18 Aug 1964 Gibson SG Standard
This one…… was a major issue guitar for me. I bought it for 2k USD, maybe two years ago.
It had two serious cracks, one had been poorly repaired and the other was also desperately in need of attention. The headstock was basically split in two, and the neck joint (heel) was loose.
As what I was/am really looking for was old wood (I’ve developed a feeling over time for older wood, a kinda “harmony with mahogany” – this last phrase is Rob Taylor’s: was too beautifully meaning not to add it, thanks Bro’ ) it was okay with me. The guitar had its original circuit (harness) and potentiometers/capacitors, which is an important factor in recreating the tone I have always been after, and also something that I’ve only realized the importance of in more recent times (i.e. the fact that the harness, with potentiometers and capacitors is old as well as the guitar).
So it was a ‘go’ for me. I knew I’d be able to get it repaired in no time for a reasonable price.
This – the issue guitar thing – is something I have been doing successfully for a few years now. Actually, I don’t like to have 20k USD guitars, I don’t need to. I just need them to sound good and be playable (i.e. have a great neck).
It is, by serial number and features, a 1964 Gibson SG, and it’s probably the most playable guitar I’ve ever owned. Funny, no? who’d a thunk it?
It’s as easy as it gets, it’s butter, I really mean it. I don’t mean to be one of those guys that’s got to impress on you how great his gear is (though I have to say, mine is pretty decent, lol) but it’s the easiest of all my SG’s to play. In particular, bends and vibratos come out on their own, almost effortlessly. Usually I’m in a huge fight with the instrument, and with myself too, to obtain the vibrato I want.
For me, it’s related to how many hours it’s been played. Judging by the state it came to me in, this one has seen decades of real playing from its previous owner. He was an ole’ blues man somewhere in the US of A, and had now lost interest in the thing, I don’t think he was famous at all, I don’t even know his name.
I’ll take this opportunity to suggest that ‘issue instruments’ may be of interest to you. Have confidence in the fact that there isn’t anything made of wood that can’t be repaired.
And yes, even after it has been fixed – provided a good human being does it! – it will retain its inherent tonal characteristics.
Instead of spending (N) thousands of dollars on new gear (Historic reissues and such like) why not get the real thing at the same, or lower, price?
eGay and gbase.com are the usual places that I look for these things.
Ok, enough with the talk, more with the pictures!
Article adaptation thanks to Robert Taylor