Are ANY of the modern SGs correct? Body shape, neck?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by scottjua, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. scottjua

    scottjua New Member

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    I've had my 1991 Special since new when I was 16... and over the years have always wanted a standard.

    Recently got my first vintage SG, a 1965 Junior... and LOVE it. Well, naturally, that got me all hot and bothered for a standard, and I've now played the 60th Anniversary Custom Shop, and the 2020 Standards, Juniors and Specials.

    For some reason the 2020's have decent body shapes, with the Junior and Special being far more accurate than the actual "61". The custom shop was the worst, with fat bass and treble horn tapers... not to mention the heels being all wrong for an anniversary "historic" reissue.

    It's really bugging me that I can't seem to find ANY modern versions that got it right, but obviously haven't seen each year.

    I noticed some of the "reissues" in the past have had the correct smooth 61 Heels, but the horn tapers and body bevels... are almost never shown...

    Has Gibson EVER got the correct tapers and bevels... AND heel and headstock for a proper 61 reissue.... one that's accurate?

    I fear the only thing left is to save a LOT of dough and get a real thing...

    Thanks in advance for any input... The accuracy... or lack of on everything I can find it maddening.
     

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  2. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful line up you have there. As well as that stack, must compliment each other nicely.

    I have a few thoughts on your topic. First being, as Gibsons were all hand made through those vintage years there really is no “correct” horn shape. I agree, many were aggressive and sexy, and that’s how most of us like them. Now, I have seen many that were dull, low angle carves with little to no appeal. So really, when they make these reissue and custom shops, I think they must pick a generic shape of that year, perhaps one specific guitar, or maybe set parameters for the luthiers to stay within. They are likely correct or close to guitars from that era. But perhaps not the ones we find most appealing.

    Heel joints are another thing. Perhaps more consistent than horn shapes. Although they too vary. Check out this link on different vintage SG’s from the same years that all have different heel joints or locations.

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/index....of-gibson-sg-heel-joints-year-by-year.182588/

    Headstocks are another interesting topic. The 61 RI always have the large headstock, although to my knowledge these are larger than what was actually on the vintage models. Yet, the vintage ones were larger than today’s standard model. So again, kind of a hi-bred. Not historically accurate, but a nod to the feature I suppose.

    Did Gibson ever make a “perfect” reproduction to a specific era, year or guitar. Not in my opinion. Although dam close in some cases. I think the closest you will ever find is Custom shop signature models that replicate a specific guitar. Although this is likely not what you are looking for.

    If you are looking for vintage specs, buy vintage I suppose. Although sometimes this comes with vintage issues. And certainly comes with a vintage price tag.

    If you are looking for a beautifully built guitar that highlights and accentuates features of a specific era, I believe this is what the Custom Shop does best.

    I have bought some beautiful Gibsons in my time (in my opinion anyway). From USA line up, to Customs to Custom Shop models. They are all good. I was adverse to vintage in my early playing years (20 years ago or so), although they were much more affordable (no one thought that at the time though). Now the prices have rocket up too high for most, and certainly too high for what they are.

    I would stick to playing a bunch of guitars within your price range. Finding one that feels, plays and sounds killer and than acquiring it and accept whatever heel joint it has. If you are a player, that’s the way to go. If you are collector, than go vintage. A new guitar will never fill the niche and vintage vibe of one of those instruments.
     
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  3. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Yes of course. All of them are correct.
     
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Didn't know there was one specific week of production in 1961 that governed every SG features forever.
     
  5. scottjua

    scottjua New Member

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    Thanks for the input. I understand there were variances to account for from hand making them, but out of the real examples I've handled from the early 60s, generally they all have relatively similar dimensions in that the treble and bass horns taper and are beveled in such a way that the tips are much smaller and thinner toward the points. I have only seen this on the current original collection. Even the custom shop 60th anniversary has fat horns. It just irks.

    I know there are 61 "reissues" with the smooth 61 heel, but I cannot seem to find any evidence if the bevels, or horns are in line with the majority of the real ones I've seen in person.
     
  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by "real" ones? If it came out of a Gibson factory it is a real one.
     
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  7. scottjua

    scottjua New Member

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    I would imagine you could infer I meant real vintage... but I get how that can be confusing. I apologize... I meant to say REAL VINTAGE ie. 1961-65 vs. a REISSUE.
     
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    OK, I get that. But it would all be a lot less confusing if you stopped using the word real, and just told us what model you were after.
     
