Dating my old SG. Appears to be a 67'

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by ChipChallenger, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. ChipChallenger

    ChipChallenger New Member

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    Ok thanks!! That’s a relief
     
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  2. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, most likely a '67 (depending on when in '66 the pots are dated). Pots were shipped to Gibson in big batches and it would take them a while to go through a batch. Occasionally, you get one from the bottom of the bin that's been there a while as new stock is dumped on top of it. I've seen '67s with pots from '64. But typically, pots are maybe 2-3 months older than the body they're attached to. So if yours are from late '66, by the time that thing got built and shipped out to a dealer, it was 1967.

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

    Other than that, the swimming pool route came in around mid/late 1966 and Witch Hat knobs replaced your Reflectors around mid 1967, so yours has to be somewhere between those two dates.
     
  3. MJBannerman

    MJBannerman New Member

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    So pleased to find this site of SG Aficionados.
    I am looking for some help. I have had a Standard SG for many years but know little about its production year. The Gibson Data project does not recognize the number. I know the tuners are not original and neither is the pickguard and I don't have the original case. Just uncertain what I should be looking for short of no confirmation on the serial number (which is inked on back of headstock as 533165). I did see a '66 SG Standard sell on the web which had a number two digits away from my serial number (either 533167 or 533163). Anyhow, wishing I knew what to look for specifically. If anyone can help that would be amazing. Attaching a few pics... any other telltail details I should be looking for would be so very much appreciated !
     

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  4. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    Pot codes look like '65. '66 would have the batwing I think so I'd say '65 Standard. That's a hell of a guitar. Looks clean too. How's it sound?
     
  5. MJBannerman

    MJBannerman New Member

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    HI
    I am not a good judge of sound as I am not a good player at all. But friends who do play guitar always revel in the sound and tones. Of course, this guitar in the rights hands always sounds way better.
     
  6. Jackson753

    Jackson753 Member

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    That's a beautiful SG and so is the 63 above.
    These are inspiring and the talk is an education. I can't wait to play my SGs. Glad I checked this post out. It's been fascinating to me so far. I need to make more time for the SG.
     
  7. SixStrRzr

    SixStrRzr New Member

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    Fretless Wonder frets are low and narrow. I would expect yours are standard frets of the era. I've also heard yours referred to as "school bus frets".

    The pots date 66, the serial is barely visible but leads toward a 67.

    Frets are very wide and low, not worn down....without intentionally throwing the term around, maybe the "fretless wonders"
     
  8. Houdi_Elbow

    Houdi_Elbow Member

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    Location:
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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  9. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    This is my 1967 SG Standard. I purchased it in early 1968. IMG_1385 Reduced.jpg 67 SG Body.jpg
     
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  10. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    This is a portion of the control cavity, but you can see enough to tell the shield and wiring look to be the same (the cover screw hole was drilled too close to the the edge of the cavity and eventually caused one side to fail). SG Cavity 1 IMG_2172.JPG
     
  11. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    Sorry, I didn't realize that the second set of photos posted was not from the OP.

    With regard to the OP's photos:
    The carve of the back is identical is identical to mine. The way it ramps down across the top of the body in a straight line through the horn on the left and the body-to-neck joint, but not immediately through the horn on the right of the photo is identical to mine, the neck connection and square-to-rounded transition of the neck is identical, the carve of the horns is identical, the location of the strap button is identical. The low-wide frets are identical, the inlays are correct, the wings on the headstock appear to be there, the pickguard is identical, the position of the controls and pickup switch is identical, the bridge is identical and looks like it has the original nylon saddles (I changed mine to brass but still have the original nylon ones in the case), the crown on the headstock is correct, I can't see the "Gibson" logo well enough, but the dot above the eye should be isolated and the top of it should be inline with the top of the 'G' and the 'b', the top of the loop on the 'b' should be open and the top of the 'o' should be open, and there should be a connection between all of the letters. The truss rod cover looks correct, and if you remove it you should see the end of a brass hex 'acorn' (rounded top) that adjusts the tension on the truss rod. One of the things that should be done is to remove that nut and put a little grease on the threads and reinstall the nut, adjusting the tension for the correct neck relief, so that the nut doesn't seize- take it to a guitar tech if you're uncomfortable or don't know how to do this.

    Other than the Bigsby and the neck pick without a cover, all identifying feature appear to be the same as my '67. Keep in mind, that even though the pot date codes may say '66, it could still be a '67 if it was build in the first part of '67, because Gibson commonly had pots left-over from the end of the previous year when they started building the next year's guitars.

