Opportunity to get the vintage SG of my dreams, but...

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by splitdiamond, Jan 31, 2021.

?

Sell every SG I have to get an all original 1963 SG Custom?

  1. Do it!

    9 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Are you crazy?

    12 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. splitdiamond

    splitdiamond New Member

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    Hi,

    I have an opportunity to get an all original (post Les Paul) 1963 SG Custom. It is VERY expensive. I currently have a lot of very nice recent custom shop models. BUT... I will basically have to sell/trade everything guitar I own to get this vintage one. It's always been my dream to have a real 1963/64 (the best years IMO). Does anyone here have any sage advice. Have you done something similar? Were you happy with your decision? Any regrets?
     
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  2. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    The question should be "Why do you want it?" Getting an expensive vintage instrument is not to be taken lightly. If you want to play it, and especially if you want to gig, then I would say "No way". Vintage instruments, even in near mint conditions, are still old instruments, and can be tempermental, as well as fragile. Any use causes wear, and risks damage. If you want a nice playing instrument stick with more affordable new instruments or worn relics. The strain on your nerves and your pocketbook will be dramatically reduced. Honestly, as nice as a mint vintage guitar may be, you can get something that plays and sounds just as good for a lot less money buying new or used and putting little work into it.

    If you want to start collecting and curating in a serious way, there ain't but one way to do it. You have to spend the money to get those really nice instruments and plan to spend almost as much on preservation and display. Myself, I can't see spending big bucks on a guitar I can't even take out of the house without an insurance policy and secret service level security precautions. Just my 2 cents. How bad do you want it, and how well will it fit into your life?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I’ve purchased a few vintage SG in the past and it was always an underwhelming experience.

    1963 SG Special
    1970 SG Standard
    1970 SG Junior

    A newer one with fresh frets and no issues is more practical to me. I don’t believe in any magic from owning an old piece of wood. To me, guitars are tools.
     
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  4. zhivago

    zhivago Member

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    I have an incredible '63 SG/LP Custom with 3 PAFs (that had a re-fret before I got it)...I had to sell a '52 Gibson J50 that I had for 10 years or so, a Vintage Select Gretsch White Penguin, a Rickenbacker 660 AND add cash on top. In total it was very expensive indeed.

    No regrets whatsoever, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is the exact guitar I have lusted for since I was a kid.

    It is a bucket list guitar for me and it joins my very small guitar collection of other bucket list guitars. If you can swing it, and if it is exactly the guitar you have wanted forever, I say go for it. You only live once.
     
  5. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    It's your dream. Chase it. Just make sure it's actually your dream.

    I had a dream girl years ago and finally had a chance to be with her. She ended up being a total bitch. Just sayin.
     
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  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    What if ... you don't like it ? You say you have nice Custom Shop SGs. You really want to get rid of those ? To me it would make sense if you already had the money flaoting around, then yeah why not.
     
  7. splitdiamond

    splitdiamond New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Do you play it a lot or is it something you lock away and just open and gaze at it from time to time? I want to play it at home as a songwriting and recording tool. My main one. No gigs, no leaving the house.
     
  8. zhivago

    zhivago Member

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    I play it all the time...I would never spend that much money on something that I'd have to keep locked away. Ultimately, it's just a guitar...an expensive guitar, but still, just a guitar.

    When I play it, I never think about the money I spent on it. I am the same with my other vintage guitars...and I am not rich by any extend...I am just a graphic designer...I traded up and up over the past 25 or so years. I would rather have 1-2 amazing guitars instead of a room of so-and-so ones.

    I understand the comments above saying "what if you don't like it?"...that is entirely possible...not all vintage guitars are amazing. But I don't see that as a problem either...you can either return it to the dealer you got it from, or just sell it and get all, or at least most, of your money back.

    Ultimately buy it because you love it...it is the only reason to buy a guitar like that. :)
     
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  9. shane burbank

    shane burbank New Member

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    I say get the 63 as long as its original and unrepaired. Those reissues can be replaced easier. The mahogany was better back then. Along with the pickups and overall aging, there are better vintage tone qualities. I was in the same spot you are in back in 1999 and since getting rid of my new ones then, I have a 1969 standard, 1970 custom, 1963 custom and two 61 standards and I have not looked back.
     
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  10. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Well-Known Member

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    Have you played it? Does it give you the sound you hear in your head? Does your hand go giddy when you touch it? If not, then hell no.
     
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  11. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    You being forward a real interesting predicament, and one I think most of us could grapple with.

    For me, personally, I say keep the masses of custom shop top tier guitars. Minus the prestige of having that coveted vintage SG Custom you likely have a better playing guitar in your stable. No slight at the 63, I am sure it is a fantastic vintage piece. But is it worth the premium dollar?

    Vintage prices have gone nuts, and that’s okay. They are worth what people are willing to pay for them. But are they actually worth that when considering the musical value? Collector value, maybe I guess. But you can’t tell me a vintage Sg plays 12 times better than a current day custom shop. Somethings get better with age. Others it’s a case of “we don’t make them like that anymore”.

    Unless you have spent ample time with the guitar and can’t live without it, I say keep you winners you have now. I have 3 SG’s that are my keepers. And for everyone I bought, I just have put hundreds back on the stand and said “no thanks”. So to put all of chosen ones up for a gamble because it was made “X” year seems silly.

