Why is the red color fading from my post 1960 Gibson SG's?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Red Pharoah, May 16, 2013.

  1. Red Pharoah

    Red Pharoah Banned

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    Why is the red color fading from my post 1960 Gibson SG's? Some of the color has faded from my 1961 thru 1965 SG's. Some appear more brownlike then red.

    I thought Gibson went to a red color dye that wouldn't fade in mid to late 1960.:slash:

    So what's up with the fading of red still AFTER late 1960?? :hmm:
     
  2. Kevin James

    Kevin James V.I.P. Member

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    I think you are refering to the fact that Gibson changed the red dye used on the TOP of BURST'S to a fade resistant dye in late 1960. A few things to keep in mind though is that:

    1. That was on the maple top, not on the mahogany back (that I'm aware of, and I freely admit I am by no means an expert on bursts).
    2. That dye was a different shade of red, more of what some refer to as "tomato soup red" or what Gibson refers to as "tangerine".
    3. When the switch was made to the all mahogany SG body shape in very late 1960 there is no indication that they used the fade resitant dye on them.
    4. The fact that the SG's were very much a deep cherry red and not a tomato soup red seems to indicate it is not the same dye from the burst tops of late 1960.

    I have seen tons of 60's SG's that faded. Some just a little, some quite a lot. I have a 1961 Standard that has faded considerably and a 1963 Special that has faded a little bit. I also have a 1962 Standard (in my avatar), a 1965 Standard and a 1964 JR that have not faded at all.

    It is possible they may or may not have used a dye that was more fade resistant than the 50's dye, but it doesn't appear to be the same dye used on burst tops of mid/late 1960 since its a different shade of red.
     
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  3. TM1

    TM1 Senior Member

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    The red aniline dye used on SG's was mixed with the pore filler. When the clear nitro-lacquer hits the red pore filler, it reacts different over time vs. shooting a red base lacquer over the bare mahogany. The SG's will fade, turn brown, etc. depending on the wood, the amount of dye added to the pore filler and most of all, sun light exposure.
    The red used on the tops of `60 Les Paul's is a different dye and was colour-fast.
     
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  4. Red Pharoah

    Red Pharoah Banned

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    Thanks for the answer gentlemen! I didn't realize they used a different red dye for the SG's and late 60 burst tops. Great forum here! Appreciate it.
     
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  5. RedMastiff

    RedMastiff Banned

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    but it will turn to dark brown or lighter brown?
     

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