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Gibson SG Family Chronology Part 2 - 1970s

1970s Timeline

Gibson SG Introduction | Vintage SG adverts | SG forum posts | SG timeline 1960s | 1970s

models Gibson SG Standard | Gibson SG Special | Gibson SG Junior | Gibson SG Custom | Gibson SG Deluxe

A closer look: 1963 SG Standard | 1969 SG Special

1970 1970 Gibson SG Custom
SG-Custom $525 [1] $565 [2]
1970 Gibson SG Standard
SG-Standard $355 [1] $375 [2]
1970 Gibson SG Special
SG-Special $295 [1] $325 [2]
1970 Gibson SG Junior
SG-Junior $225 [1] $250 [2]

1970 was a fantastic year for the Gibson SG, shipping 12914 units [3]. In total more SG guitars were sold than in any other single year in the period 1961-1979, selling a third more than the next best year 1965 (8871 units). Most of these sales came from two models, the Standard (6677 - double the previous years sales) and the Special (4982). Perhaps it was the influence of popular bands of the time (Clapton with his SG standard, and the remarkable performances of the Who and Santana at Woodstock the previous year - both SG Special users). Walnut, a new colour option announced in 1969 became available, and almost 60% of the Specials were shipped in this colour. It became the default colour for the Custom, which sported a fetching white pickguard, and was also available for the standard, and Junior - though shipping figures for these models are not split by colour.

A few other changes were introduced in 1970; the words 'MADE IN USA' were stamped on the back of the headstock beneath the serial number, the headstock overlay material was changed from wood to resin, and a volute was added. In the 1972 Gibson Solid Bodies, Solid SOund brochure it is described thus:

Volute: A graceful construction feature that minimizes the possibility of accidental breakage. An adaptation of fine violin construction that has become a "hallmark" of craftsmanship
1971 1972 Gibson SG Pro
SG-Custom $565 [4]
1972 Gibson SG Deluxe
SG-Deluxe $375 [4] $395 [5]
1972 Gibson SG Pro
SG-Pro $325 [4] $345 [5]
1972 Gibson SG 100
SG-100 $229.50 [4]
SG-200 $259.50 [4]
1972 Gibson SG 250
SG-250 $279.50 [5]
Solid Additions To The Gibson Line - Gibson SG200 and SB400

Solid Additions To The Gibson Line
If your bag is Rock, Country, Bluegrass, or just plain blues, the exciting new SG-100, SG-200, SB-300 and SB-400, Gibson Solid Body guitars and basses are for you. Featuring a new concept in tonal response and body design, each model is equipped with the "bite" and appearance you would normally expect from higher priced instruments. Deep rich bass, clean, clear highs, it's all here at the touch of a finger

Taken from "what's new!" section of the 1971 Gibson Gazette (Vol. 11 #1)

The early seventies were a difficult time for American guitar manufacturers. Ever increasing competition from overseas (particularly Japanese) manufacturers and the prevailing economic conditions of the time meant luxury goods (such as Gibson guitars) were simply not selling. To keep profitable, companies had to reduce production costs, and focus more on entry level instruments. In this vein, late 1971 saw the launch of Gibsons new SG models, featuring an expanded range of budget models to replace the SG Junior and Melody Maker. There were a lot of new models being developed at this time: the SG-100 and SG-200 were announced in February 1971, The SG-Deluxe and SG-Pro in June, with the SG-250 being added to the range in November. The Deluxe and Pro were, in many ways, renamed Standard and Special, however the SGs 100, 200 and 250 were the real attempts to capture the budget guitar market. Sucess was mixed; the SG200 did reach sales levels not seen on the SG Junior since the mid 1960s. Despite this these models were replaced by the SG-I SG-II and SG-III the following year

The shipping figures for these three models are shown below[3].

  1971 1972 1973 totals
cherry sunburst/walnut
25/860 0/342 0/1 1228
cherry sunburst/walnut
25/2425 507/23   2980
cherry sunburst/unspecified
  494/30 0/3 527
1972 SG-Custom $595 [7]
SG-Standard $395 [6] $415 [7]
SG-Special $345 [6] $365 [7]
SG-Deluxe $415 [7]
SG-Pro $365 [7]
SG-III $299.50 [7]
SG-II $259.50 [6] $279.50 [7]
SG-I $229.50 [6] $249.50 [7]

1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalog 1972 Gibson Solid Bodies brochure
1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalog 1972 Gibson solid bodies brochure
1972 saw the release of two separate solid body brochures. The first was rather similar to the ealier 1970 solid bodies catalog, whilst the second was similar in style to other 1972 catalogs, such as the the Les Paul low impedence, or the Gibson Bass Place. It didn't show different models, rather highlighted solid body features old and new: laminate maple necks, the volute, truss rod, humbucking pickups and so on.

