Identify and refurb my old SG

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Flashman, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Evening, completely new to forum so advanced apologies for breaching any standards and length of post... I have put something similar on the Gibson forum this week, so apologies if there are any of the same audience! Having now found this SG specific site, this is probably the place to be!

    I’ve had an SG for around 25 years. My brother in law gave it to me in around ‘96 when I started playing in a band. Did this (poorly) for a few years then life took hold and guitars have had limited play. Picked it up again recently when teaching son how to play and realise I need to know more about it. My brother in law has sadly passed away so I can't ask him how he came by it. But he had it when playing in a band in London in the late 70's.

    Judging from online descriptions and a few checks, I’m reasonably confident now it is an authentic SG - though a few points were questioned on the other forum around the logo and body shape. There is no serial number on the back of the headstock - though it has had an awful paint job all over and it could well be under there. In the absence of this, I have looked a the volume pots and dated these to May '73. Then looking at confirmed original '73/74 standard SG's on line, there are many similarities to mine. The body is the same, the blank bell truss rod cover - 2 ply b/w, lack of neck binding, small volute (present from 69 from what I've read), Indian rosewood fretboard with mother of pearl small block inlays. I've also found examples of the thinner inlayed logo on the headstock it has, with the offset 's' and no gaps on the 'b' and 'o'. A number of other things too....so reasonably confident.

    Perhaps stupidly and ignorant of maintaining original components, I replaced the pickups with some Seymour Duncan’s in about ‘99/2000....can’t remember the model.

    There's a name painted on the headstock I can't account for, 'John D. Shearer' and I think the 'crown' inlay may have been painted over to allow for this. I've no idea who this is and incredible as it might seem, I paid no real attention to this when I used it regularly 20 odd years ago! stupid, as I could have asked about it.

    Anyway, I would like to refurbish and repaint it and thought I'd need to ask a number of questions as I go along, so thought this the best place to start!

    Any comments/advice appreciated. first question, the fretboard is rosewood, but has been lacquered. Is that correct as I read somewhere that it should be clean and oiled?

    you'll see form the pics that its not in fantastic shape. Plays pretty well though! IMG_1589.jpg IMG_1588.jpg IMG_1587.jpg IMG_1586.jpg
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a 1973-74 SG Special that had the Mini Humbuckers removed and was routed for humbuckers.

    73-74 Standards also had unbound necks, but have a crown inlay on the headstock and I'm not seeing any evidence of one underneath the scripted name.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  3. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that would be a Special because the Standard only had an unbound fretboard that was Ebony with Mother of Pearl inlays, whereas yours is Rosewood with acrylic pearloid inlays. The Gibson logo is legit, it's a font they used from '73-'76 mostly. The pickguard is also a giveaway because it's single-ply whereas a Standard would be 5-ply black/white.

    https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/SG_Special#1972-1977

    The Ping tuners aren't original but are pretty similar to the Klusons it would have came with.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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  4. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Really helpful thank you. I’ll take a look at the pick up cavities and any obvious additional routing out. If this is the case, I’m closer to having it correctly ID’d but I guess I’m going to struggle to refurb in line with original set up as minis will no longer fit!
     
  5. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    1973 Vintage ad, your SG is a Standard.


    SG Standard 2805.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Nope.
    It's a Special.
    Standards have a crown inlay.
    This one clearly does not.

    Neck and headstock markings indicate the model, not type of pickups. Pickups can easily be changed even if routing cavities is necessary. Much more difficult to change features such as inlays and binding.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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  7. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Yes thanks, I’m def leaning towards special. Saw that old ad too and wondered but have seen confirmed specials with block (rather than dot) inlay too. If I check the pickup cavity for widening, and be sure if no crown under the crap paint job and signature on headstock, that should resolve it. ....then on to refurb decisions.... again, thanks for all the help. Much appreciated.
     
  8. laza616

    laza616 Active Member

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  9. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    I had a look at the pick cavities and these have been fairly brutally routed out. So confirms minis in there before and with the rest of the comments and pointers this confirms it as a ‘73 Special. Thanks for helping with this. Now for the project!
     
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  10. MacDiarmada

    MacDiarmada New Member

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    Looks fake to me
     
  11. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Helpful. It’s not. Confirmed now via pots numbers and serial on headstock I found during refurb. SG Special ‘73. Mini’s had been removed for SD 59’s. Now fully sanded, dark cherry dye with tru-oil finish. Lacquer removed from fretboard and rosewood cleaned and oiled. Resprayed headstock and cleaned pots and wiring replaced now sounds and looks great! I’ll post an image tomorrow
     
  12. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Meant to do this before. Just in case anyone is interested...here are some pics. Last improvement was to replace the ping tuners with Kluson Supremes, which I did today, and should be more akin to what would’ve been on there before. Looking at the previous photos above, it’s a totally different guitar now after refurb. Plays sooooo much better too....which is the important bit of course....and I really enjoyed doing it. Completely re-enthused to play more often...
     

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  13. Corporal Scratchy

    Corporal Scratchy Active Member

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    Looks good! Well done!
     
  14. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    That came back nicely! Looks good.
     
  15. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Thanks gents. Learnt a load while doing it.
     
  16. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Great job and interesting thread!
     
  17. MR D

    MR D New Member

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    My 1st thought as well, but IDK...'72-'75 imma notta so up on.But lacking a serial#....
     
  18. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    found the serial during refurb. It was under a load of awful black paint.
     
  19. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    nice job! A guitar like this one ought to play music.
    WELCOME TO ETSG!

    Many guitars of this time period (and every other time period) were
    mercilessly butchered, because mod fever was sweeping the country
    as it is to this day.
    The signature was likely an early owner... it looks like the same font
    used to write Les Paul's signature on those models.

    Might be funny to look up the guy. Show him his old guitar. Bring along
    a crying towel for him, he'd likely love to have it back.
    It sure looks better than it did. I'll bet it plays better too.

    Thanks for posting this project. Remember that if the serial number was
    painted over, the guitar might have been stolen at some time.
     
  20. Flashman

    Flashman New Member

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    Thanks. I did do a bit of research around the name. There was a photographer of that name in the 70’s who photographed BB King and had pictures in time magazine. I contacted his widow and she replied to say that the middle initial was wrong, and in fact ‘Time’ had misprinted it all those years ago-and he never played guitar as far as she knew. So I have no idea who he was....I figured after all that the paint and router job done on it was so poor that it can’t of been anyone of note.

    My brother in law gave me the guitar in the 90’s but he had it when I first met him in ‘81 ....and I remember him saying he bought it off a punk in London in the late 70’s. Can’t recall any more and he’s passed away now. So if it was pilfered, it was a very long time ago....and it’s mine now! Good point though.

    thanks for all the advice and help everyone!
     

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