What is the lowest serial number you've seen on a 1961 SG/LP Std.?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Red Pharoah, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Red Pharoah

    Red Pharoah Banned

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    What is the lowest serial number you've seen on a 1961 SG/LP Std.? I'm talking about the 61's with the IMPRESSED serial number (not the 1960 model with the ink stamped number)?
     
  2. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    FWIW, the stamped serial number on my one owner "61 is 53476. It was bought in late Nov., '61, so it is probably not low.
     
  3. Red Pharoah

    Red Pharoah Banned

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    I've seen them in the 4 digits. :hmm:
     
  4. 61SGLP

    61SGLP Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    That's a 1962 serial number. Are you the original owner? I'd hate to question your memory...:D

    I have a very early '62 with a serial number in the low 4xxxx range. George Gruhn gave me an in-hand appraisal of it as a 1962 instrument.

    Also, refer to the first PDF link on this page...

    Gibson Support - Serial Number Search
     
  5. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

    Messages:
    21,435
    Likes Received:
    12,357
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    No one will believe me probably, but I owned 0001 in 1973. I believe it to be the very first 1961 Gibson built. It had PAFs of course. It was BRIGHT!! (it may have been 001)
     
  6. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    61:

    Yes, I bought it new at a music store in Tulsa OK the day after Thanksgiving, 1961. If serial numbers mean date of completion of manufacture, this is weird!:shock:
     
  7. Red Pharoah

    Red Pharoah Banned

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Skatterbrane. I believe you! So was your 0001 or 001 a SG/LP Std? And thanks everyone for the replies!:dude:

    I ran across serial #000001 in my travels. Of course, that belonged on a 67 or 73 Melody Maker in Pelham Blue finish. Cant recall if the guitar I saw had the volute or not. It was probably the 1973 because it was hanging at a music store and this must have been around 1976.
     
  8. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

    Messages:
    21,435
    Likes Received:
    12,357
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Yes, it was a cherry Les Paul SG standard with that crazy sideways vibrato. It peeled paint, too harsh for my tastes. I only had it for a few months. The music store that took it in advertized it as the very first Les Paul ever made. They paid no mind to my objections. This was in the Minneapolis area.
     
  9. PapaSquash

    PapaSquash Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,929
    Likes Received:
    5,081
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Probably was 0001 I have "1 07XX" (a DC Junior) so I'd figure they probably went four digits with leading zeros


    Edit: might not be relevant as it is inked
     
  10. 61SGLP

    61SGLP Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Very interesting. Here is the info from Gibson's site:

    "In 1961 Gibson started a new serial number system that covered all instrument lines. It consisted of numbers that are impressed into the wood. It is also generally known to be the most frustrating and hard to understand system that Gibson has employed. The numbers were used between the years 1961-1969. There are several instances where batches of numbers are switched in order, duplicated, not just once, but up to four times, and seem to be randomly assigned, throughout the decade. In general though, the numbers are approximately as follows:

    APPROXIMATE YEAR______SERIAL RANGE
    1961__________________100-42440
    1962__________________42441-61180
    ect..."

    Maybe yours is of a batch that was switched in order? Mine is an early '62. It has a very early '62 serial number (according to the numbers above) and hung on the wall at a shop in Chicago until he saved up enough money to purchase it in late '62.
     
    WHEC65 likes this.
  11. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    61:

    I recognize your expertise on the subject. That's why I still don't understand how mine could really be a '62 when I bought it personally at Jenkins Music in Tulsa Oklahoma in late November, 1961. And it had probably been in the store inventory for a time. I know that people of my age have memory problems, but I remember this event very well. I had been playing a '59 Silvertone (Harmony) with a "log" for a neck and no truss rod. It was barely playable! I was on Thanksgiving break from Oklahoma University, and took all my Tulsa friends with me to buy this SG, and had quite a celebration over the event -- because I finally had a playable guitar. I know it wasn't 'November '62, because I attended a different university in '62. My memory of those days is better than my memory of yesterday (ask one of your relatives who is well over 60 -- this is a common situation). My SG is a one owner with no breaks in ownership.

    Also, the guitar has the sideways trem and all the '61 indicators, including the shape of the neck heel attachment to the body. Somewhere on this board, another expert on SGs (BC Greg, I think) has posted pics of the heels of all the series of early SGs. In his pics, the '61 is shown with the neck blended smoothly into the body with no notches or angles. In contrast, his pic of the 62 heel shows a slight angled break in the lines of the heel attachment. Mine is exactly like the pic of the '61. So I wonder, WTF?
     
  12. geochem1st

    geochem1st V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    27,666
    Likes Received:
    40,574
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Although not a SG/LP STD, my '61 SG Special has a serial number of 308XX. Gibson told me via email that it was manufactured in mid to late 1960 in Kalamazoo. The neck blends smoothly into the body with no heel. Very thin body and neck. Extremely light guitar.
     
