Hi guys, I wound up with a circa '70 M-75 hollow-body guitar

Norrissey

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Hi Gilded,
Is it possible you have authentic Gibson Patent Number Pickups that have been relic'd? I'm definitely not an expert on assessing the authenticity of Gibson pickups from photos but the sticker on the back of your pickup looks authentic to me. The fact that they sound really good also indicates to me that they are probably authentic. In case you are curious to compare I'm uploading pics of the backs of the chrome Patent Number Pickups that came installed on my Starfire. The whole Gibson pickup thing is a bit of a deep dive but I've also copied a link with some basic info from Sweetwater below. In all likelihood we both have what they call T-Top Patent Number Pickups (made between 1965 and 1975) but to be sure you have to unsolder the pickup cover and examine the top of the bobbins. If you open up your pickups and they do not have a little molded "T" on the top of the bobbins then you have pre-T-Top Patent Number Humbuckers (made from about 1962-1965) which are pretty valuable. Sorry if you already know all this. Perhaps there is someone on LTG that can fill us in more.

 

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SFIV1967

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... but the sticker on the back of your pickup looks authentic to me.
The problem is that anybody can apply such stickers to any kind of pickups, they are sold on the internet...

1637843565641.png

As example those are 2015 Gibson made PAF pickups from my 2015 Custom Shop '59 Les Paul, they came like this from the factory with aged screws and a partially destroyed sticker. So the sticker alone means nothing.

1637843688460.png

Even experts can be fooled regarding PAF and PA Gibson pickups due to the high price of them. I think there are other forums full of how to identify fakes and copies of Gibson humbuckers.


Ralf
 
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Canard

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If you have deep pockets and money is no issue here with this project, take the guitar to a high-end, highly reputable shop that works mostly with orchestral stringed instruments. It may be possible to have the pickup apertures restored by someone who repairs and restores vintage violins, cellos, basses, and viols. It may be possible to have it done so well that you would have to look closely to see that it had been done. If it can be done and if the shop wants to do it, it will cost - a lot of highly skilled labour will be involved.
 
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The pick ups in your guitar are most likely new production 57 classics. I have these in my L-4CES, my Johnny A and my ES-345. They are great pickups but the gold plating is thin and wears away quickly. Genuine patina in a short time!. Nice guitar. Happy holidays all.
Thanks John
 

gilded

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The problem is that anybody can apply such stickers to any kind of pickups, they are sold on the internet...

View attachment 28248

As example those are 2015 Gibson made PAF pickups from my 2015 Custom Shop '59 Les Paul, they came like this from the factory with aged screws and a partially destroyed sticker. So the sticker alone means nothing.

View attachment 28250

Even experts can be fooled regarding PAF and PA Gibson pickups due to the high price of them. I think there are other forums full of how to identify fakes and copies of Gibson humbuckers.


Ralf
Ralf, I'm gonna post a pic of one of my decals. Please tell me what you think, Harry aka gilded
The problem is that anybody can apply such stickers to any kind of pickups, they are sold on the internet...

View attachment 28248

As example those are 2015 Gibson made PAF pickups from my 2015 Custom Shop '59 Les Paul, they came like this from the factory with aged screws and a partially destroyed sticker. So the sticker alone means nothing.

View attachment 28250

Even experts can be fooled regarding PAF and PA Gibson pickups due to the high price of them. I think there are other forums full of how to identify fakes and copies of Gibson humbuckers.

this is one of the first pickup photos I attached. One can see the 'line up 'of various numbers and letters in the original line-up. Do you have an opinion of whether my pickup, shown in image IMG_2108.jpg is......legitimate? Best, Harry
 

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Guildedagain

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I can't blow up up the pic, so I can't actually read the sticker, but what makes those "faux Gibson" or what exactly is so hinky about the decals? They look like everyday Gibson '57 Classics in a faded gold plate.

Think about it.

Why on earth would somebody take the trouble to put "fake Gibson" pickups in an expensive Guild guitar, when you used to be able to snatch up a pair of used Gibby pickups 490/498 Alnico for $100 or less.

