Released in 1961 as the successor design to the fifties single cut Les Paul Model, the newly designed beveled edge, double cutaway Les Paul/ SG Standard Model would go through a few changes in line with the rest of the SG range throughout the sixties. The guitar was still listed as the Les Paul Standard until 1963 when it would simply become the SG Standard and in 1966 when the larger “Batwing” pickguard was introduced with the pickups suspended in the guard. SG’s from 1964 are particularly sought thanks to Eric Clapton and George Harrisons use of ’64s but it is the last full year the model the model had a traditional 1&11/16th nut width and the profile is a little fuller than the earlier Les Paul/SGs.
Construction follows the tried and tested Solid Guitar recipe with a solid, double cutaway, contoured Honduras Mahogany body and set 22 fret Honduran Mahogany neck topped with a Rosewood fingerboard and punctuated with the iconic ‘Standard’ Trapezoid Inlays. This one has the evolved neck to body joint seen on 1964 guitars. Electronics comprise two humbuckers with the traditional Gibson independent Volume and tone control layout. Finishing hardware is all Kluson Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons, a ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge, engraved Lyre tailpiece and 5-ply Angel Wing pickguard.
This guitar has previously undergone a restoration to like-factory-new condition. The guitar finish is incredibly clean, with a bright clear coat that under backlight has no fluorescence except from the headstock front. The Cherry is strong and vibrant with no tan lines. The neck profile is slightly thinner than an expected ’64 Gibson profile and on closer inspection there is a feint mark that looks like a possible minor repair to the headstock/neck transition. Otherwise the body and neck are in excellent condition with crisp edges to the headstock and body. The fingerboard shows little wear and the guitar still sports its original albeit, flat dressed frets.
Later Chrome hardware throughout; the tuners are a set of modern reproduction Keystone Deluxe, the bridge is an original (post '65) Gibson Pat number ABR-1 with nylon saddles. The guitar has two Pat. No. sticker Humbuckers that have previously had the covers removed and re-soldered. The control cavity houses four CTS pots that are consistent but with one another but a full source code is unavailable but the twenty something week of 1964 can be made out.
The guitar sounds great with the two Pat No pickups offering the PAF like detail and clarity they are known for. The guitar plays well, the neck is a comfortable profile with a little more substance when compared to some earlier SG/Les Paul necks and with a more favourable string spacing thanks to the 1&11/16th nut width. The original frets are dressed low but play well. The Lyre Tailpiece and tremolo work well for a Bigsby-esque shimmer.
The guitar comes with a later, early seventies Gibson SG case.