New buyer to the vintage market but questions?!?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by bleh5150, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. bleh5150

    bleh5150 Senior Member

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    Hi all, Im due to come into some inheritance over the next few months and its my best chance to purchase a vintage sg (gassed most my life). I love the late 60's and early 70's style sg's with trem systems but i have a few questions.

    Firstly i have been given the burden of childs hands (not an actual childs they are mine). Ive owned les pauls in the past and a 60's neck suited me just right so do the so's of this era have a 60's profile neck?

    Secondly while I've spied a few i like on eBay and its a fair chunk of money to shell out over an eBay auction so is there anything i should watch out for?

    And finally should i locate one in my home country of england or is it pretty safe to ship a vintage sg from the us (subject to a good dealer of course).

    Thanks for any info and replies! looking forward to showing off my sg on here when i get one. :thumb:
     
  2. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    In terms of neck profile, the earliest versions ('61-'63ish) will typically have a very thin neck in terms of actual thickness/depth. From '63-'65, they tend to be a little beefier (I think), but still not that thick. Sometime in '65 and into the '70s, they switched to a more narrow nut width, which you might like as well. It basically allows you to get your hand around a neck, even if it's got a thicker profile.

    In terms of the trems (and keeping roughly with the years listed above), the earliest version will be a sideways vibrola, then switching to the Maestro lyre vibrola with an occasional B5 Bigsby. Early '70s can have a Gibson-branded Bigsby B5 style trem. I'm speaking primarily of Standards; there are lots of differences if you're looking at Juniors/Specials.

    Good luck and looking forward to seeing your future score!
     
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  3. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    As with all things "vintage guitars", approach them with suspicion. Never assume the listing is accurate. Never. Not to say you won't buy a guitar that has issues / repairs, but you want to know that in advance. Not once it arrives.

    If the guitar has Brazilian rosewood, it's now illegal to ship across borders without all the proper paperwork (which most people don't have.) Doesn't mean people don't do it all the time. But it's not 100% safe. Not to scare you, but it's another of those "know what you're getting into" things.

    My $0.02.
     
  4. jaik

    jaik Senior Member

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    I've played a few late 60s (68-ish) SG standards that kicked ass. The Maestro Lyre is the trem I prefer on these, by far, and not just because it looks cool, but it imparts a certain overtone and ring and inefficiency that ads quite a lot to the tone. The 68s can have a very narrow nut but sometimes are quite thick by the cowboy chord area and narrow towards the body, with the narrow neck its almost like a narrow deep U , unusual but surprisingly comfortable. I have a 67 SG Jr with that has a narrow thin neck across the board and is just smallish all around. I have a 71 SG standard that is what you'd call a "60s" profile in the common parlance.

    There is quite a lot of variance.
     
  5. bleh5150

    bleh5150 Senior Member

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    Thanks all for the info! I'm looking at probably late 60's then. I know people rave about the 68's but I'm interested also in early 70's. As for them system maestro them is preference and standard fir the years anyway. Was not aware of the Brazilian rosewood issue on vintage instruments! Do the years mentioned have exotic woods? Thabks again for the info :)
     
  6. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    Braz was phased out in '65. I don't think you should have any problems with an early '70s in that regard. Actually, some of thee early '70s SG Standars had ebony fretboards. I'm not sure if there are any CITIES issues with ebony or not.

    Just to spice the thread up a little, here is a '73 ebony board Standard that I used to own. Note the factory Gibson-branded B5 and harmonica bridge.
    I know, wrong section, but it fits into the thread. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. bleh5150

    bleh5150 Senior Member

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    Ah that's OK then I've seen better deals in the US as apposed to here in the UK. The early 70's are nice but I never dug the block inlays so I'd be looking at 68-70. Quite a few of the ones I've seen from this era have 'pro neck repairs' is this something to step away from or just something to accept of an sg in this era?
     
  8. bleh5150

    bleh5150 Senior Member

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    Ps if anyone has any more pics of their beasts they want to share the more the merrier :D
     
  9. jaik

    jaik Senior Member

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    yes neck repairs are very common because the design is weak and the wood is soft. You have to view each repair and break individually to determine if it seems clean and stable, or if its a hack job that will be problematic. Both of my SGs have repairs. The Jr's repair is stable, though the instrument is so wildly modded its insane. My 71 standard was so badly repaired its been waiting to be parted out for years. It depends
     
  10. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    OK, I don't need much prodding. :)

    I went on quite a journey searching for the right SG. I had an '09 USA Classic prior to the '73.

    Here's the next SG I got after the '73. It was an early '70 with '69 specs. It's also moved on to a new owner. Sounds like this might be sort of what you're after.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the one that I finally arrived at as a keeper and I almost never use that word. It's a '61 Standard. I've got the MojoAxe VibroStop on it so the sideways trem is not configured more like a stop tail.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Just so you know, there is NOTHING special about a "68"...with the exceptions of a couple body lines and the neck joint variance, it's the EXACT SAME GUITAR 1967 to mid 1971..:cool:EXACT pickups, wood, tuners, electronics....
     
  12. bleh5150

    bleh5150 Senior Member

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    That was my thinking so anything in that later era I'm likely to pick up cheaper from what I've seen.
     
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  13. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Good thinking, don't pay extra for some made up "68" BS and find the SG that speaks to you, and save some $$..:thumb:
     
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  14. jgonway

    jgonway Member

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    Agree; 100%. FWIW, I had my heart set on a 1964 SG Special for all of the obvious reasons (golden era of SGs, best pickups, small pick guard, Brazilian rosewood, wide neck at the nut, etc.). Then I played a couple of 1964s and a 1965. They just were not great guitars; good, solid, fine. I then played a 1969 with my hands and ears and it was an easy decision. I'm not slagging the earlier models; the ones I played were just not as good as the 1969, at least to my lowly senses. Being across the pond, it may take some more patience since we may have more access to Gibsons here. Find the right one; don't settle.

    I agree with this sentiment; a real 1971 (or 1981 or 1991, etc.) is better than a guitar purporting to be something it is not.
     
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