Gibson Les Paul Collector: Gibson SG Special 1960
Posted on November 13 2021
As a Gibson Les Paul collector, I'm on the road a lot to find the best examples of vintage Gibson guitars. This road trip took me to Lexington, Virginia to meet the granddaughter of the original owner of this Gibson SG Special 1960 and matching Gibson GA-18 Explorer 1960 amp! I'm thrilled to be the buyer for this incredible pair.
If you're looking for a Gibson Les Paul collector near me, I might be the buyer you're looking for. I travel world wide to acquire the vintage guitars I've always dreamed of owning. You can contact me here if you're curious about how much I would value your vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar: Sell a Gibson. I'm primarily looking for Les Pauls from the 1950s and 1960s.
How to date a Gibson Les Paul
Knowing how to date a Gibson Les Paul guitar is important to establishing its value. One place to start would be here: Gibson Les Paul Serial Numbers. The serial number on this Les Paul is ink stamped and begins with a zero prefix. Gibson Les Pauls from the 1950s until 1960 will have an ink stamped serial number on the back of the neck with a number digit prefix. The first digit of the serial number indicates the last digit of the year it was made. In the case of this Gibson, the zero prefix digit indicates 1960.
We can also date this Gibson Les Paul using its features. The Les Paul Special came out in the catalog in 1955 as a Limed Mahogany (TV Yellow) finished single cutaway, two pickup dressed down version of the Les Paul Standard (goldtop at the time). The model was redesigned in 1958 and the Cherry Red finish was added as an option. A little known fact in the guitar world is that the Special and TV Model were the first of the 5 Les Paul models to lose the "Les Paul" signature and model name. Gibson's own catalog lists this guitar as the SG Special as of November of 1959. So this guitar isn't a Les Paul at all; it's actually an early SG.
Gibson quickly realized that its new double cut Les Paul Special body style had a design flaw: the neck pickup route often affected the structural integrity of the neck joint. The neck pickup was shifted down in 1960 away from the neck. This guitar still features the high neck pickup position.
Gibson Les Paul 1960 Value
Vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar values are highly dependent on the exact model, year, condition, originality, and features. We know that the exact model name of this guitar is "SG Special", although most collectors would still call this a Les Paul because it doesn't match the typical body style known as SG. We also know it's from 1960 since the serial number and features both indicate that it was made in 1960.
If you're curious about how much I would value your vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar then I'd be happy to take a look. You can send pictures to the contact information at the bottom of this page or contact me here: Sell a Gibson. I'm looking forward to checking it out!