SG Special: Is it normal bridge hasn't Notches?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by asquinet, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hello friends,
    here there is my SG Special circa 1970. She is in very good shape, sound is amazing, everything is ok. But I have a question. Bridge has NOT the small notches in which strings would be firmly canalized. When I play a bending on G or B string, sometime string slightly rolling on the bridge...
    Here you have some pictures (I apologize for dust, after watch photos I promptly clean it!!!!)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What do you think about? Bridge normally born WITHOUT notches and they self-creating with use? Or somebody in Gibson forgot to make they? Or (worst) could be a counterfeit bridge?

    Any help is appreciate. Thank you in advance. Stay safe, at home as possible.

    Claudio from Italy
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    11,547
    Likes Received:
    9,729
    Location:
    -
    Benvenuto!
    Beautiful example of a Norlin era SG and absolutely NORMAL.
    Congratulazioni e grazie per le foto!
     
    Demon Dave and asquinet like this.
  3. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hi, thank you for your kind answer! Your Italian language is perfect!! :) So I don't take care of bridge.... I minded up that if I put the strings on wraparound bridge (excluding the Vibrola) maybe strings are more stable...
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,967
    Likes Received:
    3,803
    I had a '63 and '69 SG Special in the past.
    Wraparound Bridges with Lightning Bar do not have notches when shipped from the factory.

    I also prefer to remove the Short Vibrola and string the guitar with the Wraparound Bridge only.
     
    dub-setter, DrBGood and asquinet like this.
  5. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    7,923
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Welcome to ETSG! Please stay safe, the news
    from Italy sounds very dangerous.

    We are suffering here too, but the USA is so huge
    that some places suffer terribly and other places the
    people ignore all safety and go to the beach
    in crowds.

    My suggestion is to leave your guitar the way it is
    and play it as it is. Adapt your style to the guitar, and
    honor it for being fifty years old.

    To me, that looks like a very desirable guitar, very valuable
    and worth preserving as a piece of history. I would not change it.

    I would buy another SG special with no vibrola, and use that
    one to play what ever is not comfortable on the old one.
    With so much happening, prices of guitars are likely to drop
    very far, so that SG specials will be for sale for small money.

    If anyone has any money. But when the whole world has
    sunk into economic ruin, people will need musicians to give
    some joy. Musicians will be in demand once our society
    has learned how to live with the virus. It will not go away.

    As musicians, it will be our sacred duty to perform and
    give people something... so they can dance and laugh and
    gather as humans. The pay will likely be what we call
    "diddly-squat..." But that will not be anything new.
    It was diddly squat before all this happened.
     
  6. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hi, thank you!
    Here there is the modification!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I took advantage of the modification to the bridge to clean better. I also took some photos of the interior.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here you have the pickups. Please what is the reason of that white and black wires?
    [​IMG]
    I don't think a substitution, due the oxidation I think they stay there from the beginning...but I m not so expert...
    [​IMG]

    Finally the pots. The soldering appears pristine.
    [​IMG]
    It is hard to see, but with the help of magnifier and under particular light incidende there is a 13770.... so is 1970
    [​IMG]

    Please, I kindly ask to everybody, more expert than me, something about the pickups. I haven't found any picture of P90 like this. Or maybe in 1970 already P100?

    Thank you again!
     
  7. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hi Colonel, thanks for your words! In Italy we stay very bad. Every person I know has at least one friend, relative, sick or dead...:( The only right thing that we all can do in this moment is stay at home. And you could do the same: this virus is very very contagious and dangerous. Time to go to the beach will come (not early, but it will come, I hope).
    And I hope that musicians will come back to give joy to everyone. I hope even for my job: I work on TV concerts, the last time I worked was february 17th. As free-lance, no job=no money.

    Coming back to in-topic....Don't worry, I just removed the Vibrola, but I keep it; I won't make any other changes! :) I love to keep my guitars as original and untouched as possible. The removal of the Vibrola is absolutely reversible and does not cause modifications (such as the desoldering of a potentiometer)

    Thank you again, stay safe and in health!!
    Claudio
     
  8. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    949
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Hi and welcome to the site. Beautiful SG you have! Sorry but I can't tell you anything about the pickups and electronics.

