Gibson Les Paul Standard 1961 SG Body

John Shults

Posted on December 05 2022

1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard with SG Body in Cherry Red finish

I purchased this extra fine condition 1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard with SG body style has from its sole owner since it was sold new. It was given to her by her dad as a birthday gift in the early 1960s. She didn't end up becoming a professional musician, but she did cherish her guitar her entire life until only a few weeks ago. It's a stunning example of the Les Paul Standard during its first full year with the new thinner SG body style. 

As a Gibson guitar collector, I am always looking for the nicest examples of Les Paul and SG guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.  

How many Gibson Les Paul SG guitars made in 1961?

How much did a Gibson Les Paul SG cost in 1961?

Important measurements including weight, neck dimensions, pickup resistance, and potentiometer codes


Gibson Les Paul Standard SG 1961 headstock with pearl logo

How many Les Paul Standards SG were made in 1961?

Gibson kept reasonably detailed production records of all the instruments it produced from the 1930s and onward. We should make the distinction that Gibson didn't record exactly how many were made, but they did record how many Les Paul Standards were shipped in 1961. The records are recorded by hand so I'm not confident that we can say for sure that this number is 100% accurate but it's the best that we can do. The Gibson Shipment Totals book by Larry Meiners indicates that 1,662 Les Paul Standards were shipped in 1961. It's likely that the majority of those were in the SG body style, but some may have been the single cut traditional Les Paul variety. 

Do you have one you're considering selling? I travel worldwide: Sell a Gibson.

1961 Gibson Les Paul SG Cherry red

How much did a Gibson Les Paul SG cost in 1961?

 In 1961, what we know of as the "SG Standard" today was still technically called a "Les Paul Standard" by the Gibson catalog and price list at the time. The body style changed the thinner, carved edge double horned SG in late 1960, but the name didn't change to "SG" until the end of 1963. That's why the 1961 Gibson price list below indicates that a Les Paul Standard cost $290.00 and the case cost $47.50. You can see in the description that it's described as "... Double Cutaway -- Cherry Finish...".

How much did a Gibson Les Paul SG cost in 1961?
While inflation has no bearing on the value of a 1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard today, it's fun to see how the collectible value has increased compared to it. $290 in 1961 is about the equivalent of $2,890.42 in 2022 dollars. The value of a 1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard with SG body today is based on the relationship of the supply of guitars available compared to the demand of guitar players to buy them, not based on inflation. Vintage guitar values change often and are always on a case by case basis depending on the year, model, features, and condition of a Gibson guitar. You can contact me here if you're curious about the value of a vintage Gibson: Sell a Gibson

Important Measurements

It's my goal to catalog and record the important measurements of every guitar that comes through my hands. The measurements here are specific to this 1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard (SG) with serial number 20728.

Total weight: 6.07 lbs / 3.05 kg.

Neck measurements: Neck profile = 0.81" deep at the first fret, 0.90" deep at the 12th fret. Neck width at the nut = 1 11/16".

PAF Pickup resistance: The neck pickup reads 7.3k ohms and the bridge pickup reads 7.5k ohms. The solder on the covers has never been disturbed. 

Potentiometer code: 1346103 (134 = Centralab, 61 = 1961, 03 = 3rd week of the year). Check out How to date a Gibson SG for more information. 

Gibson PAF Patent Applied For humbucking pickup resistance readings

Gibson Les Paul & SG Standard 1961-1965

Gibson's Les Paul Standard from 1961-1963 then SG Standard 1963-1965 are some of the finest solid body electric guitars to come out of Gibson's Kalamazoo factory. The wide neck SG guitars (1 11/16") with nickel hardware are some of my favorite guitars that I look for every day. If you're curious about selling an early 1960s Gibson then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson. I would be happy to take a look at pictures to discuss what year it was made, how does its condition effect its value, and for nice examples what I might pay to purchase it. I travel world wide to buy vintage guitars but can also overnight ship guitars from anywhere in the US. 

Check out some other cool guitars while you're here:

1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard The finest 'Burst Les Paul I've ever seen

1965 Gibson SG Standard One of the last wide neck/nickel part SG Standards

1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard original owner

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