1970 SG Special questions?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by easilyamused, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. easilyamused

    easilyamused New Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    Long time lurker, though I haven't posted much.

    I've got questions for you all about a players grade 1970 SG special that recently came up locally for what seems a reasonable price. Pictures below!

    The guitar has had a repaired headstock break in its life (I know a tech who has gone over it recently, and despite being a bit ugly of a repair, suggests it seems quite well done/stable, so I'm not too concerned about that).

    The electronics are all original, but the tuners were changed for grovers, the term arm is a replacement - none of these are deal breakers... but I'm wondering about your thoughts on the bridge?

    Originally, there would have been a wrap around bridge on this guitar. At some point a previous owner replaced that with the old "harmonica bridge". The current owner hated the look of the harmonica bridge, but found that a Nashville bridge fit just fine on those studs (hence the current setup).

    It holds tune really well, and it may be a case of just leaving it alone, but I know, knowing myself, that at some point I'm going to wonder about what the original wrap around was like/if that might "add" anything to it. If for no other reason than the wrap around allows you to have the option of not using the Vibrola.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows - did the harmonica bridge posts fit into the bushings of the wrap around bridge, or would returning to a wraparound require the current bushings to be pulled and new ones installed?

    If it is just a matter of screwing in different bridge posts, I'm happy to do it myself, but if it requires new bushings, then that for sure is a trip to a tech...

    Secondly, any recommendations on a replacement wrap around? I really like the idea of a bridge that, like the original, can allow the guitar to be setup with or without the Vibrola. At the same time, though, sometime better intonated for modern string guages & a plain wound G would be better than an exact vintage replica (or vintage part).


    $_59.PNG

    $_59-2.PNG
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  2. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    Honestly, that looks pretty good "as is". If it is something you want, and the intonation and action can be set up properly, I would not even consider trying to change it to something else. If it is not something you want "as is" (prefer a wrap around bridge for example), I would pass on it and look for another that was what I wanted. The Nashville and Harmonica bridges do share the same mounting location and pockets. The wrap around bridge uses different (larger and more robust) mounting pockets in the same location as the Nashville bridge. As such it would require major modification to change it. Better to just look for one that is already closer to what you want. If you ever decided you wanted to switch back, your costs for the modifications both ways would likely exceed the cost of a second instrument.
     
  3. sekoya

    sekoya Member

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    Here's what I installed when mine was refinished, it looked great ,sounded awesome and never went out of tune.

    Btw, I saw the SG you are looking at and there's a nasty crack under where the neck
    meets the body , and It was also previously dropped and had a neck break and they sprayed black paint
    over it , are you sure this is a good deal ?

    I loved mine and it had a tiny crack at the neck heel when I bought it a great luthier unglued the neck and put it back like new
    but I've only paid $1000 in a Montreal shop just because of that and it cost me around $1500 to put
    it back in great working condition including new frets ,bindings and paint job but the neck was never dropped like yours.
    Why did spent this money on this guitar ,...because it played and sounded amazing !
    Your looks killer but I'd like you to get a better deal .

    I suggest you post some pictures of what I'm mentioning to have second thoughts on this,
    don't fall in love too quickly , that black paint over the original colour is not very nice , same as the nasty canyon crack at the heel.
    Good luck and sorry if I'm bursting your bubble a bit , just want you to beat peace once it's done.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. easilyamused

    easilyamused New Member

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    I know there's certainly issues around the guitar, and typically I wouldn't go near a guitar that has had these issues, but I know the person selling it, and I also know that it spent most of the last 10 years as part of a high-end rental shop for studio work & high end artists, and as such worked at/carefully maintained a bunch the last few years...

    So despite some ugly history in the past, it has been well serviced/cared for and the repairs (if a bit ugly) seem to be quite solid.

    That said (and I could be wrong), but it seems to be selling for less that 1/2 of what I see some sell for online, so I feel like the price is fair, but I'm open to being wrong. What sort of price should a players grade guitar like this be worth?

    Beyond that, here's the pictures of the "issues":

    $_59-6.PNG
    $_59-5.PNG $_59-4.PNG
     
  5. sekoya

    sekoya Member

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    I'm happy that you posted some pictures , trying to help so hopefully some
    Gibson SG Pro's will chime in on this and give their input !
    Looking at the picture where the black spray is I see a crack, do you feel it while playing or it's covered
    with lacquer ?
    Oh , and one very good thing is that it stayed steady for quite some years
    which is a good sign.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  6. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    The issue I'd be worried about is that the original wraparound and the Harmonica both would be mounted perpendicular to the neck, whereas Nashvilles are mounted at an angle, or diagonally. Just looking at the pic, it looks like the posts are not angled. Which is probably why the saddles are using almost the entire travel range available. The question is whether it intonates properly. If not, would you be willing to have it re-drilled for a wraparound? For what it's worth, doing that might actually increase the value because it's basically restoring the original setup and drilling out the plugs that had to be installed to fit the smaller Harmonica post bushings.

    As far as value, the vintage market is stupidly inflated right now so even 1/2 of what you may see some sellers asking *could* be too much. My local shop had a '71 Special that was all-original and only asked $1,800 for it. That was a pretty fair price in the real world (AKA outside the vintage bubble). So personally, I wouldn't pay more than $1,500 for that guitar at the most. But I also don't get along with the skinny nut and would require a refret because I can't deal with the worn out frets people accept on vintage gear. So in reality I wouldn't even pay that much.

    Reverb's price guide is based on actual SALES and not just asking prices, so it's a decent guide:

    https://reverb.com/p/gibson-sg-special-with-tremolo-1966-1969#price-guide

    You can see there's quite a wide range (also due to them lumping together everything from 1966-1971), but one just recently sold for $1,250 in "fair" condition. It's too bad they don't give links to each listing.

    BTW, that looks to be a 1971 or at least a late 1970 build. The volute and heel design give it away.
     
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  7. sekoya

    sekoya Member

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    Great post ! Nice of you to chime in and give your input so the OP can jangle on this
    before making his decision .
     
  8. sekoya

    sekoya Member

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    Did you finally get it ? if yes, how does it sound ?
     
  9. easilyamused

    easilyamused New Member

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    The seller changed his mind and decided to keep it, so no new guitar for me.
     
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  10. sgguitarzz

    sgguitarzz New Member

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    You are better off. Don't buy a guitar with possible issues and damaged like that. Plenty of other guitars on the market.
     
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  11. sekoya

    sekoya Member

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    Wise advice !! :cheers:
     
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  12. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    I can not answer that question, but it looks like it already has been....with those issues I would pay about 50% of what one without those kind of repairs is selling for.....was it refinished? Did you put it under a blacklight ?

    I would normally stay away from something like this, but the mitigating factor of knowing who has had it for the last 10 years is a PLUS, and if you get a good dealio on it.....it may be the one your looking for. OH, I've been there. i.e. There is a '65 Standard in Brooklyn , on reverb, I've been contemplating..... but for $9 Grand(FFS !)...a new CUSTOM might be called for, and keep the extra $3-4G's in the ol' pocket....

    It seems you know whats up so a Good luck w/that seems unecessary.Wait..... good luck n e way.
     
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