  13. 61SGLP

    61SGLP Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Well, I corrected my post. I had accidentally deleted, "Mine is an early '62." it made it sound like I was challenging your memory, which was not my intent. I was trying to share the story of how mine was purchased by the original owner. By the way, mine has the wide-thin neck, blended heel, sideways vibrola, and PAFs as well. A lot of '62s are like this. I don't think Gibson changed specs/building methods/ect. right on Jan 1st.

    I'll ask Gruhn about it next time I go see him. The histories of these old guitars fascinate me.
     
  14. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    61:

    Yes, please ask Gruhn about this. I didn't think you were questioning my memory. I just wanted to emphasize that I am very clear on exactly when, where, and the surrounding circumstances for my original purchase of this guitar. This is one big mystery, and I'd just like to see it solved.
     
  15. Kevin James

    Kevin James V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Not to highjack the thread but.....Dolebludger, as the original and sole owner of an original 61 SG you may be able to answer a question I'm having a lot of problems getting to the bottom of.

    The 61 SG Standard came standard with a wireless ABR-1 bridge, but there were actually TWO different versions of the wireless ABR-1. I'd like to show you an example of each type and if you could tell me which one yours has I would GREATLY appreciate it.

    Example 1:
    Gibson ABR-1 No Wire Bridge 1956 through 1962 - $875.00 : Vintage Guitar Parts

    Example 2:
    ABR-1 Bridge : Gibson : Electric : Rare Guitar Parts

    You will notice it is the under side of the two that is completely different from one to the other.

    Which one does yours have?
     
  16. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Kevin:

    Glad to answer, and the answer may help in solving my mystery. My original ABR 1 bridge is definitely the first one on your list. The second bridge has the bottom curved upward approaching the retaining holes -- and that is not like my original. The first one is "stair stepped" in this area and in all other respects appears to be exactly like mine.

    Just by way of other info that might help you, the saddle tops and groves on my original ABR 1 had become so "buggered" over the years, that I either needed to replace the saddles or the bridge. As bridge replacement on this guitar is a simple "pull off, drop on" reversible operation, I bought a fitting Gotoh bridge from Stewmac.com and put it on (keeping the original, of course!) The Gotoh is much more solid, because the intonation bolts are held to the bridge body through holes (rather than just sitting in "U" shaped groves like the original) and by nuts on the other side (rather than just sitting in small holes like the original). The result was a much better tone than with the original, at a cost of between $20 to $30 bucks. Of course, I'll get new saddles for the original and install it should I ever try to sell the guitar on the collectors' market. But for an instrument to actually play, it's the Gotoh hands down.
     
  17. 61SGLP

    61SGLP Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    I did ask him. He says that Gibson serial numbers for 1961 run from 100 to 42440. He didn't mention any exceptions. That early 62s have the same characteristics as 61s only shows that production methods carried over into the next year, which is very common across many years of Gibson guitar models.

    I'd love to see your receipt. That would clear it up in an instant. :D
     
  18. Kevin James

    Kevin James V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    I had a feeling you were going to say it was the first one.

    This is REALLY getting interesting. I have been told by quite a few people the curved one (example #2) is what would have been used on any guitars equiped with a tremelo because the curve to the bottom allows the ABR to slightly rock back and forth on the thumb wheels when the trem is used.

    That makes PERFECT sense right? And almost all SG Standards came with some sort or trem whether it be a side pull on the 60-62 or a Lyre from 63 on, and of course there were a few Bigsby equiped ones as well. The add on the bridge in example #2 also states it is specifically for an SG.

    But... I have looked at an all original 1960, a 61, and 62 and just like yours every single one of them had the type of ABR-1 in the first example. I also looked at a 63 ES345 yesterday that originally had a Bigsby trem, it also had the type of ABR in example 1.

    So.... supposedly the second example is what should be on a trem equiped SG Standard, but I haven't seen and can't find a single example that that is the case.
     
  19. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    61:

    Unfortunately, I haven't a clue where that receipt is. After all, how many 50 year old receipts can any of us locate? As Gruhn says it is a '62, it must be so. All I can think of is that I possibly took the guitar in for some adjustments in the spring of '62 and the music store gave me the wrong guitar back! Just another mystery.

    Kevin:

    I have never seen an ABR 1 bridge with the curvatures on the bottom like the second one in your pics. Don't see how the curves would help with "rocking" from trem action, either. That would seem to have more to do with the size of the attachment holes -- but holes large enough to allow sufficient "rocking" would diminish the firm contact needed between bridge and body for good tone.
     
  20. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

    Messages:
    11,669
    Likes Received:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009

Share This Page