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Darkman

60's Gibson Sg

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My wife and I just collected this Gibson from a relative. It's been in my wife's family since it's manufacture I believe. The age is uncertain, but the serial of 001769 may be a '67. It's not in the best shape, but at least doesn't have a neck break or anything critical.

I never learnt how to set guitars up, so I have no clue what the issue is with the neck. When bending high notes (around 17th fret) on the E & B strings, the string goes dead, hitting the frets. It's only this area that's a problem on the neck. So are the frets too worn in that area, or is the neck slightly warped?

It's covered in scratches unfortunately, and another issue is the usual dodgy connection when a lead is plugged in. It crackles and cuts out a bit. Also the volume pots don't work smoothly. They mute the volume down immediately if turned.

I'm not sure if I trust local Guitar Centre stores to deal with this. I don't want to get ripped off or the have the guitar damaged.

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My wife and I just collected this Gibson from a relative. It's been in my wife's family since it's manufacture I believe. The age is uncertain, but the serial of 001769 may be a '67. It's not in the best shape, but at least doesn't have a neck break or anything critical.

I never learnt how to set guitars up, so I have no clue what the issue is with the neck. When bending high notes (around 17th fret) on the E & B strings, the string goes dead, hitting the frets. It's only this area that's a problem on the neck. So are the frets too worn in that area, or is the neck slightly warped?

It's covered in scratches unfortunately, and another issue is the usual dodgy connection when a lead is plugged in. It crackles and cuts out a bit. Also the volume pots don't work smoothly. They mute the volume down immediately if turned.

I'm not sure if I trust local Guitar Centre stores to deal with this. I don't want to get ripped off or the have the guitar damaged.

PA200002_1190x893_zps8066861d.jpg

PA200003_1190x893_zps63d88d25.jpg

PA200004_1190x893_zps6b361636.jpg

PA200005_1190x893_zps57db8a50.jpg

PA200006_1190x893_zpsc5012a04.jpg

PA200014_1190x893_zpsdbfb316a.jpg

PA200015_1190x893_zpsf6f43bc4.jpg

The SG, an underestimated guitar, I prefer it's looks to the Les Paul. If it is a '67 in original condition, it would be worth conserving it as much as possible.

The electrics should be easy to sort out, though purists would insist on using original or faithful replica parts.

As the fret problem affects only the top E & B strings(?) I suspect is likely to be wear or a loose fret; fixing that is a craftsman's job but should be straightforward. Setting up the action on a guitar neck isn't that difficult if you know how. Maybe the truss rod just needs a tweak.

Lovely guitar, respect it and preserve it!

Edit - are you counting the frets in the right direction? The nut is the '0th' fret, the 17th would be right near the pickups.

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The SG, an underestimated guitar, I prefer it's looks to the Les Paul. If it is a '67 in original condition, it would be worth conserving it as much as possible.

The electrics should be easy to sort out, though purists would insist on using original or faithful replica parts.

As the fret problem affects only the top E & B strings(?) I suspect is likely to be wear or a loose fret; fixing that is a craftsman's job but should be straightforward. Setting up the action on a guitar neck isn't that difficult if you know how. Maybe the truss rod just needs a tweak.

Lovely guitar, respect it and preserve it!

Edit - are you counting the frets in the right direction? The nut is the '0th' fret, the 17th would be right near the pickups.

Yes, the frets in question are near the pick ups. I don't know much about it, but it seems odd the frets would be worn here and not elsewhere. Unless the player spent all his time blazing high up on the neck. But who knows, maybe string bends up there do really wear the frets down. Fretted notes near the nut probably don't wear the frets so much because there's not so much bending going on.... if you know what I mean :)

I suppose I'll have to bite the bullet and take it to the local Guitar Centre. It shouldn't be a big deal, but I'd hate to see some chancer damage it in any way. And I don't want to be overcharged for some simple little task either. Here in AZ they'd steal the shirt of your back given half a chance.

Of course I could try and adjust the truss rod myself......

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Could be anything.

