SG Special to Standard Conversions. Who is doing them?

macg1

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So I picked up a SG Special from 1964 on the cheap. All the parts and hardware are not original and the finish has been stripped (though the serial is quite readable and I would like to keep it that way). Luckily no breaks! Didn't break the bank and got it pretty cheaply. I have a pair of nice 63 Pat Number pickups and was thinking to do a conversion to a SG Standard with vibrola. Who is doing these types of conversions? I understand that the inlays would be an issue at the 12th fret (dots are pretty far apart). So I guess what needs to be done:

1) refin
2) vibrola
3) headstock inlay
4) routing for humbuckers

Am I crazy? I love the way the guitar plays so it is a keeper, but always wanted a vintage SG.
 
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CB91710

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Honestly, on a legit '64, I'd not change it. They aren't making them anymore ;)
It is certainly easy enough if it has (or if you convert to) the full batwing pickguard. I assume that you know that the P90s are wider than humbuckers and the corners will need to be filled to mount the rings if you use the half-guard.

I went the other way, and converted a '20 Standard to P90s.... went with chrome covers for a unique look. Pleasantly surprised that neck dive is not a problem with this one.

SG-Body.jpg
 

macg1

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I definitely would like to get it refinished though, but properly done, not some goop job.
 

macg1

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Honestly, on a legit '64, I'd not change it. They aren't making them anymore ;)
It is certainly easy enough if it has (or if you convert to) the full batwing pickguard. I assume that you know that the P90s are wider than humbuckers and the corners will need to be filled to mount the rings if you use the half-guard.

I went the other way, and converted a '20 Standard to P90s.... went with chrome covers for a unique look. Pleasantly surprised that neck dive is not a problem with this one.

View attachment 469372
It's not a full batwing now.
 

CB91710

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It's not a full batwing now.
So be aware of the size difference...
The P90 route gets right out to the end of the route for the ears on the humbucker, doesn't leave a lot of meat for the mounting rings.
Granted, if it's going to be refinished, you could fill the corners, and the filler would be hidden under the ring.

PickupGeometry.jpg
 

macg1

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So be aware of the size difference...
The P90 route gets right out to the end of the route for the ears on the humbucker, doesn't leave a lot of meat for the mounting rings.
Granted, if it's going to be refinished, you could fill the corners, and the filler would be hidden under the ring.

View attachment 469376
Yeah I am aware. That is why this would be a pro job :D
 

Oranjeaap

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Don't route it!
There is plenty of butchered or routed SG's out there, if you really want humbuckers in there go that route.
Refin? Go crazy! cherry? Sure. Pelham blue? Sweet! Plenty of cool colours to choose from. Wraptail SG is like a blank canvas, there's so many colors that look cool on it.
 

macg1

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Interesting responses... Do we all as a collective also try to talk folks away from converting their 50's Les Pauls into 59 spec?
 

CB91710

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Interesting responses... Do we all as a collective also try to talk folks away from converting their 50's Les Pauls into 59 spec?
A playable pre-'59? Yes, I would.

Yes, it's the owner's property and they can and will do what they want.
I've modified, sold, and flat out thrown away many things over the last 50+ years that I wish someone would have talked me out of.
 

StuC

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So I picked up a SG Special from 1964 on the cheap. All the parts and hardware are not original and the finish has been stripped (though the serial is quite readable and I would like to keep it that way). Luckily no breaks! Didn't break the bank and got it pretty cheaply. I have a pair of nice 63 Pat Number pickups and was thinking to do a conversion to a SG Standard with vibrola. Who is doing these types of conversions? I understand that the inlays would be an issue at the 12th fret (dots are pretty far apart). So I guess what needs to be done:

1) refin
2) vibrola
3) headstock inlay
4) routing for humbuckers

Am I crazy? I love the way the guitar plays so it is a keeper, but always wanted a vintage SG.
Sell it to someone who wants an SG Special. Pro job or not, if you rout it and mess with the fretboard, it's just another butchered guitar.
 

LeftyF2003

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P90s howl! You might want to give them a try before you do a conversion...
 

crashbelt

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Restore it as a Special.

I have a 61 Standard and 62 Special and its the Special that I gig for its roaring P90s with the wraparound tailpiece. Its more versatile than the Standard.

The OP can of course do as he wants, but I'm not personally a fan of conversions.
 


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