GIBSON | SOLID BODIES | SG | SG SPECIAL

1969 Gibson SG Special

Solid body electric guitar

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1969 Gibson SG special - front
1970 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue

1970 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue

The image in the 1970 Gibson electric solid bodies catalog, is of this guitar, but even by 1970, the model was starting to change. For starters, it describes the neck as three-piece mahogany (it is still one-piece in 1969; shown here), and the open gear strip tuners have been replaced by closed-gear individual units.

Model: 1969 SG Special
Body: One-piece mahogany
Neck: One piece mahogany with rosewood fretboard. Dot markers, inlaid mother of pearl Gibson logo
Pickups: Two single-coil P-90s
Hardware: Chrome plated throughout. Maestro vibrola, tailpiece bar and three-on-a-plate tuning keys
Width at nut: 1 9/16"
Width at 12th fret: 1 15/16"
Weight: 2.98kg
Scale: 24 3/4"

This Gibson SG Special is a typical 60s Gibson in many ways. It was produced at the famous Kalamazoo Gibson plant, Michigan, USA. Naturally it has a mahogany body with a set mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard; in true Gibson style. The pickups are typical Gibson single coil P90s, as used by Gibson for many years, and the control layout, too is classic Gibson: two volumes and two tones, with a three-way pickup selector switch: neck, bridge, or both. Chrome-plated metal parts: Gibson TPBR bridge, Maestro Vibrola and strip machine heads. Note also the inlaid Gibson headstock logo without the dot on the i - again very much a feature of this period Gibson instruments.

1969 price $265 (cf SG Custom, $525; SG Standard, $355; SG JR, $199.50)

The SG series did change over the years (see the Gibson SG timeline, but the Special's Maestro Vibrola and full-body scratchplate are pure late sixties: 1968-1971. Pete Townsend played one exactly the same (although he removed the vibrola) around this time, including for the Who's iconic appearance at Woodstock in 1969, and for the 1970 Who album: Live At Leeds

The twin P90 soapbar pickups are mounted with two screws going through the pickup (between the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th polepieces)
The twin P90 'soapbar' pickups are mounted with two screws going through the pickup (between the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th polepieces)
The Maestro Vibrola was a very simple, but pretty effective design
The Maestro Vibrola was a very simple, but pretty effective design
1969 Gibson SG Special rear body view
Reverse body detail. The SG had a mahogany body, set (glued) to a one-piece mahogany neck
1969 Gibson SG Special rear body view
Electronics are accessible via the control panel on the body reverse
The headstock front has a pearl inlaid Gibson logo - without a dotted i
The headstock front has a pearl inlaid Gibson logo - without a dotted i - a typical 1969 feature - but no crown logo. Note the two-ply, two screw bell truss rod cover
1969 Gibson SG Special headstock reverse with metal strip tuning keys
The headstock reverse holds the 6 digit stamped serial number - note there is no 'made in USA' below the serial - this was introduced in 1970. The tuning keys are metal open gear strip type.
1969 Gibson SG special - front

And it sounds great, with a wide tonal range - the two clips below are the guitar through a small vintage UK amp, an early 1970s WEM Clubman. There are numerous other clips of this guitar here.

Neck pickup only with the tone control rolled tone a little, amp mic'd with a Shure SM57

Bridge pickup only; again, amp mic'd with a Shure SM57

1969 Pricing sheets list four cases available for SG models at a variety of pricepoints:

  •    0537 faultless case (plush), $73 (as shown)
  •    1237 oblong case, $50
  •    316 archcraft case, $26
  •    116 durabilt case, $17
1969 Gibson SG special and hard case

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VINTAGEGUITARBUYERS COM * 888-GUITAR8 * WE BUY GUITARS Questions? Contact Us, We Can Help! 100% Positive Feedback on ITEM DESCRIPTION: Make: Gibson Model: SG Special Finish: Original Cherry Red Serial #: 104131 Cosmetic Condition: Very Good condition Neck: Mahogany neck with brazilian rosewood fretboard, 1 9 / 16" nut width. Body: Mahogany Pickups: Original Playability / Sound: Sounds and plays great. Weight: TBD Case: Original Soft Notes: All original with the exception of the screw securing ... more

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