SG Homicide Frankentar

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Chips, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    I found a mid 60's SG (62 I think by serial #) in the sound room of my recently deceased uncle's estate...er um, small house. The pictures will surely horrify some but I'm trying to figure out what is going on with it. It would have been in the 70's that it was attempted, so not likely that this would have been considered anything particularly valuable at the time.

    I may try to semi fix this for the fun of it but mostly I'd like to see if anyone knows has a serious thought as to what he was trying to achieve. Surely the jokes will be fun but I am looking for some old knowledge. Maybe someone knows what mods were in the minds of garage bands trying to find a new sound or reproduce a sound of the era.

    Any thoughts other than that a screwdriver is not the best carving tool a bad bondo job doesn't help anything.
     
  2. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184353.jpg 20210221_184403.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184353.jpg 20210221_184403.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184403.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg 20210221_184416.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    3,618
    Likes Received:
    4,509
    Serial numbers of that era not reliable for determining age of guitar.

    61-62 had the bridge at an angle, no Vibrola.
    63 they changed it to straight across and added Vibrola.

    66 was transition year to batwing.
    The neck heel is not elongated like the ones later on.

    Looks like a 1966 SG Special.
     
  4. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,005
    Likes Received:
    520
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    KPB, Houdi_Elbow and Nemesis0710 like this.
  5. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    That helps. Without the serial it seemed most similar to 66 I saw in another picture so we'll agree 66 for now. Any idea what that electronic set jammed in there could be for?
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.
  6. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Yessir. I had to peel some of that lure tape off to believe it was an actual Gibson. If not for the used to be solid mahogony I would have thought it was a clone and not even checked.
     
  7. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    423
    Well, try tried to add some kind of effect/s into it. God rest their soul.....
     
  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    3,618
    Likes Received:
    4,509
    Looks like someone was into circuit bending.
     
  9. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    148
    Yeah, agree with the above, it looks like someone was trying to build some sort of stomp box circuitry into the body of the guitar. I wouldn't pay much for a guitar in that condition, but if it somehow came to be mine, I would definitely try to salvage it. You can basically do no wrong with it at this point, as the damage has already been done. Step one would be to plug her in, try and tune it up, and see what works. If the added electronics were indeed the guts of a fuzz pedal or something along those lines, they may require 9 volt battery. If the stuff works and sounds "cool" I would probably try and leave them in and make cosmetic and/or structural repairs as needed to the body and run with it.

    The front actually has a pretty cool garage punk aesthetic going on that I find to be oddly appealing, especially since the mods are also pretty much "vintage" by this time. If you can get her playing, it will certainly be one of a kind. I would view it as an opportunity that doesn't come along every day to finish a period project that no one in their right mind would start today with a valuable older instrument. If she isn't structurally compromised, she can probably be brought back to life.

    Who knows, aged Bondo may be the new "tone wood", and that pre-1975 Bondo should be much better than the new stuff! :D
     
    Witnot likes this.
  10. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    I can say that the bondo seems to break free from the lacquer pretty cleanly. No chance though where it is into raw wood.

    Honestly hadn't thought about trying it. With 13 friggin knobs and switches seems like something would blow up....maybe by design.

    One thing is certain though; if the electronics are the guts of an old pedal, the carcass will be there in his house somewhere. He had some really old stuff and never threw away anything. I'll give it a try and report back.

    At least the neck is straight. The action is super low and I love the fat & low frets.
     
  11. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    So no go on the plug and play. Looks maybe not complete. a couple switches with no connection. also several loose wires. No battery connection but looks like maybe there is an old school spring clamp for a 9v...just no connector. I may fool around with it some more after I get some idea of what might supposed to be going on with the wiring. Any bright ideas?
     
  12. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    148
    Well, having a straight neck and all is encouraging. Structural issues there could easily fall into the category of issues that could scuttle the operation.

    Electronics fall more into the category of "somewhat easily repairable" Given the complexity of the non-standard wiring, it might be worthwhile to either have it looked at by someone with some knowledge of how these things work, or alternatively study up on it a bit yourself. I would definitely try and sort it myself if it were mine, but you are going to have to reverse engineer what the owner was working with and what he was trying to do. The easiest repair would be to take all the add ons out of the circuit path and just get the tone/volume/pickups working first. You could then treat the other components as a separate project (kind of like the original owner did).

    Knowing what the added components came out of would help a lot, so if you find some old pedal carcasses in a box somewhere it may give some valuable clues as to what you are looking at. I would plan on this being a longer term project at this point. It could take a month just to figure out what you are starting with and come up with a plan for how to best fix it up. It doesn't pay to try and rush something like this, and "do no further harm" should be your mantra. Most electronics repairs will be easily undone and altered if you have to change your approach. Lots of wiggle room there.

    Fixing all those brutal routes on the backside will be more of a one shot deal. Don't be afraid to get advice, and explore different approaches and methods of repair before you start trying to fix it. Taking a few months to formulate a cohesive plan with good chances for success will be time well spent.
     
