My 1965 Gibson SG Special Cherry wide nut chrome Vibrola

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by rze99, May 3, 2021.

  1. rze99

    rze99 New Member

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    Hi all thought I'd finally make a post about my SG. My first professional standard guitar was a 1968 Gibson SG Special bought when I was 16. I used to plug it straight into my '70s Marshall JMP stack. Sounded incredible. I don’t remember thinking it was vintage or anyone making a deal about it then. Back then you just got what was available in shops or privately. I traded it for a Strat a couple of years later because I was obsessed with Jimi at the time and couldn't afford two guitars.

    I really missed the ’68 so it so I got one of the SG Classics about ten years ago to fill the gap which is excellent (with a 50s wiring mod), but not the same as an original. I still have the JMP stack. :)But I still hankered after an original vintage SG Special. I recently bought this 1965 SG Special. It’s in overall pretty good condition, it has some dings, a few bare spots and plenty of lacquer checking over the still vibrant cherry finish.

    The specs are early ’65 transition in that it was the wider nut 1.69” (43.11mm) but with chrome bridge and tailpiece. The body is a one-piece slab of Honduran Mahogany, as is the neck. The fingerboard is a richly hued Brazilian rosewood with some lovely dark red hints in strong daylight. Shows signs of some rough fret finishing and tool markings other scars. Pretty shiny and waxy and smooth.

    It has the short Vibrola tailpiece and compensated lightening bar bridge in chrome the original strip-mounted Kluson Deluxe button tuners. Incredibly low action. The bridge has had string grooves cut into it. Pots and electronics are original with no signs of molestation. The pickguard is a bit warped, but nothing too Dali Clocks.

    The P-90s are magnificent, especially the bridge which is perfect. Lots of top end and chimey, they retain the top end as you roll back and get lovely warm glassy cleans. Into a gainy amp it has that sound. Pots have a quick tail off so adjustment is quite fine in a live setting. The neck pickup isn’t as flutey as a Les Paul or as twangy and hollow as Strat. It’s a sort of in between tone, capable of some variety.

    It is set-up to perfection with a super low action, smooth frets lower over the years but still plenty to play with. The original compensated bridge isn’t too bad, but I have Tonepros AVT2 wraparound on it currently which enables perfect intonation and the notes ring out really truly.
    Hits the scales at 6.6lb and balances perfectly.

    I made a Pete Townsend inspired sound demo of it, here:



    Hope you like the pics

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  2. Bob L

    Bob L Member

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    Sounds great!
     
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  3. rze99

    rze99 New Member

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    Thank you and for checking it out. :)
     
  4. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    sounds as good as it looks. I love how those sound. those p90's close together are super cool.
     
  5. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Iconic SG Special, awesome !
     
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  6. fernieite

    fernieite Member

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    Wow, gorgeous Special! Congrats, and welcome to the forum.:smile:
     
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Nice!
    SG Specials are my favorite.
    My first was a 1969 SG Special.
    No longer have it.
    Got a couple of SG Classics to fill the void.
     
  8. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful! well loved and nicely "broken in". I wouldn't change a thing.
     
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  9. Arthwys

    Arthwys New Member

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    She's a looker, that's for sure. Sounds great as well! Thanks for sharing :thumb:
     
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  10. Stella

    Stella Member

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    Great write up, playing and sound example, and pictures. You did an excellent job of letting us hear why old p-90s are such magical pickups.

    Early 65 Specials and Juniors are still the best vintage deal out there, although prices are beginning to get crazy. I might like my 65 SG Junior more than my 59 LP Junior DC, but it’s hard to pick between the two.

    Enjoy the guitar, and thanks for sharing…
     
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  11. rze99

    rze99 New Member

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    thank you for checking it out and feeding back.
     
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  12. edselman

    edselman Member

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    That is more than stunning in every way!!!
     
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  13. rze99

    rze99 New Member

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    BTW on the recording, it is not quite three HiWatt stacks I'm afraid. It's just a Leeds pedal into a PC .

    Full signal chain:

    DryBell Unit67 > Tech21 Leeds > Boss DD-3 delay > Yamaha THR100HD with EL84 and Clean settings > to Behringher desk > PC
     
  14. ruster1

    ruster1 Active Member

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    THAT, is my idea of a beautifully aged lacquer guitar.. congrats.. sounds great.. !! Unless you traded that 68 for a PRE-CBS strat and not a 70's model I assume you are kicking yourself.. (not dissing 70's strats, well maybe,, lol).. but chasing jimi tones is hard to do with anything else.. even he did play an SG custom and a custom made V.. the finish on that 65 looks fantastic.. and the break angle over the bridge reminds me of an overwrap on a stoptail.. my SG-62 loves that .. but my 76 does not.. Congrats.. !! great example..
     
  15. VSG

    VSG Member

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    Hi Ruster1. Been there, did that....I always had to sell the guitar I had in hand to get the next one. Money was tight in the late '60's and early '70's. I went through some valuable guitars back then (but just did not know HOW valuable they would become. I had a '68 SG Std in 1971 that I should have hung on to. My biggest loss was a 1952 Fender Esquire that I paid $250 for in late 1970. Traded it for a 1958 Gibson LP Secial in TV yellow.....wish I had both of those back....but one had to leave the hand in order for the next one to be in hand.
     
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  16. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Awesome!
    Now I want one.
     
  17. crashbelt

    crashbelt Member

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    Beautiful and very unfaded.

    Small guard Specials are still the best vintage deals out there imho. My 62 is my goto gigging guitar- despite serious competition.
     
  18. Pointyfan

    Pointyfan Member

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    Great demo. I really like your playing, very tasteful... Speaking of taste, you have great taste, here's my '65.. IMG_1325 (2).JPG
     
  19. fernieite

    fernieite Member

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    So do you! That's a rare Ampeg Rocket II amp.
     
  20. Pointyfan

    Pointyfan Member

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    Thank you sir. It pairs well with my SG's. I've read that Ken Fisher of Trainwreck fame designed the Rocket II. It's a big fat sounding amp, with fantastic tremolo. The OP's post wants me want a HiWatt now!
     
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