The Gibson SG Pro was introduced in June 1971 to replace the SG Special as part of a controversial overhaul of the SG lineup. This was because it marked some significant departures from traditional SG features - a front-routed control cavity, zero degree neck pitch, deeper set neck and a Les Paul style pickguard.
Yet, many of the features that these models are commonly associated with were not actually new. For example the SG had a narrow 1 9/16" nut since 1966, a laminated neck since mid-1969 and a rear volute since 1970.
However, public reception would cause the Pro to be quickly discontinued and the Special to return in mid-1972. The Pro remained on price lists until October 1972 and 25 units were shipped from 1973-1974 as remaining supply was sold off.
The Pro was notably the first SG to use the new “harmonica” bridge design, which would find its way onto the Standard and Custom in mid to late 1972. The transition back to the SG Special started in mid-1972 as the last Pro parts were being used up. These transitional models are referred to as the "SG Pro/Special".
Bevelled, solid Honduran Mahogany body
Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish
3-pc laminated Honduran Mahogany neck
Joins body at 18th fret
0.800" / 0.980" profile
Indian Rosewood fretboard
12” fingerboard radius
Large Open Book headstock
Inlaid Mother of Pearl Gibson logo
"Made in U.S.A." stamp
14 degree headstock pitch
24 3/4" scale
1 9/16" nut width
Two "Soapbar" P-90s with AlNiCo V magnets
"Gibson" embossed black plastic pickup covers
2 Vol, 2 Tone controls
CTS 500k pots
Kluson Deluxe tuning machines with 12:1 ratio
Chrome Keystone buttons
Single-ply elevated Les Paul pickguard
Single-ply front-mounted control plate
Bell shaped truss rod cover
Black Witch Hat knobs w/ pointers
Schaller Harmonica Tune-O-Matic bridge
Aluminum Bigsby vibrola - "Gibson" engraved
Finish - Cherry
Weight – 7.72 lbs
This is a fine guitar with its unique P90 sound, which is kind of a cross between a single coil and a humbucker - crisp but warm, with plenty of cut.
Cracks in the neck to body joint can be an issue with some SGs of this era, and some necks can be set at an odd angle to the bridge. This one does not have these issues now, courtesy of a professional neck reset carried out long ago. There is also a repaired area on the rear of the headstock.
It now has a super straight neck, at the correct angle and with great string/fret clearance. The neck is pretty slim and comfortable to play. Most importantly, the neck joint is now strong and stable, probably sturdier than when originally built – hallelujah !
The factory installed Bigsby is a nice touch, and can certainly add to your sound palette if used judiciously. Bigsbys are not “whammy bars” so if you steer away from the big dives, it will stay in tune.
There is also a mini toggle “kill” switch installed in the pickguard behind the tone controls – ie turns all output off, no sound at all. Gretsch guitars in certain eras had this feature – we could never figure out why such a switch is necessary, but it’s there.
This guitar was bought new by its one owner in Cape Town, South Africa in 1972. Yes, it has had some necessary work carried out, but that has definitely added to the stability and reliability of this guitar. It has been used professionally for 50 years without a problem.
At 7.72 lbs it is balanced and comfortable to play. Some SGs are prone to the “neck dive” conundrum, but the presence of the Bigsby on this one rectifies the balance problem – it just sits happily on the strap and does not drop down.
All in all, this is a uniquely configured vintage SG with a serious track record of pro level use, and with plenty of miles left in the tank. And we love those P-90 pickups !
Comes in its original Gibson hard case in good condition.