1972 Gibson SG advert

1973 SG-Custom (bigsby) $620 [8]
SG-Custom (stop tailpiece) $605 [8]
SG-Standard (bigsby) $440 [8]
SG-Standard (stop tailpiece) $425 [8]
SG-Special $385 [8]
SG-III $310 [8]
SG-II $290 [8]
SG-I $259 [8]

1973 Gibson solid bodies flyer A flyer entitled Gibson Solid Bodies publicising the SG range came out in 1973. It was just a one-sided sheet with fold over flap, showing the SG Custom, Standard, Special, SG I and SG II, but not the SG III. these entry level SGs were the replacements for the SG 100, 200 and 250 of 1971-72.

SG advertisements from 1973. Both feature the same two SGs; a walnut SG special with stop tailpiece and a cherry SG Standard with Bigsby tremelo

1972 Gibson SG advert  1973 Gibson SG advert
1974 SG-Custom $620 [9]
SG-Standard $440 [9]
SG-Special $425 [9]
SG-Deluxe $385 [9]
SG-III $310 [9]
SG-II $290 [9]
SG-I $259 [9]
1975 1975 Gibson SG Custom
SG-Custom (bigsby) $685 [10][11]
SG-Custom (stop tailpiece) $670 [10][11]
1975 Gibson SG Standard
SG-Standard (bigsby) $544 [10] $479 [11]
SG-Standard (stop tailpiece) $465 [10][11]
SG-Standard (Satin Walnut) $439 [11]
1975 Gibson SG Special
SG-Special $425 [10]
Gibson 75 solid body catalogue
1976 SG-Custom (bigsby) $710 [12] $710 walnut, cherry, $740 white [13]
SG-Custom (stop tailpiece) $699 [12] $699 walnut, cherry, $729 white [13]
SG-Standard (bigsby) $499 [12] $499 Satin walnut, $519 walnut, cherry, $549 white [13]
SG-Standard (stop tailpiece) $485 [12] $479 Satin walnut, $499 walnut, cherry, $529 white, tobacco sunburst. Left handed models $50 extra [13]
1977 SG-Custom (bigsby) $760 walnut, cherry, $790 white [14]
SG-Custom $749 walnut, cherry, $779 white [14]
SG-Standard $539 Satin walnut, $559 walnut, cherry, $589 white [14]
SG-Standard $519 Satin walnut, $539 walnut, cherry, $569 white, tobacco sunburst. Left handed models $50 extra [14]
1978 SG-Custom walnut, cherry, white, tobacco sunburst $799, $820 with bigsby[15]
SG-Standard satin walnut $569 cherry, tobacco sunburst, walnut and white $589[15]
1979 SG-Custom walnut, white $849[16]
SG-Standard cherry, tobacco sunburst, walnut and white $629 [16]
The SG $499.50 [16]

1979 Gibson advert for The SG 1979 saw the launch of a new budget SG model The SG - despite the lower price tag, this was a quality instrument with walnut body, neck and an ebony fingerbaord. it was only available in natural walnut finish - by 1980 this model had been renamed the SG Firebrand

1) Gibson price list 1/3/1970 • 2) Gibson price list 1/9/1970 • 3) Gibson Shipment Totals 1937-79 by Larry Meiners • 4) Gibson price list 26/6/1971 • 5) Gibson price list 22/11/1971 • 6) Gibson NAMM trade show price list 15/6/1971 • 7) Gibson price list 15/10/1972 • 8) Gibson price list 1/6/1973 • 9) Gibson price list 1/2/1974 • 10) Gibson price list 1/1/1975 • 11) Gibson price list 20/6/1975 • 12) Gibson price list 1/3/1976 • 13) Gibson price list 1/6/1976 • 14) Gibson price list 1/1/1977 • 15) Gibson price list 15/5/1978 • 16) Gibson price list 30/9/1979 •

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