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About hbomb76

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    SG "Historical Accuracy" Expert
  • Birthday 06/01/1976

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    South Carolina
  1. Surprised no one has responded to this. Anyhow, I say (if you haven't already) GO FOR IT. I love a Maestro (full "lyre" or short versions) or a Bigsby on my SG's (and Bigsby on my fave Tele too!). It adds a "complete" look to the guitar (to me, SG's just don't look right without a nice tailpiece, as they were intended, and "reissues" aren't reissues if they lack one of the aforementioned---or the "sideways" tremolo), and versatility if, like myself, you aren't afraid to abuse the whammy bar a little when called for. I had a beat-to-crap lame-VOS Custom Shop model that I took in on trade that came with a stoptail, and I made it right by not only giving it a REAL finish but also plugging the stoptail holes and putting a Bigsby B5 on it. TOTALLY different guitar now, in a GOOD way. I am actually about to add tremolos/vibrolas to my 2 Epiphone 50th Anniversary SG Specials (set up like yours, with just a wraparound); I'm putting a short Maestro repro on my red one, and a Bigsby B5 on my black one. I recommend either the USA-made B5 or the B50 import, the differences in feel are marginal if you've had exposure to various tremolos. Make sure you center it, and square it up with the bridge humbucker or the base of the neck (keep in mind your bridge is tilted so you pretty much have to ignore it altogether in that regard); I use an adapter plate from an old Cisco wireless access point that slides perfectly under the existing bridge up against the pickup so I can get it lined up and square. Another tip from a professional hack, toss a penny under the spring to give yourself a little more "wiggle room" (OR if you're using heftier strings). :) H
  2. Chris: Totally! I think (like with the general public's preference of Strats over Teles) people underestimate the bark and bite of the SG; I used to love when this one guitarist I played in a cheesy cover band with would try to argue about "tone" with me. He'd whip out his vanilla Les Paul and plug up to his Marshall tube head, and I'd be standing there with my SG (sometimes even one of my EPIPHONES) and would walk over to my Marshall AVT (hybrid) and alter the EQ ever so slightly, and boom. You could blindfold someone, spin them around and tell them to listen and tell who's who, and the only way they would be able to tell is by the fact that I played the intro to "Sweet Child O' Mine" more smoothly. Seriously though, and I really think Gibson should push this fact more than they do, that's one good thing about most Gibsons in general, a few tweaks and you can make any of their mahogany-based, 2 humbucker-equipped guitars sound almost identical. Me, I like the look and the full fretboard access on SG's better, so that's always been my choice. I know a guy who's the same about Explorers. They just "fit" him, and he stuck with them. There is no "right" or "wrong" answer, after all. Jim: I've played some turkeys myself, but mostly it's either been grotesque factory flaws which you don't normally run across (binding issues, bad neck sets, faulty components) or just terrible setups that make them play like $h!t; like aforementioned LP-guy I used to play with---dude's action on his guitars was higher than on a guitar someone would set up for exclusively-slide playing, so high you bent notes sharp simply by fretting (he would pick up one of mine and note how much better it felt). But that was his fault, because in his 40-something years of playing he never learned how to adjust a truss rod or lower a bridge. Sad. It wasn't the guitar's fault in that case, it was the owner's stupidity and laziness. But I digress. Yeah, a poor playing example of a guitar can turn you off to the species, so to speak. Sometimes, like for example with a scalloped fretboard or too flat a radius or something, it's a legit problem for some players. Glad you took a chance and got one of the "good ones" while the window was open. Welcome to the club.
  3. I've actually wanted to do almost the same thing, but I'm gonna' try to find a 2013 model because the 2014 has that hideous 120th Anniversary inlay on the fretboard, and there isn't a steep enough discount for me to be able live with that.
