Advice needed on a John Birch Customised 1961 SG Les Paul Custom

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by gr4ntc, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. gr4ntc

    gr4ntc Member

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    I wonder if anyone can help ?

    I recently took an eBay gamble on a John Birch Customised 1961 SG Les Paul Custom, basically due to the 3 original PAF pickups.

    I had in my mind to used the PAFs on another guitar and make good to the Custom, The guitar turned up to be a honest and very nice guitar, Original paintwork etc and does look and feel a genuine example of a Vintage guitar, with obviously the exception of the Birch Modifications ….

    So here lies the problem does anyone know anything about this particular John Birch Customisation,
    It basically has a master volume knob on the pickguard, opposite the normal Volume/Tone knobs it has 4 other, a micro switch on the bottom, a 2 way knob switch above that and 2 pots above those.

    The back has been routed for active electrics which appear to be wired to the middle pick up, with a centre route for the battery.

    Now I am not sure what all these Knobs actually do, and at the moment have the guitar partially striped to see if I can work anything out.

    So does anyone know anything about these modifications, do you think its worth keeping them or
    Filling the rear route and returning the guitar back to a made good custom ?

    The pot holes are quite neat and I think could be filled and painted to match without looking to out of place.
    And the back of the guitar would just have to be made good.

    It’s a difficult decision to make without know exactly what the John Birch Customisation is all about.

    Thanks ……. :)

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  2. 1959burst

    1959burst Senior Member

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    it will never be a 100% again, and john birtch is very famous so i'd leave it alone. it would be worth more than plugged up.
     
  3. SG Lou

    SG Lou Senior Member

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    I agree with burst................you'd be surprised :shock: at what they are getting for anything thats John Birch related!
     
  4. Laservampire

    Laservampire Senior Member

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    Take out all of the John Birch electronics and put them away, and have a fuzz pedal circuit built into the top section of the guitar :thumb:
     
  5. trislav

    trislav Junior Member

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    'd leave it moded
     
  6. malcostuart

    malcostuart Senior Member

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    just shows what can happen with only one soldering iron and an overwhelming amount of boredom i guess.
    have you had a fiddle with them knobs on there? maybe it's some kind of an ornate transister radio. ?
     
  7. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

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    Personally wouldn't change a thing. It is what it is. Mad, I know but it's an individual bit of rock'n'roll history in my honest opinion.:thumb:
     
  8. vortexx

    vortexx Senior Member

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    I would leave it as it is. John Birch has passed away and he's done some incredible work for famous guitarists.

    John Birch (luthier) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    look at the wiring in this:
    Restoration

    I think it's worth more to keep it like this than to try to restore it. Just repainting it would make a huge drop in value. It also may be the only one of it's kind.
     
  9. vortexx

    vortexx Senior Member

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    You could try asking about the electronics at the John Birch Guitars site
    John Birch Guitars
     
  10. SG Lou

    SG Lou Senior Member

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    I left this message for you over at EverythingSG dot Com

    "Contact John Diggins at Jaydee Custom Guitars john@jaydeecustomguitars.co.uk

    John studied under and worked for John Birch for many years before branching out on his own. If anyone could make heads or tails of that mess it's John.

    Tell'em Lou Moritz sent ya !

    Oh and you might want to send him the pictures so he can see what your talking about ! "


    Have you heard from John at all ?
     
  11. rybass

    rybass Senior Member

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    That board looks like a fuzz or a drive circuit to me. I bet the switch is an on off and the knobs are volume tone and fuzz.

    I'd leave it as is and get it up and running. That is freakin sweet!
     
    flameburst likes this.
  12. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

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    Glad this thread is revived. Great frickin' guitar!:thumb:
     
  13. flameburst

    flameburst Senior Member

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    +1

    A few weeks ago I saw gr4ntc, and had the opportunity to see this guitar (and have a quick play) and it was quite something to behold. The neck profile was beautiful, really wide and flat but with lots of meat. The John Birch mods look a bit 'clunky' for wants of a better word, but the whole thing just oozes the 1970's heavy/rock/glam thing, and the guitar has SOoo much character. :applause:

    When holding this guitar, it inexorably conjures up a primeval need to play some old Sabbath and Ozzy riffs :dude:

    What a find!
     
  14. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

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    What a find indeed! Would love to see old Sollo Dallas get his dexterous mitts on it!:thumb:

    Flamey, are the PAF's still in it???
     
  15. flameburst

    flameburst Senior Member

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    Stupid me, I forgot to ask. Perhaps gr4ntc could answer that one...
    I know the pickups had gold covers on though when I saw it.

    Yeah, SoloDallas could vamp that one up a treat!
     
  16. gr4ntc

    gr4ntc Member

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    Thanks for the interest, again guys ...

    and the guitar still weaves some magic for me

    The Story from my original post is basically I had someone look at the board and various knobs etc, he got it working in a basic form, however once I took it all apart it wasnt such good news, the pafs were OC and only really worked at high vol, but obviously not right. I replaced these with patent sticker Ttops and put gold covers on, which I think actually look better and go with the rest of the gold...
    The PAFs have been rewound by Andy at Bare Knuckles.
    Now as Flameburst will testify it needs a refret, and then I may send it off to John Diggins to restore the guitar electronically to as it was !
     
  17. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    I think it looks cool. Would keep it as it is!
     
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  18. Lebo

    Lebo Senior Member

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    It will never be the way it seemed to be, and trying to make it look like before is useles, so just keep it that way if you don't mind
     
  19. street454

    street454 Member

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    Great find! Make the thing playable. Have fun!
     
  20. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

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    When you've had enough, let me know and I'd love to buy it!!:thumb:
     

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