1979 “The SG” Value?

Oig

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Hey y’all, I’ve been looking for a SG Standard, but this has suddenly come across my path and I think I can get a pretty good deal on it. It’s a 1979 “The SG” in walnut with ebony fingerboard, and looks to be all original. It’s not a case queen, and has some wear, but overall seems to be in great shape for a player of it’s age. Speaking of cases, it doesn’t have the original but a generic square hard shell.

Trogly made a video about these a while ago and noted prices were climbing, and looking on Reverb people are asking anywhere from $1,800 to $2,750. That seems like a lot though and most of them have been listed for months, if not years. So what’s a realistic value?

Thanks(!), and here’s the obligatory pics

A71D62BE-DF4C-4C65-81D4-C1C557D9A397.jpeg 2B9DD516-7F48-4C8E-AEAD-2AFF1D71F65F.jpeg
 

flognoth

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Prices have gone up. I would say somewhere between $1,200 -$1,500 depending on condition / originality.
 

Decadent Dan

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I’d say $900-$1,200.
I had one when it was a few years old. They’re walnut (don’t sound the same) and were more affordable than the mahogany SG’s.
Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s worth more than a new one.
 

Oig

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Thanks for the replies! I’m aware of the differences and I don’t particularly care if it’s worth more than a new one, I just want to know if it’s a good buy or not. Looking again at Reverb, the lowest priced one I can see is about $1450 + shipping, so an actual selling price of $1200 to $1300 seems realistic. This one seems to be in better shape than many of the ones listed (except for the missing case, if they came with one) and the seller wants $950, so it seems like a solid deal.
 

Go Nigel Go

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I have a 1979 "The Paul", which is the Les Paul variation on this theme. They were good players, but were overlooked by a lot of people for many years because of the stripped down aesthetics and the fact that they were a more "budget conscious" instrument in the Gibson lineup. If you like the way it looks and plays, $950 in good condition seems like a "go for it" price to me.

These guitars were very solid instruments (and somewhat heavy), built for serious players who wanted a Gibson but couldn't afford some of the flashier and more "refined" models in the lineup. To me, they have sort of an earthy Zen like simplicity of form that can be rather appealing if you like that sort of thing. When I got mine for my first electric I was turned off by a lot of the wild colors and shapes of many electrics. "The Paul" appealed to me precisely for that reason. My tastes and my collection have broadened significantly over the years, but I still own, play, and appreciate "The Paul" for the same reasons I bought it in the first place in 1986.
 
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Westernrider

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Any idea what pickups are in your guitar.
Is the bridge pickup the Velvet Brick? If so, how does it sound to you?

Next up. That is one awesome no frills guitar. Keep it close by and play it often.

Gibson scores a point! Your picture made me realize that except for the Gibson stencil and truss rod cover, that guitar could be my old Firebrand SG. I bought it used in the early 90's with the original case for about $350.00
 

papagayo

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I' m not a Norlin fan but this Firebrand "SG" is very nice.
 

Oig

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Any idea what pickups are in your guitar.
Is the bridge pickup the Velvet Brick? If so, how does it sound to you?

Next up. That is one awesome no frills guitar. Keep it close by and play it often.

Gibson scores a point! Your picture made me realize that except for the Gibson stencil and truss rod cover, that guitar could be my old Firebrand SG. I bought it used in the early 90's with the original case for about $350.00
Well, they're both original and both have the T on the bobbins. Depending on who you listen to, some say they're T-Tops, and others say a Velvet brick in the bridge and a Shaw-designed pickup in the neck. That's how they were advertised, but owners have reported both pickups being pretty low output so who knows.
 

Chuteboxehero

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I've had my '79 The SG for a couple years now and it's one of my favorite SG's. The days of finding one under 1k are long gone. Saw one on reverb from the UK sell for around 3k or there about. Had the original hang tags etc. You'd be hard pressed to find one in decent shape with the original pickups for under $1500. However, if you look on the reverb price guide every once in a while one will show up in the $8-900 range and they're gone in minutes. I think people have caught on to the fact that it's a real sleeper from an era that doesn't have a great reputation. If you can snag that one for $950 I'd be all over it.
 
