NVGD: 1962 Gibson Les Paul SG Standard Ebony Block

Kevin James

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I've been GASING for an all original no issues, no stories and no excuses 61-63 Les Paul SG Standard for years but prices were just too high and I thought I would never be able to afford one. I recently got a cool 60/61 player with issues and a late 65, and while I LOVE both of them, neither really filled this particular nitch.

Well, I've been saving for a while and last Saturday while surfing Gruhn's site at 3AM I found THE ONE, a super clean 1962 with the rare ebony block. The price was right and I KNEW I had to go for it.

I called in the morning not 5 minutes after they opened and the sales person told me they had just got the guitar in Friday, it hadn't even been put out yet and that I must have seen it just after the site was updated and it went up.

After several questions I had a couple concerns, the frets and the solder joints and they took the time to re-inspect the guitar and gave me in writing that the frets and solder joints were absolutely original and the guitar had 0 issues apart from one replaced bridge saddle (the original is in the case) and a replaced switch tip. With that in writing and the 48 hour inspection period I figured I couldn't lose so I whent for it.

I recieved the guitar today and opened it late tonight. After a thorough inspection all I can say is I am THRILLED with this guitar. It exceeds all my expectations and is in near mint condition. No breaks, no cracks, no repairs, 100% original in I'd say 9.7 out of 10 condition. The entire guitar black lights perfectly without even the tiniest touchup. Even the solder joints blacklighted perfectly.

It just has practicly 0 play wear on it. Very light checking on the front of the guitar and almost none n the back, sides etc. There isn't even the slightest trace of buckle rash on the back, just nothing.

This particular one also has 2 P.A.F.s, not patent numbers and the covers have never been off.

I think I got lucky on this one. Right place, right time.

Heres a nice pic of it from Gruhns. I LOVE the grain patern on it too.
62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGatGruhnspic1.jpg
 

Alvinfan

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CONGRATS Kevin !!!!!! :thumb::thumb: That is a BEAUTY !!!! I love ebony blocks and prefer them to sideways vibrolas. " Being at the right place at the right time " That is what it is all about. This one has come to the right person. ENJOY !!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS : I thought you had your GAS under control, but good for you that you hadn´t :D
 

Thumpalumpacus

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That's a fine young lady you got there, and yeah, that grain (especially the back) is amazing.
 

Kevin James

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CONGRATS Kevin !!!!!! :thumb::thumb: That is a BEAUTY !!!! I love ebony blocks and prefer them to sideways vibrolas. " Being at the right place at the right time " That is what it is all about. This one has come to the right person. ENJOY !!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS : I thought you had your GAS under control, but good for you that you hadn´t :D

Thanks Alvin :)

Yes, my GAS IS under control. This has been my plan for a long time, IF prices ever got within my reach. It has been clear to me for a while that prices had fallen to where it was clear it was....time to put up or shut up. So after finding this one I knew it was THE one and I had to do it or I would regret letting it slip away forever.

Now I gotta come up with a name for her :)
 

Dolebludger

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Great guitar, and I learned something new. I did not know that late '60 through '62 LP SG standards came with anything originally but that side pull trem. I had never seen one with an ebony block and a maestro - type trem. I like that part of it. My '61 has the side pull, which is musically useless. In fact, I think that the fact the "tail piece" is held in place by springs kills tone and sustain. I think the maestro type will do much better.
 

Kevin James

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Great guitar, and I learned something new. I did not know that late '60 through '62 LP SG standards came with anything originally but that side pull trem. I had never seen one with an ebony block and a maestro - type trem. I like that part of it. My '61 has the side pull, which is musically useless. In fact, I think that the fact the "tail piece" is held in place by springs kills tone and sustain. I think the maestro type will do much better.

Thanks. Yes, they are very rare but they do exist. If you do a google search "gibson SG Ebony Block" or Gibson Les Paul Ebony Block you will see info come up on them. If you click on images you will see several pics of some others as well. Most of them seem to have been 1962 but I have heard of a couple 61 and 63 examples also.

I agree with you about the side pull. I have a 60/61 player with the side pull and it looks cool but is garbage functionally speaking. I agree it robs the guitar of tone and sustain. Functionally and tone wise the short vibrola (and the long tail Lyre version) are mutch better and SOUND better.
 

58burst

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Beautiful! That one must be a later '62. looks like it has the more commonly '63 style heel-
 

b3john

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Wow! :applause:

What a freakin' awesome guitar! :cool:
 

61SGLP

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Congrats, man! That's the ultimate LP/SG to me. Nothing looks as cool as the Ebony block vibrola.

I have to disagree with you guys about the side-pull...my '62 with side-pull sounds better than the long-vibrola SG I used to have, and its sustain is great compared to other SGs. I also gently use the side-pull quite often with no problems. I will say that SGs in general need to be played loud (like at gig volumes) to sound their best. I regularly gig with mine.
 

Dolebludger

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I certainly agree that SGs need to be played at gig volume, as mine is lacking in sustain and tone character at practice volumes. But at gig volumes, that light weight body seems to develop a resonance from the amp (much like a semi-hollow) that adds a lot of sustain -- even at clean settings.
 

Alvinfan

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I certainly agree that SGs need to be played at gig volume, as mine is lacking in sustain and tone character at practice volumes. But at gig volumes, that light weight body seems to develop a resonance from the amp (much like a semi-hollow) that adds a lot of sustain -- even at clean settings.

