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Why no Maestro Vibrola on SG?


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Why doesn't Gibson offer the Maestro Vibrola on the Standard or 61 reissue? I would love to see one on the Standard. The only Gibson SG USA model with a vibrola is the angus sig. right? Anyway, who else wants to see the vibrola on a Gibson SG Standard? They could make a Guitar of the Month called the SG Standard 68' Reissue or something.


Does anybody know why they don't make it with the vibrola anymore, I know I don't want a guitar with somebody else's name on it even though he is my favorite guitar player I don't want a signature model.

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They did offer one on the 61 reissue back in 2000 and 2001. Before they went to the historic faded version. I happen to own one of the 2001 models. Check with the SG with Maestro club for pics etc. I was in the same boat, Angus rules and I wanted an SG that was shiny and gleaming cherry in color, but didn't want the Angus logo etc. I finally found one and bought it. That is the guitar your looking for.... I would post a pics but don't know how to.

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I think that they actually changed the SG to have a stopbar tailpiece because people liked it better. That's what I heard, at least. Why the majority back then liked the stopbar more, I don't know, but maestro's do look pretty hot. My SG has a stopbar tailpiece and I like it, but my bro's Ibanez has a whammy bar, and he leaves the whammy bar off because it constantly knocks his guitar out of tune. That may be the case with the maestro, but I don't think that's it.


As for the '68 reissue idea, the SG VOS's have the option of a maestro, so they would really be making a guitar they already make over again. But then there's the pickguard issue, but you could just drill holes in the guitar if you REALLY wanted a large pickguard. People do that to attach a pickguard to their Les Pauls.

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I want one with a full pick guard though, they just look better to me than with the half pick guard. I only have a faded as of now and am looking for an old Gibson SG Standard (late 60's) that needs to be restored like a body/neck project with no electronics or hardware, but if Gibson made a Guitar of the Month sg standard (full pick guard with the 61 reissue body how the horns are carved more) than I would buy one of those in a heart beat.

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I was checking out Derick Trucks the other night on HDNET, and he was playin' an SG that had the Maestro tailpiece (no vibrola) and the stop bar.

The maestro was just for looks as far as I could tell. It was a beautiful cherry, and had the full pickguard at one time, but he had removed it.


Man could he make it talk though.


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Buy a '66-'71 SG with Maestro.

Or buy one that's been modified and restore it.


Here is a '69 SG that I bought.

It was an original Maestro Vibrola that had been removed and a stoptail fitted.

I had the stoptail holes plugged, refinished, and put all correct vintage or reproduction parts.

The bridge is reversed, I wanted to see if it made a difference in tone.

It has since been put back to the correct way.


Total cost:

Less than a new Custom Shop VOS SG Standard.

Sounds better than any new Gibson.

























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How much roughly did you pay for the guitar before you restored it? That is what I am seriously thinking about doing.


I paid $1,025 on ebay.


It had 2 T-tops in it, and 3 original pots and original jack and switch.

Plastic is all original except for the knobs.

One T-top was a later version that was modified for coil split, and the replaced pot was a push-pull to operate the coil split.


The knobs, pickup covers, and tuners are correct reproductions.


The original neck pickup was moved to the bridge position, and a '68 SG T-top put into the neck position.

The Maestro Vibrola is from a '68 SG.

I bought a couple of correct '69 pots on ebay, and used one to replace the push-pull pot.

The wiring and caps were original.


I had some of the parts, but if you had none this is what it would cost you:


Guitar- $1025

Refinish, including fret leveling- $700

Vibrola- app. $350

Repro tuners, knobs, covers- app. $75

Patent sticker T-top- app. $250

Correct pot- app. $35


Total- app. $2435


By the way, Dan @ Lay's Guitar Shop does not usually charge for disassembly/assembly of the guitar.


Obviously, it depends on what you start with and how far that you want to go.

I could have just as easily have left the later T-top in it with the coil split.

Refinishing/repair costs depend on what you're starting with.


Dan does great work and his prices are very reasonable.


Is it worth it?

Only you can decide.

It will never be worth what a mint condition original is worth.

