1963 Gibson SG – Bridge Swap Electronics Clean & Setup
In my last post, I touched on the details why I don’t blog about guitar setups… and yet, here we go again!
This SG was too unique to not show it off. It’s in great physical condition and still functional with it’s original components, with the exception of the wrap-around bridge. The customer was having an impossible time intonating the bridge. When he would tune the open strings and play a chord, it would sound out of whack. When you tune the guitar to a chord and play something with open strings, it would still sound outta whack.
After spending some time setting this up, I was experiencing the same issues. While my tuner indicated the notes up the neck were in tune, for whatever reason, any chord played on the neck sounded way off. I suspect the bridge was the culprit. It had been etched to compensate for tuning, but still wasn’t doing the trick. It was decided the easiest way around this was to swap the bridge with one with individual saddles to adjust.
So, the unique thing about this guitar, was the paint job. The guitar’s original owner also worked at a car dealership. Back in the 60’s, he thought the original paint job was insufficient and decided to do a touch up… with car paint. The paint on this guitar is the same as a 1960’s hot rod with a colbalt blue paint job! And to be honest, they did a pretty decent job.
On the other side of the looks, the electronics were scratchy and intermittent when turning volume pots or using the pickup selector. The beautiful paint job, actually went over the electronics cavity plate and completely sealed it shut. When I opened it up to clean the electronics, they were completely covered in rust! I don’t think I have ever quite seen electronics like that before. Luckily, the rust wasn’t affecting the scratchy electronics, just the dust that had settled there. After a spritz of contact cleaner, the pots and sitch work smooth once again.
Even though the guitar is not playing with all original parts, its functionality persists and lives to play for many more days.