  4. Glad to see I led you in the right direction, padawan! :) Lookin' good! And lemme' guess...no "sustain" issues whatsoever like people whine about, right? :D
  5. Yes, the Original got it all right in my book. I had hoped they would take cues from the response to it in order to tweak their Historics better, but whatever. Mine is pretty much everything I've ever wanted in a "reissue" SG. I figured the Douglas signature was pretty cool. If it had the period-correct late-60's neck joint, I probably would've picked one up as a companion to my Angus Young signature. The old sideways units functionally were terrible. Just terrible. Even after servicing them (oiling/cleaning) and checking the saddles and nut, you still would have issues due to the old pot-metal innards. I just wanted to get one of these since they're limited run dealies, and are quite novel to look at (if the unit actually worked, even better!). Neck-dive would never be an issue with SG's if they're vibrola-equipped, as they were meant to be. Not that I keep my hands off the guitar that long anyway, but that extra counterbalance of the tailpiece goes a LONG way to evening out the weight for sure.
  6. Those Norlin-era Gibsons were not pretty by any stretch, but built like tanks. What made me drool is when you spoke of the amp. I lament greatly selling my MM RD-50. So stupid in my youth.
  7. No problem! Guarantee? That's the tricky part. I'm sure they'll say "that's just the nature of the finish" and write it off. Problem I have with that is that you see too many vintage 60's SG's that have obviously been played but have NOT faded terribly like that.
  8. Meh...been working too much, not playing enough...moved to a new home, had all flavors of drama...finally getting settled in somewhat. Well, I know you love my Original's "twin", and I've gotta' ask how you're digging the Capt. Kirk and the LP/SG (is the "newly engineered" tailpiece a functional device, unlike its predecessor?). I really, really don't understand their R&D (if it even really exists) or marketing. It was looking like they were heading in some good directions (aside from some weird stuff like the "Future" guitars with the weird reverse banjo tuners, etc), and then they up and go making some very, very odd choices. You would think SOMEONE (shareholders, people who want advancement in their career at Gibson, etc) would take a look at what works (and what DOESN'T) with other companies, and that they'd use that to their advantage. You'd think.
  9. Unfortunately, this is one of the side-effects some of us predicted back when Gibson started making "faded cherry" (or as I prefer to call it, "translucent orange") the standard finish on their "Historic" SG's. It's partially due to natural UV reaction to the dyes and lacquer, but when you cheap-out on pore-filler and apply the finish thinner than an original 60's model would've had, you accelerate the process by a factor of 10. My advice, if you're otherwise liking the guitar, is to play the hell out of it until you can't stand to look at it, and then pay a luthier who knows how to apply a nitro finish the old-school way (aka: properly) to give her a makeover. That's what I did to my 2007 one (which I bought used, and it had a stoptail, which had to go). Much better instrument, even with the slabby, historically-inaccurate horn tips:
  10. At the very least the knobs, bridge, pickups, truss rod cover and pickguard are not original. Good news is most likely you could parts-out the non-original parts to help buy OEM (or better) parts. If the husk is in good shape, no dings/dents/finish issues and the neck's straight without a ton of fret-wear, it would be a simple, good project to take on and make it right for still far less money than you'd spend on something today with a lousy "120th Anniversary" inlay or whatever. But hey, I can't blame someone for not wanting to buy something that was hodgepodged together like dude did. It would take enough work to make it proper to where I could see some people losing interest.