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  9. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    I can respect preferring certain features and variety is the spice of life. However:

    I can remember a time before the internet when people just referred to any SG as an SG. I've been around guitars and SG's for 41 years and I can honestly not recall (in the 80's, 90's and very early 2000's) a single instance among fellow players, store clerks, guitar conventions, NAMMS, etc.. where comparisons of horn bevels/tapers, abr1 vs nashville, etc were even spoken of. They were ALL just SG's. Even in the early days of the forums. This phenomenon has just sprung up in the past 10 to 12 years. It's fascinating.
     
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  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't call it that ...
     
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  11. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    What would you call it?
     
  12. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Irritating! :D If there was one definitive product, there would be no need for any others, no need for choice, just mass produce and everybody gets what they get. The irritating part of the internet phenomenon is that even if the previous statements were all true, there would be internet prognosticators who would claim some imaginary difference that makes one CNC product better than another.

    The thing I like best about my collection is that they are all very different. I have looked over probably 1000 photos of just SGs on this forum alone, lots of differences. Even the ones I didn't particularly care for (very few) someone loved it, and that is great. Just keep looking til you find one you really like and get it.

    So much internet discussion (on virtually any subject) boils down to people seeking external validation of what should be a very personal choice. My '71 SG was highly modified back in the 70's, and I didn't know anything when I bought it other than I liked it and it fit my budget. Some people like it today, and some don't, but I really like it and that is really all that matters since it is mine. I shared pictures because I thought some might find it interesting, and many did. I really expected a lot more negative feedback than I got, which is why I have stuck around. This forum in general is pretty live and let live, and is much more about sharing a wide body of information instead of purity posturing compared to many guitar forums.
     
  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I won't go there, use your imagination.
     
  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Anybody else just play the danged things? Everything else is just cerebral Onanisn.
     
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  15. scottjua

    scottjua New Member

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    Wow... So. I think this thread must have had a vibe that rubbed everyone the wrong way. Instead of discussion about the body bevels, horn tapers, heels profiles, and the differences from original vintage instruments to modern "REISSUES" meant to actually REPLICATE them...t I'm just being attacked for actually asking if anyone else is interested in the differences from vintage to reissue.

    So... a humble request: if you don't have anything constructive to add... please don't add anything. Just go start your own thread where you can gripe that people aren't accepting things the way they are and we should all just play and think the way YOU do.
     
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  16. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    The Junior and Special use the exact same body shape as the '61 Standard.

    There were two different heel styles used in 1961:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gibson uses the first style for their USA '61 Reissues, while using something closer to the second for the Historics.

    The SG's heel design was constantly changing in the early '60s, so Gibson uses two different heel designs (seemingly at random, which also seems to have been the case back then) on the Historics that are generally representative of the various designs found in the '60s. You can find the various '60s heel designs here:

    https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/Dating#Heel_Joints

    Not sure what you mean by "fat horn tapers".
     
  17. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    The only smooth heels you'll find are on Historic Reissues.

    There seems to be a small difference in tapering but the Historic is as accurate as you're gonna get.

    Here's a Historic next to an original '61:

    61 vs CS.jpg
    61 vs CS 4.jpg
    61 vs CS 3.jpg
    61 vs CS 2.jpg

    In fact, that last pic seems to show MORE of a taper on the Historic at the front side because the original is asymmetrically shallow in the front and deep on the back side. I think it's also the case that the less defined and sharp edges of the original create the optical illusion that it's thinner.
     
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  18. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    When i look at this post, which is very well presented as a comparison in my opinion, I think if you can’t be happy with that, you need to buy a vintage guitar of whatever year tickles your fancy.

    That’s a damn nice guitar and represents the historic lines very well.


     
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  19. scottjua

    scottjua New Member

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    Excellent! Thanks so much, this helps a lot.

    What I meant about the fat horn tapers was... on the back of the body near the heel, there is a slope down toward the heel. The horns also taper down with it making the horns more "pointy" and thinner than the rest of the body. Not JUST the bevels, but an actual forward taper. Most modern SGs I've seen aside from the 2020 original collection don't have that, at least on the bass side. The horn doesn't taper forward at all and is basically as thick as the rest of the body, and the look is just off putting. My 91 is like that, and every time I look at it, it feels so oddly out of place.

    Even in the historic RI vs. 61 you see the difference, but it's not nearly as crazy as most moderns. It's better for sure, and yes I understand there was a lot of hand work making them vary in the original few years. However, all of the ones I've seen and handled in person have those thinner, tapered, horn tips.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I can't be bothered by inconsistencies of bevels, horns, etc. For me, it's all about the ergonomics and upper fret access that make the SG my favorite guitar to play.

    Reissues are not replicas.
    I don't think they were ever intended to be.

    re·is·sue
    /ˌrēˈiSH(y)o͞o/

    verb
    1. make a new supply or different form of (a product, especially a book or record) available for sale.
      "the book was reissued with a new epilogue"
    noun
    1. a new issue of a product.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021

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