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1989 Orville by Gibson '61 SG Standard Heritage Cherry, 100% Original w/ USA Bill Lawrence Humbuckers, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1989 Orville by Gibson '61 SG Standard in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Differentiated from the standard Orville-branded instruments, the "Orville by Gibson" guitars represented the highest tier of Japanese construction, outfitted from the factory with USA Gibson pickups. Made exclusively for the Japanese market and rarely seen outside its country of origin, this Orville is an official Gibson-licensed guitar and a result of a partnership between Gibson USA and their Japanese distributor Yamano Gakki. Named after Gibson's founder, Orville Gibson, this long ago discontinued Orville model was crafted at the Terada factory.

Tonewoods include a mahogany body and one-piece neck with a long tenon joint, capped with a bound rosewood fretboard, offering a smooth, warm natural acoustic tone. The stock pair of pickups are USA-made Gibson Bill Lawrence-designed Super Humbuckers, known colloquially as Gibson's "circuit board" pickups. Seen only from 1988-90 in Gibsons, these medium output pickups pair particularly well with SGs and handle gain with ease, delivering an articulate array of tones that can be bright and growly or thick and punchy with the flip of a switch. Featherweight at just 6lbs 4oz, this SG has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with fresh 10-46 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with moderate shoulder at the nut and more roundness and heft further up the fretboard, measuring .845” deep at the 1st fret and .930” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard has a 12" radius with pearloid trapezoid inlays and slender frets which have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-2. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The carved bone nut measures just shy of a full 1 11/16" at 42.5mm, and the headstock has an inlaid "Orville by Gibson" logo. The Kluson-style tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with lightly greened tulip buttons, and the G-prefix serial number signifies a model that retains Gibson-made USA humbuckers.

All the electronics work as intended, with dedicated Volume and Tone knobs for each humbucker. The solder joints are untouched, and the full-size 500k pots date to September of 1989. The neck pickup cavity reveals the long tenon joint, ensuring the best connection between the body and neck for optimal resonance, and the bridge pickup cavity has an "HC" notation for "Heritage Cherry." Hardware includes the ABR-1 bridge and corresponding stopbar with a light dusting of surface patina on the nickel plating. Original plastics comprise the clean quartet of reflector cap knobs and a multi-ply pickguard which shows prominent strum wear which extends to the bass side of the body between the pickups.

Cosmetic wear on the gloss Heritage Cherry finish is limited to a few small dings and faint finish scratches on the back, and a few small finish chips on the back treble-side lower bout edge. The gloss on the neck profile is smooth and clean with just one shallow ding on the bass-side shoulder behind fret 8.

The original "Orville by Gibson" branded gigbag is included.