  11. I think (as has been said in the past on several occasions), people are generally fine with "innovation" when it comes to advancements and features on their guitars...so long as it's an OPTION, not made mandatory. And I don't mean as in "hey, you DO have an option: you can spend twice the money on a Custom Shop/Historic so-called 'reissue' if you want a somewhat-traditionally-equipped guitar". I mean as in, "hey, we have this nifty automatic tuning system option, an optional adjustable nut and a funky custom branding/inlay if you'd like...or you can just buy a proven, simple, effective classically-styled guitar that you've been wanting with appointments that people normally want on their Gibson." Whomever is making, supporting and approving some of this malarkey at Big G needs to (at the VERY least) lose their jobs. What I don't understand is how can a company make some astounding moves in one year (the SG Original, the reintroduction of the sideways-vibrola-equipped SG/LP '61, affordable Melody Makers, etc) and then turn around and go all "Firebird X" or "Dusk Tiger" on us, scooping a big ol' handful of the brown muddy and flinging it in our faces? And to add insult to it, it's the attitude of "this is what you get...now buy it." I spoke with my dollars in 2013, as the SG Original is still THE finest SG "reissue" to date till they fix their "Historic" Custom Shop models' horns and offer them in NEW finishes instead of the tired, bogus "VOS" (which is in NO way "Original Spec"); first new Gibson I bought in over a decade. I am speaking louder once again by purchasing an "Original 2" in the darker cherry finish as well. I'm even on the fence about the '61 SG/LP "Tribute", but seeing as how it's going to be another fruitless year as far as I'm concerned, I might as well. I spoke loud and clear this year, and will next year, by making no Gibson guitar purchases. 2014...12th fret "120th Anniversary" inlay. Gross. Could've been a tasteful (and replaceable) truss rod cover. If so, I would've bought a black SG Std. for live use. But no. That inlay's terrible. Who bothers with their 120th year? You want to release a 120th Anniversary MODEL? Perfect. That's awesome. But that inlay on every guitar (like the Flying V I wanted?) made me buy another Telecaster instead. 2015 looks to be more of the same mandate, except this time it's with the Min-E-Tune, adjustable metal nuts/zero-fret nonsense and corner-cutting finishing tactics which TECHNICALLY should LOWER the cost of production, yet we're hearing about no more low-end models, and price hikes on everything else? Does this mean the 2015 Historic SG's will finally be fixed and will be shiny, red-finished guitars with the right shaped horns and hardware that wasn't damaged in the flood? If not, one thing's for sure: I guess I can keep the MasterCard holstered again. My wife appreciates that. I've read where a lot of Les Paul fans are less than pleased about these and other changes to their fave model as well. Some of us are thankful we already own some of the rare, discontinued gems (and/or a true vintage piece that we always wanted), but we always still look to see what's coming, and is there something "closer to perfection" on the horizon. I guess the answer to that is a big fat "nuh-uh". The Fender lineup should really be an example of how to make everyone happy and still not have 100 different submodels of the main favorites. Have your US Custom Shop/Historic ACCURATE reissues, both in truly NEW and "aged" versions (because some of us think VOS, relic'd or pre-aged guitars are not "premium" or desirable items), a mid-level line of reissues (which may feature a few modern improvements, like better bridges/tuners but are otherwise fairly period-correct), a line of "standard" issue, off-the-shelf very basic versions, a "modern" line featuring the innovations and novelties, and the import line (in Gibson's case, Epiphone. Although, to be fair, some Epi models, particularly the SG models, are FAR different than their Gibson sisters, unlike the Squier/Fender comparisons, where the models are actually in most cases scary-close in terms of construction, and even quality in some cases). I think the powers-that-be at Gibson need to ease off on the drugs, and hire some players and TRUE FANS of the company's golden years to rework their brand. Sure, these new things have their place, and there will always be people who will buy the name on the headstock and not ask too many questions. Then there will be people like yours truly who will only scratch their heads when we see more "new Coke" nonsense going on, and we'll find something interesting elsewhere. I think it's sad that overall, Epiphone's offerings interest me more than Gibson's, and I'm quite content, if Gibson is going to continue jumping the shark, to coddle my '65 SG Standard and my SG Original and call it a day. It's just sad watching this happen. I remember this car company called Pontiac....
