Can you advise me on this SG mystery?

dcurran87

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Hi guys,

I'm hoping to pick up my first ever SG very soon and was hoping you could clear up some confusion for me.

I'm looking at a second hand SG. The serial number dates it from 2004. It looks like a standard but it does kind of look like a satin/faded finish (pics aren't the best). What's also confusing is the trap inlays, bound neck and the almost gold/yellow headstock inlays. The fingerboard is also
nice and dark...could it be ebony?

My knowledge on SG's is limited but it would be amazing if someone here could tell me a bit more about what I'm looking at. The bridge has been put on upside down and the soldering on the pots tells me something may have been tinkered with. The tuners have been changed to klusons assuming it originally came with Gibson deluxe tuners.

Thank you!

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VictorB

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Well it’s definitely a 2004... it looks as if someone aged it out a bit. The tuners absolutely have been aged. Not sure if they’re aftermarket or original.
 

VictorB

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Not sure if that’s ebony....
 

Roxy13

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To me it looks like someone changed it to 50s wiring by moving the cap legs to the switch lug. The switch also has pushback cloth wiring, which I don't think is original. Possibly it's not the original switch at all.

Pickups may also have been changed.
 

mudface

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Looks like aftermarket ABR on Nashville posts and inserts.... everything including the pup covers were chemically aged... as well as the tuners and keys..... the finish could possibly be artificially yellowed too. But I could be wrong.

Without better closer pics I’m only guessing.
 

laterider

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As mentioned already, the pickups have probably been swapped and the bridge too. Play wear does seem minimal but either its been stored in a very humid climate or as mentioned earlier in a smoke filled one. I have a 2004 and its kept is gloss unlike this one from either the climate or smoke. I'm sure it could be cleaned up but its hard to remove musty or smoke smells so I'd recommend checking it out in person to see if you could live with those possibilities.
 

dcurran87

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Thank you all so much for your expertise so far :) I hadn't thought of someone trying to age it but that makes sense from what we are seeing.

I'm hoping to get out to see it in person today. Part of me is expecting it to completely stink of old smoke now lol. I'm also curious about whether the pickups have been changed out, but don't imagine this is easily checked without removing the strings.

Now, there is another 2005 SG standard that I've been looking at and I was thinking I could view both on the same day and purchase whichever feels best (it'll be about a 2.5hr round trip). This SG is in much better visual condition and is completely original...I would jump on this one only for the condition of the frets, a guy who viewed it today turned down the sale based on this. I'm confident in doing my own fret level and crown but have not done this on a bound neck before so would risk losing the nibs. Some of the frets do look really flat so I wonder if you guys think it is approaching a refret? The positive thing here is that the previous owner obviously loved it so much he actually played it!

What would you do!?

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Roxy13

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I level and crown guitars with nibs all the time and haven't had any issues with them. The ones on that guitar look pretty small so I don't think you would hurt them any.

As for a refret you will have to judge that in person probably on this one. They aren't obviously already too low from what I see in your photos, but you will have to look for the deepest dings and ask yourself, if I remove these, is there enough fret left for what I like? I just refretted one that had been leveled so many times the old frets are less than half the height of the new ones I just put in. They were so low they were hard to grab in some spots.
 

MSB

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i was kinda hungry then I looked at that gunk around the frets, problem solved.


he might have played it, but he sure didn't wash his F-ing hands, gross
 

dcurran87

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I ended up going out and viewing the 05 first..... and left with it! The frets weren't in as bad of condition as the pics suggested but could still do with a crown which I'm happy to do myself. We struck a deal for £550 with OHSC and even some case candy.

I spent some time yesterday giving it a deep clean and polished the frets. It plays like a dream so I can see how the previous owner managed to put some decent wear into the frets.

I love my LP's but having easier access to the upper register is quite nice and the 490r/498t combo is exactly what I hoped for - a dirtier, grittier punch in the face than my more vintage sounding LP's.

The more I thought about the 04 standard the more bad vibes I got so thank you all for your input and helping me make a decision.

Anyway, here's some pics of my first SG!

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moreles

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Nice SG. The first one looks like a god guitar, too, but with an entire homebrew aging job. (It looks like the finish was sanded down a bit, on top of all the other things people pointed out.) Nothing wrong with that, if it's your thing, but I would have made the choice you did -- get a good player that you can "age" in the right way -- through use. That fretboard gunk may largely be oil or some other additive used by the owner to darken the board. In any case, it's no defect and will likely clean up and even out well enough, fast. Enjoy your SG. I prefer SGs to LPs myself. Clapton stopped using Beano for an SG, so it's not a crime. I like both the sound and playability more.
 


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