  13. njpaulc

    njpaulc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    261
    .....so you can do routing with a soup spoon.....
     
  14. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    567
    Location:
    Sweden
    Holy sh1t!! I can't for the life of me figure out what they wanted to do here but one has to appreciate the sheer willpower. Did Les Paul own this guitar?! Anyway, I'd love to fix something like that up and I'd definitely go for it, but that's because I like the challenge and not because I think it's ever going to be worth anything. Still, the neck seems fine, bridge seems in place, it has pickups. What more do you need? Sorry I can't help but thanks for posting the pics, really enjoyed seeing that, love it when people have ideas and just go for it!
     
  15. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    148
    Yeah, as a purely investment opportunity, this would probably be a wash. There is simply no way to restore this to it's original state. The pleasure of getting it playing good, and having a bit of family history however would be intangibles that simply can't be valued objectively. From what I see here though, I think careful investment of time and resources would not be wasted, and you could perhaps get a unique and solid player's instrument out of it. I would name it "Uncle *name*" (commemorating the sadly deceased owner who started this unusual process). I do agree with Von Trapp in that it is something I would love to take on and see where the project takes me. Getting those active electronics working to the original owner's intent would be a fascinating task.

    Looking at the photos more closely, what I thought was an extra jack on the bottom horn appears to be a momentary switch or button, possibly to toggle the electronics? or possibly a momentary "kill" switch ala Jack White or Rage Against the Machine. In the 70's, that would have been a pretty cutting edge feature which has only become popular in more recent years. Perhaps inspired by the likes of Frank Zappa? If a functional restoration is in the cards here, it would certainly be worthy of a thread all it's own. I would love to know how it turns out.
     
  16. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    567
    Location:
    Sweden
    Not that I know anything about the guy that did it but I'm starting to think he might have worked on a wonderful invention for guitars and just used this one to test everything on, a dummy as it were, and therefor not giving a sh!t about the actual guitar. In that case the invention was the thing and the SG just a vessel for its perfection...

    It also puzzles me that there a no nibs but the frets are to worn to be a refret.

    But man, you HAVE to steal it, plug it in and post the results here!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  17. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks for the input everyone. I am excited to mess with the same as suggested. I'm not sure why I couldn't get it to produce sound the other day but I eventually did find that it works. Unfortunately it took untangling all the wires to discover that it is an unfinished project and only the original wiring was actually functioning...albeit rewired in a weird position. The switches were toggles rather than momentary but still had no function because the second jack was not wired among other things.

    looking at the circuitry I'm wondering if this didn't come off another guitar. Those 4 pots seem native to the board, which appears even older than the guitar. It would be fun to try to finish the job. I may get lucky and find one of his buddies that knows about it at the funeral. Until then I will wait and as suggested devise a plan.

    Loading pictures isn't working so great for me at the moment for size limitations but I'll get that figured out and load some more pics of the phantom electronics.

    I've stripped it down and discovered a very repairable crack in the body side of the neck joint. I could probably repair it without removing the neck but I think I may try to pull it off to get a better fix and have easier workability with whatever I end up doing to the body. Anybody ever pulled the neck on one of these? I couldn't help but notice that the 4 screws are missing. The last glue on I removed was a serious pain because I didn't know it was held on with dowel rods.

    When I did get it to play there was an audible accoustic guitar sound coming from the hollowed rear. Made me think I need to install another pick up in the rear. This thing might have a future as a vintage Gibson SG super special semi-hollow back signature model.

    Finally, there was indeed serious play wear on the neck. The nibs showed after I cleaned it. Frets were nicely grooved and the buildup on the back at the scale ends was thick while the center was worn smooth almost to wood.

    Certainly not in it for profit. He left some other fine instruments for that. I just enjoy the challenge and possibilities.
     
  18. Chips

    Chips New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
  19. Brooklyn Zeke

    Brooklyn Zeke Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    9
    At one point in the life of my '69 SG Std., I had purchased and installed a mirrored batwing pickguard, replacing (temporarily) the 3-ply plastic laminate (B-W-B). Looks great under lights.
     
  20. ruster1

    ruster1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    207
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Fantastic amount of work to get those mods in there.. A for effort.. F for execution.. It certainly does look like they were going for an onboard effects circuit.. If you look at Angus Young's original guitar (1970 standard).. where they cut a big hole in the back to place his wireless unit and put duct tape over the hole .. believe it or not, a good luthier would just sand this all back and plug some mahogany in there and paint it a solid color.. A few YOUTUBER Luthiers would love to have at it and hopefully put out a long series on those repairs.. it can be done or just use it as a wall hanger.. perhaps we can name this one the "Franken-G".. I think its a fabulous piece of art as it sits.. but it can be saved.. rather easily if there are not neck issues..
     
    Flaps likes this.

Share This Page