  12. Yeah, as Charlie pointed out (pun), the Original has much better horn-tip tapering (that they SHOULD be putting on the Historic/CS ones as well!), and while it does come across as a little more "pointy" than a mid-60's original, it's still acceptably "60's" without question. I still am stoked about mine, and even with the Maestro's issue it's still a phenomenal instrument in every sense. I cannot recommend it highly enough. For ANYONE even remotely thinking about a Custom Shop "reissue", this is a much more practical option AND as previously stated, aside from the bolt-bushing tuners and Nashville bridge, it's "as historically accurate" and even MORE so than the Historics going for twice the cash. Charlie, I emailed Lance and Gibson Customer Service. I hope they'll just offer to send me the part directly as they did you, because while it's a VERY tedious transplant (the cover-plate screws being the tricky part), a couple of well-placed microfiber towels and a lot of patience, and I'll have her working beautifully in a few minutes. :) If Gibson does me right, I'll be putting my deposit down on my second one ASAP. Wonder if I could get the Custom Shop to do me an Original in Pelham or Candy Apple Blue? :P H
  13. CB, Sorry for the delay...I've had a heck of a time getting back on, but all appears well now. Regarding my "Original", I know what you mean about the steep angle on the Maestro...actually I thought it was a direct response to some of the complaints on the Custom Shop ones having almost NO angle (and thus VERY limited bending capability), but you're right, it does tend to be difficult to swing around. Since I'm out here on the East coast, I can't mosey on down to EMS and pick up a replacement...I wouldn't mind replacing this one with a little bit less-dramatic angle (even if I just got the base frame sans-cover and could use the original cover). The ONLY concern I have would be if a string broke in the "off" position (parallel to the plate) and the "walrus tooth" were to dig into the body above the jack. Otherwise I actually would prefer the extended bending capability of the angle it's at now. I may have to contact Lance and ask him what they can do. I unloaded a couple of guitars I wasn't playing, and I was seriously debating getting a second one of these soon. :) H
  14. FINALLY getting around to getting back on here (work, gigs, yadda-yadda)... Great photos, Charlie. You can definitely tell you're using a real camera and I'm just using my cell phone...lol One thing I am impressed by (and I know it's a little detail) is that while all my previous 'reissues' with Maestros had Phillips-head bolts holding the arm on, this one has a period-correct slotted head. Now, I HATE slotted heads because they usually lead to a nasty gash in the finish at some point, but "historically" it's a keen little nod. BigKahune: I know, right? But seriously, they knocked this one outta' the park. I'm telling you, if they tapered the horns on the "Historic" models accurately like this, and offered this kind of red finish, they'd have it down pat. :) Sellen: Yup, I've been saying for almost a decade now that these little tweaks can take a "good" guitar and make it just about perfect. It's nice to get to see it come to pass, and hold this beast in my hands! Give in to the G.A.S. You won't regret it with this one. Bender: Better than my Mach 3! CoreyT: Amen to that! Durty: one thing you can do on the trem arm is (and this is assuming it has the nut on the bottom like the rest, I haven't taken mine apart yet) is like hi13ts said: take a little bit of that LocTite Threadlocker (the blue light/medium duty stuff, NOT the red heavy-duty stuff or it'll never come off...lol) and put a drop onto a Q-tip. Then just lightly add a thin coat of it to the end threads of the bolt and tighten the nut up to taste. Let it dry thoroughly, and you should be good for a long, long time (and one tube will last you YEARS). I ABUSE my Epiphone "1965" SG (one of those limited run deals with the Maestro), and it'll last me 4 to 6 months---and that's with pseudo-divebombing and all sortsa' craziness that people claim you can't do on a Maestro. Ha! :) Rowdy: I kid you not, and CB can back me up here, but these are EVERY BIT as up to snuff (believe it or not) as my Historic/Custom Shop one-off. The fret-work, the binding, the finish...all exceeds my expectations for a "Gibson USA" instrument, and frankly, makes some of the Custom Shop stuff I've seen as of late look kinda' lame. It struck me before I even pulled it outta' the case how dang awesome a job they did on this one. I'm debating taking mine to a studio session next Friday to crank through my JTM-30 (2x10"), but I may save it for when "my" band goes to redo some stuff instead, and christen her propa'! I A/B'd my '65 Standard, my Custom Shop "Historic" and this one, and I am amazed at how close they all sound tone-wise. It's a nice feeling when something sounds as killer as it looks. I'm stoked. :) H
  15. Awesome, CB! Glad you got her "sister". What magnificent beasts these are, eh? Lookin' forward to seeing some shots of yours. The best SG I think Gibson's made since...well...the REAL "originals". :) I've got to where I use Lithium rechargeables in my camera (when I actually bother to use it instead of the inferior-yet-oh-so-convenient cell phone), for that very same reason. An old toothbrush is great for corrosion removal. Still sucks though, you have my empathy. H
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