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GIBSON | SOLID BODY | SG | SG CUSTOM

Gibson SG Custom

The finest guitar in the SG series

Gibson SG Custom
Model Gibson SG Custom
Available 1961-date (not continuous)
Pickups Three Gibson humbuckers, gold covers
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Mahogany
Neck Initially one-piece mahogany, laminated mahogany by 1970. Ebony fingerboard, with block inlays. Split diamond headstock inlay.
Frets 22
Hardware 2 volume, 2 tone, gold hardware throughout
Finishes Cherry, White, Walnut, Wine Red, Tobacco Sunburst

The Gibson SG Custom was the top of the Gibson SG range: three Gibson humbuckers, and gold-plated throughout. It had the high-end split-diamond headstock inlay, and mother of pearl block fingerboard markers in an ebony fretboard. It was initially a redesigned Les Paul Custom, and was named as such initially. Like the other SGs it was mahogany throughout with a set neck. 6346 SG Customs were produced between 1961 and 1979, after which it was dropped from the Gibson price lists and catalogues. There were some cosmetic changes over the years, but little that stops this guitar from being one of Gibsons most recognizable models. Famous users include: Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Ollie Halsall, Lenny Kravitz and Sister Rosetta Tharpe - all of whom played white SG Customs.

Gibson SG Custom Controls

Just like the other Gibson SG models, the Custom had two volume and tone controls, and a three way switch. This selected front pickup only, middle and back pickups together, or the back pickup only.

1972 Gibson SG Custom

The 1972 Gibson SG Custom was quite different from earlier and later versions. See the 1972 Gibson Solid Bodies catalogue

SG Custom hardware and components

Each of the three humbucking pickups were identical: neck, middle and bridge, and they were the same pickups as used in the SG Standard, ES-175D and numerous other Gibson guitars, though with gold-plated covers.

The part that changed most noticeably in this model is the tailpiece. Several different versions were used, early examples are fitted with Gibson 'side to side' vibrato, or inlaid ebony block vibrato, followed by the Gibson deluxe (lyre) vibrato, which is probably the best known. From June 1973, Gibson started advertising the SG Custom with a Bigsby vibrato, or an optional stop tailpiece. As the decade wore on, it became very much the Bigsby that was the option.

One big change occurred around 1971/72, when the controls started to be mounted on a semi-circular control plate, rather than (via a back cavity) through the body wood itself (See the 1972 Gibson Solid Bodies catalogue). This attempt to reduce production costs was being introduced in numerous Gibson solid-body models - it was a time of real crisis for the American guitar industry, with heavy competition from cheaper overseas imports. It was not popular on high end instruments, and was dropped in the SG Custom within a year. It did continue in numerous other Gibsons throughout the 1970s.

SG Custom finishes

Initially, Gibson only listed white as a finish for the SG Custom, and it is this colour that is most associated with this guitar. The gold hardware stood out against the white body giving this guitar a very flashy appearance. But by the end of the decade, White was dropped in favour of Walnut. The September 1969 price list is the first to list Walnut as the stock finish. This continued until 1975 when both Walnut and White were offered, with Wine Red being added briefly in the June '75 price list. This was replaced by Cherry for a short time, with Tobacco Sunburst also very briefly listed. The last price-list of the 1970s saw just White and Walnut available, before the SG Custom was discontinued in the 1980s. Despite these other colour options, the majority of 60s SG Customs are finished White, and the majority of 60s Customs are finished Walnut. As always with Gibson, there are exceptions - even when not listed, Cherry seems to have been available.

SG Custom catalog appearances

1962 Gibson full line catalogue

From the 1962 Gibson guitars and amplifiers catalogue
At this early stage, the SG Custom was still called the Les Paul Custom Now it's more wonderful than ever with new body design and new features. Ultra thin, hand contoured, delicately balanced, it adjusts into a natural comfortable playing position for any guitarist, with or without strap

1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

From the 1964 Gibson electrics catalogue
Ebony fingerboard, deluxe pearl inlays... Three powerful pickups with unique wiring arrangement... New Deluxe Gibson Vibrola

Gibson 1966 Full Line catalogue

From the 1966 Gibson full line catalogue
Players call it the 'Fretless Wonder' for it's extremely low frets and fast action. Now it's better than ever with new body design and new features

1970 electric solid bodies catalogue

The 1970 electric solid bodies catalogue was the first to show the SG Custom in Walnut finish; the colour that defined the Custom in the early 70s

1972 electric solid bodies catalogue

The 1972 electric solid bodies catalogue shows a dramatically restyled SG line, the SG Custom being no exception. This look was fleeting; by 1973 the line was restyled again.