Btw, these will definitely blow the Guild pickups out of the water powerwise. Gibson PAF style pickups are quite loud, clear whereas the Guild pickups are brighter and maybe more compressed.

On the off chance that they're actually 60's Pat. # pickups as opposed to the '57 Classic type repop Gibson's been making for decades now, these would be woorth $1000 a pair.

If they were real PAFs from the '58-60 era, $10k a pair.
 

Guildedagain

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Pic blew up finally.


"And I’m jealous of this M75, even with the fake Gibson pickups. ❤️ "



You guys are awesome. I live for stuff like this. Usually, I try to be the recipient of "fake" or junk parts like this.

The pickups are 60's era Gibson, the Pat.# version that came out in 1961-62 until they started embossing Gibson on the top in the late 60's.

Just play it the way it is.

Looks great btw, love the gold fade.

Some PAF sticker trivia;

When gibson did put a Pat. # on the pickups, this sticker in fact, the patent # on the sticker was gibberish and actually the same as they used under the ABR-1 bridge from the same time period.

Here's an ad that puts the date at 1964, others say '63 '64 '65. This is the same pickup with cover removed, with hurts the value.


The "pole spacing" bit. These were spaced differently for hollow bodies than solid bodies. The version you have is obviously the correct spacing, but which is it?

Measuring across the poles would tell you.
 
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Norrissey

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Hi Harry,
Based on the info that Ralf provided your stickers are visually authentic (as are mine) but we would probably need a Gibson pickup expert to look at the pickups closely to be 100% sure. I like @krysh's comment: "if they sound nice, keep them and play the heck out of them"
It's only if you want to sell them that you need to be certain of authenticity.
 
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Norrissey

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Just to follow up on what @Guildedagain said, my understanding is that the Patent Number Pickups from 1965-1975 had little 'T's molded into the tops of the bobbins. They are referred to as "T-tops". The Patent Number Pickups from 1962-1965 did not have the little 'T's on the top and are referred to as "pre T-tops". Because the Pre T-Tops very similar to PAFs they are more coveted and more valuable. Your pickups could be pre-T-tops or T-tops. The only way to find out for sure is to open them up.
 

Guildedagain

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Please don't open the pickups to read silly T's on top, these are probably way pre "T Top" because of the old fashioned braided leads.

Again, please don't goof with these pickups.

If they don't float your boat, I'd be seriously interested in this guitar the way it is.
 

jp

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Reissue PAFs or not, that is one sexy M-75, Harry. Congratulations on a beautiful Bluesbird!
 

gilded

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JP, thanks for the kind words, sir.

Guildedagain, Norrissey, powerwagonjohn, Mr. Canard, et al,
thanks for the interest and the help. Lemme give you some background:

I've been in this game for 50 years come August. I have a stash of Fender, Guild, DeArmond and Epiphone guitar parts, along with Kluson, Waverly, Grover tuners. I've looked at a lot of Gibson pickups and other parts.

When I hear somebody say 'T-Tops', I think back to the story that the 'T-Top' markings were supposed to tell the Gibson assembly-line employees which bobbin was the 'Top' one, presumably for winding the pickup wire in a certain way. If that's wrong, that is interesting. If it's right, that is also interesting!

gilded's plan:

I plan on fixing a few things on the guitar so I can play a few gigs with it.

I don't plan on popping the covers. I'm gonna have a few things done on the guitar, like a re-fret. I'll get a repair-man to see if parts of the harness need to be replaced, or just fixed, etc. The saddles are way shot, so I'll get some new ones. The volume knobs are wobbly. Hmmm, repair time for the potentiometers?

In the meantime, sincere thanks to all my friends, Old and New, on LTG. It's great to be able to communicate with Hans, Ralf, and the other chaps from across the Ocean, not to mention my 'Amurican' Colleagues, like frono, default, Senior Corgis, etc.

ANOTHER THEORY:

Let me leave you guys with on more theory to consider on the complex question of how could the pickups be 'new on the inside' and '50 years old on the outside.'