    Were you able to get proper intonation on the G string? That lightning bar bridge is one designed for a wound G and it looks like you're using a plain one.
     
    asquinet likes this.
  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,967
    Likes Received:
    3,803
    That SG Special really looks clean!
    Those late 60's, early 70's SG Specials with batwings are my favorite.

    I had a 1970 SG Junior as well that had those black and white wires on the P-90. If you look more closely, they should be the start and finish leads to the windings on the pickup and spliced to the larger lead with braided shield and hot wire inside the braid. The masking tape is to cover the splice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
    asquinet likes this.
  10. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hi, thanks. This is interesting question. Here you have the pict of open G:
    [​IMG]

    and octave at the 12th fret:
    [​IMG]

    As you seen, it is a little little bit increasing; but the same occurring on D string:

    open:
    [​IMG]
    12th fret:
    [​IMG]

    and with A string:

    [​IMG]
    12th fret:
    [​IMG]

    Instead with other strings is quite OK:

    E bass:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    B:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and E thin 12th fret (I lost the pic of open E, but I assure is correct):
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, nothing too bad, however, you can play it without problems!
     
  11. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Thank you! I am very afraid to touch the pickups, I consider them very delicate....so I trust in your words!!!
    I am very happy to see they are original. They have amazing sound and very very very powerful!!!
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    7,165
    Likes Received:
    6,705
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    I find it strange that the wraparound has a angle going contrary to eveything I've seen before. They usually are straight across or longer on the low E side. Never like yours.

    sg.jpg

    Your intonation seem to be off on every string too. These bridges can get real close to perfect intonation if you are diligent about it. Like plankton said, maybe you should get a newer bridge, for a plain G string They are a dime a dozen.
     
    asquinet likes this.
  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,967
    Likes Received:
    3,803
    1961-62
    The wraparound bridge had no lightning bar and was angled in relation to the bridge pickup.

    1963-71
    The wraparound bridge had lightning bar and was parallel to the bridge pickup. By 1963, some Juniors and Specials shipped with the Short Vibrola.
     
    asquinet likes this.
  14. DJGranite

    DJGranite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2019
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Maine
    Looks like the "bars" are in different places on the two bridges...
     
    asquinet likes this.
  15. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    949
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Here's the kind you want, notice the different position of the bar on the G string.

    lightningbolt.jpg
     
    asquinet likes this.
  16. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    89
    Gorgeous guitar. Yes, the intonation appears a bit sharp on each string. I'd back off the bridge a bit.
     
    asquinet likes this.
  17. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    7,923
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    well congratulations on modifying your old guitar in a reversible way.
    That solves your problem without destroying your guitar's value.
    I believe you can buy a new wrap-over bridge such as the ones shown
    and get better intonation without spending too much money.

    Keep the old bridge in the guitar case, for posterity if any.
    It is truly a beautiful guitar. I personally do not know what the extra
    wires are for. Perhaps someone in the past had wired in some extra
    effects... I don't know what they would be, with P-90s, perhaps a
    polarity reverse.

    Here is one of the more famous users of the SG special...
    he also removed the vibrola. Many of us believe that he got his
    best tone while playing the SG special with P-90s and the
    wrap over bridge.
    Pete Townshend SG.jpg
     
    dub-setter, jonnyfez and asquinet like this.
  18. asquinet

    asquinet Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    27
    Thanks everyone for your answers! I realized (thanks to your suggestions) that there is a difference between the bridges with 3wound / 3plain and 4wound / 2plain (original original); the last one is exactly what I have.
    The shape of the lighting bolt is different; I need which the relief under G is moved to the bottom!

    Here I found one from Mojoaxe (picture explains one more time):
    [​IMG]

    But for the moment I can't do NOTHING... Due Covid-19 emergency, shipping are allowed for primary needs only and I cannot buy anything.... So I think I will try to move back and forth the bridge using the two nuts until reaching a good compromise on every string...

    Thank you again for your kindness! Have a good sunday!
     
    DJGranite, jonnyfez and plankton like this.
  19. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    7,165
    Likes Received:
    6,705
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Make sure you take off tension on those strings before playing with those small grub screws. If not, you'll destroy the bridge.
     
    alexander paul and asquinet like this.
  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,967
    Likes Received:
    3,803
    I find it odd that they were using masking tape on the wiring on those P-90's from the 1960's and 70's when vinyl electrical tape has been around since 1946.
     
    asquinet likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice