Were there any changes to SG's in the Norlin Era?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Oranjeaap, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Oranjeaap

    Oranjeaap Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,144
    Likes Received:
    3,720
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I have spotted a nice 69 SG custom, appears to be all original. But I happen to know nothing about SG's :hmm:
    For example: A 69 Les paul custom will be worth a lot more than a 70;s custom because of some changes in the norlin era.
    So I was wondering if any of these changes happend to SG's in that period aswell :thumb:
    thanks
     
  2. RickRandom

    RickRandom Home for wayward Gibsons Premium Member

    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    276
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    SGs weren't immune to the Norlin influence. The neck volute appears, small pickguard comes back in fashion, neck/body joint changes, some SGs get front-routed control cavities and LP-style guards, some turn into seriously fugly budget models like the SG-100, SG-200, etc., pickup toggle moves way behind the bridge around 1980 or so, just to mention a few.
     
  3. Oranjeaap

    Oranjeaap Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,144
    Likes Received:
    3,720
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    How can I tell if its a 69, 70 or even a 71??
    When did the volute start??
    When I track the serial it says 70, 71 or 72.

    Are the prices any different for those years. I dont want to be spending more than I should since im tight on cash
     
  4. Kevin James

    Kevin James V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    The volute started in mid to late 69 I believe. I would check the pot codes.
     
  5. Nils

    Nils Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Likes Received:
    449
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    They added weight. Had one in my hands today at De Plug Amsterdam and it was heavy as fck. An early 70's model that used to be at Dijkman muziek Alkmaar was heavy as well.
     
  6. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    783
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    The volute is usually the easy way to date them. I.e., when the volute is there, it has to be a late '69, early '70s or '71 IF other features are present (i.e., Lyre Vibrato, for example).

    If you come to my site (sig) you'll see many to help you out date yours.

    When the volute is NOT there, well that is when it is more subtle to date them. In fact, may vendors either take advantage of that or simply do not know.
    When the volute is not there, may sellers claim it's a "1968". That will add value for them. Most of them are not '68s though, and are in fact '69s.
    Several things will help you:

    - Heel (neck joint type)
    - Logo, dotted i there or not there
    - crown height (headstock)
    - beveling (shallow, deep)
    - color (walnut, dark cherry red)

    These are the features I look at immediately each time.
     
    geochem1st likes this.
  7. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    783
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Please note: sound wise, playability wise, there is no such thing as "magical 1968" and "shitty 1969" or "bad 1971".
    I have SGs spanning from 1961 to 1971, and I love them all.
    Particularly, 1970s and 1971 Gibson SG standards and customs are terrific.
     
  8. EFK

    EFK Senior Member

    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    "Particularly, 1970s and 1971 Gibson SG standards and customs are terrific."

    I think you might be a little biased!! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    Seriously, there are some grrreeeat SGs to be had if you can put aside the pre-65 "wisdom." I have a early/mid 69 special that has the best neck I have felt on any Gibson, ever. I like them big, and it is the whole baseball bat and half of another.

    Anyone care to offer thoughts on the 72-74 ebony/block necks w/ the small guards? Personally, I think they *look* great, but I've never played one and wonder if the necks are toothpicks (I realize they're all narrow-nut, but I mean front to back thickness) or ???
     
  9. Herbie74

    Herbie74 Senior Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    94
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    My first real guitar was a 1974 with the block inlays. The board on mine is rosewood with binding. The 74s still have the mahogany neck and body. I love the thing and will never get rid of it. The changes norlin made don't bother me:

    volute - does not get in the way and may make the neck stronger
    Harmonica bridge - I like it because it makes the guitar different than any other period and more bridge mass helps sustain.
    Dot inlays again unique to the period

    Bottom line it sounds and plays like it should. I have had it for 30 years and no issues.
     
  10. slither

    slither Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    204
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    My SG is a 74, a Special with the mini-humbuckers, small block inlays, unbound rosewood board and ABR-1 bridge. Some Specials came with the Schaller bridge I believe.

    As to the Norlin changes, I guess in general the same applies as with the Les Paul. From late 69 on the volute, 3 piece necks, "Made In USA" stamped below the serial number, changes in the Gibson logo on the headstock, may or may not have the dot for the "i". The bevelling inside the cutaways seems to be less extreme from the 60's SG's as well. I don't know if SG's got the maple necks from 75-76 onwards, I hope not....to my mind the classic SG formula is all mahogany.

    I have had no issues with my SG in 29 years of owning and playing it. And the mini-hums sound great. Oh, and the low wide frets it has may be a Norlin thing too, not sure though.
     
  11. gibsonfndr

    gibsonfndr Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    my 71 SG custom has been voted my best sounding guitar by the other band members ... opponents were one CS reverse firebird VII, one Les Paul standard two juniors (one CS) and a strat.
    now I once owned a 74 that was not quite as good as the 71 or so I seem to remember.
     
  12. Litcrit

    Litcrit Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    69, 70 and 71 standards were structurally the same. Sometime in late 71, early '72, the guitar changed: the neck was pushed into the body (last fret meets neck humbucker, no space), the bridge was moved back, no more Maestro. Those are different guitars.
     
  13. Litcrit

    Litcrit Senior Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    69, 70 and 71 standards were structurally the same. Sometime in late 71, early '72, the guitar changed: the neck was pushed into the body (last fret meets neck humbucker, no space), the bridge was moved back, no more Maestro. Those are different guitars.
     
    duane v likes this.
  14. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,644
    Likes Received:
    10,587
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    My 73 Custom has a very skinny neck. I don't mind that as I have the hands of a Munchkin but as far as playability is concerned my early '69 is the winner. :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
    LIBERTYMACHINE and Caoimhin like this.
  15. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    783
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Cookie Sir, those are beauty-full.
     
  16. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,644
    Likes Received:
    10,587
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Ah.......praise indeed from an afficionado of the marque!!:applause:
     
  17. slither

    slither Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    204
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Here is a pic of my 74 SG Special, mini humbuckers and an unbound rosewood board, but it has the block inlays and small guard. The neck on mine is fairly chunky as far as SG's go. I have no measurements but in feel it's not all that much smaller than the neck on my R9, but with less shoulder.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. slither

    slither Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    204
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Ditto.......... especially the standard (apart from the witches hats....... *ducks*) :D
     
  19. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    783
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Ay your service, Sir (do I sound British enough or what???) :D :thumb:
     
  20. Axis39

    Axis39 Senior Member

    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    357
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    I have a 70-71 that was originally sold to me as a 67 (way back in the days before the Internet was available to normal people). It had been customized already and I didn't pay much for it, so I won't complain about the Pawn Shop I bought it from.

    It has the volute and one of the most comfortable necks you can imagine. It's thick, but not baseball bat fat. The nut is a little narrower than I'd like, but my 68 ES was like that too. The frets are wide, fat little bastards that barely clear the rosewood and I love them that way. It originally had a Lyre, but it was gone buy the time I got it. I tried a Bigsby and didn't really care for it on this guitar, so went back tot he stop tailpiece.

    I have recently installed P-Rails and love it to death. It's a great guitar. It's ugly, not original finish, pickups, or hardware.... but she plays like a dream.
     

Share This Page