the '86-89 SG-62 (1962 "reissue") info thread

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by VonPrikler, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. VonPrikler

    VonPrikler New Member

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    I just bought myself a 1986 SG-62. It is all original.

    Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to make a thread where we could compile any known info about this model. I know the SG-62 has been discussed in portions of many previous threads, but I thought it might be cool to consolidate info in one place.

    Mine has a serial number dating it to late March 1986. I believe that mine must have been one of the earliest ones produced, simply by definition, since this model was introduced in 1986. I guess it is obviously possible to have a serial number from January or February 1986, though...

    It is sort of interesting that Gibson's ownership changed in January 1986. I think that the introduction of the SG-62 must have been in planning well before that, though - so I really doubt the purchase of Gibson by the new owners had anything to do with the decision to produce the SG-62. Being Gibson's first early '60s spec SG manufactured since 1965, my assumption is that a fair amount of research and development probably went into this model, so I am thinking it probably had its origins back in 1985, at least from a planning standpoint.

    Mine has the Shaw pickups, which sound spectacular in this guitar.

    I wonder when the Bill Lawrence (circuit board back) pickups first started appearing on the SG-62... my guess is possibly late 1987? I do believe that, if an SG-62 has a 1986 serial number, it probably had Shaws, as a general rule.

    The neck profile on mine is not what I would describe as thin or 1960 slim taper style. It is actually fairly thick, very stable, and extremely comfortable. My neck doesn't flex one bit, even when playing fairly aggressively etc.

    One other quirk that my guitar has/had - it has the remnants of some sort of large and fairly elaborate handwritten signature on the front of the body. It was almost completely wiped off when I got the guitar, and just very barely visible. I have no idea who signed it or when, but there is really no way to know now...

    It would be interesting to hear from those of you who have an SG-62. Specifically, it would be cool to note the month of manufacture (from the serial number), and then observe the guitar's features - for example, pickups, neck profile...

    Thanks in advance! Looking forward to learning more about this model.
     
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  2. VonPrikler

    VonPrikler New Member

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    One other thought regarding this model...

    Many of us don't think of 1986 as being that far back in time (I know I don't, I am 36 years old now), but when the SG-62 model was first produced, it was only 20 years earlier that the original small-pickguard, early '60s spec SGs were made.

    I guess my point is... 20 years is really not a long time in guitar years - the 20 years between 1965 and 1985/86. I don't know why, but that is a cool thought to me.

    Think about 20 years ago from today... 1993. Seems like yesterday to me!

    For one example, the 1968 Les Pauls, which, in effect, were "reissues" - in that case, with an 8 year gap in production.
     
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  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG, and congratulations on acquiring your historic Gibson SG.
    You are quite right in thinking that this time period was of interest. I believe that your guitar from early in the Henry J era is an example of the 'We Try Harder' philosophy that Henry and his Harvard MBA buddies brought into the company when they bought it from Norlin for like 5 million dollars. They were younger than you.

    What the new owners bought was potential, not performance. Sort of like a just-learning guitarist who buys a Gibson. It might be a Gibson Les Paul, but if you can't play it right you can't get the gig. But since it's the best, you'll sound better sooner and perform better as you develop your sound.

    So the '62 Reissue was one of their first ideas... Go back to what gave Gibson its great name. Let's start with the basics, people, all our jobs are at stake, from the receptionist to the CEO. Let's pull together, make an excellent product and restore confidence in the Gibson name, which had slipped badly during the Norlin years.

    So that's what you have in a case in your home... One of Gibson's first home runs that they hit after becoming independent. They tried to make as exact a replica as they could at the time, with the exception of not using Les Paul's name. Hence the '62. They were all trying to save the company (I believe).

    John Bulli's book, "Guitar History, Vol. 2, Gibson SG" has this to say: 'Body dimensions were returned to original, restoring the sleek curvature lost to SGs since the major redesign of 1971. For playability as well as sheer elegance of design, this is the style of SG which will probably be, as it has in the past, the standard by which others are measured."

    There it is. What you have is an example of the fine design work and excellent build quality that saved the company and began the restoration of its good name. Those were difficult times in the guitar biz, and many other companies were suffering. Some disappeared, others like Fender were able to bootstrap themselves or reinvent themselves and become successful in the face of intense competition from the Shredders and Superstrats of the time... the Jackson/Charvel guitars, the Kramers and the high quality Ibanez. tough opponents for sure. So calling your SG a warhorse would not be exaggerating IMHO.
     
  4. Lumpy Waters

    Lumpy Waters Member

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    My 62RI was made Dec. 15, 1987 and has Tim Shaw pickups. I can't compare the neck profile to any other SG's since I haven't played any, but I would be inclined to put it in the wide and slim category.
     
