This one came in from a guy up the north coast who said he's owned it since new but hasn't played it for some time due to work and is retiring and wants to use it again. He took it out of it's original hard case and it actually played pretty well but the bridge pick up isn't working and it really needs a fret dress and a set up.
He had an old Bill Lawrence pickup he bought new back in the early eighties for it in the case (in it's original box with circuit diagram and a $52 price sticker) that he used for a while and then swapped out for something else, but he couldn't remember why. I tested the Lawrence and it measured fine so we decided to go for that one if the other pickup couldn't be fixed easily.
The pick up in there was not the original Gibson pickup and it was dead so the Lawrence went in.
The wiring was all original except that pickup and all worked fine with a quick clean. I don't like replacing original pots/switches/jacks etc if they'll come good with a little work. The Lawrence went in easily and actually sounds amazing. This is a blade type humbucker where it has long "blade"magnets lying on their side rather than pole pieces. They sound different to "normal" style pickups.
Serial numbers on Gibsons are allover the shop around this period. In fact they repeated serial numbers in the mid and late 60's and records were pretty shabby around this time so you need to look a little further if you want to date these. It has all the telltale signs of a Nashville built Gibson from the early seventies. The small square inlays although most had a very black ebony fretboard with these markers. It's got the volute used by Gibson during this period. It has the "made in USA" stamped in the back of the headstock, so it's after '69/70. In these cases I go to the pots for dating.
f the pots are original (as in this case) you can date a Gibson (and some other brands) by their pot dates. All US made pots had a manufacturers number and date stamped into the body of the pot. The 137 is the manufacturer and the last 4 numbers are the year and week the POT was made. Because Gibson were building a lot of guitars during this period it's likely that pots were being used quickly so they were being bought and fitted fairly soon after being purchased. As you can see this pot has 1377251 stamped into it. This means THE POT was made in the 51st week of 1972. Because all the pots date within a week and are original we can assume that the guitar was made very early 1973.
This guitar has been re-fretted at some stage as well as there is no nub end binding anymore. It's been VERY well played over the years but is still in great condition.
I love these early seventies SG's. The necks are small and I think they play and sound great.I have a '68 and a '71 that are very similar and both are great but all the early seventies ones I've had through have been great players and they're pretty affordable too, for an old Gibson.