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Gibson SJ Deluxe


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A lot depends on condition - for example the neck condition and string height, as well as cosmetics (finish checking, wear, scratches) or the presence of any cracks in the wood.  Having the original case helps too.  If you have a guitar shop near you, it's worth spending a few $ to have it appraised, having a realistic asking sales price will help a speed up a sale.  You can post some pictures here and the knowledgable forum members can give their opinions, though nothing beats an in-person inspection.

If it's a 1970s era SJ, these generally go for $1000-2000 depending on condition etc. as noted above.  

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Adding on to what vm1300 wrote, perhaps have it set up by the Luthier looking at it for apprasial, with new strings, if the shop thinks it will help. A guitar that plays better and has the appearance and playability of higher level will earn it's money back, maybe more, and will sell much easier.

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Welcome.  The 70s and 80s was  not a good era for Gibson acoustics. Other brands as well experienced a low watermark coming off the euphoria of the Folk Phenomenon.  Quality and tone were compromised by a new corporate (foreign) owner for profits.   So, true value of yours is less than the overall average if you consider other decades. But, if you find a buyer who doesn't know this - you don't have to tell him!  Caveat Emptor.  And, of course, there are always exceptions with 'handmade' guitars - yours might sound excellent .  And if it's  'a closet queen', it might be in great condition would be a $+ as well.     G'Luck! 

Edited by fortyearspickn
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2 hours ago, vw1300 said:

A lot depends on condition - for example the neck condition and string height, as well as cosmetics (finish checking, wear, scratches) or the presence of any cracks in the wood.  Having the original case helps too.  If you have a guitar shop near you, it's worth spending a few $ to have it appraised, having a realistic asking sales price will help a speed up a sale.  You can post some pictures here and the knowledgable forum members can give their opinions, though nothing beats an in-person inspection.

If it's a 1970s era SJ, these generally go for $1000-2000 depending on condition etc. as noted above.  

Thank you all for your replies! Attached are all of the pictures that I have taken. Let me know if I need to zoom in on anything or take any other pictures. The serial number is 601012 and it has a made in the USA mark at the top. I have taken image of the minor blemishes as well  also, that is not a dent in one of the pictures, it looks like the wood that it was made of had some sort of knot maybe causing it to be darker

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Edited by Gibson SJDeluxe
Just added a note about the wood
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SJ Deluxe Newbie -    Don't give it away or anything.  The burst finish usually brings a little less than the natural.  As said, Norlin era was not a good one for Gibson.  I have a 74 SJ Deluxe I keep though, just cause I'm contrary I guess.   Condition and, most of all, somebody getting to hands on play it are the key factors to a  good sale price on such  a Gibson from that time.   One if by mail, two if in person.  How do you plan to sell it?   

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10 minutes ago, Hall said:

SJ Deluxe Newbie -    Don't give it away or anything.  The burst finish usually brings a little less than the natural.  As said, Norlin era was not a good one for Gibson.  I have a 74 SJ Deluxe I keep though, just cause I'm contrary I guess.   Condition and, most of all, somebody getting to hands on play it are the key factors to a  good sale price on such  a Gibson from that time.   One if by mail, two if in person.  How do you plan to sell it?   

I’m honestly not sure the best way to go about selling it. I was thinking about taking it to get appraised like some of the other comments recommended, but I have no clue the best way to ship it because I do not want to damage it at all. In person selling would probably be best, but if you recommend something else, I’m all ears

Edited by Gibson SJDeluxe
Added a little note
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In person  with somebody getting to play and hear it is the way to get a decent price up near or just above  the 2 figure.  I just went and got mine out of the case  a minute ago, and it's still not for sale.  You probably have no real hope of getting fully what it is worth, if it happens to be one of the few that sound good from that time.   Most just don't, and everybody knows that.   If it means nothing special to you guys , you let it go for  whatever.  But darn, it is a Gibson guitar so spiff it up and  strive for 2, if it doesn't sound like it has somebody's old socks in it!.

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For a relatively small fee George Gruhn will do an evaluation and appraisal using photos. 

