Up for sale, a 1961 Gibson Les Paul SG Standard in excellent condition and in perfect working order, loaded with the original pair of PAF humbuckers and complete with the original hardshell case. A very early iteration of the Les Paul SG Standard from the model's first year of production, this vintage Gibson is a unique example, re-necked at the Gibson factory circa 1965. The instrument features a larger die stamped serial (reserved for instruments serviced at the Kalamazoo, MI Gibson factory after their original production date), along with the distinctive 1 9/16" nut width offered on Gibsons beginning in '65.
Weighing 7lbs 1oz, this SG features a Honduran mahogany body and one-piece neck capped with a bound Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, yielding a natural acoustic response that has notable breadth and bark. Extremely responsive to picking dynamics, the PAFs are detailed and lively, with an upper midrange articulation and smooth growl in the bridge position, offering just enough cut and aggression without being overtly hot. There's a bouncy, bell-like sweetness in the neck position, harmonically dense, with the subtly spongy quality attributable to the PAF’s alnico II magnets. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Les Paul SG Standard features 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck is a very slender and fast-feeling C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with a gentle increase in overall heft and shoulder further up the fretboard, measuring .770" deep at the 1st fret and .930" at the 12th. The dark Brazilian rosewood fretboard has been professionally refretted with vintage-spec medium jumbo fretwire, offering plenty of meat and showing moderate wear on the crowns of frets 1-3, with wear extending beneath the plain strings and growing lighter until fret 9. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 9/16" in width, upgraded from nylon to a carved piece of unbleached bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. On the headstock, the original "Les Paul" truss rod cover is intact, and the tuning machines are a genuine vintage set of Kluson Deluxe single line gears with original double ring buttons, functioning as intended with uniform surface patina. Once fitted with Grovers, as evidenced by the faint ghosting of larger washers on the headstock face, the tuner post holes have been restored to their original diameter, complete with original bushings.
All of the electronics work as they should, with CentraLab pots, ceramic disc tone caps and a Switchcraft three-way toggle and 1/4" output jack. The PAF humbuckers retain their original nickel plated covers, and the neck pickup retains its "Patent Applied For" decal (the bridge decal has fallen off, which is not uncommon). Hardware includes a genuine vintage Sideways Vibrola tailpiece and a replica shaved base no-wire ABR-1 bridge and modern strap buttons. The bridge is a rare variant of the ABR-1 with domed thumbwheels and a curved base, seen only on vibrato-equipped Gibsons and designed to rock back and forth when the vibrato was engaged. The guitar was at one time fitted with a stoptail, and this functionality has been preserved, with small metal plugs fitted in the threaded stoptail inserts. Plastics are all original, comprising the four-ply pickguard, neck tenon spacer, quartet of black reflector cap knobs, pickup rings, switch surround and tip.
The nitro lacquer Cherry finish is all Gibson factory work, with the body ostensibly retaining its finish from 1961, while the neck was presumably finished to match and installed circa 1965, with flawless mating of the two including an impeccably clean neck pickup cavity and long tenon. The body exhibits horizontal lacquer checking, with graceful aging of the Cherry lacquer on top, and a ruddier shade of red preserved on the back. Cosmetic wear includes moderate buckle rash on the back, and various additional small nicks and scuffs on the body as a whole. The smooth nitro gloss is retained on the neck profile, with a few very few shallow marks central to the carve behind fret 1-2, worn smooth and not distracting to the palm while fretting.
For a player seeking a first-year Les Paul SG with the tonal breadth of genuine PAFs and a markedly fast-feeling neck, this Gibson is utterly unique and crack-free with unique Kalamazoo factory provenance.
The original large pebble black tolex Gibson hardshell case with gold interior is included. The case is in great shape, with the original Gibson badge on the exterior, working latches, and original handle.