Is this 1979 SG a modified The SG?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by SlackHappySlapper, May 10, 2021.

  1. SlackHappySlapper

    SlackHappySlapper New Member

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    Hi. I have an old SG and I'm not 100% about the model. The serial number says it's made in Nashville in August '79. It's probably a slightly modified "The SG", but I'm not sure. The truss rod cover and the pickups don't match.
    Maybe someone in here know this exact model? Or maybe the cover & the pickups are unoriginal?

    guitar.jpg cover.jpg pickup.jpg
     
  2. MR D

    MR D Member

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    Its definitely a 1979 Gibson SG 'The SG', the Gibson logo on top of the head-stock is correct: silk-screened, not MOP....It is technically NOT a 'Firebrand' as that came out after the turn of the decade in 1980, technically October 1979. That TR Cover should say, simply, 'The "SG"', so it is NOT an original TR Cover.
    The were two models of the 'The SG', that I know of, in 1979: the Standard and Deluxe.
    The one pictured should have an Ebony Fret-board on top of a 3 piece un-bound Walnut Neck along with a Walnut body, weigh about 8+ Lbs and have a Volute. It was not a Mahogany 'SG'. The Input jack should be on the side of the body, not the top..The pickup's in that Bad-Boy were called the "Velvet Brick" and even tho I always thought the Zebra in the bridge position was the earliest version of the 'Dirty Fingers' that Gibson produced, I have been told that is in-correct, but that correction was not indicated to me by Gibson, so.....IDK. The tone on the 3 or 4 of those guitars that I have had the pleasure of playing was really up there with the best Tone I have ever heard on any 'SG', plugged-in.
    I would keep that guitar, be sure to pass it on to someone I really like when I'm gone. Someone that is really going to appreciate playing it. Despite it not being a really expensive Guitar ($499+ Tax when new), IMO, and without hearing it, I'd say it is surely Tone Monster and a keeper.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  3. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    The zebra Velvet Brick in the bridge on The SG / Firebrand was also used on the Victory line (I think of in the neck). The Velvet Brick and Dirty Fingers are completely different pickups, but in this context they're both zebras and have ceramic magnets.

    The poles on Dirty Fingers are all adjustable and the an output around 14k or so. The Velvet Brick had adjustable poles only on the black bobbin and the output was roughly half of the Dirty Fingers in the low 7's.

    Dirty Fingers were around at the same time as the Velvet Brick and used on the Firebrand 335s and other guitars at the time.
     
  4. SlackHappySlapper

    SlackHappySlapper New Member

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    MR D you are correct about everything. Well, I'm pretty sure it's not Mahogany.

    Thanks for educating me on those pickups, guys. Been reading up on them today.
    I'm usually impressed over how well the bridge-pickup "chugs". I would say it's more or less on pair with the V8 pickup that is in a lot of Ibanez guitars. That's impressive to me, especially when all I know about the pickup is that it's old (It's my first & only Gibson, I'm a Gibson-noob).

    So it's safe to assume the pickups are original? The pickups are the most confusing part, as it seems unlikely the previous owner would have them replaced with these, the older model.
    It has that classic crack (see pic)...Now I can't help wonder if the TR cover broke when that happened.
    btw, it plays great despite the crack.
     

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  5. MR D

    MR D Member

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    IDK about the P-Up's, the ones that I knew were un-covered so MAYBE they were covered or, shame, replaced ? Take a look at the solder joints in C.P.. You can be sure its definitely NOT a Mahogany 'SG'...it should be/is Walnut w/Ebony Fret-Board, not your every day Gibson wood combo.....I had a couple of those guitars and they just attractted thieves/$#!T#EADs like a magnet. If the original pickup's are in it (hope they are) that Guitar should have a really distinct tone, FWIR, especially the original Bridge pickup. Out of the 4-5 year 'Firebrand' run, which it technically isn't, I preffered the '79, they just frikkin' SCREEEMED !!!!
    IDK if I see the crack either ? is it maybe by the LOW 'E' towards the nut ? Dont look too bad if that is it.
    Knowing what I know now, and w/the market for vintage guitars just going up Up UP....I would be hard pressed to sell that Bad-Boy and would maybe wait till its 50 yrs old if I did, what 7-8 years ?.....if everything is original, cha-ching !
     
  6. Westernrider

    Westernrider Well-Known Member

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    Enjoyed reading this post. Thanks Folks.

    Agreed, the original posted guitar is not the Firebrand.

    Think about branding cattle.
    Then look at the headstock.
    That is what the Gibson brand name will resemble - etched into the wood.
    And the trussrod cover will say Firebrand and below it will be SG Standard.
    And the fingerboard is ebony, and the neck is more of a slim taper style - smooth, fast, and unbelievably comfortable.
    Sound wise, this is a very tight sounding guitar as compared to my mahogany SG's


    The pickups were not covered. Best I can remember is that they were zebra. The original bridge pickup did not suit me [ I was young and impulsive ] and out of the guitar it measured [ I think ] about 14K or might have been around 8K - that was freaking years ago. And best I could come up with is that this was the world renowned Velvet Brick.

    Collector value shot to hell and back. I have no idea what happened to the original pickups. I've swapped numerous sets, both SD and DMZ into and out of this guitar, and am currently running the 36 Annv neck and the Air Zone in the bridge.

    Really I need to take pictures of some of my well-used guitars especially this one.
     
  7. MR D

    MR D Member

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    Only correction I will dare to make is about the Truss Rod cover, you are correct about what you stated on these guitars from 1980 on, after the name 'Firebrand' was added. However, in 1979 the Truss Rod cover said simply 'The SG'"...I really thought it was pretty cool for Gibson to say that about that particular guitar as it definitely was its own MONSTER......Tne one that I had for over 3 decades, I almost miss...But after having played the $#!T out of that guitar for as long as I did,and selling it for what I got for it, I've no regret.
     
  8. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    Sweet The SG! Unless someone added covers, which is unlikely, I'd say both pickups were replaced. As mentioned above checked the solder connections under the rear cover. Should be fairly obvious. I picked up my The SG a little over 2 years ago and I still am amazed at how awesome that guitar plays and sounds. It seems like people are starting to realize this as the price on these has doubled and in some cases tripled over the last few years according to the Reverb price guide. Hope you enjoy yours. Here's a pic of my The SG.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jumpin Joe

    Jumpin Joe Member

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    WOW, that is SHARP...some of those came with the Harmonica Bridge that many players disliked, not me...I really liked it, Made in Germany, ACH-TUNG !...that is one clean looking 40 year old guitar....ROCKIN' ! The toggle switch is also in a place I prefer too.
     
  10. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    awesome guitars... I've been drooling over these for a long time.
    I could have got one for about a thousand... maybe eight or so years ago,
    but probably can't afford it now. You see them for two thousand now.
    79 The SG.jpeg
    Original p'ups were uncovered, with the Zebra velvet brick at the bridge.

    Have to wait for another incarnation. If you have one, keep it.
    If it's been modded, restore it to factory. These guitars are unique
    and special, and they deserve to be played the way they were
    designed. They are awesome that way, anyway.

    If Gibson troubled to create a "The SG" re-issue, I'd be sorely tempted
    to buy one. I know they created a "The Paul" re-issue recently, so it isn't
    out of the question.

    A walnut SG with an ebony board... hard to beat.
     

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