The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson “The SG” Walnut Solidbody Electric, 1979


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Appearing only in 1979, the Gibson “The SG” was built much like an SG Standard, but using Walnut in place of Mahogany. In 1980 it was relaunched as the SG Firebrand. The primary difference between this model and the Firebrand is the way the Gibson logo was applied. Here, it is a gold-coloured decal, and on the Firebrand, it is branded into the headstock.

Walnut was regularly used as a tonewood in stringed instruments until the 1930s, and was very commonly found in banjos. The availability of laminates for low cost instruments seems to have displaced it, and higher end models focused on Mahogany, Rosewood and Maple. Recently, Walnut is being found on more and more quality instruments. It is a resonant wood with a warm tone, and an attractive grain structure.

Gibson has always been experimenting with alternative materials, and for 1979 offered ‘The SG’, essentially an SG Standard with Walnut for the body and neck and Ebony for the fingerboard. Typical of the period, the body and neck are both three-piece construction, and the neck has the characteristic late-70’s volute to strengthen the headstock. The gloss lacquer finish was light, showing off the Walnut grain. For hardware, Grover Roto-Matic tuners with metal Keystone buttons are installed, there’s a standard ABR bridge and stop tailpiece, and the pickups are stock coverless T-tops (there’s a T on the top of each coil). The bridge pickup has one creme and one black coil, as standard.

This example Gibson “The SG” was built at the Gibson Nashville plant and dates to November 9, 1979, making it a Scorpio built during the Year of the Goat.

It appears to be in almost entirely original, generally good condition, with signs that it was used as intended. The original strap buttons appear to have been replaced with more secure, black-chrome units. The finish has some typical buckle or jean rivet wear on the back, visible in the photographs, and the top has a number of small marks, all from use, not abuse. The Ebony fingerboard is in good shape, and the frets are fairly low. At the time of construction, low wide frets were popular. Now, higher frets are more accepted so a player might choose to refret with a higher wire. However, it does play well and cleanly as is. The tone is a bit warmer and ‘tighter’ than a Mahogany SG.

The body is built of three sections of Walnut, and there is a non-structural separation in the join at the lower treble bout, leading to the control cavity.  

The original molded hard shell case is included.


Price: $1,300.00 CAD
  • Model: The SG
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Natural Walnut
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 73139609
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 21/02/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.48lbs 3.4kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 629mm
  • Nut Width: 1.69in 43mm
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