Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 44

it mattered to club musicians, who typically stood
for hours on end. The folks
in Kalamazoo, tired of
sales reports reminding
them how other makers were
besting Gibson sales in guitar
shops across the U.S.A., decided
to make more-blatant changes to
the Les Paul.
In mid 1958, their response
arrived in the form of a new
double-cutaway body of the
same thickness as the previous
single-cut Les Paul Junior and
Special, but with rounded horns.
The design, though, proved
problematic on the Special, since
the neck tenon was cut during
the routing for the rhythm pickup, thereby weakening the neck
joint. To strengthen it, Gibson
moved the neck-position pickup
slightly toward the bridge in '59.
But it was still far from ideal.
The Special was renamed SG
Special that year, retaining its
"slab" body.
A second double-cut design,
with pointed horns, was introduced gradually over the course
of a year beginning in late 1960,
and first used on the Les Paul

Standard. Lighter and
thinner, it was comparable
in weight to any Fender or
solid Gretsch, and boasted
improved play up the neck
thanks to a thinner profile

The serial number on this 1960 model,
011485, is 10 units earlier than the singlecut "Last 'Burst" featured in this issue.

VINTAGE GUITAR

44

October 2017

and the fact it joined the
body at the 21st fret. Like
Fender's Strat, its body
edges were "relieved," to
allow greater comfort. The
model name SG was used on
the Special starting in '59, but
wasn't used on the Junior, Standard, or Custom until early '63.
Unfortunately, the modernization proved f lawed. That thin,
sleek neck joint on the thin
beveled-edge body revealed itself
as weaker than on the previous
design. The long, thin neck was
also less stable, which made it
difficult to keep the guitar intune. And finally, the rout for
the control pots made the body
weak in that area, so if the guitar
fell off of a player's strap and hit
the f loor, the lower bout could
break. Even more dramatic was
the sad discovery by some players
who broke the bout by stepping
on their own cord, yanking it an
unfortunate angle.
A s it had done w it h t he
single-cut, Gibson took steps
to improve the new guitar. Still,
the transition did not equate
to resou nd i ng com mercia l
success. Production


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 4
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 5
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 6
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 7
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 8
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 9
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 11
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 12
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 13
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 14
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 15
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Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 18
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Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 20
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Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IBC
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