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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
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My Oldest Guitar

Actually, it's my oldest good guitar. I have a Harmony Sovereign acoustic that's a couple years older but this Gibson Deluxe SG is my first love. It was also my one and only for many years. As it has a lot of sentimental value having played my first gigs with, it now resides in my safe. I pull it out now and then for some play time and a trip down memory lane.

I bought it from a girl in 72' who had told me that it was a 72', and I never had reason to doubt her. She had bought it for playing in her church choir and told me it was "too much guitar". Lol. A couple years ago at another forum, a wise member told me it was probably a few years older based on the size of the pick guard. I dated it with the serial number and also talked to Gibson about it and found out that it was a 68' which pushed it 4 years further into vintage territory. It looks very much like the one they released in limited numbers in 2012 called the Kirk Douglas model. Maestro Vibrato, 3 pups, ebony fb, and a walnut finish. The red one beside it is and 86' with a Kahler factory installed trem.

Pics.
Cheers, J





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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 06:13 AM
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Re: My Oldest Guitar

Beautiful SG and a cool story.
I have a '69 - there is something about those old SG's....lots of tonal magic.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 06:49 AM
 
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Re: My Oldest Guitar

I would think the '68 has regular Gibson patented humbuckers but I would peek and see if they are true PAFs which can be found into some Gibsons into the mid-1960s. It would add another 50% percent or so to value of guitar. It's not likely on something as late as 1968, but possible. Here's what to look for regarding the typical old '56 to '64 PAF (link below).

You most likely have a patented T top humbucker which has the letter "T" emblazoned on the plastic part of pickups, but next best thing to original 50's design PAF would be a patented mid-60s humbucker without the "T" on top which are basically the same as the 50's PAF. In descending value your humbuckers would be 1) PAF, 2) non T patent humbucker 3) likely T top patent humbucker for 1968 guitar

http://www.guitarhq.com/paf.html

The '68 you have appears stock with original finish.

http://www.guitar-museum.com/guitar-...USTOM--VINTAGE

But many a Gibson from that period, with a great deal of Fenders were user or luthier refinished in that brown as was the rage in the 1970s but mostly were solid colors stripped and then refinished in clear or brown to show off wood. Nitro finish checking would most likely confirm your guitar as original finish. And if it is checked, a very funky and uneven pattern to the finish checking is the real thing. Some Gibson reissues look "real" but they have an even look to the finish checking which indicates it was done all at the same time in a factory aging process. Natural finish checking happens over time over many different conditions thus the inconsistent pattern of checking. I would love to see pics of any finish checking you have on your Gibson.

Since it's a 1968, and not a 1958 it's more likely 100% percent original as very few Gibsons outside of anything before 1961 had people trying to do stuff to it. People actually take expensive goldtop 1957 Les Pauls (some before like '54-'56) and refinish them from gold top to cherry sunburst like the iconic '58s or '59s which bring in far more money. Usually the sunburst finish is finish checked to look original to the untrained eye and these '57 guitars that are reworked into '58s and '59s are called conversions. It's not dishonest if the seller lets you know it's the otherwise identical, but far less expensive 1957 (or earlier) Les Paul. A reworked '54-'57 into later sunburst modded finish may be just as good as the valued '58-'60 sunburst Les Pauls.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-GIBSON-...p2054897.l4275

I do think your '68 is original and probably has factory finish and frets, but one thing (very, very rare) which can happen on some guitars is that it could be wired accidentally out of phase or wired wrong in some way. This would constitute a mistake in 1968 but be very, very fortunate for you in terms of collector value. Gibson had some terrible quality control issues after 1964 and this led to some unintentional rarities liked botched wiring. Collectors can pay a handsome price for some one-of type Gibsons from this period.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 01-20-2015 at 08:00 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My Oldest Guitar

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemaholic View Post
Beautiful SG and a cool story.
I have a '69 - there is something about those old SG's....lots of tonal magic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
I would think the '68 has regular Gibson patented humbuckers but I would peek and see if they are true PAFs which can be found into some Gibsons into the mid-1960s. It would add another 50% percent or so to value of guitar. It's not likely on something as late as 1968, but possible. Here's what to look for regarding the typical old '56 to '64 PAF (link below).

You most likely have a patented T top humbucker which has the letter "T" emblazoned on the plastic part of pickups, but next best thing to original 50's design PAF would be a patented mid-60s humbucker without the "T" on top which are basically the same as the 50's PAF. In descending value your humbuckers would be 1) PAF, 2) non T patent humbucker 3) likely T top patent humbucker for 1968 guitar

http://www.guitarhq.com/paf.html

The '68 you have appears stock with original finish.

http://www.guitar-museum.com/guitar-...USTOM--VINTAGE

But many a Gibson from that period, with a great deal of Fenders were user or luthier refinished in that brown as was the rage in the 1970s but mostly were solid colors stripped and then refinished in clear or brown to show off wood. Nitro finish checking would most likely confirm your guitar as original finish. And if it is checked, a very funky and uneven pattern to the finish checking is the real thing. Some Gibson reissues look "real" but they have an even look to the finish checking which indicates it was done all at the same time in a factory aging process. Natural finish checking happens over time over many different conditions thus the inconsistent pattern of checking. I would love to see pics of any finish checking you have on your Gibson.

