Period correct or not?

Walrusgumboot

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Greetings and salutations all, first time poster, proud new owner of a 1964 SG Junior. Original finish, headstock has never been cracked, original pickguard, P90 and what the previous owner said is the original wraparound, tho the original holes for a short vibrola are there. At some point somebody put Grover kidney bean tuners on it, there's horribly crappy 70s pots and knobs on it, and some maniac drilled holes in it for some sort of different kind of tailpiece, which have been plugged with mahogany. I'd like to restore it back to its original appearance, absolute originality being a moot point since I don't have the original HSC, vibrola, tuners and pots, my question is... do I hunt for period correct 1964 pieces and parts or just go with repros? This is a player, obviously not a museum piece or a case queen. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. PS these are the only pictures I have at the moment, I'll post more as I get the righteous parts on it.
 

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Go Nigel Go

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That is a pretty nice player's grade axe, and a prime candidate for the type of restoration you are talking about. The wraparound tailpiece may indeed be original, and the vibrola may have been a period modification which was not unheard of. Since it has already been done, I don't think there would be a "value" concern with either keeping the wrapround tailpiece and plugging the holes or going with back to a vibrola which would cover the holes nicely. You can go with whichever you prefer. The original finish doesn't look bad from what I can see in the photos, so even if you decide to plug the holes I wouldn't do a full refinish. Just keep it simple and you will have a wonderful piece of history that you don't have to be afraid to play and enjoy for what it was built to do.

As for vintage hardware vs modern reproduction, there again you have some options. Reproductions will be very serviceable (and probably cheaper). I would be inclined to use old stuff if I can find it at a good price, but if you put the correct reproductions on it, it will be no problem at all to switch out to vintage hardware at a future date. Really the only mantra I have with stuff like this is to do no further harm. Installing reproduction hardware of the correct type and dimensions would certainly qualify as doing no further harm.

Nice Axe! Please do post photos of your restoration, and enjoy playing it.
 
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Walrusgumboot

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That is a pretty nice player's grade axe, and a prime candidate for the type of restoration you are talking about. The wraparound tailpiece may indeed be original, and the vibrola may have been a period modification which was not unheard of. Since it has already been done, I don't think there would be a "value" concern with either keeping the wrapround tailpiece and plugging the holes or going with back to a vibrola which would cover the holes nicely. You can go with whichever you prefer. The original finish doesn't look bad from what I can see in the photos, so even if you decide to plug the holes I wouldn't do a pull refinish. Just keep it simple and you will have a wonderful piece of history that you don't have to be afraid to play and enjoy for what it was built to do.

As for vintage hardware vs modern reproduction, there again you have some options. Reproductions will be very serviceable (and probably cheaper). I would be inclined to use old stuff if I can find it at a good price, but if you put the correct reproductions on it, it will be no problem at all to switch out to vintage hardware at a future date. Really the only mantra I have with stuff like this is to do no further harm. Installing reproduction hardware of the correct type and dimensions would certainly qualify as doing no further harm.

Nice Axe! Please do post photos of your restoration, and enjoy playing it.
That is a pretty nice player's grade axe, and a prime candidate for the type of restoration you are talking about. The wraparound tailpiece may indeed be original, and the vibrola may have been a period modification which was not unheard of. Since it has already been done, I don't think there would be a "value" concern with either keeping the wrapround tailpiece and plugging the holes or going with back to a vibrola which would cover the holes nicely. You can go with whichever you prefer. The original finish doesn't look bad from what I can see in the photos, so even if you decide to plug the holes I wouldn't do a pull refinish. Just keep it simple and you will have a wonderful piece of history that you don't have to be afraid to play and enjoy for what it was built to do.

As for vintage hardware vs modern reproduction, there again you have some options. Reproductions will be very serviceable (and probably cheaper). I would be inclined to use old stuff if I can find it at a good price, but if you put the correct reproductions on it, it will be no problem at all to switch out to vintage hardware at a future date. Really the only mantra I have with stuff like this is to do no further harm. Installing reproduction hardware of the correct type and dimensions would certainly qualify as doing no further harm.

Nice Axe! Please do post photos of your restoration, and enjoy playing it.
Thanks for your input Nigel, it's greatly appreciated. I meant to note that the wraparound currently on it is a chrome non original, the original nickel wraparound is in the case... Don't know why he opted to change it out, the notches don't seem to be terribly worn. I will definitely not refinish, I'm of the old-school thought that that is strictly verboten! Some nice mild checking and a few dings is all, and as you said slapping on a vibrola will hide the plug holes and those bear claw looking gouges perfectly.
 
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cerebral gasket

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Check the pattern again, on the G string.

An original lightning bar has the notch for the G string moved closer towards the nut for a wound G string, where the modern version has the notch moved back away from the nut for an unwound G string. See pic below for original lightning bar.

This is a case where historical correctness needs to be thrown out the window.

full
 
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Decadent Dan

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I’d probably get a $50 prewired harness and some reflector knobs. Try to locate a new Gibson bridge. Here’s a ‘21 bridge…
544AF05E-06DF-4E9E-BA45-54E83053BFBE.jpeg
 

Walrusgumboot

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Check the pattern again, on the G string.

