Original Vintage 1962 Gibson SG/Les Paul Standard, NEW VIDEO!

TVBob

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This short video recalls the story of the birth of the SG while showing a breathtaking vintage original 1962 or early 1963 Gibson SG/Les Paul Standard. To revive its sales, in 1961 Gibson decided that it was time to drop the well-known Les Paul design with single cutaway body style and introduced a completely restyled Les Paul line. They came up with a whole new shape with thin light-weight all mahogany body, comfortable highly contoured edges and radical double cutaway. In October 1963 Gibson dropped the Les Paul name from the re-designed line, which was simply left with the generic designation of "SG", Solid Guitar. Hence today, the name “SG/Les Paul” applies to the re-designed Junior, Standard and Custom Les Pauls, made between 1961 and 1963. Whatever you name them, these guitars still preserve the high-quality that always distinguished the Les Paul line.

 

Dolebludger

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I wonder if the guitar is a 62. I have an SG Standard that I bought in late November, 1961 -- but it has a 62 serial number. Now, I know that Gibson did not change year model features and serial numbers exactly at midnight on Dec. 31. But most 62 SG Standards I have seen have the side-pull trem like mine, and not the Maestro as shown on the guitar in the vid. I have to say that most likely this guitar is a 63. Now, the trem design doesn't really matter, because neither desigtn was any good! But if the guitar is a 63, the chances of it having PAFs is less than if it were a 62,
 

TVBob

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I wonder if the guitar is a 62. I have an SG Standard that I bought in late November, 1961 -- but it has a 62 serial number. Now, I know that Gibson did not change year model features and serial numbers exactly at midnight on Dec. 31. But most 62 SG Standards I have seen have the side-pull trem like mine, and not the Maestro as shown on the guitar in the vid. I have to say that most likely this guitar is a 63. Now, the trem design doesn't really matter, because neither desigtn was any good! But if the guitar is a 63, the chances of it having PAFs is less than if it were a 62,

Hello Dolebludger, thank you for your interest and your interesting message. Actually I think that you are right, the guitar is more likely from early 1963. It has a Pat. Number pickup and a transitional "no sticker" P.A.F., the only difference being the sticker on the bottom.
 

Dolebludger

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Also, I must say that the side-pull trem on my 61 or 62 SG Standard has always been worthless, as it would never return to tune. Also, I believed it “sucked tone”. So I bought a cast device from screen name “Danelectro” on this forum for which I could remove the “guts” of this trem, and replace with a milled aluminum part, and installed it. It improved tone and sustain greatly, and this mod is reversible. I never played an SG with a Maestro trem, but understand they are no better.
 

lpfan1980

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Ah the poor SG, got so much attention after big bro left. T hen he came back a few years later and everyone made a fuss over him.:D
 

TVBob

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Also, I must say that the side-pull trem on my 61 or 62 SG Standard has always been worthless, as it would never return to tune. Also, I believed it “sucked tone”. So I bought a cast device from screen name “Danelectro” on this forum for which I could remove the “guts” of this trem, and replace with a milled aluminum part, and installed it. It improved tone and sustain greatly, and this mod is reversible. I never played an SG with a Maestro trem, but understand they are no better.

That's interesting Dolebludger, could you please attach a link of this Danelectro device? Even though, as I mentioned in the video, I tried another '61 SG-Les Paul with sideways vibrato and it sounded absolutely killer, very resonant, so the concept of "tone-sucking" is always relative : ) I think that the Sideways could be even better than the Lyre soundwise, maybe it has more sustain. Of course that's hard to tell, since we can not make a direct comparison on the same guitar.
 

61LPSG

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I agree with Dolebludger as to this guitar being a '63. It has some '62 and some '63 features. It's in really good condition, and a sweet piece.
The serial numbers from that era were really all over the place and aren't a definitive way of dating. My '61/'62 has a five digit S/N ( 9xxxx ) which Gibby says is a '63.
 

Dolebludger

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TVBob,

I don't have a link for the device, but I think you could PM Danelectro on this forum and get the info you want.
 

Dolebludger

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61LPSG,

Interesting info about serial numbers on these guitars being a poor indication of their year make. Because the SN on mine says it is a 62 according to Gibson, but I know well when I bought it new -- the day after Thanksgiving, 1961!
 

Dolebludger

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TVBob,

This is the exact part I bought a few years back. I couldn't recall the name of the company -- only the board member that worked for it. I do feel that it improved my tone and sustain. I don't use trem in my playing, so I buy trem blockers for all my Strat-type guitars for about $15 and they sound better too. Unfortunately this SG trem blocker is much more expensive than that. But also a much more complex part with a more limited market.

I am a great believer in having a solid connection between strings and body at all points of contact, and this is just another part of that formula.
 

Dolebludger

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Another interesting story about these side-pull trems is that in 2013 Gibson reissued an SG Standard model with this trem. Gibson claimed in its advertising that, while the trem looked the same, all its problems had been eliminated. I called Gibson and asked if I could buy one of these "new and improved" trem units and was told curtly that Gibson does not sell parts. My location is such that I would have to fly (and take a long cab ride) to anyplace that stocked this guitar, so I never got to try it out to see if it was really better -- or not. What I do know is this model was discontinued in mid 2013. Gosh, I wonder why?
 

Dolebludger

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zhivago’s SG Custom must be an early year build to have a side pull trem instead of a Maestro. I could be wrong , but I have thought the switch was made sometime in 63.
 

zhivago

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Indeed my '63 was probably made early in '63...I guess gold parts like PAFs and the Sideways Vibrola went onto fewer models, so there were leftovers in early '63. :)

Like Dolebludger, I noticed that the guitar was now a bit louder, there is more sustain and "snap" to the notes, and I lost a bit of the slinky-ness of the guitar from when it had the original parts, as the break angle was now improved.

The guitar is also a tad lighter.

All in all, it is a great upgrade as I didn't use the Vibrola...plus, if I want warble, I can just, ermmm, shake the neck a bit! :)
 

Dolebludger

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I looked up Gibson's current guitar line up, and guess what I saw? They have again reissued the 61 SG with a side pull trem! I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
 

zhivago

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Indeed they have...and it is a different Vibrola system internally than the vintage ones, so the VibroStop device from MojoAxe won't work.
 

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