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  1. #1

    Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Being new to the SG model it was time to do a little do a little research. My first stop was to consult the printed texts. Bacon’s recent book on SGS was very disappointing. Bacon provides little information on vintage LP/SGs and no photo of a 1960 model.
    Fortunately the information is out there on this and other forums and is not new but I decided to bring it together here to argue for a consistent set of specs for the 1960 New LP, to stimulate discussion and to get this pub to start at 1960 not 1961.

    Searching the internet search and consulting 4 published books netted photo references to 11 1960 LP/SGs. One was eliminated because it appeared to have been re-necked and re-stamped, one had an unknown serial number, and one had a serial number (#011186) but no photo of the body. That left a sample size of 8 with 5 showing a clear picture of the heel join. Unfortunately this forum like most is not an archive and many pictures have long ago lost their links. Nevertheless information on four LPs was retrieved from this forum that included serial numbers 0-8875, 0-8877, 0-8878, & 011190.
    Having a serial number was crucial to avoid duplication. The remaining four LPs were 0-8765, 0-8776, 0-8779 , & 011189.

    Based on an examination of these 8 LPs, the resulting 1960 specs were:
    1. Ink stamped serial number
    2. A heel characterised by a prominent heel with a ledge around it. (contrary to the published texts)
    3. Plain no script truss rod cover.
    4. Long tailed pointy pickguard that often touched the top of the toggle switch ring.
    5. Brown lifton style case with pink lining (No. 535 case faultless, plush lined).
    6. PAFS
    7. Sideways vibrola
    8. Wireless bridge.

    These specs carried on into early 61 and at some point, and I am guessing somewhere into the 5 digit numbers, the smooth heel that is more often associated with the early new LPs, began to be produced.

    The 1961 specs were the same as the 1960 model with the following changes:
    1. Impressed serial numbers
    2. Smooth style heel
    3. Les Paul script on truss rod
    4. Short tail pickguard with less pointed ends.
    5. Black pebble case with gold lining (No 537 case, faultless gold plush-lined case.)

    In Scott & Da Pra’s (1994) book,”Burst” , they noted that the earliest known LP/SG was 0-8888. However the earliest reference that I found was in the 0-8700s and some believe they started in the 0-7000s. It looks like as time passes more of these elusive Les Pauls will come to light. The authors provided this helpful information:
    This interdigitation of serial numbers for sunbursts and SG Les Pauls is evidenced by the
    following, very late-1960 production information:
    #010001 SG Les Paul
    #010180 sunburst
    #010838 sunburst
    #011169 SG Les Paul
    #011189 SG Les Paul
    #0111495 sunburst
    #0111830 SG Les Paul (pg. 119)

    Besides #011189, does anyone have photos of these SG Les Pauls?

    Conclusion
    The data indicate that these were production models and not prototypes. The proper range for the production of these new Les Pauls should be 1960 not 1961. The data suggest a distinct set of features for the 1960 that enhance their status as rare and desirable and not an instrument to be parted out as I have seen of late. These specs could also help identify early 61s, those with 60 features, from later 61s.
    I invite those with a 1960 LP in the SG style to support refute or add on to this information. The sample size here is small so maybe I have overgeneralized so bring it on. I am pretty convinced that a lot more than these few exist, so let us see them.

  2. #2

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    [IMG]The 1960 heel[/IMG]

  3. #3

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    [IMG][/IMG]

  4. #4

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    [IMG][/IMG]

  5. #5

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    [IMG][/IMG]

  6. #6

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    [IMG][/IMG]

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Very cool. Thanks.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    To avoid confusion, I would like to point out that the 1960 Burst, 0-8600 ... the name SG stands for Shattered Glass, the nickname given to this Burst.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Member Three13 has one..







    Looks like 0 8878...but you have that one listed..so MAYBE 0 8873?

    Also, a cool note is the square tenon cover..as seen in the catalog pic..and looks like 0 8765 has a funky tenon cover as well..

    Member MS 57 has 0 8877, he bought it as a husk.




    The Bacon books often contradict mine and many other's real life experiences...
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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Very cool stuff, thanks for doing some homework!