    I understand the obsession; trust me :naughty:. But it’s not worth the gamble. Also, this assumes having a vintage Instrument’s fits into your playing style and musical habits. Live vs studio, environmental concerns, cost of maintenance on a instrument with such value.

    keep us posted...
     
  12. Bijou Drains

    Bijou Drains Member

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    Owner of an all-original 1968 Cherry SG Special with Maestro tremelo and her original case, here.

    I purchased her in 1993 from a nation-wide, well-known, vintage dealer for $695 (a near pittance, by today’s standard). She had lots of finish chequing, dings, dents and scratches galore - in other words, an at-the-time road-worn relic. However, being a Pete Townshend fanatic since 1972, I just had to have THE identical main SG Pete played.

    Over the years I had previously owned a 1974 SG in natural tone and a 1969 SG in brown. Didn’t like them. They didn’t feel comfortable in my hand when I played them. When I was handed my current ‘68 SG Special from a wall full of vintage SG’s, she just felt “right”. I instantly felt a connection with her and the longer I held her in my hands and played her at the store through a vintage Gibson amp, the stronger the connection became.

    What helped establish my bond with this SG was that she had a 1 9/16” width at the nut, which was PERFECT for my small hands and short fingers. One of the most confidence-inspiring things about this purchase was that the dealer had earned a stellar rep over decades in business and was completely straight up with me about her, stating though she wasn’t a gorgeous case queen, she played incredibly well and stayed in tune. 25 years later, in 2018, she had her first refret, a new compensated Mojo bridge and bone nut installed and had her plek’d. Naturally, I kept the nut and uncompensated bridge AND I kept the original frets, believe it or not! I can bend the sh*t out of the Gibson Light 9-46 gauge strings and she stays in tune, even if I don’t play her for a couple of days.

    As you can see from my sig, I own a number of nice guitars and every single one of them feels comfortable in my hands, although 3 of them I bought without personally playing them, first. I got lucky - but, I’ve also had a handful of Gibsons I parted with because I didn’t believe they played well, in my hands.

    The bottom line is that any guitar should be played before being purchased, in particular, if it’s a “vintage” piece.

    I love the living daylights out of my ‘68 SG Special because she plays incredibly well in my hands, in spite of the finish chequing, dings, dents, scratches, gouges and having been dropped a couple of times, yet, she has no breaks and I’ve retained all replaced parts.
     
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  13. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    Agree fully with the above. For me it was a '67 Special. I'd been lusting after a wide pickguard P90 equipped Special for years. Fortunately there are plenty available and when the time came and I found one locally, I was able to sit down with it before I spent any money. It was immediate too, I was shocked at how much it played and sounded like I hoped it was going to. Also fortunate was the fact that they're far more affordable than an early 60s Custom. It wasn't much more than a new SG Standard goes for and I didn't have to offload anything crazy to get it. That's a tough decision on your part. Keep is posted how it turns out.
     
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  14. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    My dream SG is a 70ish, no-bevel, harmonica bridge, deluxe with a Gibson marked or non marked bigsby.

    Most decent examples are between 2.5-3k.

    A couple years ago Gibson released a special with mini humbuckers and with blow-out sale pricing I got it well under $600. It scratched the deluxe itch well enough for me. (I may still get an original, but it’s not a priority)

    http://legacy.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2018/USA/SG-Special-2018.aspx

    If you have custom shop models and the itch isn’t scratched, you may just have to have what your heart desires.
     
  15. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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  16. Darryl Fisher

    Darryl Fisher Member

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    If that's the "only" way it would (could, should) happen, I guess that's how it would (should-could) be done, although I haven't done it that way in "many" years...
    I'd be curious as to what you're sending out to pasture...
     
  17. Gbux

    Gbux New Member

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    I’ve been in almost the same position!!! Just get it!!! You’ll regret it if you don’t!!! It won’t lose its value, so if you don’t end up liking it, you can alway flip it!!! I’d almost kill to be able to get one!!! I’d rather have a few of the guitars that I really love, than a whole bunch that I only play every so often!!! They look way cool as well!!! Go on!!! Let ya head go!!!
     
  18. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    That guitar of your dreams is only going to get more expensive and harder to find. Go For It!!!!

    It's just a guitar... but if it's the one that's been haunting you?

    If it's what you WANT?!... get it. but if you get it... PLAY IT!!!! You'll get more guitars, without a doubt.
     
  19. crashbelt

    crashbelt Member

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    First be sure its for you. Customs have a useless middle pickup which hampers playing with a pick and an odd wiring configuration. They can have dodgy vibrolas too.

    If you're after a vintage SG to play, a Standard or Special can be better bets. I have a refin 61 Standard (my avatar) and a 62 Special and I love them both.

    Necks vary a lot too, and watch those headstock and heel repairs.

    If you're satisfied about these kind of issues and you've found one that you really fall for, I'd go right ahead. You can't beat a great early 60s SG for me.

    But be sure and be careful!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  20. Herbie74w

    Herbie74w Active Member

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    Having a guitar with PAFs is a dream. Go for it. Reissues are great but there is something about an old played in guitar. You can always buy a reissue.
     

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