AC\DC fans - '68 SG and '67 Gretsch Firebird

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Reno_1ted, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Hi guys,

    Thought some of you DC fans would get a kick out of these shots from my collection. Ive been a DC fan since I was a kid, and its always been a goal of mine to own these guitars ever since watching Let There Be Rock (Live Paris 1980) on VHS. Now, I do. :)

    1968 SG Standard, all original, not much more to say! This is an incredible guitar, amazing player, loads of character and still got that cherry colour going on. As this is an SG forum, you know the specs of these guitars!

    1967 Gretsch Jet Firebird. All original accept the tuners which are swopped to old vintage gold grovers. This started off Red, but I stripped it down to the bare top and gave it a very light nitro clear coat for protection (a la Mal). Its had a bigsby at some point, but now back to original Burns Trem. Mals was a 1964, so had Filtertron PUPs where as by 67 they were using Supertrons. However, Mal has his FTs wound higher then standard and therefore I believe will be very close to these higher output Supertrons. And of course I have removed the neck PUP. Pretty much as close as one can get to Mal without a router. :)

    I was lucky enough to play Mal in a top ACDC tribute over here in the UK, so this guitar was gigged for several years playing DC numbers, just as it deserves to be. Through the cranked Marshal Stack, you got pure Mal.

    Anyway, enjoy.

    [​IMG]
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  2. drugprowlingwolf

    drugprowlingwolf Senior Member

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    Nice!

    I am seriously jealous of that Gretsch.
     
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  3. LanEvo

    LanEvo Senior Member

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    Are you sure the Burns was original?

    My understanding is that Gretsch spec'ed Bigsby across the board and only fitted Burns during periods of slow production at Bigsby. So, it's entirely possible your Jet would have come with a Bigsby from the factory.
     
  4. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Very cool guitars - congrats :thumb:

    Es
     
  5. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I am sure because when I bought the guitar it had the Bigsby on it, and underneath the bigsby was the routing for the burns but this was filled in with some filler, which I had to scrape out to refit the burns. :)

    Most Jet Firebirds from this time are burns as standard, unlike other gretsch models which as you say were bigsby standard and very rarely burns.
     
  6. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Nice Reno! I have similar ones.
    Question: are you 100% positive that that SG is a 1968? To me it feels a tad later (by looking at color and cutaways bevelling). If you based yourself on the serial, ain't happening.
    I can help you date it if you want by a close headstock picture and the heel.

    NOT that the year would mean squat. Angus' first SG wasn't a 1968 at all, it was a 1971.
    Great guitars by the way!
     
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  7. Rodmac

    Rodmac Senior Member

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    Just check the pot codes
     
  8. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Also, but you can still have variation of one year and more (been proven).
    That would still place a 1969 into 1968 territory (for example).
    The story about the infamous 1968 models is that they were placed as the last collectible year by a renown expert (decades ago). So they are supposedly more valuable, but in truth, prices are all over the place.

    I have at least two original, proven 1968 and although they are fine guitars, I don't necessarily prefer them to later, "vulgar" models (1970s etc.)

    Unfortunately, to properly date one of these from this period, you need a set of features to evaluate (including pot codes, heel, style of crown on the headstock - lack of dotted i etc. - bevelling, style of knobs, type of neck etc., body color)

    PS I had written about this a few years ago, right here on MLP:
    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/vintage-sg/76062-angus-youngs-first-sg-not-1968-a.html
     
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  9. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    BTW, just for added color, my '63 original

    [​IMG]
    3P8Y9045 by SoloDallas, on Flickr

    Also, note the change (progressively) of bevelling style of (from left to right) these:
    1964 original, 1967 original and 1969 original.

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    CH6D9132 by SoloDallas, on Flickr

    As time went by - to probably save on time - deep cutaway bevellings were reduced on the standards, to be then re-introduced in about 1972-1973 when they changed the standard style to small pick guard.
     
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  10. LanEvo

    LanEvo Senior Member

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    I've got a '63 Corvette with a Burns as well, though I've seen others with a Bigsby. I'm new to Gretsch guitars, so I'm still trying to figure things out.

    I'm not fond of the Burns to be honest. It doesn't have the smooth action of a Bigsby (at least mine doesn't). And tuning stability seems pretty poor. Mine has a separate "bridge" to pull the strings down over the saddles. The angle is pretty extreme. I'm going to remove it to see if that improves trem action. The break angle over the saddles will probably be insufficient, but I suppose it's worth a shot.
     
  11. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Mine has an original Burns as well, as Malcolm original.
    I have never used it in 20 years that I own the guitar! These were probably more embellishments than anything else
     
  12. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Hi Lan. I never use the trem so for me it's just an ornate tailpiece. :)
     
  13. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Hi solodallas.

    I'm fairly sure it's a 68. Serial matches but also pot code are 68 all round as well. Could be a bit later though. I'll post a pic of headstock for you.

    I'm aware Angus guitar was a later 70/71 model. To me they are all great. I own a 74 which is actually my favourite guitar. If someone told me this was a 69 it wouldn't bother me. :)

    I LOVE that 1964. Pretty sure Angus has one of those to back in the mid to late 70s? Beautiful firebird as well. Man it took some balls when I stripped the red off mine. No regrets though. Looks great naked.

    My collection as we're posting. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    If anyone wants to hear what the gretsch sounds like (together with a 71 SG Standard - not mine but sweet guitar our 'angus' plays) here is my old tribute band playing Jailbreak (which opens just with the gretsch). We were suckers for detail. That's me as Malcolm.

    BON SCOTT TRIBUTE - DC/79 at Yardbirds "Jailbreak" - YouTube
     
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  15. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Tuners may not be original forgot to mention.
     
  16. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Reno,
    The two most important things to check out simultaneously for year determination are heel and dotted/non dotted i and low/hi crown.
    In combination with pot codes and serial, they will give away the year.
    As you pointed out, means little! I also own several late Norlins that I love.

    If you post heel and headstock we will have positive identification
     
  17. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Headstock points to 1968 (older logo, dotted i, mid height crown)

    PS Great guitars Reno :)

    Angus is STILL (and more than ever) playing a '64 ('63 or '65) SG now. The black one we all saw him with is such guitar. It could also be a 1961, but the way the heels seems to go on that black would point to a 1964.

    For what we know of '64s, they are butter like playing instruments. It is the easiest playing guitar among my 40+ guitars. Might explain why he started choosing them from a certain point on (the 1990s).
     
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  18. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Awesome. :) with the pot codes that's a good picture painted. thanks for the input / knowledge. I didn't realise there were differences.
     
  19. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    You kidding? such a pleasure. Enjoy your treasures. :wave:
     
  20. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Nope. I knew about the i dot but no idea the crowns were different during this time. Every days a school day! :thumb:
     

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