An original lightning bar has the notch for the G string moved closer towards the nut for a wound G string, where the modern version has the notch moved back away from the nut for an unwound G string. See pic below for original lightning bar.

This is a case where historical correctness needs to be thrown out the window.

full
Thanks for the schooling, now I understand why the previous owner took off the original tailpiece... This is only the second compensated bridge I've ever owned in my life, the other was on a 62 Melody Maker that I only had long enough to change the strings maybe once. I do have what the previous owner said is the original and it does have the different zig-zag pattern.
 
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Walrusgumboot

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I’d probably get a $50 prewired harness and some reflector knobs. Try to locate a new Gibson bridge. Here’s a ‘21 bridge…
View attachment 47088
Thanks Dan, I'm thinking that's the route I'm going to take. If it was in pristine condition I'd pop for the original stuff, but as I said it's a road warrior, a player. As I go along and as they pop up on reverb or something I'll start picking up original pieces– yeah I know there's a nice 64 harness and pots on there right now LOL- and if the time would come to turn it loose, then throw on the old stuff.
 

Decadent Dan

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Thanks Dan, I'm thinking that's the route I'm going to take. If it was in pristine condition I'd pop for the original stuff, but as I said it's a road warrior, a player. As I go along and as they pop up on reverb or something I'll start picking up original pieces– yeah I know there's a nice 64 harness and pots on there right now LOL- and if the time would come to turn it loose, then throw on the old stuff.
I’ve had old pots and caps before. You might as well roll a new pot down to 7 and call it vintage.
Here’s a new bridge and studs at Gibson. It’s pricey. A Tone Pros wraparound with adjustable saddles is another option. https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Gear/Tailpieces/PTTP-070/default
 

Walrusgumboot

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Thanks again Dan. I'm probably going to pop for a nickel short vibrola from crazyparts, while I'm at it I guess I'll just get the nickel compensated bridge from them at the same time.
 

Walrusgumboot

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I’ve had old pots and caps before. You might as well roll a new pot down to 7 and call it vintage.
Here’s a new bridge and studs at Gibson. It’s pricey. A Tone Pros wraparound with adjustable saddles is another option. https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Gear/Tailpieces/PTTP-070/default
And I've already checked with Sigler music down in Arkansas, I've bought a bunch of stuff from them in the past. A drop-in ready harness with 500k CTS pots and oil in paper cap with a switchcraft jack will run me about 65 bucks.
 

PermissionToLand

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Yeah, modern stuff will not only be cheaper, but better quality TBH. And people want insane prices for vintage parts.
 

Von Trapp

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Greetings and salutations all, first time poster, proud new owner of a 1964 SG Junior. Original finish, headstock has never been cracked, original pickguard, P90 and what the previous owner said is the original wraparound, tho the original holes for a short vibrola are there. At some point somebody put Grover kidney bean tuners on it, there's horribly crappy 70s pots and knobs on it, and some maniac drilled holes in it for some sort of different kind of tailpiece, which have been plugged with mahogany. I'd like to restore it back to its original appearance, absolute originality being a moot point since I don't have the original HSC, vibrola, tuners and pots, my question is... do I hunt for period correct 1964 pieces and parts or just go with repros? This is a player, obviously not a museum piece or a case queen. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. PS these are the only pictures I have at the moment, I'll post more as I get the righteous parts on it.

You just have to ask yourself one question: Will chicks know the difference?
 

smitty_p

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Check the pattern again, on the G string.

An original lightning bar has the notch for the G string moved closer towards the nut for a wound G string, where the modern version has the notch moved back away from the nut for an unwound G string. See pic below for original lightning bar.

This is a case where historical correctness needs to be thrown out the window.

Or…you could switch to using a wound G string! I use a wound G on most of my guitars - even my Jackson with a Floyd Rose - and I love it!

But, to your point, yes, that bridge has to be considered in context with one’s string choices.
 

njpaulc

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The Maestro and lightning bolt bridge/tailpiece were standard equipment. Me, I'd leave it just the way it is, not bother filling holes or refinishing, and replace what needs to be be replaced with modern parts. As mentioned, the vintage parts market is way expensive, and, I believe, has some direputable folks pareticpating in it. Unless you want to do a faithful, historically accurate restoration keep it like it is, take care of it, and play the heck out of it. Also, you find Grovers on a lot of old Gibsons because after market Klusons were hard to find in the '60's and '70's.
 

Walrusgumboot

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The Maestro and lightning bolt bridge/tailpiece were standard equipment. Me, I'd leave it just the way it is, not bother filling holes or refinishing, and replace what needs to be be replaced with modern parts. As mentioned, the vintage parts market is way expensive, and, I believe, has some direputable folks pareticpating in it. Unless you want to do a faithful, historically accurate restoration keep it like it is, take care of it, and play the heck out of it. Also, you find Grovers on a lot of old Gibsons because after market Klusons were hard to find in the '60's and '70's.
No no no, absolutely no refinishing, I'm a firm believer in original finish. The holes were plugged with mahogany by the previous owner's luthier. As I said earlier the pots are crap so they have to be replaced, those Grover kidney beans look ridiculous so they're definitely being replaced LOL and I'm a big vibrola fan plus that will cover up some of the desecration that's been done to it, so definitely going with a vibrola.
 


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