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Helping a friend... For you SG guys... Pics included


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A friend has asked me if I could help him determine what the value of this 1971 SG is. The tuners have been changed and the bridge as well. Usded to have a Bigsby. Everything else is original, has P90's good action and sounds great. That's how it was described to me. Here are a couple pics.






I'm guessing it's worth around a grand... Any thoughts?

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No really positive way to say this, Dave.


The Type III SGs are generally reckoned to be the worst examples of the model ever built and, on account of the semi-circular control escutcheon, Boo-Boo Rings (on the SG Pro) and ill-judged use of a Les Paul-shaped p/g they are also thought to be amongst the ugliest solid-bodied guitars ever made by Gibson up to that time. In short, they looked like SG copies - and poor ones at that.


Their lack of visual 'Appeal' wasn't helped by a QC at the time which has been described in print as; "...quite frankly; appauling...".


Gibson themselves decided the '71 facelift had been a disaster and, after sales of the SG range had fallen to an all-time low with the introduction of this particular range the series was dropped and restyled to become the series IV SGs which were almost identical to the original models introduced as a replacement for the Les Paul range a decade earlier.


These series III guitars were in production for only two model years (1971 - 1973) and they have not exactly been high on the list of Collectors' "Must-Have's".


The guitar in question was a replacement for the SG Special and was called the SG Professional - i.e.cheapest, entry-level version.


Value is obviously tricky. Some (hoping to buy) might see the beauty in what others eschew and pick up a bargain. Others (trying to sell) might go down the 'VINTAGE GIBSON' route and chance their luck.


As always, it's worth what anyone is prepared to pay but the loss of the original Bigsby and associated bridge hardly helps matters.


Oddly enough (actually no, not odd at all really) I can well believe it plays and sounds fine.


But would you really want to buy it yourself?



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I kinda agree with Pippy. Well, I totally agree.


The ebay listings seem highly optimistic to me. I don't actually see an SG like the one there selling for anything like 2k.


I would suggest a Blue Book value as a starting point, but I don't know how this applies in Spain or the rest of Europe.


Now, about the guitar. Of corse, it has been significantly "altered". If the Bigsby was put back on, there would be two huge holes. So basically, if it did have "collecter" value, it wouldn't now.


So really, the only thing I can see is to judge it for what it is and compare it to the same money that would buy something else. A PLAYER. So I am guessing maybe 600 to 800 at the most. You can buy a Standard for that at that point. But I think it should go for a little more than the newer Jr. and Faded types that are similar, so maybe 400 bucks?

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I'm sorry to reinforce the bad news. Guy in one of my bands in about 1975 had one of them, and it was just an awful guitar. That one may have been a bad example of not a very good idea, but I later ran into other not great examples and unhappy owners. It sounded fine if you wanted P90s. Personally I wouldn't counsel anyone to give you a grand for all of them ever made, and I would guess that anyone that would buy it is either a big time fanboy collector that just has to have that one to round out his collection, or exactly the opposite and knows nothing about guitars past the word Gibson on the headstock.



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I understand you were just finding out info for a friend. It's just a shame there wasn't better news to say to him.


Have you been able to try it out or is the guitar nowhere near you?


I would have been interested to read a first-hand (your hand, that is!) tone/play report...


I'm also sure I've seen some snaps of (at least) one of those Type III's where a different - and better-looking - p/g was fitted. It was in a Google search and might just have been a one-off home made job.

The 'new' guard more closely resembled that of a Type II 'Batwing' SG. It changed the overall look of the instrument 100% for the better.


Just a thought...



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