1968 Gibson SG Standard

CRAVE Guitars says…

Thumbs up: Single piece mahogany solid body, classic colour, stunning condition, playability, neck, pickups, vibrato, OHSC

Thumbs down: Replacement tuners, later ‘batwing’ scratchplate, nylon bridge saddles

Decree: A truly stunning vintage Gibson SG in super condition and very playable. Magic brew

Model Description:

The Gibson ‘Standard’. First there was the Les Paul range of Gibson solid body single cutaway guitars, which came in various formats and specifications during the 1950s. Put simply, while the details changed over the years, the models in the line‑up included the Junior (with one P90), the Special (with two P90s), the Standard (with two humbuckers) and the Custom (with two or three humbuckers and extensive binding). When the single cutaway Les Paul was discontinued in 1961, it was replaced with a completely new radical ‘Les Paul’ model, which after 1963 was formally re‑named the SG (Solid Guitar). The SG range came in the same model names as its predecessor. The new SG Standard being next to the top of the line below the three‑humbucker Custom. Arguably, the Standard gives the best balance of specification for most players. The SG template was designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty and reportedly unloved by guitarist endorsee Les Paul. Visually, the SG, with its sinister ‘devil horns’, made it a great choice for heavier rock music of the 1960s, although it is a very capable instrument for just about any genre, especially with the variants covering all bases. The SG has been in continuous production ever since its introduction to the current day and is reportedly Gibson’s biggest seller. The light weight, great upper fret access and snarling tones gave the SG an enviable reputation that hasn’t really been matched. The SG’s thin mahogany neck was, however, very vulnerable to neck breaks and Gibson’s solution was to give it a thicker ‘baseball bat’ neck, which added to the overall feel and sound. Many owners over the years have removed the vibrato and used either a wraparound bridge or modified them with a stop bar tailpiece. There are relatively few all‑original, undamaged and unmodified early SGs around, which is reflected in the wide range of vintage prices from the beaten up ‘players’ grade right up to the lofty heights of pristine museum grade examples.


Guitar Description OK, let’s get the obvious cliché out of the way… yes, this is the model that has been made famous by a certain Angus Young of AC/DC who used it as his regular axe of preference. It was also the model commonly used by the formidable Frank Zappa. Good choice. Once seen as a replacement for the Les Paul, the horny little SG Standard is a timeless classic and an iconic design that has endured to the present day. This particular instrument is a real beauty and just about as good as a late 1960s SG Standard is going to get without finding an untouched museum piece (with a price tag to match!). She was sold to me as a 1967 but the pot codes reveal that she was born in 1968. Sound-wise, you can see why the SG has been so popular since its introduction and why it has been a collective option for blues, classic rock and heavy metal. The patent Gibson pickups are strong and powerful, yet subtle and nuanced making the SG good for just about anything you can throw at it. She also plays beautifully, with great neck and the typical excellent upper neck access. The cool and groovy ‘Lyre’ Maestro Vibrola vibrato adds that extra bit of evocative 1960s warble and a brazen visual statement. This guitar means business. The thin solid body comprises a single piece of attractive mahogany finished in a gorgeous transparent deep cherry colour with a lovey vintage patina that has built up over the years. The hardware includes heaps of shiny chrome, including that iconic factory engraved tailpiece. If you want a guitar that exudes quality and demands attention, this is a good one to go for. Some purists may want the early 1960s small scratchplate but the ‘batwing’ version is just as eye‑catching. The ‘big’ neck gives the SG a very muscular feel and a fit‑for‑purpose presence. There are a few minor dings but nothing of any significance. No breaks and no issues. This baby is all original, except for the tuners, which were changed at one time, replaced with (new‑ish) period correct double‑line, double‑ring Kluson Deluxe pegs. Overall, it is a cool, rare and glorious vintage classic that’s as good to look at as it is to play and listen to. There is a reason why it’s a top dog; there is nothing else quite like a great Gibson SG and long may that remain the case.

Features:

  • Made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. in 1968
  • Single piece mahogany double cutaway solid body
  • Cherry nitrocellulose finish
  • Mahogany set neck
  • Replacement Kluson Deluxe tuners
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets and trapeze pearloid markers
  • Scale length 24¾”
  • Chrome hardware
  • Original 3-ply ‘batwing’ scratchplate
  • Original twin ‘patent no.’ humbucking pickups with chrome covers
  • Original ‘witch hat’ knobs, 3-way pickup selector switch and jack socket
  • Original tune‑o‑matic bridge with nylon saddles
  • Factory Maestro Vibrola vibrato and engraved ‘Lyre’ tailpiece
  • Original Gibson hard shell case

Detail Gallery:


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