Gibson Melody Maker, Harmony H22 bass, Vox Ultrasonic
1969 Gibson Melody Maker guitarHarmony H22 bassVox Ultrasonic guitar, with built-in effects
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Gibson SG-III

Cherry Sunburst finished version of the SGII solid body electric

Gibson deleted the SG100/200/250 series of entry level SG-styled guitars in favour of the SGI/II/III in early/mid 1972. In actual fact the SGI and SGII were launched somewhat earlier at the 1972 Summer NAMM show, with the SGIII officially added to the line just a few months later - but in reality the SGII and SGIII were exactly the same guitar, save finish: the SGII was available in translucent Cherry or Walnut, the SGII only in Cherry Sunburst. This finish was slightly more expensive, hence the different model designation. Like the mid-late sixties Melody Maker that preceded all of these models, the 70s entry level SGs had a solid hardwood body with a set neck, and fitted with simple but effective electronics. This was an approach to guitar manufacture that Gibson had adhered to unfalteringly for all entry level models up to this point, but one that ended with this series; from the mid seventies onwards the cheapest Gibson guitars would have bolt on maple necks with only a clear coat; just as Fender had been doing for two decades already.

The SGIII was not included in any US Gibson catalogue. It sold in slightly smaller numbers than the SGI and II, with 953 guitars shipped between 1972 and 1977. It was priced $20 higher than the SGII; in September 1972 it was listed at $279.50 (compared to $259.50 for the SGII and $229.50 for the SGI) - actually the same price as the SG250 it was replacing. Shipping data is as follows:

1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 total
SG-III Cherry Sunburst 180 475 262 29 3 4 953

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