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Gibson SG Special

Solid body electric guitar

Gibson SG Special

Have a closer look at this 1969 SG Special

Model: Gibson SG Special
Available: 1961-date (not continuous)
Pickups: Two single coil P90s, mini-humbuckers from around 1973
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Mahogany
Neck: Initially one-piece mahogany, laminated mahogany by 1970. Rosewood fingerboard, with dot inlays, changing to block inlays by 1975.
Frets: 22
Hardware: 2 volume, 2 tone, nickel, then chrome hardware throughout
Finishes: Cherry, White, Walnut, Ebony, Natural

The Gibson SG Special was a popular guitar, in the Gibson SG range, selling in high numbers in the 1960s and early 1970s. According to released shipping figures, over 30,000 SG Specials were shipped between 1961 and 1979, with 1973 (3534), and 1965 (2618) the peak years. It is still available from Gibson today, and there is also an Epiphone SG Special.

Introducing the Gibson SG Special guitar, from Gibson Gazette, Summer 1961

The model was first announced in the Summer 1961 issue of Gibson Gazette at a price of $195, though probably not yet available as it is described in the future tense: New contoured body design and light weight make the SG Special one of the best values in the solid-body market. This beautiful and wonderful sounding guitar will be available in two finishes: cherry-red and the ultra-modern light cream.

The Gibson SG Special was, in due course, included in the 1962 catalogue at $210 - and without any mention of finish options other than cherry red, although shipping figures suggest white SG Specials were shipped at least between 1962 and 1968.

Throughout the 1960s, the SG Special sold moderately well. Gibson had it's peak year in 1965, and expanded it's Kalamazoo plant to meet demand for 100000 instruments/year. Unfortunately sales then plummeted across the US guitar industry, with overseas competition, war, and recession all putting strain on sales figures. Gibson was losing money and something had to be done to overcome this. President Stan Rendell introduced a number of changes from 1966 onwards; most notably for the SG Special was the larger scratchplate introduced towards the end of the decade, covering much of the front of the body. Mounting pickups on a larger plate simplified production, and in turn reduced costs.

Gibson SG Special with twin P90 pickups

The defining feature of the Special, over any other SG model, is the twin P90 pickup configuration. The SG Junior was similar, but having just one P90. P90s are single-coil pickups, unlike the humbuckers used in the SG Custom and SG Standard. Of course, there are always exceptions with Gibson, and for a time in the mid 1970s, the SG Special had small humbuckers too, though not identical to those fitted on the other SG models. Otherwise, differences between the models were ornamental; headstock and neck inlays, binding, etc. All had the same mahogany bodies, set mahogany necks, and all used the same control layouts.

SG Special original catalogue appearances

1962 Gibson full line catalogue

From the 1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

The first SG Special catalogue appearance Two ways new! A lovely new finish in a new shade of limed mahogany or Gibson's new cherry red... an ultra-modern new sculptured shape - the solid body double cutaway design that provides easy access to all 22 frets

1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

From the 1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

Outstanding for it's tone, versatility, and low fast action at a modest price

Gibson 1966 Full Line catalogue

From the 1966 Gibson full line catalogue

Two powerful pickups with separate tone and volume controls which can be pre-set

1970 electric solid bodies catalogue

The 1970 electric solid bodies catalogue

The ultra-thin contoured body is available in two finishes: Natural Walnut, or Gibson Cherry Red

1973 Gibson solid body leaflet

The 1973 Gibson solid body leaflet

Two new design Gibson humbucking pickups

1975 Gibson solid body catalogue

From the 1975 Gibson solid body catalogue

This was the last catalogue appearance of the SG Special for some time

Well known users of the Gibson SG Special include Pete Townsend of the Who, who played his SG Special for much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, most famously at Woodstock. The video on the left shows the Who live at the Isle of Wight festival, UK in 1970, the SG in full effect. Another well known user is Carlos Santana, who also played an SG Special at the Woodstock festival.

Original Pricing for the Gibson SG Special

The table below lists a number of solid body guitars available in 1965 in the same price range as the Gibson SG Special. When you compare the guitars available, it is really no wonder the SG Special sold so well.

modelpickupsneck joint1965 price
Gibson SG Junior1 P90set$165 (June '65)
Harmony Silhouette H192 single coilbolt-on$177.50 (April '65)
Fender Telecaster2 single coilbolt-on$203 (Dec '65)
Rickenbacker 4502 single coilneck through$224.50 (Jan '66)
Gibson SG Special2 P90set$225 (June '65)
Gretsch Corvette2 single coilset$240 (1965)
Vox Soundcaster3 single coilbolt-on$250 (April '65)
Epiphone Wilshire2 humbuckerset$265 (July '65)
Fender Stratocaster3 single coilbolt-on$252-$295 (Dec '65)
Guild S100 Deluxe2 single coilset$280 (Oct '65)
Gibson SG Standard2 humbuckerset$305 (June '65)

Gibson SG Special Soundclips

Each pickup alone has plenty of character - a typically funky bridge tone, and a nice fat neck tone. Have a listen to some Gibson SG Specials - through several vintage guitar amplifiers - just mic'd up and recorded.


1961 Gibson SG Special through a 1960s WEM ER15 - the first clip being neck pickup only, the second bridge only, and finally, both pickups.

WEM Clubman Mark 8

1969 Gibson SG Special through an early 1970s WEM Clubman Mark 8 - both pickups, with the amp cranked sufficiently for some nice distorted tones. More SG Special/WEM Clubman soundclips here.

