Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by JohnP, May 16, 2013.
That's a beautiful SG. Here's my 2 from the 70s.
Chute, Look at the switch and jack placement differences on those 2. Interesting.
One is a Standard, the other a The SG. I actually prefer the oddball configuration with the jack on the bottom and the switch to the rear. I'm not sure if they continued with that setup on any other SGs going forward.
Notice my touch of Oddball with my 3 knob '87 Special. I like it too, because the controls are in line like a Strat.
They did. The "SG" was the first model to introduce it in 1978, and then the Standard followed in 1980. Stayed that way until the Standard was redesigned to the batwing style in 1991.
The 3 knob is definitely odd yet awesome. PTL- appreciate the knowledge contained in that wiki.
that cherry looks good, is it a refinish?
Its original. The lighting in that pic makes it looks super bright. It is pretty clean. Finish is still very cherry red and didn't turn brownish like alot of them did. Headstock inlay is still pearly white and hasn't yellowed. Lived in it's case for a long time before I got it. There's almost no fret wear. But the body does have the usual dings here and there. Just doesn't show well in the pic. Here's a slightly better pic but it's still a little darker under natural light and not a florescent.
My old '74 that used to be cherry red....
Maybe some of you can help me ID my SG. I bought it used in 1988. The foil of the cavity cover was etched with the name of the previous owner and "1984", but I think it is a few years older than that. The weird part is that the back of the headstock is black and has a diamond shaped inlay at the top. No serial number is visible and no "made in USA". Any ideas?
Definitely before '88. SG Standard with volute, harmonica bridge, unbound fretboard with block inlays ... plus the position of the bridge away from the bridge pickup put this in '73 or early '74 I think. I believe they started with the harmonica in '73 and sometime in '74 they changed its position to be right up against the pickup so it's in that window.
Excellent incite, thank you. Especially on the bridge pickup placement. I hadn’t heard of that factor before. Someone else said they thought maybe 76/77. I was expecting late seventies/early eighties at the earliest. The back of the headstock is the puzzler. I’ve found some others in photos that are black, but never with that inlay.
I don't know anything about that inlay but doubt it's factory.
The best move to date the guitar is to open the back panel up and look at the pots, there should be a date code stamped onto the top and if it's readable (i.e. not covered by wires and/or solder) you can see the year the pots were made. Usually they're from the year the guitar was build but sometimes they are from an older batch they had laying around. But one thing is certain, they never used pots from the future so if they are original you can tell the latest a guitar can possibly be from that date code.
Usually it's 137xxyy. xx = the two digit year (74, 75, etc) and yy = the week (1-52).
Here's a picture of a '74 I owned so you can see the bridge placement relative to the pickup.
Unfortunately, most of the electronics have been replaces, even, I think the switch and jack. The neck pickup may still be the original. I might be able to pull it out and check for identifiers.
Yes, I see what you mean. Thanks!
If the neck pickup is original you'll know it instantly. In this era they used the so-called tarbacks. Instead of potting them with wax they used a black epoxy which resembles tar. So the back is totally sealed in a layer of hard black expoxy. This makes the covers basically impossible to remove, by the way, which is why SGs from that era never have uncovered pickups unless they're replacements. The fact that you have one with a cover still suggests to me it might be original but the way to be sure is to pull it out. This is what a tarback looks like:
I suppose maybe they used Patent No pickups in '73, but I think they were alreay using the tarbacks on SGs.
My two Norlins. A 1974 SG (Cherry, now faded and more walnut) with factory Bigsby and a 1976 SG (original black colour which is rare for that year) both with ebony fretboards and Bill Lawrence Tarbacks "Super Humbuckers".
I pulled out the neck pickup and snapped a few more pics. Sure enough, it's a tar back. Now that I have the strings off, I'm going to clean up and oil the fretboard, and probably give her a nice cleaning. Here's a pic of the crack in the headstock, too. I'm thinking the screws of the tuners caused damage. Thoughts?
the crack already explains why the back is black...
and looks like it's a veneer applied...
not sure if there's a way to remove the veneer to reveal the serial number hidden below.
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