What year did the volute start for SGs

Plan Zero

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Just curious if SG guitars differed from basses. The slot head basses appeared from 70-72 without a volute, 3 piece mahogany. The volute didn't appear until 72 on EB-0/3s solid headstocks and maple necks I just read on here someone mentioned the volute appearing in 70 for guitars.
I have a slot head bass with a volute and 3pc mahogany neck. I'm trying to determine if it was an early 70 or late 71. I'm guessing 71 on the chance this was a transition guitar, but that can also mean early 70 transition, though I have no idea why Gibson wouldn't produce a slot head with volute in bigger numbers since I assume it was to help the weak neck. Of course it didn't work, but the headstock breaks did become nicer looking.
Serial number is inconclusive. See my other thread for pics of the husk and link to more info. I'll probably never know for sure, but either way I have a rarity. A link to a reputable source would be nice.
 
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Plan Zero

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Interesting. I'm still thinking I have a 71 transition model; the volute is quite large.

Thamks!
 

cerebral gasket

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Just to muddy the waters, I had a 1970 SG Standard for a brief time with no volute or Made in USA stamp. It had 1970 potcodes and 1969 headstock logo with open b and o, missing dot over i.
 

Paul G.

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Just to muddy the waters, I had a 1970 SG Standard for a brief time with no volute or Made in USA stamp. It had 1970 potcodes and 1969 headstock logo with open b and o, missing dot over i.

Like many guitar manufacturers, the spec's on any model year were, um, fluid.

Somebody reached deep into a bin and yanked an old neck. Not going to be throwing it away, so bang! 1970 Guitar with an early 69 neck.

Archtops often had at least one PAF in them into the mid-sixties. You could find the occasional SG, LP or 335 with a PAF well into 1963.

Black finishes weren't offered on ES335s in the 60s, yet there are some black guitars from that era. It has been theorized that the opaque black was put over another finish with flaws so guitar didn't have to be junked.

There was at least one, possibly more, single-cut Les Pauls made in 1961.

Etc., etc., etc.

P
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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I am the original owner of what I'd always thought to be a 1968 SG Standard. It has the batwing pickguard, witch-hat knobs and a Vibrola tremolo/tailpiece. It has a dark brown walnut finish. The S/N is 950581 with "MADE IN U.S.A." beneath it, both embossed. The S/N corresponds to being produced in Montana in 1968. I've looked at the pots, but they're covered by so much solder that the etched stamping is not visible. The guitar has a volute which is prominent and which peaks directly behind the truss rod cover. These features/conditions have made it difficult to actually pinpoint a manufacture date. Any input out there on this guitar?
 

Go Nigel Go

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Some photos would probably be a big help. The Volute makes me think 1970's, as does the "Made in USA" stamp. The more information you can provide, the more accurately someone here can nail it down. There are several folks with a lot more knowledge than me about changes through the years and models. I do know serial number decoders have a pretty hit or miss track record, and are often contradicted by the preponderance of other evidence.
 

RW59

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The S/N corresponds to being produced in Montana in 1968.

The serial dater sites are extremely unreliable.

Gibson only had one factory in '68, in Kalamazoo Michigan. They built the Nashville factory in the mid '70s. For a while they ran both factories, then shut down Kalamazoo.

They opened the Bozeman Montana factory in '89, and it only builds acoustics. So no solidbody Gibson has ever been built in Montana.

Late '60s/early '70s Gibsons were all built in Kalamazoo.
 

PermissionToLand

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Of course it didn't work, but the headstock breaks did become nicer looking.

By what metric? Nothing short of building a guitar out of diamond would make a headstock unbreakable. A laminated 3-piece neck with a volute is unquestionably stronger than the old 1-piece necks with no volute.

Just to muddy the waters, I had a 1970 SG Standard for a brief time with no volute or Made in USA stamp. It had 1970 potcodes and 1969 headstock logo with open b and o, missing dot over i.

Since the body always has to be the newest part, and it can't be older than the pots, this may mean that anything with a volute that appears to be a '69 is really a '70 with older pots. The missing dot can be found sporadically just about any year though.
 

PermissionToLand

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Somebody reached deep into a bin and yanked an old neck. Not going to be throwing it away, so bang! 1970 Guitar with an early 69 neck.

Archtops often had at least one PAF in them into the mid-sixties. You could find the occasional SG, LP or 335 with a PAF well into 1963.

Black finishes weren't offered on ES335s in the 60s, yet there are some black guitars from that era. It has been theorized that the opaque black was put over another finish with flaws so guitar didn't have to be junked.

There was at least one, possibly more, single-cut Les Pauls made in 1961.

Not possible, the mortise and tenon design changed, they would not be compatible. The way a production line like that works, is that your foundation (the body/neck) always keeps moving. Those are never stored as extra supply. Instead, you make sure to have extra supply of the parts that are added to that foundation so that the line can always keep moving. It also takes less space to store pots and screws than entire bodies and necks.

So what is possible is that you get an old box of pots that was hidden in the corner of the storage room, or some that were at the bottom of the bin getting new ones dumped on top before finally being used at some point. That's why you occasionally get PAFs after they were discontinued.

Gibson has always allowed custom orders, you could order any finish on any guitar. The theory of painting over flaws is possible, but I've seen some pretty bad factory flaws let out the door back in those days, so I don't think they were that concerned. Back then, guitars were just tools and nobody pored over them with magnifying glasses like people do today.

I've never heard of this '61 singlecut but I'd be very interested to see it. I know there was some overlap between Les Pauls and SGs built in late 1960, but by '61 the new SG/LP was fully launched. If it could really be proven as a '61 I think it would have to be a custom order.
 

PermissionToLand

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I am the original owner of what I'd always thought to be a 1968 SG Standard. It has the batwing pickguard, witch-hat knobs and a Vibrola tremolo/tailpiece. It has a dark brown walnut finish. The S/N is 950581 with "MADE IN U.S.A." beneath it, both embossed. The S/N corresponds to being produced in Montana in 1968. I've looked at the pots, but they're covered by so much solder that the etched stamping is not visible. The guitar has a volute which is prominent and which peaks directly behind the truss rod cover. These features/conditions have made it difficult to actually pinpoint a manufacture date. Any input out there on this guitar?

"Made in USA" and the volute mean it cannot be built pre-1970. So it's a '70 or '71. Here's more info: https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/Dating
 

Anon7

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I have a really nice minty (looks new) totally original 1970 SG Standard. Thin comfortable neck (great for smaller hands), beautiful carved volute, patent # humbuckers with chrome covers, "Made in USA" on headstock, original tunomatic with white saddles, shiny chrome maestro vibrola, pots from 1970, rectangular case with hang tag and 1970 Gibson price list. Serial #950- - -.

I love it. Plays loud, great sound thru my Vox AC 15, volute doesn't bother me at all, perfect balance with guitar strap. The only problem is, if I put the lightest scratch/ding on it, it drives me crazy! But I play it anyway with the band; but really careful.
 

PermissionToLand

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I have a really nice minty (looks new) totally original 1970 SG Standard. Thin comfortable neck (great for smaller hands), beautiful carved volute, patent # humbuckers with chrome covers, "Made in USA" on headstock, original tunomatic with white saddles, shiny chrome maestro vibrola, pots from 1970, rectangular case with hang tag and 1970 Gibson price list. Serial #950- - -.

I love it. Plays loud, great sound thru my Vox AC 15, volute doesn't bother me at all, perfect balance with guitar strap. The only problem is, if I put the lightest scratch/ding on it, it drives me crazy! But I play it anyway with the band; but really careful.

Sounds gorgeous, I'd love to see some pics!
 


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