Firstly, how long has it been in its case? Could have dried out and needs to be left for a few days in the bathroom. Was it in tune when you got it? If it has been left flat for ages, could be you just need to keep it tuned up for a while to pull it back into shape

From your photos, it does not look too dry because the neck shrinks across its width and the ends of the frets protrude slightly, but try running your hand along them.

Next, sight along the neck from nut to saddle. It should be straight, the saddle and nut parallel to each other and the neck slightly concave. If you are not sure, look at other guitars in a shop, you will soon get the idea.

Without handling the guitar, it is hard to tell, but the frets do not look worn. If it is covered in scratches, it could be well used and already had new frets not too expertly fitted, so that one near the 17th is proud of the others, check by laying a ruler along the frets.

On the other hand could just be that the action has been lowered a tad too much.

Youtube is full of hints, best of luck.

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Get it down to your local luthier.

Sounds like it just needs a setup. Shouldn't cost more than £50. Unless you're confident don't bother trying to do it yourself.

Is the serial number on the headstock? Is it stamped or ink?

SG - Top guitar!

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Could be anything.

Firstly, how long has it been in its case? Could have dried out and needs to be left for a few days in the bathroom. Was it in tune when you got it? If it has been left flat for ages, could be you just need to keep it tuned up for a while to pull it back into shape

From your photos, it does not look too dry because the neck shrinks across its width and the ends of the frets protrude slightly, but try running your hand along them.

Next, sight along the neck from nut to saddle. It should be straight, the saddle and nut parallel to each other and the neck slightly concave. If you are not sure, look at other guitars in a shop, you will soon get the idea.

Without handling the guitar, it is hard to tell, but the frets do not look worn. If it is covered in scratches, it could be well used and already had new frets not too expertly fitted, so that one near the 17th is proud of the others, check by laying a ruler along the frets.

On the other hand could just be that the action has been lowered a tad too much.

Youtube is full of hints, best of luck.

It's been in the case for a very long time. No idea if it's dry or not. The frets aren't protruding at the sides when I run my hand on them.

The neck does look straight actually. The nut and saddle look pretty much parallel.

The frets high on the neck do look more worn than the ones back near the nut. But perhaps these higher frets are always lower in height than the others? Compared to my Strat, the frets are definately "used looking".

Your comment about the action was a winner though. I turned the screws on the bridge to raise it, and that has cured the dead string issue. However, I'm not sure if doing this has affected the tuning? Either way, it's a temporary fix.

Overall it plays well for such an old guitar. I definitely need to change the strings though! They look vintage heh.

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Get it down to your local luthier.

Sounds like it just needs a setup. Shouldn't cost more than £50. Unless you're confident don't bother trying to do it yourself.

Is the serial number on the headstock? Is it stamped or ink?

SG - Top guitar!

The serial is inked on the headstock. 001769.

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Not sure if this is helpful or not - takes me back to one of the sites I built years ago. It now has a blog and they were very much into guitars (I remember the one with the picture of Bryan May which was hilarious)

http://www.andertons.co.uk/blog/posts/guides-tutorials?cat=guitars

Obviously you're a long way from Guildford, UK but I can vouch for them, they were very competent and knowledgeable so it might just enable you to go to your local place forearmed with a bit more knowledge.

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Not sure if this is helpful or not - takes me back to one of the sites I built years ago. It now has a blog and they were very much into guitars (I remember the one with the picture of Bryan May which was hilarious)

http://www.andertons.co.uk/blog/posts/guides-tutorials?cat=guitars

Obviously you're a long way from Guildford, UK but I can vouch for them, they were very competent and knowledgeable so it might just enable you to go to your local place forearmed with a bit more knowledge.

Thanks for the link. It looks like an interesting site.

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Actually I agree with Spot. Take it for a setup and a fret dressing. By somebody who "knows what they are doing". :huh:

Put your favourite gauge strings on it first!

Do not take it to the local music shop. A 19 year old with a screwdriver might get at it!

Do not get it "restored". It's lovely as it is. You have one where you can see the wood grain. I believe the ones with "bad" grain get painted in a solid colour. ;)

Annoyingly useless to me, as I am a left hander. :blink:

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Get it down to your local luthier.