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PermissionToLand

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I’d say $900-$1,200.
I had one when it was a few years old. They’re walnut (don’t sound the same) and were more affordable than the mahogany SG’s.
Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s worth more than a new one.

If you think you can hear the difference between woods on a solid body electric guitar, you're experiencing the placebo effect.

Also, the Walnut version was MORE expensive than the Mahogany version. In 1980, the Walnut version was $599 while the Mahogany version was $529.

Well, they're both original and both have the T on the bobbins. Depending on who you listen to, some say they're T-Tops, and others say a Velvet brick in the bridge and a Shaw-designed pickup in the neck. That's how they were advertised, but owners have reported both pickups being pretty low output so who knows.

Every Gibson pickup at the time used the T stamped bobbins, so that's a common misconception. The neck pickup was unique to this model. It had a different part number from any other Gibson pickup at the time. But it's similar in specs to a Super Humbucker / Tarback and was designed by Bill Lawrence. The bridge is a Velvet Brick for sure. Output should be around 7.2 in the neck and 7.5 in the bridge.

https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/The_"SG"_/_Firebrand

Reverb shows the average transaction price to be around $800 - $1,300.

https://reverb.com/price-guide?query=firebrand+sg
 

Decadent Dan

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I was referring to used resale value. Because if I had one back then, it was more affordable. Maybe they weren’t well received. Maybe because they sounded different. I remember an ebony board too.
I don’t know what to say about placebo of different wood sounding different.
I hear differences in everything.
 

papagayo

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I was referring to used resale value. Because if I had one back then, it was more affordable. Maybe they weren’t well received. Maybe because they sounded different. I remember an ebony board too.
I don’t know what to say about placebo of different wood sounding different.
I hear differences in everything.

Ebony fingerboard give a nice feeling, it is a strong and high density wood, noise of the strings on the frets is very sexy.
 

Oig

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More shots, just because. One interesting thing is that it’s a three piece body, almost like a neck through with a thinner piece in the middle and two wings. Most of the others I’ve seen online are four piece. The walnut really has it’s own thing going sonically, it’s very different to mahogany, and the pickups seem to be as low-gain as everyone says. They do sound good though! I am loving those ambered speed knobs lol.

81B63E0C-447C-44D1-8EF7-021D87682A07.jpeg 9E02E0F2-8BFC-4206-A1D2-E74BA32D7134.jpeg 5DCC78A6-4263-4D76-8EFD-857E6120211E.jpeg
 

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Go Nigel Go

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I swapped the pickups on my "The Paul" for a higher output set to match levels of my SG and other humbucker guitars. It was mostly for convenience when I was gigging. If you don't have any level matching concerns, you can just dial in your sound and rock on. The stock pickups sounded good, but were noticeably lower output than my others. If it isn't a problem for you, no reason to worry about it.
 

KCC

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I think you got a great deal on it. I've watched them for several years. I remember back when they were new, a friend of mine got one for Christmas and he let me try it out. It was the first "real" guitar I ever played. That one might be an '80 or someone might have switched out the bridge to an ABR. I think the '79s came with the Harmonica bridge. Or they just stuck whatever they had on hand when they built them. I'm not even in the market for a guitar right now and I would have paid that much for it. Enjoy it, I think they're great (and undervalued) guitars.
 
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Andy McWilliam

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I had an SG "Firebrand" (similar) from new in 1980. It had a speckled finish and a routed logo. I stupidly sold it a few years later and when I got back into guitar about 10 years ago I decided to try to replace it. It took me 5 years to find one. Seems they are rare but not really sought after, probably as they were intended to be a budget option. I paid £650 for mine, which lines up with your price well. Most of the examples I've seen since are around £1500. That is a lovely looking guitar! Congrats.
 
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