Since it's a 1968, and not a 1958 it's more likely 100% percent original as very few Gibsons outside of anything before 1961 had people trying to do stuff to it. People actually take expensive goldtop 1957 Les Pauls (some before like '54-'56) and refinish them from gold top to cherry sunburst like the iconic '58s or '59s which bring in far more money. Usually the sunburst finish is finish checked to look original to the untrained eye and these '57 guitars that are reworked into '58s and '59s are called conversions. It's not dishonest if the seller lets you know it's the otherwise identical, but far less expensive 1957 (or earlier) Les Paul. A reworked '54-'57 into later sunburst modded finish may be just as good as the valued '58-'60 sunburst Les Pauls.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-GIBSON-...p2054897.l4275

I do think your '68 is original and probably has factory finish and frets, but one thing (very, very rare) which can happen on some guitars is that it could be wired accidentally out of phase or wired wrong in some way. This would constitute a mistake in 1968 but be very, very fortunate for you in terms of collector value. Gibson had some terrible quality control issues after 1964 and this led to some unintentional rarities liked botched wiring. Collectors can pay a handsome price for some one-of type Gibsons from this period.



Thanks guys. That old guitar has plenty of great stories to tell if it could talk. lol. I didn't really start collecting guitars until the mid 80s and now have 32. The SG use to endure me playing it 8 or more hours a day, everyday. It has original frets that could stand replacing but it still plays and I do not want to take away from it's collectability at this point. Because of the amount of time I spent playing it back then,it probably has more play time than all my others combined. It spends most of it's time in the case, in my safe. Here are some pics I took of the pups, (not pafs unfortunately), and the guts under the hood, and a closeup of one of the pots. I took these a couple years ago when I was trying to determine if it was a 68' or 69'. The gent I traded correspondence with at Gibson told me records were a bit sketchy back then, but he thought it was a 68. He couldn't say if it was pre-Norlin or not, but it is right on the cusp of that period. Thanks again for your input 63Blazer.

I've been rather busy this week but will try to get some closeups of the finish in some decent lighting so that
you can look at the finish a little closer.

Cheers, J

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 01:19 AM
 
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Re: My Oldest Guitar

That's most likely a period correct Gibson humbucker and one way to tell besides patent sticker is the four screws that hold the back on which are Phillips. Older period humbuckers have a standard head. The finish looks original and sometimes it's hard to tell, let's say, if it was originally white but then got refinished to see through brown a few years later. A refin would also be old and it's refinned lacquer would display the right finish checking. It gets tricky here. At that point you look into cavity to see if color matches, or is a little different but same basic color, which it is. You can't always do this in vintage store. Besides the finish collectors also want the original frets which you have and that's great.

Now if you have a case from original owner, then that's great and if you have receipt, then you are 100% percent original "with papers". Original replacement strings, picks, and strap don't hurt either but then that's collecting and has nothing to do with tone or playability.

If this was my only guitar and the frets became unplayable, then I would refret to as original as possible, including fret tangs if this model had those. But since you have others and respect the collectible value and rarity of an original finish, original frets guitar, then it's wise you kept it the same as original frets on a 1968 anything become more and more rare each and every time a person refrets such an instrument. At a certain point you will almost never see anything from the 1960s with original frets if it's something that is played regularly thus making your guitar even that much more expensive and rare.

The pot reads from 1956, probably CTS, which is totally plausible since they lie around for years sometimes before they are employed in the guitar. Now if the pot was something in the late-70s then I may get worried. It could then either be a late-70s Gibson reissue of an older model, or it's the 1968 but somebody put in newer pots when the originals died out. This happens from time to time so all the factors have to be looked at together to come to some sort of date for guitar.

Then you have to look at soldering and see if that looks original. If that's sound and they are on 1956 era pots, then there's nothing negating a 1968 date for guitar. Add to that worn frets and cracked finish in places then you have a three to five thousand dollar guitar many will want to buy off of you.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My Oldest Guitar

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
That's most likely a period correct Gibson humbucker and one way to tell besides patent sticker is the four screws that hold the back on which are Phillips. Older period humbuckers have a standard head. The finish looks original and sometimes it's hard to tell, let's say, if it was originally white but then got refinished to see through brown a few years later. A refin would also be old and it's refinned lacquer would display the right finish checking. It gets tricky here. At that point you look into cavity to see if color matches, or is a little different but same basic color, which it is. You can't always do this in vintage store. Besides the finish collectors also want the original frets which you have and that's great.

Now if you have a case from original owner, then that's great and if you have receipt, then you are 100% percent original "with papers". Original replacement strings, picks, and strap don't hurt either but then that's collecting and has nothing to do with tone or playability.

