VINTAGE GEAR FLASHBACK: 1963 Gibson SG Custom

 

DM_1526The Fretless 3-Pickup Wonder 

BACKGROUND

Designed in 1961 as a less expensive version of the Les Paul, players called it the “fretless wonder” for its low frets and fast action. Les Paul himself, however, didn’t like the guitar and requested his name be removed from it, which it was in late 1963 (confirming this to be an early model). The model was replaced with the more recognizable “SG” moniker that it’s retained ever since, which was originally short for “solid guitar.”

WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE

Sustain for days. Listen to Angus Young (AC/DC), Duane Allman or Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) for reference.

INTERESTING FEATURES

The three pickups give the guitar a real versatile, distinct tone. In fact, these pickups still have “Patent Pending” [markings] on them, making the guitar way more valuable. Also, the unique (and original) Gibson tremolo bar of this period is worth trying out as it doesn’t go up and down like traditional bars, but is pressed horizontally against the guitar.

REPAIRS

Well, when I bought it and it arrived via FedEx I opened the box and started to tune it up. The neck SNAPPED in half. Thankfully, the amazing folks at Rudy’s Guitar Shop in NYC put her back together like brand old vintage!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Don Miggs is a singer/songwriter/producer and fronts the band miggs (Elm City/Capitol Records). His love affair with vintage instruments and gear only presents a problem when he’s awake. Find out more at miggsmusic.com, @miggsmusic, thelalamansion.com or on his radio show, @thefringeAM820 (Saturdays 5-7pm EST).

photo by Gabriel Burgos

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