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123456b

SG Special year ID?

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...

 

Aside from some pretty serious fretboard wear there are no condition issues to speak of, and aside from the tiny nut width I think this will be a pretty kick-butt little guitar once restored!

I'm confident about that, too! [thumbup]

 

Dating Gibsons of this period isn't easy at all, and sadly I can't be of help with that.

 

Are you sure the humbucker routings are mods? To my eyes they look quite professionally made.

 

I think I would treat her to an intonatable bridge with posts fitting into the bushings without mod.

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....At this point I'm thinking it's a '68 or '69 based on the pots and the neck joint as the serial # is getting me nowhere. Any further insight would be much appreciated!

 

On six-digit serial number Gibsons of this era, the MFG/date codes on the potentiometers have become the accepted standard of assigning a build date.

 

You're looking for the seven-digit number starting with "137". The next two numbers are the year (i.e. 69 = 1969), and the last two numbers are the week of that year the pots were made. This code gives you a definitive "born after" date, and the rule of thumb assumption is that Gibson used up a batch of pots about every six months (or less).

 

So, the pot code will give you six month or so "window" on when the guitar was assembled.

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I don't think the body routing is a mod. The mod I was referring to was that a new pickguard and humbuckers were added. Since the pickups are mounted only to the pickguard, it didn't matter that the body routing was much longer than the humbuckers. The original P90's are the same width (the short way, if that makes sense) to the humbuckers so they fit the route.

...

P-90s are wider than humbuckers the long way, so the routing would make sense for both pickup types with a pickguard hiding the routings for the humbuckers' brackets. However, I think P-90s are usually mounted to the wood below them, and I don't see the two screw holes per pickup on the pics you posted. Sorry for my ignorance, but either humbuckers were stock equipment, or the stock P-90s were "dog ears" types mounted to the pickguard. :-k

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Correct, they do mount straight to the pickguard just as a humbucker does. Every P90-equipped full-face/batwing SG does. The pickups are identical to a "dog ear" in construction. Personally, I've never called them "dog ear" when mounted this way, although I can't think of any other situation I've seen in which P90's are suspended on a pickguard than in a batwing SG. I've always reserved the term "dog ear" for those with the proper "dog ear" cover.

 

For fun, here's one of the originals for this guitar. Fingers crossed it's still good!

 

01375d63dc3c1a9f7895ad06a5de4b6f52752c6ec8_zpsnmutwezy.jpg

I wouldn't call these dog-ears either. I just didn't know they were mounted to a baseplate with ears then.

 

Thank you for posting this. I cross my fingers for you and your P-90s, too! B)

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Yep, that's what has me leaning toward a '69 as my guess, but the (albeit limited number of) other '69's I've seen have a noticeably different neck joint/heel. This heel looks like the '67 and '68's I'm seeing--thus my confusion.

 

Given the CTS date says it's from the 2nd week of 69, maybe the body was left over from 68, but didn't get finalized until '69? Is there any way to know when Gibson's model year commenced?

 

 

This would make sense (that it was a 68 body completed in 69), to my knowledge there isn't (and hasn't been) a strict cut off date for any model year production, they just keep using up what they have. Seeing transition combinations between model years in not unheard of.

 

Johnny

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... I'm probably going to settle on this being a late 68 with early 69 pots.

 

How can this be a late '68 with '69 pots? NO... that's not how it works.

 

You've stated your pots are dated 2/69. Your guitar could not have been built any earlier than the second week of January 1969, that makes it a '69, PERIOD! If you had mid/late '68 pots, you could try the '68/69 thing, but you don't, so you can't, and does it really matter?

 

As for the pickups, they are what was known as "soapbars". Most of that style were white/creme and looked like a bar of soap, hence the name.

 

Generally speaking, the model year change for all musical instrument manufactures is the winter NAMM show. This is the time when new models are "introduced", whether they actually have current production or stock on hand. Technically speaking, this has nothing to do with production dates or remaining stock/parts. Any and all manufactures (of anything) use up existing parts stock/inventory before moving on to the new batch.

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You must be such great fun at parties.

 

And you're kidding, right? You think the wood is all carved and assembled the very same day the pots are made? What we're talking about here is a transition from one body style to another (which was known to have taken place in 1969). It's not only quite possible there was a late '68 style body that was assembled in early '69 using '69 pots, it is almost certainly the case with respect to this instrument given the heel and neck joint are of the style made for two years prior to 1969 when the neck joint was, as has been mention multiple times in this thread, changed. So, what we're talking about here is, as Johnny 6 String mentioned, that it's not at all unheard of to see overlaps and mashups during transition years, especially with Gibson during this era. Beyond that, the degree to which this instrument has been modified over the years strongly suggests that the pots (while period correct) might not necessarily be original to this particular guitar (something I brought up in the OP). Put simply, dating cannot entirely rely on pot date codes as pots can be swapped with great ease. As I mention in the OP, I'm going off of one of four pots as the solder obscures the other three date codes. For all I know, they could be earlier codes.

 

So, perhaps you're confused. Was this sold as a '69? The could quite certainly be the case. That one pot and the logo style tend to suggest that. Does the body much more closely resemble a typical '68 than a typical '69, given the neck joint style? Yes, it quite certainly does. Do I think that's worth talking about? Yes, very much so. That's why I've spent this much time on a forum talking about it. It's atypical, interesting and unique. So, I'm not really sure what your tizzy is about, nor do I know what you mean by my "68/69 thing". There's no "thing" apart from everything that I just mentioned...again, interesting and unique. Unless someone can produce factory records or the original bill of sale for this instrument, frankly, no one will ever know with complete certainty the factory production year attached to it.

 

With that out of the way, lets talk about your role in this thread and the degree to which you seem to think yourself helpful. Your first post gave a little "lesson" on how to read the pots...which, had you read the OP carefully, you'd know I had already alluded to the fact that I am aware of how the pot dating codes work. Certainly not a problem, really, just not exactly enhancing the conversation in any way. This is information anyone can get with a simple google search. Your second post gives us a little "lesson" on what "soapbars" are...after I already gave another user of this forum some detailed information about P90 mounting styles in this very thread....so, thank you, yes, some people do like to call a traditional P90 cover a "soapbar". That information isn't exactly pertinent or, again, enriching the conversation in any way. You've managed to, frankly, add nothing to this thread in your two posts that wasn't already there to begin with and are clearly not taking the time to read carefully anything anyone else is posting.

 

I invite you to direct your efforts some other place than this thread if my interest in this instrument's somewhat unique qualities causes you difficulty.

 

 

No disrespect here, and perhaps I should have made my post more clear, but I'll have to agree with Larry here (although he was maybe a tad harsh, he can do that on occasion, but generally speaking is a very knowledgeable man), even though the body has '68 characteristics the pot codes are usually the be all end all for dating during this period if there are original. (as you've already discovered the serial numbers during this time were a bit of a mess) So that said, this SG would have been completed and sold in '69 as just that a '69.

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