made them like this for a little more than two years. These are unusual classics
    ...unique in this way. An expert luthier can set them up to play perfectly, in spite of all of
    the outcry and angst from players.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  10. Dagger

    Dagger Member

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    Col that thing is so damn cool, it looks super clean for a 71. I almost bought one a couple of years ago and it looked like it had been dragged behind a pickup truck, my wife gave my a chilling cold GAS stopping stare and I walked out of the music store empty handed perhaps it wasn't meant to be. I still can't believe how immaculate that guitar is. The one I looked at had severe checking in the finish it looked like shattered glass which happens a lot to vintage guitars here in Canada due to severe fluctuations in climate and temperatures "so it's as to be expected" so for me to see one looking like that is like seeing???? a unicorn!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    yes, it's actually NOT credible... difficult to believe what you're seeing.
    But it's real. MY photographs don't lie.

    Here it is displayed right next to my 2012 SG special '70s tribute, which
    was intended by Gibson to honor these vintage guitars, but not be a replica.

    Pair 2@100.jpg
    the '71 has the narrow fretboard, no back angle, no bevels, Gibson Patent Number T-Top pickups, small block inlays, oversize headstock, Gibson branded Bigsby, Les Paul style "Delta Wing" pick guard, and the control cavity mounted in front.
    Both are unique guitars.
     
  12. Dagger

    Dagger Member

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    Block inlays all the way up too the last fret just looks awesome! I wish Gibson would do that on more models, putting that last block up there by the nut sure ads a touch of class.
     
  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    just as an inspirational input...
    here's a video from 1975 when guitars like yours were current.

    It's a band called Nutz... (I know, I know, but it was the '70s)
    ... pre epidemic, ya follow... none of us was worried about anything!
    not only that, but the video has a pretty good mix, and we can
    hear a lot of what's being played.

    I found this video on another thread here at ETSG, the thread is called
    "What Guitarist caused you to want an SG" ...or something like that.

    I listened to this video, and was delighted to see a guitar very much
    like the one that started THIS thread. And to be able to hear its tone
    in a mix with Bass, keys, rhythm Tele, drums and vocals.
    Not an easy thing to do, especially in 1975 when technology was
    primitive, disregarding what purists might say.

    This is what the expression "Boots on the front monitor' refers to...
    Listen to some Big Hair '70s rock, and try not to drool.
    This is what you bought.

     
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  14. dannyleloup

    dannyleloup New Member

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    Whow.....

    Thank you. Yes, there is no name but... incredible.

    This guitar is a priceless testimony. For sure it will become my inaccessible goal. It gives me the opportunity to answer so many questions I had.

    Well, concerning the tuners, I can't have a positive idea of the ones originally installed. Regarding the numerous fixing holes in my guitar, I can assume they were changed several times.

    tuners fixing holes.jpg



    Here is one of the tuner location. I already refilled the holes, but result is not acceptable for the time. I have to try again, considering that I can't sand the headstock. The guitar has already been sanded, and the serial number is already hardly visible. I don't want to make it completely disappear. I already contacted a luthier. He doesn't have any solution, except to drill larger, and pop with mahogany, but with no real confidence about the result. An alternative is leave like that, when the tuners are in place, it's not so visible.

    My guess is that the first owner didn't like the Grover tuners, and decided to bring the guitar back to the previous models. Luckily, he didn't decide to bevel it!

    As far as I understood, also some players say that Grover tuners were much too heavy for that guitar, tending to lower the neck while playing.

    So..... let's bet on..... Grover !!!!!!

    Thanks again for that present. It's a pleasure to speak with somebody living in a town where I came several times, when I lived in Phoenix during one year, in 1990. First time I came, it was snowing on the cactus, the picture was completely surrealist!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  15. dannyleloup

    dannyleloup New Member

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    I like it! Another great testimony!
    At a first glance, I thought the drummer was Michael Shrieve!
     
  16. dannyleloup

    dannyleloup New Member

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    Hi again, session 2!

    I had to work on the pickups. No real question about it, but any comment can help.
    As you see, there was no pickup cover on it. Probably because it was a widespread belief that they deteriorate the quality of the tone, especially the stainless steel ones.

    I found some Gibson embossed pickup covers for sale. I cost me a limb!
    But.... I see on the pictures you posted, that the covers are not embossed. I guess, again, that it's another fancy from Norlin.

    T-top pickups with patent nr sticker, seems to be the correct ones.

    Pickup covers.jpg


    pickup patent nr.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  17. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful SG ! Congrats !

    Original tuners were Schaller M-6 90

    Temp 4082.jpg
     
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  18. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I believe that in 1971 Gibson was inconsistent in what they
    installed on guitars. So they installed whatever pickup covers
    were in their parts bin on any given day... the Gibson branded
    ones or the more common "unstamped" covers.

    They had no idea that people would remove the covers and
    throw them away, simply because Eric Clapton had done so with
    his Les Paul... seeking more treble. Guitarists of that time had
    very few pedals. Nothing like what we use today.

    Gibson builders had no idea that people in the 21st
    Century would work very hard to restore guitars to factory
    condition. I believe they had no idea that anyone would remove
    the T-top pickups in favor of DiMarzio Distortion Humbuckers...
    or that anyone would remove and throw away the old fashioned
    ABR-1 Bridge and install a BadAss replacement. *laughs

    So Norlin made changes to Gibson's designs, trying to "improve" them.
    And guitarists were just beginning to seriously modify their guitars
    Mostly because stars like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page were doing it.
    So it's not unusual to see a '70s Gibson that has been modified many
    times. Anyone who owns a screw driver can install new tuners, and
    because it is easy, many players do this...including me.
    Luna Headstock back@100.jpg IMG_1109@100.jpg

    In my opinion, the weight is the most important factor
    for tuners on an SG. The original Kluson style tuners are
    the correct weight, and the guitar will balance with them.

    Grover makes many types of guitar tuners. The ones that are
    too heavy for an SG are the "Rotomatic" tuners, perhaps their
    most common variety. These will cause the headstock to fall,
    which upsets me, so I would never install Rotomatic tuners on
    any SG. Or any other heavy machines, such as locking tuners.

    I have a set of Grover 135 "Vintage Keystone" tuners on my SG,
    and they balance perfectly. Gotoh makes a similar set, very
    reasonably priced. Take a look at this link, and perhaps you can
    find something proper for your guitar. Some of the sets that
    StewMac sells are aged, to look correct on an old guitar.
    This company also gives very precise technical information on all the
    products they sell, including size, and weight.

    https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Solid_Peghead_Guitar_Tuning_Machines/
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  19. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    1972 was the year with the embossed "Gibson" pickup covers but there may have been some in late '71 too.
     
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  20. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    In the mid 60's some people whispered that you could get more highs if you took off the pickup covers. In 1966 Eric Clapton lit the guitar world on fire when he collaborated with John Mayall's Bluesbrakers on the so-called "Beano" album, named after the comic book Clapton is reading on the album cover. On that album Clapton experimented with taking the pickup covers off of his Les Paul to see for himself if the tone was better and he loved it. And then, everyone else had to have their pickup covers off too (on humbuckers, that is), he was that influential at the time.

    Here he is in the studio for that recording. The guitar was stolen a month or two later and never seen again. If it turned up, it would be worth .... well, a lot.

    [​IMG]
     

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