I am guessing you can narrow the date down by using features such as the rosette, body binding, color of the pickguard, back stripe or not, and  what have you.  But as I have spent virtually no time with 1970s Gibsons somebody else will have to help point you in the right direction.     Once you get past 1970 though I do not think the specific year is going to mean much in terms of value as there is nothing to set one year apart from the next.   They just become a generic 1970s SJ Deluxe.    As to value though while I do not pay a ton of attention to what they go for I have run across them in nice condition not infrequently in the $1250 to $1500 range.

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Here is what the  all wise and mighty serial number looker up'er said:

Production year: 1970 - 1972 or 1974 - 1975
(if 'Made in USA' on headstock)
Manufactured in Kalamazoo
 
It is not always correct, but you think it is from the 70's and I believe 70's Gibson acoustics were  made in Michigan. I think they moved  out of  Kalamazoo in the mid  80's.
If it has been sitting for along time and not been hydrated  it may  need some hydration. A good luthier can give it  the once over and tell you if its got issues.  If you play why not keep it in the family?
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2 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Here is what the  all wise and mighty serial number looker up'er said:

Production year: 1970 - 1972 or 1974 - 1975
(if 'Made in USA' on headstock)
Manufactured in Kalamazoo
 
It is not always correct, but you think it is from the 70's and I believe 70's Gibson acoustics were  made in Michigan. I think they moved  out of  Kalamazoo in the mid  80's.
If it has been sitting for along time and not been hydrated  it may  need some hydration. A good luthier can give it  the once over and tell you if its got issues.  If you play why not keep it in the family?

 

Gibson built the Nashville plant in 1974.  But the move from Kalamazoo was not  done all at once with Gibson continuing to build and repair guitars, mandolins and banjos in the old plant.     By 1982, however, there was only a skeleton work force on Parsons Street with the final move and closing the Daylight Plant taking place in June 1984.   Sadly, in 1984 in an effort to revive the foundering acoustic line plant manager Jim Deurloo attempted to breathe new life into the line by returning to older specs arguably producing the best acoustics since 1967.

Edited by zombywoof
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I own a 1972 Gibson SJ Deluxe (natural) in my collection.  I bought it new in 1973.   It’s had its share of issues, but it has always sounded great!   The issues?  A small crack all the way through In front of the soundhole, very common on this model from the ones I’ve seen.  An authorized Gibson repairman put a small piece of maple wood under it to repair it, stop it from further cracking.  Been that way for about 25 years now.  Circa 1990, the neck severely twisted.  An authorized Gibson repair man put the guitar’s neck while attached into in a neck heat machine for a week to get it back to factory specs.  He told me it will either revert back to the twist in the first year or two or, if it doesn’t it should be good for years and years.  This is about the 30th year.  It’s still fine.  Why did it happen to begin with?  ?????No answer.  (Other than its a 70s Gibson.)

Other issues?  When it was about 6-7 years old, I put it in my trunk while it was in its then chipboard case.  When I closed the trunk, tge trunk’s too pyshed the guitar case down and the tire jack in the trunk pushed through the chipboard case and put a small hole in the back of the guitar.  Having no spare money at the time, I talked to a number of luthiers who told me how to fix it as the wood where the hole was still intact, but splintered and pushed in.  I self repaired the hole from their directions, though a bit of glue remained.  Jump to 20 years later.  My guitar fell and pushed the top in in one place.  I called an authorized Gibson repairman who told me how to push the pushed in  top out.  He was the one who I brought the guitar to, to fix the systemic crack.  At that time I told him about my self repair on the back from the jack accident.  He told me I did perfect except for the excess glue, which he buffed off.  Proud of that cooperative fix!  What else?  15 years ago I dropped the guitar and the headstock broke off.  I called the Gibson authorized repairman, brought him my guitar, and three weeks later the headstock was back on, playing better than ever somehow.  Lot of war wounds, but the guitar still plays well and sounds great.