Remember, this is a hollow-body instrument, with no F-holes in the body. The body isn't hermetically sealed, but there is likely very little of the outside atmosphere that comes into the interior of the guitar. In short, maybe there is no corrosive action or condition on the interior sides of the pickups!

What do you think, Gents? Should we ask the current M-75 owners who have the original pickups hiding in a drawer someplace to tell us if the interior sides of their pickups are super clean or not?

Think about it! I'll see you 'round campus!

gilded
 
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Norrissey

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I like your theory Gilded! The interior of the body of your guitar does look very clean in the pics. Perhaps it's also possible the pickups were used on another guitar before yours and had some external wear from that.
 

SFIV1967

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Ralf, I'm gonna post a pic of one of my decals. Please tell me what you think, Harry aka gilded
I really don't know.
I'm with you that there seems to be zero corrosion on all the screws and the solder and the solder flux. After 50 years that seems to be impossible to me, whatever climate the guitar was in. So that would make me think reliced repros. But yes, the wire is 2 braid wire which could point to "old". Regarding Guildedagain's theory that in the past those 60ies pickups were cheap and it made no sense to use repros, well there we none in the past. We don't know when that M-75 got the new pickups. I doubt somebody bought her in 1970 and immediatelly replaced the pickups. So bottom line: They might be real 60ies or they might be repros. There are Gibson pickup experts who can tell from the type of screws used (polepieces and the 4 little screws) if those are vintage screws. The sticker tells you nothing, you can simply buy them and attach to any pickup. The new custom shop pickups have those stickers and those stickers come aged. Even other manufacturers put those stickers on their pickups...I like that manufacturer who really had fun doing this:

1637914174404.png

One pole piece screw is replaced on that M-75 pickup by the way:

1637913963737.png

In any case, they might be the real deal and if they sound great, even better! I wouldn't change them unless I would have a pair of Gold HB-1s on hand...

Ralf
 

gilded

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I really don't know.
I'm with you that there seems to be zero corrosion on all the screws and the solder and the solder flux. After 50 years that seems to be impossible to me, whatever climate the guitar was in. So that would make me think reliced repros. But yes, the wire is 2 braid wire which could point to "old". Regarding Guildedagain's theory that in the past those 60ies pickups were cheap and it made no sense to use repros, well there we none in the past. We don't know when that M-75 got the new pickups. I doubt somebody bought her in 1970 and immediatelly replaced the pickups. So bottom line: They might be real 60ies or they might be repros. There are Gibson pickup experts who can tell from the type of screws used (polepieces and the 4 little screws) if those are vintage screws. The sticker tells you nothing, you can simply buy them and attach to any pickup. The new custom shop pickups have those stickers and those stickers come aged. Even other manufacturers put those stickers on their pickups...I like that manufacturer who really had fun doing this:

View attachment 28312

One pole piece screw is replaced on that M-75 pickup by the way:

View attachment 28311

In any case, they might be the real deal and if they sound great, even better! I wouldn't change them unless I would have a pair of Gold HB-1s on hand...

Ralf
Thanks, Ralf. You are right about the pole piece screw being replaced or at least different. Hint, that particular screw ain't gold plated, although the top side of the screw looks gold.

I don't have a definitive answer to all this but I do appreciate the knowledge and expertise of the LTG community.

Oh, I think one of those pickups has 2 braid wire while the other does not.

What kind of potentiometer should trying out? When I had my circa 2000 BluesBirds, I think we used 500k pots. when we replaced the hecho in Mexico pots. Sounded way better.

Thanks, guys, and Hat's Off!

gilded
 

SFIV1967

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What kind of potentiometer should trying out? When I had my circa 2000 BluesBirds, I think we used 500k pots.
Yes, all 500k pots with 22nF (.022uF) caps is the standard value for Gibson. But in the past Guild used .047uF caps, makes her darker. Also Guild used sometimes 200k tone pots mixed with 500k volume pots. In that case they used a .047uF neck tone cap and a .01uF bridge tone cap..Was all the past when they wanted a more darker jazzy sound on the neck pickup and a brighter sound on the bridge.

Ralf
 
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