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Want to buy a vintage SG - which era has the most stable neck?

blueline

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
186
"Blade neck" refers to the wide flat necks of the 60'-62' SG/LP's. I had a mint 61' and 62' LP with sideways vibrola's. They both had that problem. It didn't matter if I "blocked" the sideways vibrola...dead spots were still there. Played a bunch at guitar shows over the last 20 years and they all had it. Later SG's with Maestro's don't have that issue....That's why I have one now. Never played one with a ebony stop so I can't say if those have that issue..
Cheers
I am back with my quick test results

My reference guitar was a ES-335T logged in the ledger on Feb 1959. It was a top tail with a C shaped neck with a soft V in the first fret area. The PAFS were original but frets had been replaced. The strings were not fresh. The test guitar was Les Paul standard with original sideways vibrato and 2 PAFS logged in the ledger on June 1961.

Each guitar was tested acoustically and also with a Fender Princeton amp. The dead spot” was operationalized as a note that did not ring out or sustain or exhibited a sharp fade compared to other notes. Each note on the G B and E was assessed moving slowly from 1st to the22nd fret and back again..

The results showed that as expected, the 335 showed no so called “dead spots’ but I discovered that it favoured the B note on any string. Any B note seemed to ring out more and sustain longer.

On the 61 standard, moving up and down the fret board revealed that although not like the level of intensity as 335, this guitar likes the G note. The G note on the 12 fret sustained well However i noted that F note on the G string 10th fret seemed decay quicker than the others. . Past the 12 fret toward the 22nd fret, all the notes rang out. I suspected that maybe the old frets that were quite low plus old strings might be involved. To test that out I ran the test again on a 1960 LP model that had new frets and strings. There was no difference between the 11th and 12th fret and no “ G spot”.

In conclusion, I found no support for the theory that “dead spots” are an inherent characteristic of 1961 standard.


I leave you with Joe B. ripping in up his 60 LP/SG, dead spots, blade neck, sideways vibrato and and all.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=joe+bonamassa+blistering+guitar+solo
 

MarcB

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2023
Messages
716
This came up.. been chatting to the original owner.. has some great tails to tell (he’s 70) .. I’ve convinced him to join the LPF to share his stories..
his SG is in very good original condition.. and resides in the UK

 

blewsbreaker

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
1,108
I am back with my quick test results

My reference guitar was a ES-335T logged in the ledger on Feb 1959. It was a top tail with a C shaped neck with a soft V in the first fret area. The PAFS were original but frets had been replaced. The strings were not fresh. The test guitar was Les Paul standard with original sideways vibrato and 2 PAFS logged in the ledger on June 1961.

Each guitar was tested acoustically and also with a Fender Princeton amp. The dead spot” was operationalized as a note that did not ring out or sustain or exhibited a sharp fade compared to other notes. Each note on the G B and E was assessed moving slowly from 1st to the22nd fret and back again..

The results showed that as expected, the 335 showed no so called “dead spots’ but I discovered that it favoured the B note on any string. Any B note seemed to ring out more and sustain longer.

On the 61 standard, moving up and down the fret board revealed that although not like the level of intensity as 335, this guitar likes the G note. The G note on the 12 fret sustained well However i noted that F note on the G string 10th fret seemed decay quicker than the others. . Past the 12 fret toward the 22nd fret, all the notes rang out. I suspected that maybe the old frets that were quite low plus old strings might be involved. To test that out I ran the test again on a 1960 LP model that had new frets and strings. There was no difference between the 11th and 12th fret and no “ G spot”.

In conclusion, I found no support for the theory that “dead spots” are an inherent characteristic of 1961 standard.


I leave you with Joe B. ripping in up his 60 LP/SG, dead spots, blade neck, sideways vibrato and and all.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=joe+bonamassa+blistering+guitar+solo
So the first SG you tried had the dead spot on "F"...🙄. Faster decay notes on "G"or a fret or 2 in that area. My buddies SG has it on G flat. Believe what you wanna believe. The 61', 62' smooth heel necks are the LEAST stable for SG's... period.
 

MarcB

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2023
Messages
716
I put nylon saddles on my SG today.. just saying


Bonjour.
 

blueline

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
186
So the first SG you tried had the dead spot on "F"...🙄. Faster decay notes on "G"or a fret or 2 in that area. My buddies SG has it on G flat. Believe what you wanna believe. The 61', 62' smooth heel necks are the LEAST stable for SG's... period.
Ok just to be clear I did not find any “dead spots” or “choked” notes on a genuine 61 LP. What I did find was that some notes sustained longer than others. I also found that I could change the sustain by simply raising the action. This whole idea that there are dead spot that are unique to 61and 62 LPs is not supported by the evidence.

If you are trouble with notes simple raise the action, adjust the truss rod and check the bridge saddles and the fret condition. I am going to chock the dead spot theory up to another guitar myth.

However none of this speaks to neck stability that was the original question. Just one viewing of Joe B. bashing away on his 60 LG/SG demonstrates the robust nature of that neck.
 

