Pete Townsend. Frank Zappa. Carlos Santana.
What do these three guitar icons have in common? They're all associated in one way or another with the Gibson SG Special, the thin Mahogany-bodied Gibson that is one of the most revered electric guitar models ever made.
This beauty of an SG Special was built in 1965, widely known as a transitional period for Gibson in many ways. Neck carves, nut widths, and hardware were all changing, and quite often we see these transitional features mixed up in one instrument. Occasionally, a 1965 model will feature some of the more desirable features found in 1964 or earlier examples, and such is the case with this Special. The wide 1 11/16" nut as opposed to the 1 5/8" and subsequent 1 9/16" widths is perhaps the most desirable feature, followed by nickel plated hardware and the earlier wide-bevel body contours and small guard that gave way to the narrow bevels and large guard of the latter part of the 60s.
There's lots to be said about great vintage Les Pauls, but the twin P90s in an SG can flat out deliver, with some meaty midrange punch and a bright, cutting top end response that cuts through a mix with ease. The original P90s in this Special have some heat, with both pickups registering in the low/mid 8k range for output.
While there's certainly some evidence of play wear, it must have occurred early on in the guitar's life, as the guitar still retains an incredibly dark and rich Cherry finish. There's also evidence of some longer term case dormancy by way of distinctive finish wear on the back of the neck where it sits against the neck rest. All of the hardware - from the Kluson white button tuners to the strap buttons, wraparound tailpiece and short vibrola (with arm) - are original to the instrument. The guitar also features its original plastics - small pickguard, black "reflector" knobs, switch tip and poker chip.
Electronics have remained untouched as well, with visible potentiometers dating this instrument to early 1965.
As far as mid 60s SGs go, this is a premier example that plays and sounds fantastic. It's played in just enough to feel comfortable while retaining a level of originality often seen on more of the "closet queen" pieces.
Condition: Very Good+. Natural lacquer checking throughout, with various scuffs, dings, and nicks. Evidence of cable contact against the body, as well as case rash on the back of the neck at the 12th fret. Slight chip of the nut on the low E edge. Original frets with light wear.
Priced with original lined chipboard case that is in Fair to Good condition.
- Mahogany body and neck with Cherry nitrocellulose lacquer finish
- Kluson "double line" 3-on-a-plate tuners with white buttons
- 1 11/16" nut width
- Medium-slim C neck profile
- Profile measurements: .81" @ 1st fret / .96" @ 12th fret
- Original P90 pickups: 8.07k ohm Neck / 8.51k ohm Bridge
- Original electronics: '6514' pot codes
- Original wraparound tailpiece and short vibrola with arm
- Weight: 6lb 9oz