I have a number of other guitars now in my collection, but I still periodically bring out to the jam I run (when it’s not the pandemic).  Finish wise, it’s natural color now has a typical old Gibson orangish natural finish to it.  It’s a keeper.   

l agree it’s price range is around only a $1000 -$1200 in mint condition.  Or less due to its stigma of being a 70s Gibson.  These things are subject to what the collectible mark will bear and there is little demand in the collectible market for 70s Gibsons. One like mine that has been through the mill Would sell for much less.   Sone of them are great sounding guitars.  Although some 70s models have some peculiarities and quality control issues about them.   A lot of seem to have higher action than today’s standard around the soundhole, but that actually increases the guitar’s volume and is how the factory set them up, though to the eye it seems a bit strange compared to other non-70s Gibsons.  It had something to do with the angle of the neck to the body I’ve been told.
 

I think it’s a good guitar to keep and play in certain settings.  Just my two cents.


QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff


 

 

 

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15 hours ago, QuestionMark said:

I own a 1972 Gibson SJ Deluxe (natural) in my collection.  I bought it new in 1973.   It’s had its share of issues, but it has always sounded great!   The issues?  A small crack all the way through In front of the soundhole, very common on this model from the    Although some 70s models have some peculiarities and quality control issues about them.   A lot of seem to have higher action than today’s standard around the soundhole, but that actually increases the guitar’s volume and is how the factory set them up, though to the eye it seems a bit strange compared to other non-70s Gibsons.  It had something to do with the angle of the neck to the body I’ve been told.
 

I think it’s a good guitar to keep and play in certain settings.  Just my two cents.


QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff


 

 

 

  

Somewhere in my mental file of useless information I recall the same thing about Gibson changing the angles of the neck sometime in the 1970s. What I remember is they apparently had to compensate for it by going with taller than usual saddles.

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3 hours ago, zombywoof said:

  

Somewhere in my mental file of useless information I recall the same thing about Gibson changing the angles of the neck sometime in the 1970s. What I remember is they apparently had to compensate for it by going with taller than usual saddles.

It might be the opposite, if it’s like mine,   Shorter than usual saddles.  My SJ Deluxe has its original saddle in it and it is by far the very lowest saddle of any of my guitars.  (On a positive note, I’ve never had to try to lower it, but realistically, if ever I had to, I wouldn’t be able to.  It’s that low).  But, yet it works just fine and the guitar plays and sounds fine.  And, the action is really good before the upper register.  
 

The saddle looks too low and the string angle is higher than today’s standard over the soundhole and the upper frets.  But, yet, it still kind of easily plays at the upper frets, despite the way it looks.  Go figure, must be a 70s guitar phenomenon.   But, if the strings could be lower at the upper register it would play even easier as today’s guitars do.  However, the guitar works quite well in a jam setting due to it’s power, volume, and wide spectrum of sound.   I’ve always felt it can match a Martin dreadnaught in that regard, the reason it’s a good guitar for a jam.  (Although when it was once 50% of my guitar collection years ago, I made it work for singer-songwriter stuff and my guitar instrumentals.)
 

 At vintage guitar shows I’ve periodically come across similar used  70s SJDs and, of the ones I’ve seen, they all seem to have this unusual visually low saddle and high string height upper register trait.
 

After reading and writing about my SJD, I took it out and just played it for about half an hour.   Sounds good and plays good, but reverifued it does have the described way low saddle and high string height over the soundhole and upper register.  The neck has the 70s volute and is a supper thin neck.  Even more so a bit than the 60s thin necks.  Plays good/sounds good though!  It felt like a huge square body guitar to me.  As I guess I’ve grown used to the J-45 shape as well as the smaller 00 shape, although I always have referred to my SJD as my “big Gibson” since I bought it.
 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
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  • 1 year later...

Hey Gibson pros 🙂 can anyone help identify my Gibson - it's an SJ Deluxe I assume from the early 70s. I know it's not the best time era for Gibson but she plays and feels like a dream. I bought her from a reputable guitar shop in Lamberville, NJ because I couldn't stop thinking about how great it sounded and felt.  The  serial number is 690427.  Thanks so much! Happy holidays! Ryan 

 

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