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Gibson G3 - trying to figure out whether or not parts are original

I've had this Gibson G3 for about four years now, and it's a great bass and fairly unique as far as I can tell, but lately I've been wondering if the pickguard is non-original, and after browsing around at wiring pictures, I've also started to wonder if there aren't some other replacement parts. I know the bridge cover is a repro, I bought it separately from the bass. I've never seen another one of these basses with a tort guard, and the fly guitars page says they were never changed from the black/white/black, so I've always wondered.

Here she is in all her glory

Here is the wiring

Note the switch is different from the typical style seen on these basses and there is no foil on the guard. The pickguard definitely seems aged, and there is plenty of gunk that has been transferred from the body to the guard, so it's been on there for quite some time. The serial number checks out as 1978, kalamazoo manufacture. The neck on this also seems much thinner (front to back) than my 82 grabber's neck, especially around the upper frets. The other odd thing about this bass is there is no "made in usa" stamp unless it's hidden under the tuning gears, the the heckstock overall seems a bit downsized/tighter than my grabber as well - I can fit a detuner on the grabber, too tight to fit on the G3. The pot dates are 77 and 75, but as they should be two different values I'm not too surprised there.

Any insight?


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Gibson G3 - trying to figure out whether or not parts are original
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 01:16:21 PM »
Hi and welcome

Well it's a great looking bass - the tort pickguard looks really good. But yes, i'd say it was a replacement, along with that switch. The pickups are stock - they changed to the black covered ones in late 78.

As for the neck - yes the made in the USA is often partially covered by the tuners, but you can usually see a bit of it. Maybe lower down and sideways?

If it has a Gibson serial number it is most likely all correct. Grabber style copies don't have the same markings, and these have never been really valuable enough to be worth faking (compared to a Fender for example)

If you are still concerned can you show some close ups of the headstock front and back?


Gibson G3 - trying to figure out whether or not parts are original
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 02:27:02 PM »
Yeah, I didn't think it would be a fake, definitely not a high dollar bass, but I was hoping someone with a little more experience with these basses might know a bit about the parts/likelihood of not having all the right stamps, etc. The hardware all seems good, gibson tuners, proper nut, correct truss rod cover, correct truss rod nut style, neck plate, electronics (aside from the switch) and so on. Anyways, here's some more G3 pron at the very least...

full frontal

headstock closeup

headstock back

body back

nut/truss rod cover

headstock angle

with the grabber

hanging out with the fat cat


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