    If there's any question about the serial number (I had this problem because the nitro was thicker on one part of the serial number), if you get a UV light it will stick out like a sore thumb. (And so will any repairs or refinishing done to the guitar).
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  12. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    Big black pickup rings on that, not on the OP's SG. Did the factory-install Bigsby's on stock SG's back then? Or by special order?
     
  13. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention about the pickups, they should be T-Tops. Patent Number pickups phased out in 1965. However, a T-Top is almost identical. The distinctions between a PAF, a PAT and a T-Top are not really that significant, except that earlier PAFs more often used Alnico II magnets. By the time the SG came out, they had mostly standardized production with short bar A5 magnets, and that's what you'll find in any of those pickups. The difference between a PAT and a T-Top is basically just enamel coated wire vs polyurethane insulation and a T on the bobbins. That's about it. Bigsbys were offered from Gibson as a custom order option.

    Probably a late '65 or early '66 before the switch to the batwing pickguard. A good clue would be the heel design. The heel design seen on the OP's 67 debuted BEFORE the batwing pickguard in early '66. So if yours is an early '66, it should probably look like that. If not, I'd say late '65.

    Only Custom models (meaning SG Custom, LP Custom, not custom orders) ever used fretless wonder frets. Anything else you see with exceptionally low frets is just worn out.
     
  14. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    Headstock logo '67 SG (man, I need to do a little guitar cleaning!) '67 SG headstock logo IMG_0054.jpg
    I don't know, but my '67 lyre was definitely factory installed.
     
  15. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    I wondered about this with my SG a while back and looked up the spec for the 'fretless wonder' frets- mine measured within the margin of error for being the same height and width as fretless wonders- measuring the unused frets near the neck-body joint. Maybe they just didn't market them that way.
     
  16. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    It's been confirmed by former Gibson employees and experts like Dan Erlewine that only Customs were spec'd with that wire.

    Whether those frets were played much or not doesn't really matter because a 50 year old guitar will likely have had many fret levelling jobs throughout its life, and if anything, the highest frets will get the most material taken off of them in order to unobstruct the frets behind them. If yours are down to .024-.028" they are definitely worn.

    Here are the frets on a stock '62 SG Standard:

    [​IMG]

    Basically what would be called medium-jumbo today; .098 X .047

    That's why Gibson uses medium-jumbo on almost everything today.

    Versus a stock '72 LP Custom:

    [​IMG]

    And some NOS fretless wonder wire so you can see just how paper thin those suckers were:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  17. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    That looks like it's made up of at least the first two pieces of a maestro, and maybe three, right?
     
  18. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Very similar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. jk67SG

    jk67SG Member

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    Well there's no question that fretless wonder wire is thinner than my '67 SG's frets. Obviously the information I found about the fretless wonder was incorrect. However, there's also no question that my '67 SG's frets thinner than your photo of the 62's frets, and that it's not medium jumbo wire like my 2 LP '60 True Historics and my 60th Anniv. '59 LP.

    It's pretty hard to get an accurate determination of what the fret wire on a guitar was before it was leveled and crowned, and because you're measuring to the fingerboard wood which might have variations or swelling, but here's the best I can do.
    Measurements taken between the 3rd and 4th strings, measurements at between the 1st and 2nd or 5th and 6th strings were smaller. Measurement taken at 1st fret between 3rd and 4th strings because that area showed little if any wear.
    Measurements taken with a Max-Cal Electronic Digital Caliper depth gauge, resolution is 0.0005".

    '67 SG (frets never leveled):
    1st fret- 0.018"
    Between 1st and 12th frets progressively increase from 0.018" until reaching 0.028" at 12th fret and remaining relatively constant up to the 22nd fret. The frets diminish in height as the 1st and 6th strings are approached.

    1960 True Historic (2016) with medium jumbo frets:
    1st fret- 0.039"/0.034" depending on which side of the fret is used for reference.
    2nd fret to 21st fret vary from 0.029" and 0.038" and much of this variation appears to be due to variations in wood height.
    12th fret to 22nd frets: vary from 0.042" to 0.034", again likely due to inter-fret wood variations.
    There is much less variation from the middle of the fretboard to the outer edges on the LP than there is on the SG.

    Generally speaking the medium jumbo frets on the LP are almost twice as high as those on the SG.

    Pretty hard to take a meaningful photo of frets:

    '67 SG Frets IMG_0061.jpg
     
  20. Brooklyn Zeke

    Brooklyn Zeke New Member

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    According to the Blue Book of Electric Guitars, Sixth Edition/Gibson Serialization, the Serial number you gave indicates that that guitar was manufactured: 1969 - 530994-539999.
     

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