+ 1 " Just ask Angus " !!! :dude:
 

Kevin James

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Congrats, man! That's the ultimate LP/SG to me. Nothing looks as cool as the Ebony block vibrola.

I have to disagree with you guys about the side-pull...my '62 with side-pull sounds better than the long-vibrola SG I used to have, and its sustain is great compared to other SGs. I also gently use the side-pull quite often with no problems. I will say that SGs in general need to be played loud (like at gig volumes) to sound their best. I regularly gig with mine.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying SG's with the side pull sound bad. Not at all. In fact, once I financially recover from this last purchase I STILL want a 100% original no issues and no excuses 60 or 61 with the sidepull.

I'm just saying the 2 I have with the Maestro style vibrola (this 62 ebony block and a 65 with long Lyre) seem to have a little thicker sound with slightly better sustain than my 60/61 player with side pull. The one with the side pull sounds great too, just different... it has its own very unique sound. I don't think its any secret that FUNCTIONALLY speaking the sidepull isn't exactly the greatest design in the world. They sure do look cool though :)
 

61SGLP

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Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying SG's with the side pull sound bad. Not at all. In fact, once I financially recover from this last purchase I STILL want a 100% original no issues and no excuses 60 or 61 with the sidepull.

I'm just saying the 2 I have with the Maestro style vibrola (this 62 ebony block and a 65 with long Lyre) seem to have a little thicker sound with slightly better sustain than my 60/61 player with side pull. The one with the side pull sounds great too, just different... it has its own very unique sound. I don't think its any secret that FUNCTIONALLY speaking the sidepull isn't exactly the greatest design in the world. They sure do look cool though :)

I'd love to hear my old SG next to the ones you have. My guitar with the sideways vibrola sounds stronger than the old Maestro vibrola SG I used to have, particularly in the higher frets. My own speculation as to the reason for this is that it seems to be easier to lose string resonance to the small, thin, folded piece of metal of the Maestro rather than the larger sideways vibrola with both anchored securely. In other words, I would think that a vibrating string could cause the folded metal of the Maestro to vibrate with it more than the same vibrating string could cause the more massive side pull contraption to vibrate with it.

Also interesting in my personal comparison is that my old Maestro'd SG had a stronger string break angle over the bridge and a lot more wood in the neck than my side pull SG.

Keep in mind that my side-pull is torqued into the guitar as much as I am comfortable doing so without stripping out the wood, and I have tightened the bolts inside of it to where its range of motion is a little less than the typical side pull...these steps alone have made it much more solid and better mated to the guitar than when I acquired it.

I have always believed, due to my experience, that the real secret of a sideways vibrola is that they can be set up to work just fine. Any vibrato unit that returns to rest when you let go of it is capable of working properly when the guitar's nut and bridge saddles are filed correctly. To me, the side pull got a bad rap because setting it up properly is a much more involved process, and this was probably never done well from the factory.

Sorry for the continued derail. :) I would LOVE to see/hear your Ebony block in action!
 

Dolebludger

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I too am not saying that LP SGs of this vintage with side pulls sound bad. I have a one-owner '61 that I have played for a half century. Like all of my guitars, there are a few things I would like to be different about it, but won't make any irreversible changes due to collectors' value. One of those things is it does need more sustain. And the trem must be used only sparingly if you want to come back in tune. But (as said before) at gig volume it has all the sustain anybody would want and the tone is very sweet. Mine's going to stay as original as possible. The only change on mine is a drop on Gotoh bridge which (for some reason) has enhanced the sustain. But (of course) I've kept the original ABR1 which I can just drop on if I ever want to sell.
 

3PICKUP

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Hey guy's..I havent a clue where to post this so I'll try here..I have a 1961 les paul standard brown/pink case on ebay item number 290548049783 thanks Mike.
 

Kevin James

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Hey guy's..I havent a clue where to post this so I'll try here..I have a 1961 les paul standard brown/pink case on ebay item number 290548049783 thanks Mike.

My guess would be the subforum titled Member Classifieds. There's also a section titled Ebay Deals but I don't think your supposed to post your own auctions there.
 

Kevin James

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When I got this guitar several weeks ago I promissed some better pictures. Well.... would you believe there hasn't been a single sunny Saturday/Sunday since I recieved it until today?

Anyways, I FINALLY got to take some pics so here they are:
62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGCase.jpg

62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic1.jpg

62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic2.jpg

62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic3.jpg

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62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic5FotoFlexer_Photo.jpg

62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic6.jpg

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62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic8.jpg

62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic9.jpg

62EbonyBlockLesPaulSGpic11.jpg

DSC03715.jpg

62LPSGAppraisalDocEdit-1.jpg
 

Cookie-boy

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Clean as a cat's arse!!! A really delightful, original SG. Great find and well done!:applause:
 

Alvinfan

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Kevin ! You are a couple of days late with your April fool´s joke ! That is a REISSUE :lol:
 

Kevin James

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Kevin ! You are a couple of days late with your April fool´s joke ! That is a REISSUE :lol:

LOL Yeah, I hear ya man, I could hardly believe how clean it is myself considering it's 49 years old. This one is clearly the Holy Grail of my guitar collection.
 

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