  11. #11

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Kris, yes I have this one listed as 0-8878 but it could very well be 0-8873. It does share the rectangle tenon cover with 0-8875. I was a little concerned they might be the same guitar a different points in time. As you point out it is the same detail shown in the catalogue prototype picture. That catalogue picture is from 1962 and lists the case as the black one. The picture I have is from early 61 and is a flyer that lists the case as the brown one.
    To be fair to Bacon he does not make any claims that are not supported, he just does not say much at all. It is Duchossoir’s (1994) Gibson Electrics, the classic years and Lawrence (2008) , and The Les Paul Legacy. 1915-1963, attempt’s to describe the 1960 LP/SG that are not consistent with the data. But both books provide a nice picture.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueline View Post
    Kris, yes I have this one listed as 0-8878 but it could very well be 0-8873. It does share the rectangle tenon cover with 0-8875. I was a little concerned they might be the same guitar a different points in time. As you point out it is the same detail shown in the catalogue prototype picture. That catalogue picture is from 1962 and lists the case as the black one. The picture I have is from early 61 and is a flyer that lists the case as the brown one.
    To be fair to Bacon he does not make any claims that are not supported, he just does not say much at all. It is Duchossoir’s (1994) Gibson Electrics, the classic years and Lawrence (2008) , and The Les Paul Legacy. 1915-1963, attempt’s to describe the 1960 LP/SG that are not consistent with the data. But both books provide a nice picture.
    Bear in mind that the catalog is not the be all end all of absolute spec representation of the year it was released..and often incorrect..they are notorious for being wrong.

    Case in point.
    1958 Catalog shows gold top with P90s..but reference humbuckers:

    This is the 1968 catalog..but shows a pre '67 SG and lists it with the "new" Deluxe vibrola (it was 5 years old by this time)

    Which the pic itself was re-used from the '66 catalog...


    So I personally rule out the catalog for any SOLID info.
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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Here's 0 8869:


    http://shop.guitarpoint.de/de/vintag...-cherry-2xpafs


    Has the funky notched tenon cover:

    ...and the same neck joint:

    The USA '61 Reissue SG neck join is VERY similar..just a slightly smaller heel, but the same concept for sure:


    Maybe this where Gibson got the idea for the Reissue neck join..which is oddly vintage correct (ish)..no lip like the Historic version...
    Interestingly, they list the pot codes...134 60 43 late in the year for sure...week 43 of '60 was October 24-30th..and normally pot codes that late could be the next years model..but if this was new..maybe they rushed them? There seems to be an almost experimental nature with these early ones...with the different tenon covers and different guard shape..like they were trying to figure out what they were going to do with the dang thing..

    VERY possible these LP/SGs were completed in December. A ledger scan would be killer for these to see when they went out the door..but was very late in '60 for sure..if not early '61..(completed guitars built in 60, shipped in the very first days/weeks of '61..still "new" by all means..
    This one is claimed to be a '61...and has the same pot codes... SN#2224
    Note guard shape:

    And heel:


    Now...might this mean that they MAY have had the SN# stamped in late 1960. but didn't ship until maybe right after Xmas, or right after New Year's Day 1961?
    Last edited by Kris Ford; 03-09-17 at 05:29 AM.
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  14. #14

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Kris...thanks for adding 0 8869 to the sample. It conforms to the specs with the exception of that truss rod cover. I would like to know if that was replaced. I would predict no Les Paul marking anywhere on these guitars. Very nice indeed. And that case looks like a much later one so it is not original. So we now have around 13 serial numbers for the 1960 with 9 photos. Keep em coming. The question is what percent of the total do we have?

    I don't think any 4 digit impressed numbers would have been used in 1960. Guitars were ink stamped into early 1961. For example, 1-0107 is reported to be a LP/SG and 1-1075 was the highest ink stamped number and that went to a Les Paul custom old style. So even if it was build and finished in 1960 it would have a 0-xxxx serial number no matter when it was shipped and if it was finished in January 1961, it would have 61 ink stamped number. Maybe our Les Paul vintage experts can help with when the serial went on , at the beginning or and the end of the build.

    I would argue that the SG model was not so much experimental with the respect to the features that I have outlined and that the 1960 specs simply carried on into the the next year. Most of the 1961 SGs in the 4 number range that I have seen in photos have the 1960 features including # 2104 that was presented early in this pub.
    My 61 with none of the 1960 features was shipped in June 8, 1961 with a pot codes 134 60 45. So I would guess most of the SGs built before this would have 1960 pots.

  15. #15

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueline View Post
    and 1-1075 was the highest ink stamped number
    No.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    I think Randy's (Gibson employee who started the "Where are they now?" thread) comments to the tune of "well I built it in '85 but it has an '82 serial number" pretty much say it all for me


    Features are everything IMO, even then..there's always question marks.

