NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

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Despot
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NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Despot » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:39 am

So ... I've agonised over whether or not to go ahead with the trade deal all week ... but I couldn't get this guitar out of my head since I played it. It's just right.

I love '60s t-top patent number pickups. I have a serious soft spot for Gibson custom models like the LP Custom, ES355 and the SG. And I have always wanted a big guard SG. This pretty much covers all bases in one package.

So enough talking. Photos:
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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Despot » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:47 am

It ticks all the usual boxes - it's light (after all - it's a SG, so of course it's light!), it rings out and it plays ... damn, it just plays so well.

I love big guard standards from this period as well, but I'm glad that I found a Custom rather than a Standard - I don't think there's as much of a rawk association with these later '60s Customs ... and they're still, in my view at least, lovely looking things.

The pickups are interesting - the neck and bridge operate as usual, but the middle is out of phase - the middle setting selects the bridge and middle pickup. Usually this is a sort of quacky sound that's ... meh, maybe useful. On this guitar the middle pickup is a little weak compared to the others, so the middle setting isn't as useful as say the middle setting on my ES345 (which is also out of phase).

The vibrola is smooth too - I need to do some work on setting the arm up properly as it swings a little loose at the moment. I did something similar on the SG Junior that'll work just as well on this.

Anyway - it's home now .. and it's time to plug this in while the neighbours are out!

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:23 am

Ah man, that's absolutely gorgeous! I don't think I've ever seen one like this, with the big cream guard, gold hardware & walnut body.

Normally I'd be put off by the gold lyre tailpiece, always favouring nickel. The way the pickups have tarnished is perfect so, in an ideal world, I'd wish the same for the lyre. But, it totally works with the dark wood background. Probably a first for me to actually admit loving the look.

Of course, I'm sure looks are only half the joy. That thing no doubt plays & sounds incredible! What's the tuning stability like with the vibrato. I can't be sure but I might have once heard that folk had issues with them in the past. A kind of form (yum!!) over function problem.
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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by MechaBulletBill » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:39 am

Holy shit, that's insane.

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by sookwinder » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:40 am

Kevin. if you are going to do it ... do it in style... and that SG Custom certainly is that.

In spite of a lot of music that I enjoy being made with an SG (George Harrison and Mick Taylor while with the Stones and Pete Ham of Badfinger, not to mention a host of Southern USA bands from the 60s and 70s) I have never warmed to the shape or colours available.

This one is an exception ... it is truly beautiful.

Congrats!

Out of interest what is the nut width?
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Despot
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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Despot » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:40 am

It's rock solid Mark - no issues at all. This one has been broken in nicely - it's quite smooth and holds tuning well.

The modern Gibson vibrolas aren't anywhere as stable as the old ones in my opinion. The vibrola on the ES355 that was traded against this was a lot more likely to lose tuning and was quite stiff.

Mean to say ... this has a damn baseball bat of a neck! It's bigger than any Gibson neck I've played other than some '50s Juniors. And that for me is perfect.

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Despot
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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Despot » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:45 am

sookwinder wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:40 am
This one is an exception ... it is truly beautiful.

Congrats!

Out of interest what is the nut width?
Thanks David. :)

It's the narrow '60s width as far as I can tell from eyeballing it (my callipers is in a bag at work). However it's a big old neck ... so it feels a lot like a wider Gibson nut. Playing it right after playing the ES345 (wide vintage Gibson nut) there's not as much of a perceived difference as I would have thought there would be. I know that the old '68 ES335 that I had for a while felt a lot narrower when you swapped to it from the ES345 ... but that had a skinnier neck. I think that has a lot to do with it.

I've played the narrow '67/ early '68 profile too ... and it's not that.

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Despot » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:54 am

PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:23 am
Ah man, that's absolutely gorgeous! I don't think I've ever seen one like this, with the big cream guard, gold hardware & walnut body.
The only person I've seen using this exact model (colour as well) is Kirk Douglas from The Roots - his is walnut too, but he decided to do the Gibson signature model with Gibson in cherry as I don't think it came in cherry back in the day. Mine isn't faded cherry - it's factory walnut from what I can tell from under the vibrola plate.

I think Hendrix used a white '67 with a large cream guard for a few performances ... but other than those two, I don't think I've seen anyone else using this type of Custom.

As mad as this sounds (given how people go on about PAFs and how PAFs were fitted mostly to the earlier Customs) I actually prefer this to an early '60s Custom. I love the sound of the PAFs in my ES345 (well ... the neck one - the bridge is a bit weak to balance out with the neck), but it's a very specific sound. Basically, it's a rock sound. Sure it can do other things well too ... but when you plug it in and turn the amp to break up, it sounds like old rock music without even trying.

The t-tops can do rock for sure ... but I always find that they have a brighter overall sound, and that they actually sound better clean to my ear. I can find more applications for these type of pickups - and I love how they take effects.

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by mbene085 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:32 am

I can understand why you couldn't get this one out of your head. That's just plain gorgeous, and way classier looking than a Standard. Congrats on the NGD!

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by stevejamsecono » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:04 am

Glorious. And yeah, those old school vibrolas are surprisingly good. I had a Melody Maker SG that had one on it and it kept its tune remarkably well.
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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Gavanti » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:03 am

Super classy! :w00t:

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:00 am

Even as a die hard SG hater I have to admit that's pretty sweet.

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by kapepper » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:03 am

Now i see.... :w00t:

Congratulations and I hope you will enjoy it.

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Zork » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:53 pm

When it comes to SGs it doesn't get any better than this. Congrats! :-*

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Re: NGD - 1969 Gibson SG Custom

Post by Hiwatt Bob » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:54 pm

Congrats man--that is awesome! I have a white '69 custom--I can't agree more with you--these are excellent SG's. love the late '60's t-tops.

Also, I thought I saw an AC/DC rig rundown and Angus' tech said that his main SG is a '68-'70 SG custom that was painted black and had the middle pickup removed. obviously most people associate him with an SG standard, but it was interesting to hear that.

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