les paul gibson custom 1961 (original ?)

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by newbie3, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. newbie3

    newbie3 Junior Member

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    Hey there
    I am new to this forum i have posted this already on another thread and was told this was a better place
    I am doing this on behalf of a friend who does not have ready access to a computer.
    He has in his possession what looks like a Les Paul 1961 Custom (SG?) guitar,
    after a couple of days of looking on the net it seems like the real deal but it seems I have a lot to learn about identifying guitars.
    It is missing the tail or Vibrato/Tremelo arm
    I apologize in advance for any glaringly obvious (not to me!) technical terms not put correctly
    the serial number is 5 digits (see photo) 22366
    also has PAF numbers or POT codes 1377652
    which I found
    and written on some paper the ink stamp and patent number which I cannot find

    Also interestingly it has a letter attached from an American Guitar shop with letterhead to an Australian Music shop where the American dealer states he has brought this off an Antique Dealer who bought it off a fairly famous guitarist from the 70's.My friend bought the guitar in the late 80's from the Australian shop.
    Now I realize what Provenance is and that the antique dealer needs to be located. The American shop is still in existence with the same owner,what are the rules surrounding getting proof etc of this person?
    Interestingly the guitarist supposedly stole this guitar off his bandmate and I have found the band on Youtube with (That's right) the bandmate playing said guitar so I am very curious as to how this will play out.
    Just want to know if this is a 61 Les Paul Custom and how to go about approaching the whole realm of provenance e.g. does Gibson keep track of where they sold their guitars if you have a serial number.
    Any help would be appreciated
    Thanks Chris
     

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  2. LowThudd

    LowThudd Senior Member

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    Not to troll, but I feel strongly about this and will repeat my post from the other thread:

    Nice looking guitar. I can't speak as to it's authenticity, but if the back story of it having been stolen is true my personal belief is that it still belongs to who it was stolen from. JMO
     
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  3. newbie3

    newbie3 Junior Member

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    Hey Low Thudd
    If you feel strongly about something,say it and I actually agree with you
    I spoke to the owner today and this is what he said
    The guitar could have just been owned by the seller and the bandmate just owned the same type of guitar.The sellers name is the one mentioned on the guitar shops letter, there are a lot of ifs and buts surrounding this (one of them is dead)
    I do know the price will go up if it was owned by either of them but to me that won't make a lot of difference to me $wise,I would just really like to know if the backstory is true.I am just that type of person once I have half a story I want to know what really happened
    Thanks
    Chris
     
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  4. LowThudd

    LowThudd Senior Member

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    Cool. It looks a great guitar, and it sounds like the unfolding mystery is part of the fun for you. Good luck finding out all you can!
     
  5. newbie3

    newbie3 Junior Member

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    Thanks LowThudd
    I will keep you posted on developments!!!
     
  6. xroadie_jim

    xroadie_jim Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. newbie3

    newbie3 Junior Member

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    Thanks Jim for upsizing the photos.
    I am working on the pot codes and paf numbers at the moment
    should they correspond?
    I am about to unscrew the humbuckers and see what is on the other side
    I saw somewhere on the net the best way to identify the old humbuckers is by an electrical reading
    Any Ideas
    Thanks Chris
     
  8. Actinic

    Actinic Senior Member

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    This guitar looks quite fishy. Pot codes say they are CTS from 1976. Condition of the body is poor, and SG customs are usually harder to sell than SG standards. The 1961's should have the sideways trem unit.

    [​IMG]

    Notice the pickguard has 3 screw holes, not 4. Please photograph the backs of all 3 pickups. The covers look too shiny for the age of the guitar, and relative to the paint condition. I suspect that none of them is period correct. What does the plastic strip above the neck pickup say?
     
  9. StuC

    StuC Member

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    It looks right to me, as far as being an early SG/LP with replaced electronics, probably replaced pickups, wrong truss rod cover, and a stop tail piece added. You can see the holes where a sideways Vibrola was mounted originally, and four screw guards were used on the later examples of those.
     
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  10. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Well, the guitar appears to have been factory drilled for the sideways trem unit, and It would be more collectable if this trem were still in place. Musically, this trem has little value and a lot of negatives.

    And what happened to the back of the headstock? It looks like some animal chewed on it!

    Also, it appears that this guitar has experienced a neck break where the neck joins the body. That is not uncommon for '61 SGs, as the neck is very fragile at this point. But the repair looks far from professional -- at least from an appearance standpoint.

    As pointed out, the pots apparently are not original. Neither are the tuners. Original tuners should be Klusons. They have a rectangular back and the tuning keys in a keystone shape made of off-white plastic. These original plastic tuning keys tend to rot and need replacing on guitars this old, and there are rather exact look-alikes available. But this guitar has tuners totally different from the originals. Overall, this guitar looks to be in pretty rough shape. I wouldn't want to make the mistake of paying too much for it.
     
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  11. newbie3

    newbie3 Junior Member

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    Hey Dolebludger
    Wikipedia (Les Paul Custom)
    quote- By 1958, Gibson had replaced the Kluson tuners with Grover Rotomatics. It is this configuration that remained until the guitar was discontinued in 1960,not sure what you are saying about the tuners.
    I agree the pots are not original and the humbuckers are not either
    1st pick up closest to neck
    etched pat 2737842
    stamped 3721083
    2nd just stick on label pat2737842
    3rd
    etched pat 2737842
    stamped 3731083
    any ideas on the age?
    Actinic-the plastic strip above the neck pickup says Les Paul Custom
    Thanks
     

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  12. uburoibob

    uburoibob Senior Member

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    I see Standards with heel breaks going for $3500 to $5000 USD real world regularly. Standards are more desirable guitars. Just be careful what you pay for this, even if it was celebrity owned (unless it was provably Hendrix, Page, Beck or Clapton). If the PAFs prove to be replacements and not PAFs at all, then you probably need to be concerned about paying four figures, USD, what with everything else that has been done to it.

    Bob
     
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  13. Tidewater

    Tidewater Senior Member

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    Tuners are original. OMG who placed that stop?

    I would pay low 2k range for such a thing and regret it anyhow.
     
  14. newbie3

    newbie3 Junior Member

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    From my initial search it seems the outer 2 pickups are from 1983 by Tim Shaw
    the 372 and 373 are said to be made by Tim Shaw 1083 means October 1983
    not sure about the middle one but they are all Les Paul (patent pending etc)
     
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  15. Actinic

    Actinic Senior Member

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    Middle pickup appears to be a mid to late 60's T-top, which is a good thing. Hot Brit could give you a more precise date. The plastic strip can either be from the early 60's or even 2000. I have two LP SG customs with such a plate. I know this is a hodge-podge of various parts, but you need to determine how stable and playable the guitar is, and does it have the vintage tone you're after. There is no such thing a perfect vintage guitar, even with all correct parts.
     
  16. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Newbie,

    The '61 -- '62 SGs had Kluson tuners, not Grovers. The reason I know is that I have a Standard I bought new back then. The wiki article you post says Grovers were discontinued in '60.
     
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  17. Britbender

    Britbender Senior Member

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    Tuners are original...
     
  18. StuC

    StuC Member

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    +1
     
  19. ajory72

    ajory72 Senior Member

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    I for one would like to hear this old beauty playing!!!!

    You tube clip please?
     
  20. LP Traditional

    LP Traditional Senior Member

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    Is the neck secured/repaired with flat head wood screws?! :shock:

    [​IMG]
     
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