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  1. #1

    SG with 3 digit serial

    Hi I’ve just come across a 1961 SG with a 3 digit serial which I haven’t seen before. The guitar is all original with the exception of the pickup covers being removed and features the long tail small pickguard, sideways trem, neck heel with ledge and no Les Paul on the truss rod cover. It also has an original brown case with pink interior. Does this seem quirky to you guys? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.







    Last edited by swedeSG; 04-15-19 at 05:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member corpse's Avatar
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Particularly without pictures. Post em if you got em.

  3. #3

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Hi Iíve just come across a 1961 SG with a 3 digit serial which I havenít seen before. The guitar features the long tail small pickguard, sideways trem, stepped neck heel and no Les Paul on the truss rod cover. It also has an original brown case with pink interior. Does this seem quirky to you guys? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    All 1960 SG Les Paul standards with inked on serial numbers had these features and most of the 4 digit 1961 LP standards as well. The exception is that the Les Paul script was now on the truss rod cover of the 4 digit numbers but was not on the 1960 model. Of course I am assuming the what you mean by stepped neck heel is a single ledge running around the heel. The 1961 5 digit serial numbers had different specs. With respect to 3 digit serial numbers Walter Carter who had reviewed the Gibson ledgers reports that the majority of 3 digit serial numbers were not assigned to any instrument. However, he notes that the first Les Paul entered into the ledger under the new system is #184 on 3/20/61. So yeah, although it appears to be rare, 3 digit serial number exist for 1961 Les Paul standards so nothing quirky so far. We need the photos and serial number to be accurate.

  4. #4

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Thanks for your responses. Pics added!

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    I have a 4 digit serial # on my stock 61 and it looks just like the one above except for the redesigned pickguard and the truss rod logo being there..Neck joint is exactly the same as above..

  6. #6

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Thanks for your responses. Pics added!
    That is an exciting find. I have never seen a 3 digit LP standard. Thanks for sharing your photos. I can make out an 13x serial number, is that correct? It looks all complete with the exception of the pickup covers. Are you the owner of this LP? Feel free to flood this thread with more photos cause that is one rare bird.

  7. #7

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by Melodyman View Post
    I have a 4 digit serial # on my stock 61 and it looks just like the one above except for the redesigned pickguard and the truss rod logo being there..Neck joint is exactly the same as above..
    Yes... Does your LP have the brown case as well?
    Please post some photos. These are my favourite LPs can't get enough of them. I have see the redesigned guard with serial number #6255 but #6251 has the old guard. I am going to guess that these 4 digit LPS are not real plentiful and are in the same category as the 1960 and the 3 digit LPS. Together they add up to very cool.

  8. #8

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Hi yes it's a #13x serial number. Are 3 serial number SG/LP Standards hard to find? Is there a chance that this could be a 1960? I find it a quirk that the truss rod cover doesn't have the Les Paul engraving too. So many questions!
    Also it really could do with a refret - thoughts?

  9. #9

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Hi yes it's a #13x serial number. Are 3 serial number SG/LP Standards hard to find? Is there a chance that this could be a 1960? I find it a quirk that the truss rod cover doesn't have the Les Paul engraving too. So many questions!
    Also it really could do with a refret - thoughts?
    I do believe that the 3 digit LPs are indeed very hard to find. It is not likely to be a 1960 release as your serial number is a 1961. But your LP characteristics suggest that it may have been started in 1960 but not shipped until 1961. I would classify it as having 1960 specs. Also check the pot numbers to see which week in 1960 they came from. I am also assuming your pickups have PAF stickers on the bottom. But check anyway. Unlike the 1960 ledgers, the 1961 ledgers are still intact. So you could query Gibson to see when 13x shipped. As to why there is no Les Paul script on the truss rod I I have no information. But none of the 1960 models had any Les Paul markings as well. Maybe the new LP was going to be a SG from the start but Les Paul objected and ordered his name be placed on the new SG/LP .
    It is my humble opinion that a refret would not diminish the value of this instrument at all especially if the refret is close to the original wide frets. Even you like them a little higher than original that still should be fine.
    If you can post more pictures, front and back, including the heel region, we can fully appreciate this find..

  10. #10

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Hi yes it's a #13x serial number. Are 3 serial number SG/LP Standards hard to find? Is there a chance that this could be a 1960? I find it a quirk that the truss rod cover doesn't have the Les Paul engraving too. So many questions!
    Also it really could do with a refret - thoughts?

    I replied to this messages some time ago day ago and I not sure why it is not showing up. I guess i can quickly repeat.

    I do believe 3 digit numbers are had to find. The serial number does indicate that it shipped in 1961. The 1960 model simply continued on into 1961 with the exception it now sported a stamped number instead of an ink number. The plain TR cover is not unusual but suggests a close timeline with the 1960 release. I am of the opinion that refret does diminish the value of this important instrument.
    please post more pictures

  11. #11

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Thanks blueline.
    I've included some more pics of the cavity and back of pickups, showing Patent Applied For stickers.
    This guitar doesn't belong to me but I may make an offer on it. Any thoughts on a value?
    Cheers

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Damn, what a find! I hope you get it!

  13. #13

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Thanks fernieite

    The pots seem to have no code on them anywhere - the base or the side. Does the solder look a bit messy too? Indicating replaced pots or is just that how they are?

    Thanks

  14. #14

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Thanks fernieite

    The pots seem to have no code on them anywhere - the base or the side. Does the solder look a bit messy too? Indicating replaced pots or is just that how they are?

