• THIS IS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR FOR THE LES PAUL FORUM! PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION TO KEEP US GOING! We've made a large financial investment to convert the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and recently moved to a new hosting platform. We also have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
  • WE HAVE MOVED THE LES PAUL FORUM TO A NEW HOSTING PROVIDER! Let us know how things are going! Many thanks, Mike Slubowski, Admin

61-64 SG Heel Cracks / Issues


Jul 21, 2016
Can someone school me on all things vintage SG heel issues? So many have a crack or mark around the heel, but I don't really understand what to look for and what means what. I know the heel changed between these years as well. Any insights appreciated!

And then affect on value, presumably a headstock break is a bigger hit then a heel crack due to the design of the SG when it comes to buying/selling. It seem so few have survived this long with neither! What's a fair range for a 63/64 top to bottom right? What about slightly players grade with things like hardware changes and heel work/damage? I know it's case by case, but rough ranges are helpful.

Trying to understand this market, kind of the last possible area for someone like me to attain a vintage standard model. Thanks!


Well-known member
Dec 11, 2003
I have worked on/restored more of these than I can count, and have a killer late ‘64 in the workshop now ready for some tweaking, and generally I’d say year/spec leads the overall pricing, then condition and whatever issues there may be.

The SG heel crack is almost ubiquitous, to the extent a completely pristine example is unusual.

The last beat but complete ‘63 I had sold for £8500 without a quibble, and seeing as a Murphy Lab heavy aged will cost you very nearly the same, I feel even a restored example offers great vintage value.

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2023
Just thought I would post a link to another thread for you to check out the different heels that occurred during the 60's on SG's. Some of these heels you don't see with as many problems as others. When it comes down to it mostly though, it was how the guitar was treated over its lifetime. As jumping said, also, I think a properly repaired vintage Gibson can be a beautiful guitar. All of my most resonant guitars are vintage.