GlassSnuff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,661
Ok just to be clear I did not find any “dead spots” or “choked” notes on a genuine 61 LP. What I did find was that some notes sustained longer than others. I also found that I could change the sustain by simply raising the action. This whole idea that there are dead spot that are unique to 61and 62 LPs is not supported by the evidence.
That's not "evidence", that's just one data point. Come back with 1,000 data points, and we'll call it evidence.
I am going to chock the dead spot theory up to another guitar myth.
If you're going to decide for yourself what is real, I suggest you do so privately. People are laughing. "Dead spots" are a real, well documented, phenomena.
However none of this speaks to neck stability that was the original question. Just one viewing of Joe B. bashing away on his 60 LG/SG demonstrates the robust nature of that neck.
You don't play as well as Joe does by bashing on things.
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
975
Consider a non-reverse Firebird.
My '65 FBIII is amazingly resonant (same thin mahogany as an SG, and has a thin neck, but is super stable.
A real beauty.
 

blueline

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
186
That's not "evidence", that's just one data point. Come back with 1,000 data points, and we'll call it evidence.
If you're going to decide for yourself what is real, I suggest you do so privately. People are laughing. "Dead spots" are a real, well documented, phenomena.

You don't play as well as Joe does by bashing on things.
Ah yes you misunderstand the nature of basic research. It is not me that trying to prove anything. I did not posit a theory of the dead spot. The person that posits the theory is one that needs a 1000 points of data . My one data point does not support the theory. My result is compelling because the assertion was that all 61 LPs would show this dead spots. That means 100%. So baiscally all i need to do is have one data point.
 
Last edited:

blewsbreaker

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
1,108
Ok just to be clear I did not find any “dead spots” or “choked” notes on a genuine 61 LP. What I did find was that some notes sustained longer than others. I also found that I could change the sustain by simply raising the action. This whole idea that there are dead spot that are unique to 61and 62 LPs is not supported by the evidence.

If you are trouble with notes simple raise the action, adjust the truss rod and check the bridge saddles and the fret condition. I am going to chock the dead spot theory up to another guitar myth.

However none of this speaks to neck stability that was the original question. Just one viewing of Joe B. bashing away on his 60 LG/SG demonstrates the robust nature of that neck.
Seriously? You played one vintage 61' SG for a few minutes, and came up with this conclusion about all 61-62 smooth heel SG's? 😂
I've owned 3 beautiful examples, (including my 64' which I've kept), played a bunch at guitar shows over the last 30 years, and I know what I'm hearing pal, being a major label mastering engineer for the last 35 years.
Raising the action doesn't change dead spots, wofetones, and choked notes, unless the guitar is fretting out ...😂
Talk to any good luthier or just fucking Google it and learn something. I love SG's but the dead spots drive me nuts on the early ones. I want every note to ring evenly like my 57' goldtop, 58' single cut Jr. 65' reverse Firebird and my 64' SG. I'm giving this info to folks who are actually shopping for vintage SG's and they now know what to check for... Not for a 🧌like you.(y)
 

blueline

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
186
To get back on track, I have some videos from Joe B. The first one Joe playing a 1964 SG with newer vibrato with the plastic tip handle. This SG is popular because it has a thicker neck and is similar to the one Clapton use in the Cream.

For comparison I include the same song this time on the 1960 LP/SG with the thinner neck and the sideways vibrato.

For those who want to hear each well articulated I have Joe on the 60 LP/SG at a 2023 sound check. He seems to favour this version of SG.

1964 SG


1960 2021

Sound Check 2023 with the 1960 LP

 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
975
Consider a non-reverse Firebird.
My '65 FBIII is amazingly resonant (same thin mahogany as an SG, and has a thin neck, but is super stable.
A real beauty.
I see the conversation has been on dead spots.
One of the things proven to mitigate dead spots is headstock mass, which a Firebird has in spades.
I have a set of original tuners, but it sounds better with the Schallers I got it with.
 

fernieite

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
607
Didn't Les Paul only have a 10 year endorsement with Gibson from 1952 to 1962? (to use his name )
Yes, he apparently didn't like the SG guitars as much as the original Les Pauls, but he did speak of them as being a good guitar. It seems his name was slated to be removed from Gibson in 1963, regardless...
Here's a cool article.

Oh yeah, to the OP: My 1963 Les Paul Junior has a very stable neck! (y)
 

GlassSnuff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,661
If it's going to be a straw poll, then my '63 SG has a good neck. I spent a while choosing between it and two '62s they had for sale. The "Les Paul" script was attractive, but the '63 was a better guitar.
 

JaKo49

New member
Joined
Dec 7, 2023
Messages
6
A lot of people say this but I really like the thinner 60-62 necks. But I learned to play in the shredder era and have a place in my heart for both thinner necks and vintage
My 1st real guitar was a '68 Gibson SG w/ 1 p-90 ,in1968 cost me $149.99 new, w/ faux gator case. Had a fairly thin neck but never had a issue with the neck.
 
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