If this was my only guitar and the frets became unplayable, then I would refret to as original as possible, including fret tangs if this model had those. But since you have others and respect the collectible value and rarity of an original finish, original frets guitar, then it's wise you kept it the same as original frets on a 1968 anything become more and more rare each and every time a person refrets such an instrument. At a certain point you will almost never see anything from the 1960s with original frets if it's something that is played regularly thus making your guitar even that much more expensive and rare.

The pot reads from 1956, probably CTS, which is totally plausible since they lie around for years sometimes before they are employed in the guitar. Now if the pot was something in the late-70s then I may get worried. It could then either be a late-70s Gibson reissue of an older model, or it's the 1968 but somebody put in newer pots when the originals died out. This happens from time to time so all the factors have to be looked at together to come to some sort of date for guitar.

Then you have to look at soldering and see if that looks original. If that's sound and they are on 1956 era pots, then there's nothing negating a 1968 date for guitar. Add to that worn frets and cracked finish in places then you have a three to five thousand dollar guitar many will want to buy off of you.
Thanks again Blazer. You've been a wealth of knowledge on this. I do have the original case it came with. Very similar to the one pictured in the link you posted above that had sold for $3800. Only difference is the plush lining is orange in mine. I do not have the original bill of sale, but when I bought it from the girl in 72', it was very near mint. All of the road scars are my doing. As far as the fret wear, I've seen worse, and for as much time as I spent playing it and bending notes, there is still some tread left on the ole tires. lol If it were unplayable because of fret wear, I probably would have had it done years ago.

I bought my first Ibanez in 83'. It was a Roadstar with a locking Floyd set up, and a blazer headstock. That guitar opened up new ways of playing, especially the vibrato, that the Maestro could never do. It was also the beginning of many more Ibanez guitars in my collection. So from roughly that date to present, the SG has been a closet queen most of the time. All this talk about her has me wanting to give her a fresh change of strings and play her. I refer to my guitars as her for some reason. When I take her out, I'll try to get some better pics of the finish. Thanks again.
Cheers, J
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 03:51 PM
 
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Re: My Oldest Guitar

Quote:
Originally Posted by belleswell View Post
Thanks again Blazer. You've been a wealth of knowledge on this. I do have the original case it came with. Very similar to the one pictured in the link you posted above that had sold for $3800. Only difference is the plush lining is orange in mine. I do not have the original bill of sale, but when I bought it from the girl in 72', it was very near mint. All of the road scars are my doing. As far as the fret wear, I've seen worse, and for as much time as I spent playing it and bending notes, there is still some tread left on the ole tires. lol If it were unplayable because of fret wear, I probably would have had it done years ago.

I bought my first Ibanez in 83'. It was a Roadstar with a locking Floyd set up, and a blazer headstock. That guitar opened up new ways of playing, especially the vibrato, that the Maestro could never do. It was also the beginning of many more Ibanez guitars in my collection. So from roughly that date to present, the SG has been a closet queen most of the time. All this talk about her has me wanting to give her a fresh change of strings and play her. I refer to my guitars as her for some reason. When I take her out, I'll try to get some better pics of the finish. Thanks again.
Cheers, J
Note your other SG with factory Kahler. Some of the Kahlers will be stamped Gibson but others are marked Kahler. Also some of the Gibsons have a Kahler locking nut and others have a Gibson designed locking nut to go with the Kahler trem. There are all types of variations.

Just like when Bigsbys were put on guitars in the factory. Sometimes it would be a Fender so where it should say Bigsby, it may have the Fender "F". Right now the Ibanezes have the same Bigsby/Gretsch trems which say "Ibanez" on them.

The Bigsby thing can be really, really messy straight out of factory. When Gibson made their amazing and ground breaking ES-335 which had so many innovations like solid middle block, feedback resistant laminated top, and thin deep cutaway body, some of them had Bigsbys right from the factory, but all 335s had holes drilled for a stop tailpiece.

Now if you have a stop tailpiece holes and put in a stop tailpiece, then all is fine. But if you decide to make it a Bigsby model and have the holes for a stop tailpiece, then you are in trouble. Gibson shouldn't have drilled the holes in the first place on every guitar so a cheapo fix they had was pearloid inlays the size of the screw holes (6th picture on link below) or a lame plaque (8th picture). It almost looks like a botched mod but collectors will know this was early Gibson and what they did before they decided to not drill for a Bigsby model on later versions of the 335.

And just when Gibson had a great formula for their fixed bridge 335s with just enough sustain from the solid center block on stop tailpiece models, they had to go out and put a sustain killing trapeze tailpiece on their semi-hollowbody in later years for a period. Trapeze works well for full hollowbody guitars since there's no other choice, but the semi-hollow has enough wood to mount a stop tailpiece on and offer up sustain in the mix.

http://www.es-335.org/es-335s-2/

Last edited by 63Blazer; 01-21-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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