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Who is original designer of the SG?


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Hi all,,I was just thinking today,[which I dont do often}about who is the original designer of the SG. I read somewhere awhile back that it was Les Paul,and the "SG" stood for:Small Guitar" and later it was called the Les Paul Junior,,any ideas? I always like to know the history of great guitars,,ect. Thnx.

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Hi all,,I was just thinking today,[which I dont do often}about who is the original designer of the SG. I read somewhere awhile back that it was Les Paul,and the "SG" stood for:Small Guitar" and later it was called the Les Paul Junior,,any ideas? I always like to know the history of great guitars,,ect. Thnx.

 

Les Paul was not fond of the SG and requested that his name be removed from the guitar. I doubt he had anyting to do with the design of it.

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Les Paul was not fond of the SG and requested that his name be removed from the guitar. I doubt he had anyting to do with the design of it.

My older Bro got me a SG history book yrs ago,which I cant find after moving into my house yrs ago,,but I remember something about it being called "Small Guitar" IE:SG

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Everything SG has an articles section. Page two under "model information" has a list of 50 SG facts, authored by someone at Gibson. #6 says Ted McCarty designed it..wouldn't be too surprising I guess, since he did design the ES-335, I think.

 

http://www.everythingsg.com/index.php/articles/model-information.html?start=4

 

I've seen him credited with envisioning the SG (more playable, lighter weight), but not actually having designed it.

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Ted McCarty designed it around 1959-1960 according to my research:

 

My link -

"The Flying V, the Explorer and the elusive Moderne were all offered in 1959. But sales of these extreme instruments were dismal. Gibson was looking to produce a twin cutaway, solid body instrument, to boost sales and cut costs. McCarty came up with the Les Paul SG."

 

My link -

"McCarty was also responsible for the development of the Tune-o-matic bridge system, the humbucking pickup, and the Explorer, Flying V, Moderne, SG and Firebird guitars."

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Ted McCarty designed it around 1959-1960 according to my research:

 

My link -

"The Flying V, the Explorer and the elusive Moderne were all offered in 1959. But sales of these extreme instruments were dismal. Gibson was looking to produce a twin cutaway, solid body instrument, to boost sales and cut costs. McCarty came up with the Les Paul SG."

 

My link -

"McCarty was also responsible for the development of the Tune-o-matic bridge system, the humbucking pickup, and the Explorer, Flying V, Moderne, SG and Firebird guitars."

Good research [thumbup]

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It's more like- **** they made it even cooler now

McCarty gets credit for it, but Les Paul was a guitar nut and inventor and fiddled around with electronics in his basement. He originally took the (then called the log) solid guitar that he developed and designed to Gibson, and was rejected in 46 or so. But this started a collaboration with the two, and McCarty rethought the idea of a solid guitar may be worth another look, thus the les paul. He then consulted les paul on cosmetic stuff for the sg, color, a cap of some sort, some other perfunctory stuff. I didn't know McCarthy invented it, so thank you. It seems le paul should get some credit for getting the solid guitar going, and boosting it.

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LesClose.jpg

I absolutely LOVE this pic of Les with the 61' LP SG.

the look on his face says, "Really Ted? you have GOT to be kidding..."

I guess he deemed it ugly and unplayable.

 

Les didn't like the neck joint. He thought it would be subject to cracking where it joined the body because it lacked the support gained from the single cut Les Paul. FWIW, a lot of older SG's do develop cracks in that area, whether they affect the neck stability or not. He also did not like the tone as much as the "traditional" Les Paul, which was also mainly dseigned by McCarty, based loosely on Les Paul's Log, a guitar Les designed and built several versions of starting in 1939. They were a 4" x 4" solid wood plank, fitted with an Epiphone neck and detachable "wings" from and Epi hollowbody, in effect the first semi-hollowbody guitar. The bridge and pups mounted on the plank, giving the famous Les Paul sustain and tone.

Les Paul's Log- pics and articles...

 

 

http://www.google.com/search?q=Les+Paul's+Log&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=rXo-UNDZHKTh0QH3qICIDA&ved=0CCUQsAQ&biw=1496&bih=879

 

 

Les suggested some features and improvements to Ted's design, and allowed Gibson to put his name on the Les Paul Model guitar. Gibson at first was so afraid of the radical new design that they considered leaving the Gibson name off of the new design. The "New" Les Paul that became the SG replaced the traditional single cut LP because it just wasn't selling enough.

FWIW, the guitar player in a band I was in in the mid 1960's bought a 58 LP model with case for $250, and I turned down a chance to buy a 59 LP Custom because I thought it was too expensive at $400. Some time later, I bought a '68 Les Paul Custom with case for $400. They started to become expensive after the Blues Breakers Beano album featured a picture of Clapton playing one...before that, they were just old, used guitars.

 

 

 

mark

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As far as I've been able to ascertain, the SG was designed by Ted McCarty and his design team. A guy named Larry Allers has been mentioned in conjunction with the design, but whether McCarty or Allers designed it alone or as part of a team, I don't know. There had been a concerted effort at Gibson since at least 1957 to design guitars with full access to all 22 frets on both sides of the neck, starting with the ES-335, doublecut Les Paul Special and Junior, and Flying V (introduced in '58, but likely designed in '57), and the SG (1961) and reverse Firebird (1963) are sort of the culmination of that concept. I suspect that the SG was probably a team effort--it's certainly one of the prettiest guitar designs anyone's ever come up with.

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-it's certainly one of the prettiest guitar designs anyone's ever come up with.

 

Agreed, but the fact that horns are not a mirror reflection of each other [ unlike the 335 ]

is a continued source of annoyance to me, as it is the upper one sticks out further that the lower one,

this imbalance, while not detracting from the beauty, is rather unsettling.

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Agreed, but the fact that horns are not a mirror reflection of each other [ unlike the 335 ]

is a continued source of annoyance to me, as it is the upper one sticks out further that the lower one,

this imbalance, while not detracting from the beauty, is rather unsettling.

 

I enjoy the occasional asymetric day too [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Ted McCarty designed it around 1959-1960 according to my research:

 

My link -

"The Flying V, the Explorer and the elusive Moderne were all offered in 1959. But sales of these extreme instruments were dismal. Gibson was looking to produce a twin cutaway, solid body instrument, to boost sales and cut costs. McCarty came up with the Les Paul SG."

 

My link -

"McCarty was also responsible for the development of the Tune-o-matic bridge system, the humbucking pickup, and the Explorer, Flying V, Moderne, SG and Firebird guitars." Really?,,,WOW,,didnt know who Ted McCarty was,,an early Gibson employee? Or a Musician from back in the day? Ill have to google him,,,wow thanks for the info.

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