    Thanks

    Sometimes you have to pull that pot out a little by removing the volume knob. The code is on the side and should start with 134 then 60 then XX. Yeah that solder is messy especially on the top left pot, the volume pot for the neck PU. It should have both braided pickup wires soldered side by side with the black part exposed not the white. The bottom pot shows the black wire correctly. Those PAFS may have been out of the guitar at some point. The pots look ok so those codes should be there.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    There's some great information on the Les paul Forum Home page. Look at the Hot Rod Shop section - Centralab pots.
    https://www.lespaulforum.com/finalframes/frameset.htm

  16. #16

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by blueline View Post
    Sometimes you have to pull that pot out a little by removing the volume knob. The code is on the side and should start with 134 then 60 then XX. Yeah that solder is messy especially on the top left pot, the volume pot for the neck PU. It should have both braided pickup wires soldered side by side with the black part exposed not the white. The bottom pot shows the black wire correctly. Those PAFS may have been out of the guitar at some point. The pots look ok so those codes should be there.
    Great info - thanks.

  17. #17

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by fernieite View Post
    There's some great information on the Les paul Forum Home page. Look at the Hot Rod Shop section - Centralab pots.
    https://www.lespaulforum.com/finalframes/frameset.htm
    Thanks for the link. They certainly look like the Centralab pots indeed, so should have the tiny etched codes that maybe the seller simply can't see because it's so small..

    Gibson Customer Service responded with some quite vague information - that the #13X serial code indicates a shipping date between 1961-63. Very helpful

    Any indication on a value of this beast?

  18. #18

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    I canít comment on the S/N, but thereís clearly been a major heel repair with perhaps a dowel through the body, plus the front PAF has had the lead replaced and M69 swapped- the white in the pickup cavity is odd too..

  19. #19

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Thanks for your sharp spotting! It appears that the white is simply the exposed wire inside the replaced braided cable to the front pickup. Presuming it's a lesser quality cable than original.


  20. #20

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Thanks for the link. They certainly look like the Centralab pots indeed, so should have the tiny etched codes that maybe the seller simply can't see because it's so small..

    Gibson Customer Service responded with some quite vague information - that the #13X serial code indicates a shipping date between 1961-63. Very helpful

    Any indication on a value of this beast?

    Someone stated that there was "clearly" a repair to the join. But I do not think it clear at all. But I think we need a shot of the heel join to see if there is indeed any damage there as this will affect value.

    Gibson Customer gave you irrelevant information. Any guitar book will give you more information. You have to get them to look into the shipping ledger for 1961. This ledger still exists.

  21. #21

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by blueline View Post
    Someone stated that there was "clearly" a repair to the join. But I do not think it clear at all. But I think we need a shot of the heel join to see if there is indeed any damage there as this will affect value.

    Gibson Customer gave you irrelevant information. Any guitar book will give you more information. You have to get them to look into the shipping ledger for 1961. This ledger still exists.
    Gibson Customer Service just advised me that the shipping information for 1961 is not available

  22. #22

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Gibson Customer Service just advised me that the shipping information for 1961 is not available

    That is too bad that they will not give out that information. They used give a picture of ledger page with your requested serial number on it. I got one for my 59 335 and my 64 355. But I thought they would a least text you the information. It has been a long standing problem that Gibson will not publish those ledgers. However, there are real knowledgeable people on this forum that know how to acquire this information. Maybe they will help out.

    I couldn't see from that pic but make sure there isn't another digit faintly hiding there. It would not much difference value wise from a 4 digit LP. But again that heel need a closer look. Cheers!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by swedeSG View Post
    Gibson Customer Service just advised me that the shipping information for 1961 is not available
    Well that's whacked! - they gave me some 1961 info a few months ago in an email. I was told that a particular Les Paul Junior (SG) was shipped from the Kalamazoo Mi factory on 9-14-1961.
    Hi,In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!Hi,In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!Hi,
    In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!Hi,In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!

  24. #24

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by fernieite View Post
    Well that's whacked! - they gave me some 1961 info a few months ago in an email. I was told that a particular Les Paul Junior (SG) was shipped from the Kalamazoo Mi factory on 9-14-1961. Hi,In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!Hi,In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!Hi,
    In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!Hi,In the Gibson Shipping Ledger Archives the serial number 27103 shows a Les Paul Junior model shipped from the Kalamazoo, MI factory on 9-14-1961. Thanks, and I hope this helps!
    Ok well that was from Gibson Customer Service Europe so I'm trying with Gibson Customer Service USA this time. Let's hope they're more helpful!

  25. #25

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Here are a couple more photos. Clearly an average touchup job in the lacquer, indicating a probably neck break a long time ago? Appears to be a first generation (1960?) neck joint? Thanks



  26. #26

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Gibson USA Customer Service's response to my query regarding shipping date info:

    "The serial number is consistent with serial numbers used in early 1961."

    Why is it so hard for them to provide actual details?


  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Check your PM.

  28. #28

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Quote Originally Posted by fernieite View Post
    Check your PM.
    Got it - thanks.

    Update from Gibson and a forewarning for future 1961 shipping ledger enquiries:

    "Thanks for the email. Unfortunately, the shipping ledgers from this time have been archived and we no longer have access to them to find specifics on shipping dates. Sorry for the inconvenience. However, the serial numbers in 1961 began at approximately 100 so this guitar likely shipped very early in the year."

    What a shame.

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Yeah, it would've been nice if they just took some pictures of the things and put a link on Gibson.com or something.

    Btw, are you still interested in buying the SG?

  30. #30

    Re: SG with 3 digit serial

    Exactly - just post some scans and let the public search on their own accord...

    Seriously considering purchasing it yes, and feeling a bit more confident about what it actually is given some of its odd features, and thanks to you very helpful and knowledgable folks. Currently working out the finer details of a transaction

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