1973 Gibson solid body leaflet

The 1973 Gibson solid body leaflet
Gibson gives you the most with it's new SG Custom. Three extra "hot" super humbucking pickups capture every subtle string vibration

1975 Gibson solid body series

From the 1975 Gibson solid body series
Contoured solid mahogany body. Double cutaway design. Gold-plated, wide travel bridge with stop tailpiece (Bigsby tailpiece optional)

1978 Gibson catalogue

The 1978 was the last Gibson catalogue appearance of the SG Custom, before being reissued after the company changed hands at the beginning of 1986

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1961 Gibson Les Paul / SG Custom original WHITE with Sideways Vibrola

1961 Gibson Les Paul / SG Custom original WHITE with Sideways Vibrola

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$31900


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1961 Gibson Les Paul (SG) Custom in its original White finish with gold hardware and a factory sideways Vibrola. It has a great playing neck with very worn frets, but still playable. It's all original with the exception of one volume knob. It's also 100% complete along with its original hardshell case. This original Les Paul Custom looks great with lots of minor nicks + dings (most have been touched-up with white... more
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1968 Gibson SG Custom Guitar with Maestro Vibrola - Polaris White

1968 Gibson SG Custom Guitar with Maestro Vibrola - Polaris White

West Hartford, Connecticut, 061**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$8500

Here??s a rare opportunity to own a valuable 60s SG Custom at a below market price   1968 was the last year without ??Made in the USA?? on the back of the headstock. This guitar has been professionally set up and plays the way you??d expect a ??Fretless Wonder?? to play and feel   It has three of those incredible, original 60s humbuckers   The pots are original except for one that the previous owner had replaced. It also features those unique waffle-back gold Klusons, gold Maestro Lyre ... more
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1969 Gibson SG Custom original owner

1969 Gibson SG Custom original owner

Rock Hill, South Carolina, 297**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$22000

In 1969 I was very fortunate to see Jimi Hendrix in Nuerenburg, Germany He played a Strat for all songs except for Red house when he went behind hisamps and came back playing a white Gibson SG Custom. Wow!! I had never such abeautiful guitar! I had to have one. Living in Germany it took 3 months forshipment from the States (which is a very long time for a 16-year old). Theguitar has been with me ever since
The guitar is actually in a pristine condition. Used 99% for home recording
... more
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Gibson 1961 Les Paul SG Custom Made 2 Measure Aged Olympic White + COA OHSC

Gibson 1961 Les Paul SG Custom Made 2 Measure Aged Olympic White + COA OHSC

Thousand Oaks, California, 913**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4995



Gibson 1961 Les Paul SG Custom Made 2 Measure Aged Olympic White + COA OHSC

Google us! Lovies Guitar Shop
Lovies Guitars is excited to present this 2019 Gibson 1961 Reissue Les Paul SG Custom Made 2 Measure with an Aged Olympic White Finish! For over 20 years Gibson Custom has been carrying on their legacy of American craftsmanship and human ingenuity. They firmly believe that there remains a place in the world for the best of the best, and the value of their achievement ... more
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Vintage 1962 Gibson Centralab Guitar Pot 500k Les Paul SG Custom ES-335 345 1963

Vintage 1962 Gibson Centralab Guitar Pot 500k Les Paul SG Custom ES-335 345 1963

Mill Valley, California, 949**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$105

Gibson Vintage 1966 Control Pot 250K Tone ES 1960's
* Vintage 1966 Gibson CTS Pots 1967 **
Very Good Condition1376601 date code250K ToneSee PhotosShipping lower 48 $19 00032124
... more
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1969 Gibson SG Custom Vintage Guitar Walnut, 100% Original w /  Pat # T-Tops, Case

1969 Gibson SG Custom Vintage Guitar Walnut, 100% Original w / Pat # T-Tops, Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$17500

Up for sale, a 1969 Gibson SG Custom in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. This extremely well-kept SG features a gloss Walnut nitro lacquer finish, the original trio of Pat # T Top humbuckers, and a long frame Maestro Vibrola. This particular instrument comes from the personal collection of Slipknot??s Jim Root, aka #4
The tonewood complement comprises solid mahogany neck and body construction, offering a rich ... more
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1974 Gibson SG Custom a cool 3 pickup Walnut finished beat sweet neat machine.

1974 Gibson SG Custom a cool 3 pickup Walnut finished beat sweet neat machine.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 333**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$6995

This is a really cool last of the mid-70??s type SG Customs in a well patinated all original see-thru Walnut finish. Its block inlaid ebony fingerboard feels great & its neck profile is very comfortable & worn really smooth. Its headstock has Gibson??s famous Les Paul Custom pearl inlays w / a set of factory Grover tuners. It??s loaded w / 3 potent original mid-70??s pat. stamped Humbuckers. Its smaller pickgard looks great. The finish has both top play wear & back buckle wear, but ... more
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1966 Gibson SG Custom a genuine Polaris White w / 3 early Pat. Stickered pickups.