Sounds like it just needs a setup. Shouldn't cost more than £50. Unless you're confident don't bother trying to do it yourself.

Is the serial number on the headstock? Is it stamped or ink?

SG - Top guitar!

Bit neck heavy, but a good comfortable shape!

Wise words, mon!

The SG is indeed a "top guitar".

Maybe Tony Iommi can sell me one of his old ones, as he is another left hander?

:blink:

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Well I watched some youtube videos (the world's new educator) and cleaned up the SG. I took all the dirt of the fretboard, which was considerable. I then used lemon juice to clean it up, and it really looks like new. The raised action has cured the dead notes, and I've put a new set of strings on. It almost looks like a new guitar now. Sounds great too.

I'll have to investigate the intonation further, but for now it's playable.

Maybe this vintage guitar will get me back to playing regularly. Illness basically knocked me out for most of the year and I stopped playing. I do find owning a decent instrument inspires a musician to play more.

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The SG was designed to be the "replacement" for the Les Paul, but the LP sort of took off, and Gibson had to bring it back!

Currently, a LP standard will empty your wallet twice as fast an an SG, but I have no idea why? :blink:

I don't have any Gibsons, BTW. All Fender and Gretsch, at Castle Pin! :unsure:

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The SG was designed to be the "replacement" for the Les Paul, but the LP sort of took off, and Gibson had to bring it back!

Currently, a LP standard will empty your wallet twice as fast an an SG, but I have no idea why? :blink:

I don't have any Gibsons, BTW. All Fender and Gretsch, at Castle Pin! :unsure:

You can get lots of expert advice on the practicalities and ethics of working on these quality vintage guitars at http://www.mimf.com

Just go carefully, anything you do to it no matter how "sensible" can affect value both financial and historical.

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You can get lots of expert advice on the practicalities and ethics of working on these quality vintage guitars at http://www.mimf.com

Just go carefully, anything you do to it no matter how "sensible" can affect value both financial and historical.

basically, the advice is: DO NOTHING.

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basically, the advice is: DO NOTHING.

You can get it set up, Mr Sherwick, and maybe a fret dressing, if required, by a CRAFTSMAN. Don't modify it or paint it with purple Dulux! :blink:

Have you noticed how hard it is to sell a badly modified car? Same principle! ;)

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I think the price on these guitars can vary widely, according to condition I guess. SG's certainly go for far less than Les Paul Standards. It doesn't matter to me because this guitar will never be sold anyway. It's a family heirloom, originally owned by a "guitar prodigy", who cut a record back in the 60's, but died of leukemia aged 16. So he was probably about 15 when he made the single for a record company in the US. I have an mp3 of it somewhere actually....

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Had an SG about a decade ago.

Bought it from an american who brought it over to pay for his ticket.

Was a real relic job, had a dot neck, plastic covered P90s, and a Bigsby.

The neck had been shaved down to within an inch of its life too.

Sold it through Andys guitars in Londons glittering west end.

I have no idea what he got for it, but i was happy enough. But i wish i still had it now.

I'm not really taken by modern SGs the bright cherry red ones are ok or a Townshend model would be good i guess.

I got a Gibson 333 about 3 years ago.

Had been upgraded with 57 humbuckers and is basically a 335 without the high gloss finish.

Lovely slim 60s neck. Its a real keeper.

On the look out for a nice Strat Plus at the moment.

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Your comment about the action was a winner though. I turned the screws on the bridge to raise it, and that has cured the dead string issue. However, I'm not sure if doing this has affected the tuning? Either way, it's a temporary fix.

I'm a complete guitar n00b but when I got myself a cheapo Epiphone Les Paul 'GT' about 18 months ago I felt compelled to muck about with it to cure some annoying fret buzz. So I did something to the truss rod to put a smidge more bend in the neck (loosened it I think) and then adjusted the saddle heights to put the strings on a nice even curve. After that, adjusting the intonation was a piece of cake- play the open string, play the 12th fret, use my teeny tiny allen key to move the saddles back and forth, and the job was a good 'un. To me the action looks a bit high towards the body, but my brother who can actually play the guitar had a go on it and declared that it was really nice to play, and that he was tempted to get one himself so that he could practice at night without waking his baby daughter up (he only has a nice Dreadnought and a banjo ATM).