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Gibson 1973 Walnut Brown SG Special Body & Neck

Gibson 1973 Walnut Brown SG Special Body & Neck

Glassboro, New Jersey, 080**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson Dependable
Home of the most First and most Dependable Gibson parts on Ebay
U S.A. and Worldwide Bidders Welcomed
How many of you guitar enthusiast out there have always wanted to build yourselves that awesome project guitar, but didn??t want to spend the money on a full guitar only to dismantle it. Well, here is your opportunity do so. We sell high end name brand parts and project guitars specifically for the purpose of building your own custom one off guitar
Description: ... more
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Gunnison, Colorado, 812**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This vintage Gibson SG Special from 1966 is a true gem for collectors and musicians alike. Made in the United States, this guitar features a solid body and 6 strings for a classic sound. The iconic Gibson brand and SG series are well-known for their quality and craftsmanship. The model is SG Special, with a unique history and story behind it. Its exact year of production is clearly marked, adding to its value as a vintage instrument. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, this ... more
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Van Nuys, California, 914**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Original case in fair condition and included. Some belt buckle rash. a few pocks on the neck. very underplayed. It sat under my friend's bed since 1985. Looks like some mold got under the lacquer. This I do not know about. I am not the owner. This is owned by a dear friend who wants some help selling it. He was the third owner when he bought it in 1980. A few of the black screws that hold the pickguard have been replaced with silver ones. Other than that, all electronics and hardware are ... more
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1969 Original Gibson SG Special Made in Kalamazoo

1969 Original Gibson SG Special Made in Kalamazoo

Schoolcraft, Michigan, 490**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1969 Gibson SG Special 100% Original Kalamazoo made Serial # 845243
No breaks, No repairs, No upgrades, No refrets. Still has that summer of "69" smell when you open the case. You will find this to be in very good to excellent condition.
Set up with fresh GHS Nickel Rockers 42-9's
Narrow Open Book headstock
Walnut finish option
3-pc laminated neck
Rosewood Fretboard
Nut Width 1 11 / 16 "
Compensated aluminum bridge
Short Maestro Vibrola
Black Witch Hat knobs w /... more
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1982 Epiphone USA SG Special SG-I Made By Gibson Nashville American Guitar

1982 Epiphone USA SG Special SG-I Made By Gibson Nashville American Guitar

Benicia, California, 945**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This is a rare guitar. They only made these Epiphone USA models for a short period of time. This one is super cool. Includes the original case. This one is perfect to add to your collection.
The neck is straight and the truss rod turns in both directions.

Electronics are tested and working 100% as expected

Layaway plans are also available. Message us for details
Fast shipping! We ship same day or next business day. Feel free to message us with any questions ... more
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1970 Gibson SG Special

1970 Gibson SG Special

Winchester, Massachusetts, 018**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1970 Gibson SG Special
Beautiful instrument with low action, original paint throughout, original volume and tone controls, and one original pickup (another from the 1980s). There was a neck joint repair at some point in its life. This guitar produces a huge sound
Non original hardshell case included
... more
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1983 Gibson SG Special White Korina Body (Professionally Rebuilt 12 / 00)

1983 Gibson SG Special White Korina Body (Professionally Rebuilt 12 / 00)

Denver, Colorado, 802**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Providing as much information as I know, I'm not super familiar with guitars, but had a few professional guitar players give me feedback before posting
Serial Number: 81013568
Built in Nashville, TN
Rebuilt / Rescues: 12 / 00 in Tucson Arizona
One of the knobs had been swapped for a toggle
The action is excellent, sounds great, the non-distorted / clean output may be slightly more quiet than when using distorted sound
There is a crack in the neck (pictured), but I think this... more
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1971 Gibson SG Special P90 Large Guard with Vibrola - Superb Player

1971 Gibson SG Special P90 Large Guard with Vibrola - Superb Player

Newhaven, East Sussex, BN9***, UNITED KINGDOM


Welcome to the eBay shop of Musical Money Ltd
On this platform we are unable to discuss partexchanges, viewings or negotiate prices
We advise finding our website where you can discuss all of the above
Thanks for checking out our Listing for
1971 Gibson SG Special P90 Large Guard with Vibrola- Superb Player
In excellent vintage condition, this guitar is 52years old so does show lots of small scuffs, scratches and plenty of lacquerchecking to the finish. The only modifications ... more
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Guitar Gibson SG Special Vintage Cherry with hard case + acces. - mint condition

Guitar Gibson SG Special Vintage Cherry with hard case + acces. - mint condition

Hinckley, LE10***, UNITED KINGDOM


Gibson SG Special Vintage Cherry with hard case + all accessories in mint condition bought new September 2023 for £1299. Collection only
... more
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tall version
* 1 corner is missing
* reads 9 K
... more
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Vintage 1972 Gibson SG Special Cherry Burst Walnut Electric Guitar

Vintage 1972 Gibson SG Special Cherry Burst Walnut Electric Guitar



This is a very good example of a 1972 Gibson Special originally in a very nice cherry finish but still some remnant??s of its former self!
Gibson SG Special was nearly identical to the SG Standards of the time, replacing the full-sized humbucking pickups of the Standard model for the newer mini-humbuckers that Gibson acquired in their purchase of the Epiphone factory
Body Shape - SGBody Material - MahoganyFinish - Gloss Nitrocellulose LacquerNeck
Material - ... more
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1971 Gibson SG SPECIAL BODY - Made in USA

1971 Gibson SG SPECIAL BODY - Made in USA



* body ONLY
* has a crack on back=check pic 4
* could be rebuilt by a SKILLED LUTHIER as a 1 pickup model... more
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gidday was just wondering what a 1973 Gibson sg special is worth? rob


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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

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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

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1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

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1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

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1961 Hohner Zambesi

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1966 Vox New Escort

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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

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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

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1972 Fender Precision bass

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1967 Vox Stroller

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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'

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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.