1966 Gibson SG Custom a genuine Polaris White w / 3 early Pat. Stickered pickups.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 333**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$13495

This is a very cool last of the early 60??s type SG Customs in a fabulous all original Polaris White finish. Its block inlaid ebony fingerboard feels great & its neck profile is very comfortable. Its headstock has Gibson??s famous Les Paul Custom pearl inlays w / a set of factory pat. pending Grover tuners. It??s loaded w / 3 potent original early 60??s Pat. Stickered Humbuckers (Pre-T Tops w / out covers). Its Small pickgard is the last of its type prior to the ugly full faced pickgards of ... more
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Gibson 1961 SG Custom Reissue 1987 - Polaris White

Gibson 1961 SG Custom Reissue 1987 - Polaris White

Edmond, Oklahoma, 730**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4999

... more
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1961 GIBSON SG CUSTOM TREMOLO PART

1961 GIBSON SG CUSTOM TREMOLO PART

COLOGNE, GERMANY

€450

1961 GIBSON SG CUSTOM TREMOLO PART :
* what you see, is what you get=check pics
Over 1000 more
GUITARS-BASSES-PARTS in our OTHER
AUCTIONS !!!!
TAKE A LOOK !!!... more
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1968 GIBSON SG STANDARD  /  CUSTOM - made in USA

1968 GIBSON SG STANDARD / CUSTOM - made in USA

COLOGNE, GERMANY

€3993

1968 GIBSON SG STANDARD / CUSTOM - made in USA :
* original rout for 3 humbuckers under the pickguard
* refinished in matte natural
* converted to a stop tail piece, tremolo holes are filled
* all parts are newer
* 40 mm nut width
* new frets
* 2 unbranded ZEBRA humbuckers
* long heel & small headstock version
* has a minor stress crack repair below tuners=check last 2 pics
* old mahogany=TONEEEEE
* needs electronics back plate, truss rod cover & ... more
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1979 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM  /  SG PROTECTOR CASE - made in USA

1979 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM / SG PROTECTOR CASE - made in USA

COLOGNE, GERMANY

€333

1979 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM / SG PROTECTOR CASE - made in USA :
* fits also SG models
* 1 latch is repaired
* back latch is broken
* red interior is worn
* handle has wear
* worn but ROCK SOLID
Over 1000 more
GUITARS-BASSES-PARTS in our OTHER
AUCTIONS !!!!
TAKE A LOOK !!!
... more
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1968 GIBSON SG STANDARD  /  CUSTOM - made in USA

1968 GIBSON SG STANDARD / CUSTOM - made in USA

COLOGNE, GERMANY

€3993

1968 GIBSON SG STANDARD / CUSTOM - made in USA :
* original rout for 3 humbuckers under the pickguard
* refinished in matte natural
* converted to a stop tail piece, tremolo holes are filled
* all parts are newer
* 40 mm nut width
* new frets
* 2 unbranded ZEBRA humbuckers
* long heel & small headstock version
* has a minor stress crack repair below tuners=check last 2 pics
* old mahogany=TONEEEEE
* needs electronics back plate, truss rod cover & ... more
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Find more Gibson SG Custom for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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mike Comment left 2nd June 2014 01:01:26 reply
would anyone know how many sg customs were produced in 1973? and how would one break down the serial# to find out what month, what batch as ive read they were produced in batches of 40.was wondering if there was any more definitive info one could retrive on ones guitar.I pirchased mine at Bills music in catonsville,md in 1984 in its original hardshell case and am very passionate about being fortunate to have it and would rate its condition very good a feww dings at best
U.W. Comment left 1st March 2013 08:08:40 reply
I have a Gibson SG Custom, with gold hardware. Pressed into wood of the peghead is a 5 digit serial#(99***)"NO" MADE IN U.S.A Grover tuners,block pearl inlay,22 frets,(3)P.A.F's tune-o-matic bridge w/wire ,full scratch plate (like the '65's - ? )and the numbers on the potentiometers are 13773 and if there are other numbers on the pots they may be covered by the solder and are not vissable. and the color is "T.V" Yellow (dull and aged in comparison to the reissues) I would really appriciate any input in response to my discription, as my Grandfather Charrished it, and my Grandmother despised it.

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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1961 Hofner Colorama I

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1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

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1960 Hofner Colorama II

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1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

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1981 Gibson Marauder

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1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

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It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

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1961 Hohner Zambesi

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1963 Vox Super Ace

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1966 Vox New Escort

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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

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1973 Eko Ranger Folk

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1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

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1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

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1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

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1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.