My reward to myself for completing my 320 taxi runs (and thus being about halfway towards my Green Badge) is going to be one of these. That's a long way off though, and so I was toying with the idea of buying this and then staining the body pink/purple/somewhere in between. I like the shape of the SG, I just really don't think they look good in black or worn cherry!

In the meantime though, I should really try and learn to play... :rolleyes:

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Epiphones are supposed to be not bad. I don't think I've ever tried one though. For that kind of price you can't go far wrong I suppose. Though I do think Gibson is head and shoulders above almost any other brand. It's something about the necks.

I actually agree about the color of SGs. I have seen some blue SGs though and they look stunning, as do the blue LP Standards. They already go for a lot of money.

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Had an SG about a decade ago.

Bought it from an american who brought it over to pay for his ticket.

Was a real relic job, had a dot neck, plastic covered P90s, and a Bigsby.

The neck had been shaved down to within an inch of its life too.

Sold it through Andys guitars in Londons glittering west end.

I have no idea what he got for it, but i was happy enough. But i wish i still had it now.

I'm not really taken by modern SGs the bright cherry red ones are ok or a Townshend model would be good i guess.

I got a Gibson 333 about 3 years ago.

Had been upgraded with 57 humbuckers and is basically a 335 without the high gloss finish.

Lovely slim 60s neck. Its a real keeper.

On the look out for a nice Strat Plus at the moment.

I have three guitars, with the Bigsby tailpiece on them. It looks great, but I hardly ever use the things for bending notes!

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I have three guitars, with the Bigsby tailpiece on them. It looks great, but I hardly ever use the things for bending notes!

Yus.

I have a Dearmond M75T. With "Bigsby inpsired" tailpiece.

Fanastic looking thing, but goes out of tune just looking at it.

As Nigel Tufnell would say..."don't point even".

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The serial is inked on the headstock. 001769.

Interesting.... Does it have "Made in USA" on the back of the headstock too?

If it doesn't there's a good chance it's a '67, if it does then it's probably a '73.

My gut feeling is it's a '67.

Do you know if the trem' is an original fitment?

As to value...... Difficult to say looking at the pictures but i'm thinking it would have to be in the range £600 - £1,200.

If it's a '73 it'll be less.

If it's got sentimental value hang on to it, but the cold reality is that a new electric guitar is better than an equivalent old one.

Acoustics get better with age, electrics don't. (feel free to argue, but that is my experience)

I've had loads of SGs, best one i've ever had was the 60's Tribute (now discontinued) with P90s that I got new last year.

Only £600, but it's my second favourite guitar of all time (after my PRS Prism).

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Interesting.... Does it have "Made in USA" on the back of the headstock too?

If it doesn't there's a good chance it's a '67, if it does then it's probably a '73.

My gut feeling is it's a '67.

Do you know if the trem' is an original fitment?

As to value...... Difficult to say looking at the pictures but i'm thinking it would have to be in the range £600 - £1,200.

If it's a '73 it'll be less.

If it's got sentimental value hang on to it, but the cold reality is that a new electric guitar is better than an equivalent old one.

Acoustics get better with age, electrics don't. (feel free to argue, but that is my experience)

I've had loads of SGs, best one i've ever had was the 60's Tribute (now discontinued) with P90s that I got new last year.

Only £600, but it's my second favourite guitar of all time (after my PRS Prism).

There's no Made In The USA, just the serial. It has to be a 67 or earlier because that's when it was originally owned in the family. Not sure on the trem, but everything looks original.

Saying electrics don't age well is a controversial opinion haha. In some cases you may be right, but I think what people are actually looking for is a vintage sound they recognise from that time period. And they have a good chance of getting it with a vintage guitar. But if you're looking for superior pick up output with low noise etc and a guitar that stays in tune, then a new one is best.

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