  17. #17

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    To avoid confusion, I would like to point out that the 1960 Burst, 0-8600 ... the name SG stands for Shattered Glass, the nickname given to this Burst.
    this was my perhaps misguided attempt to put a little puzzle in the mix to provoke a question. It was not to drawn the attention of the top expert on LPs..... Good to know you read everything....and nothing escapes you .

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueline View Post
    this was my perhaps misguided attempt to put a little puzzle in the mix to provoke a question. It was not to drawn the attention of the top expert on LPs..... Good to know you read everything....and nothing escapes you .
    My reading comprehension is poor.
    The photo of Shattered Glass got my attention.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  19. #19

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueline View Post
    These specs carried on into early 61 and at some point, and I am guessing somewhere into the 5 digit numbers, the smooth heel that is more often associated with the early new LPs, began to be produced.

    The 1961 specs were the same as the 1960 model with the following changes:
    1. Impressed serial numbers
    2. Smooth style heel
    Smooth heels already started to appear on SG's in the 4 digit numbers.

    Secondly, though these smooth heel SG's can be found on the great majority of '61 guitars, models with the ledged heel keep intermittently appearing through 1961, in the 10,000s, 20,000s, 30,000s and 40,000s ranges. So there is no real cutoff period.

    There are more threads here on the SG heel shapes during the early 1960s - those things were all over the place, far from consistent.

  20. #20

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch D. Bunker View Post
    Smooth heels already started to appear on SG's in the 4 digit numbers.

    Secondly, though these smooth heel SG's can be found on the great majority of '61 guitars, models with the ledged heel keep intermittently appearing through 1961, in the 10,000s, 20,000s, 30,000s and 40,000s ranges. So there is no real cutoff period.

    There are more threads here on the SG heel shapes during the early 1960s - those things were all over the place, far from consistent.
    As far as 1961 goes, I agree that there is no real cuttoff point....I would be very surprised if that were the case. The photo evidence that I have seen shows that the 60 feature are more likely to occur in the 4 digit range. This of course will not be consistent because the relation between the serial number and shipping date is not linear. Nevertheless there is a greater chance of finding 60 features in the 4 digit group than the 5 digit corresponding roughly to early versus later build.. If you scroll down , you will see two, check out Bossaddict's 61 , 210X and sgt-stiener's very nice 61, 6xxx. I am not sure if you are saying there all kinds of different heels types in 1961 cause i have seen only the 2 types of heel that I have mentioned throughout 1961. If so, please present some photo evidence of all these variants of the 61 heel and i will happy to revise.

    I want to return the focus back to 1960 Les Pauls/SGs if you have pictures, please post.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    More pics of 0 8765:



    The pic that allowed me to match them.
    Last edited by Kris Ford; 03-13-17 at 07:19 AM.
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  22. #22

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    That is indeed a match, Kris, ....cannot have enough pictures of 0-8765. It remains intact demonstating all the 1960 features with the long tail guard, brown case, heel joint and no "les Paul" on the TRC.

  23. #23

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Ok I finally obtained a closer look at the TRC for 0-8869 that Kris discovered.
    Although presented as all original I suspect the TRC it is not an original; take a look:

    [IMG][/IMG]


    It is not a 61 TRC with that large script and narrow bezel. At first I thought it might a USA narrow bezel one but the script is too large. Interesting I think I found a match and it with the 1968 Les Paul gold top:

    [IMG][/IMG]


    another 1968 Gold top Les paul:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I suspect that this was originally a plain no script TRC like the others but someone didn't like the plain cover. A few more photos of 0-8869

    [IMG][/IMG]

    This inside shot confirms this not a original case as neither the brown nor the black case had that pad position on the cover and the big one on the bottom. Not for a sideways vibrola model.

    [IMG][/IMG]



    As Kris pointed out some features on 0-8869 are totally unique such a this tenon cover that is also seen on 0-8765. I had missed that feature until 0-8869 came along. Keep em coming....

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Three13's Avatar
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    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    I still have 0-8878 - everything is 100% original, including the case, although I replaced the guts of the sideways tremolo with Danelectro's aluminum block, which dramatically improved the guitar's tuning stability, tone, and sustain.

  25. #25

    Re: Those 1960 Les Paul/SGs where can they be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Three13 View Post
    I still have 0-8878 - everything is 100% original, including the case, although I replaced the guts of the sideways tremolo with Danelectro's aluminum block, which dramatically improved the guitar's tuning stability, tone, and sustain.

    Wow! sounds like a real beauty. Can you post a picture? I would love to see the detail on this one......

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