  5. VonPrikler

    VonPrikler New Member

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    Thanks man!
     
  6. VonPrikler

    VonPrikler New Member

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    Wow - that is interesting! December 1987 and still came with Shaws! But goes to show me, I guess the Shaws continued to appear (at least in some SG-62s) all the way through 1987.

    I guess 1988 was the first post-Shaw year?

    And I might have gotten my ending date for the SG-62s wrong in this thread title... I think it was 1990, not 1989, that was the last year for the SG-62s...
     
  7. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    I have two, one from 1986 & one from 1990.

    My 86 had the circuitboard Bill Lawrence PUs.
    They sounded good but squealed at high volume. I replaced them with Dimarzio 36 Anniversary PUs that are wired to Duncan Triple Shot mounting rings for coil splitting.

    I had it refretted with jumbo Stainless Steel Frets.
    It's an amazing guitar that gets used at a lot of gigs.

    My 1990 is also nice but mostly sits under the bed.

    Here's a pic of both.


    [​IMG]
     
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  8. ironlung40

    ironlung40 New Member

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    Hey Dave, Great looking guitars. How dark is the cherry on the 90's 61? It looks a lot lighter shade than my 1996 model, but it could be the lighting in your photo. Mine is a dark wine cherry red, not nearly as bright red looking as the most recent 61 reissues.

    I'll try to post a pic later
     
  9. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    Hows the serial numbers run on these?

    I don't understand the pick-up year difference. So basically if Gibson used BL in 86 and later then theres no definite years for Shaws or BLs?

    Is there an easy way to tell the difference?
     
  10. swampjam

    swampjam New Member

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    I got curious today and pulled the pickups out of my 1986 SG-62. They both look like this (a photo of the neck pickup). Are they Shaws? They don't have an ink stamp, but do have brass screws. T-tops? Definitely not circuit boards pickups of the later SG-62's.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. jojo68

    jojo68 Active Member

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    Great post and guitars Dave !!!!
     
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  12. swampjam

    swampjam New Member

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    My serial number puts the date of manufacture as July, 30th, 1986. I've looked around the internet for specific information on the pickups, and have seen about 3 other instances of '86 sg-62's with the exact same pickup characteristics: pat #, no ink stamp, brass screws. I have not seen any pics with the covers off, but everyone claims they are "shaws". I'm not entirely convinced, but I do believe it is a possibility.
     
  13. Ivan S Gee

    Ivan S Gee Active Member

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    When I did research into my '87 SG-62, I came to the conclusion that the pickups were Tim Shaws but they were widely known as '59 Reissue' humbuckers. I was under the impression that the Lawrence 'Circuit boards' were BEFORE the Tim Shaws or 59 Reissue pups. In my research i seemed to think that the Lawrence pups were used around the mid '80's and combined with the transitional period at the time with regards to the change of ownership, 1985/6 SG's could have had either Lawrence pups or Shaw pups, maybe even in to '87. 1987 and 1988 i'd be sure they would have come with the Shaw/59RI pups. In 1989 the references to the SG-62 pups were R4 in the neck and L6 in the bridge which i have heard referred to as 'Bill Lawrence Pickups' but i was under the impression that the Bill Lawrence pups were referenced as 'HB-R' and 'HB-L'. The R4 and L6 were used until around 1991 when they started using the '57 Classics. These they continued to use when the designation changed to SG 61 RI in '92-'93.

    I may be well off base here as I've also read the Lawrence pups were used in '89 and '90 but this seems to be a recent development as all my research a couple of years ago seemed to hint towards the Lawrence pups being used before the Shaws.

    If yours does not have the Circuit board base, i'd be thinking you have the 59 Reissue pups in your SG-62. Here is a picture of mine:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now sold and a great loss but the neck was just too slim for me!
     
  14. Ivan S Gee

    Ivan S Gee Active Member

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    EDIT to above post. I found this interview with Bill Lawrence in a German magazine in 1988:

    Bill Lawrence Website

    and the following extract:

    Your presentation of the new Humbucker pickup, which works with absolutely no side tones even when it's in close proximity to the speakers or some other source of interference, and thus sounds extremely clear and comes through well, was truly very impressive. Also impressive was the fact that it is so variable in terms of sound. How did you manage to do that?
    The old Humbucker from 1957/58, which was created by Seth Lover, contained properly sized magnets. The technical data - such as the number of windings relative to the magnetic field - were correct. Later on, the magnets were changed, and the ratio was no longer correct. The new Humbuckers are again being made exactly according to the old principle, but they are less microphonic inside the suspension because; first, we use high-quality plastic that can stand up to the high temperatures of a wax bath, second, the base plates are not made of metal and thus are no longer as susceptible to feedback. Of course, the pickups have a printed circuit, which makes the instrument easier to service. The pickups can be easily replaced, you no longer have to take all of the wiring out if you want to replace the pickup. The new "Sidewinder" is a coaxial Humbucker in which the two coils lie on a single axis. That creates the fewest side tones and it is the quietest pickup that has ever been made, but is still sounds like a single-coil pickup. To get the best possible highs, you only have to set the treble control on the amp to 5 on the scale instead of 10 like you used to. Now, even if you turn the volume all the way up, the pickup remains free of side tones. Now you can adjust everything you want to with the tone and volume controls on the guitar. You can imitate almost every pickup there is, even the characteristics of the biggest Humbucker pickups.

    This sounds like the 'Circuit board' pups to me. So they were known as 'Sidewinders' eh, news to me! Going by the date of the Interview and the information in the text, it appears i was wrong and that the Circuit board or 'sidewinder' was after the Shaw pup's; my bad!
     
  15. swampjam

    swampjam New Member

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    Thanks for your input and info, Ivan. Both of our pickups have characteriscs of pickups in post #2 from the following thread, which is why I wonder if they are in-fact not Shaws:

    http://www.everythingsg.com/forum/pickups/18038-how-identify-gibson-tim-shaw-humbucking-pickups.html

    I guess the only real way to tell would be to open them up?
     
  16. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Just to clarify some of the Bill Lawrence pup stuff. I believe the Bill Lawrence ''Circuit Board'' & ''Sidewinder'' were actual 2 different pickups. The Bill Lawrence Sidewinder was designed as a P90 sized pup and used two coil winds turned sideways that illuminated any hum but kept some of the other similarities of a single coil pup. Because these coils were each placed on their side, they differed from most guitar pickups at the time (which were wound & laid out quite differently with the bobbins laid out 1/4 turn from sidewinders and flat to the body & strings of a guitar, amongst other things too like magnets etc..). Its funny but the Gibson EB Bass pups AKA 'Mudbucker Pickup' was a similar coil layout as the BL sidewinder, but lets not confuse things eh?

    Well pictures speak a thousand words and are way less confusing than trying to understand my sometimes awkward way of writing.

    Here's a pic of a Bill Lawrence "Sidewinder"
    [​IMG]

    Here's an old an early design Gibson EB "Mudbucker". Check out the similar coil layouts.
    [​IMG]

    The Bill Lawrence 'circuit board' pup are typically thought of as a standard design fullsized humbucker but with a cicuit board back. (see below)
    [​IMG]

    There is also been lots of confusion over the years surrounding what exactly constitutes a Tim Shaw pickup. I don't want to side track this thread any further than it has been directed so I will post the thread from our own ETSG forum that gets into this very interesting subject in depth. Here she is...
    http://www.everythingsg.com/forum/pickups/18038-how-identify-gibson-tim-shaw-humbucking-pickups.html

    I love the 62 copies myself and enjoy their usually thicker neck design than a typical 61 slim taper. Something about them just feels solid. I have been waiting for a deal on one to present itself. I'm still waiting. Nice guitars!
     
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  17. swampjam

    swampjam New Member

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    I completely agree with your assesment about them just "feeling solid". My SG-62 is notably heavier than the other 4 SG's I own, which is perhaps why it feels that way. The thickness of the neck is slightly more than the current '61 reissues for sure, though not as thick as the neck on my 2006 '62 SG Std Authentic (Guitar Center Exclusive), which is the nicest neck of any SG I've ever played.
     
  18. ruster1

    ruster1 Active Member

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    I purchased my 86 SG-62 in 1993 for $ 300 in a small shop where the owner said his buddy could never get it to stay in tune. it is an April 11, 1986 production and has what is believed to be the SHAW PUPS. The neck is a flat D and VERY thin.. I replaced the klusons with shaller years ago and had it set up recently (worked the D/G nut slots a bit) to unbelievable low action and so easy to play and bend strings. I forgot how wonderful this guitar sounds. PUPS remind me a bit of the current 57 classics as they focus on mids but have nice chimey highs with no mud. Here are a few pics i posted on another thread.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    Thread derail.

    What’s the story on that duojet?!!??

    Flamey Malcolm young????
     
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  20. ruster1

    ruster1 Active Member

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    Hey Norton, you noticed that.. yes the jet firebird i had made as i like the green burst.. and set it up with zero fret, grovers and bad ass bridge.. got a wire harness from TV jones with standard tone switch setup as any 63' and master vol..and Power'trons.. for a little more ummmph... now all i need is a SONOR drum kit and P-bass..
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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