A really nice '69 like this went for $6k not long ago, some have gone for less.

Figure at least $4k for a decent original one.

But if you buy a nice original one, are you really going to take it out and gig with it?


A Custom Shop SG will cost you at least $2500 and I guarantee that this will kill it in tone.

It looks/plays/sounds as good as any $4-$6k original, and better than anything new.


I look at this way-

Would I pay $2500 for this guitar, or for a new one?

This one wins every time.

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I have a 2006 SG 61 with Maestro.

Gibson did a run of 48 of them, my dealer in Phoenix got four, I got one.



Adding a Maestro is not easy, the posts are not in the same place as the TOM studs.


I saw an aftermarket set up somewhere that would allow you to use the stock holes.

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  • 11 months later...

my demand on gibson:

PLEASE reproduce the great late 60s sg standard !

deep cherry/walnut finish.very slim neck.vintage correct witch- hat knobs.batwing pickguard.authentic electrics.vintage correct neck joint.vintage correct headstock(!).authentic kluson tuners

and last but not least :the maestro vibrola! -it looks ,feels and sounds better ! and all that for an affordable price!

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lous1952 - man that turned out sweet. very cool


Thanks for the kind words.


I'll take a restored vintage SG over any new one.


The '65 in my signature was painted black when I got it, but all of the original parts came with it except the tuners.


The restoration of the '65 cost about the same as the '69.


I got 2 killer SGs for less than the price of a '59 reissue Les Paul, and they're better too.

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Resurrecting a year-old thread.

Has it really been that long?



Anyhow, here's my 2006 with absolutely no tuning issues. One of 48 made.








There's a difference in the way the horns are beveled on the SG's.

Not very apparent here, but the SG 61 RI on the left has distinctly thinner horns.






Lou probably knows as much about old SG's as anybody.

He can tell you that the variations over the years are tremendous.


Neck joints and different angles/pocket depths.

Which fret the joint is on.

Body changes and control styles.

Different bridges.


The list goes on and on.


About the only thing constant over the years is the body profile with two horns.

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I'd love an SG Standard with a Maestro. It would be nice to have that option without having to shell out for a Custom Shop reissue.


Heck, I'd even "settle" for a P90 equipped SG with a short maestro. Could you imagine the frenzy if Gibson decided to make one of those?

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Yeah, I think they keep it exclusive on purpose.


Demand is always there so when they do a batch they'll sell like crazy and draw lots of attention.


Same with the 58 Flying V.

You can get a V in all versions except the 58 with a V tailpiece, unless you want an Epiphone.

Custom Shop will cost you $10k.


Why is that?

Keeping the legend alive....

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Part of the reason the Vibrola disappeared was because all the people who didn't maintain their equipment noticed their Maestros weren't staying in tune and started slapping stop-bars on their SG's and Firebirds. So Gibson axed them, occasionally permitting a Bigsby here and there (which are fine, I love 'em, but not as nice-looking on SG's as a Maestro). The '99 through what, 2001 SG '61 with Maestro was awesome, and if Henry and the gang want some stimulus of their own they'd re-reissue that guitar just as it was back then. Or they can fix the Historic and make it right. But honestly if they're happy with their Historics, just give us the '61 RI w/Maestro (and at LEAST a limited run late-60's Standard "reissue" w/Maestro....current Standard w/Maestro...NO-BRAINER!).


And while I'm at it:

I was checking out Derick Trucks the other night on HDNET' date=' and he was playin' an SG that had the Maestro tailpiece (no vibrola) [i']and [/i]the stop bar.

The maestro was just for looks as far as I could tell. It was a beautiful cherry, and had the full pickguard at one time, but he had removed it.


Man could he make it talk though.


Yeah, his ol' 2000 NON-HISTORIC SG '61 w/Maestro (even Gibson has erred by claiming it was a "Custom Shop/Historic" SG....or maybe that's so the Trucks fans will just buy Historics instead of demand the '61 RI w/Maestro again)...better finish & body bevels than current ones, and of course the Maestro. Even if I feel like Derek shoulda' just bought a damned stoptail one if he wanted a stop-bar SG...lol



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