1981 Gibson Sonex Deluxe, one of Gibson's oddest oddballs...

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by old mark, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. old mark

    old mark Well-Known Member

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    They were bolt neck, with baseball bat necks...body was a wood core covered with "Reson-wood"..plastic...with pots mounted on the PG, and some of the HOTTEST pickups Gibson made, the Velvet Brick Humbuckers, designed by Bill Lawrence working for Gibson...here's a demo...



    They were a drag on the market until maybe 15 years ago when punkers discovered them selling cheap...I have seen them selling for over $500 - $600 now.

    Mine was used in somebody's punk band and got a beating, but it still plays and sounds good, despite the fingerboard being "repaired" with gobs of glue...

    [​IMG]

    Mine took a real beating, but still is hanging in there...

    [​IMG]

    They sound WAY better than they should...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  2. DPaulCustom

    DPaulCustom Well-Known Member

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  3. RTH

    RTH Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd play the crap out of a Sonex.
     
  4. Alty

    Alty Well-Known Member

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    We had one in the shop for months, a White Deluxe with Zebras, everyone hated it, it looked and felt a bit toyish and was priced at £450 but no one was interested....although one or two of the pro musicians who came in really played it and it did sound great TBH.
     
  5. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    I was SOOO "IN" till the "baseball bat neck" ......I can't play em... carpal tunnel makes my fingers go "numb" after about 5 minutes.......CRAP! DAMN YOU GIBSON!!!!!!!
     
  6. DPaulCustom

    DPaulCustom Well-Known Member

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    You could always sand it down some:D
     
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  7. old mark

    old mark Well-Known Member

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    Plug it in and play it like a "real" guitar and if you like the fat necks, you will want to keep it. Saw one on ebay in the USA yesterday for $1499, and I could not believe it, but your price is just fine. FWIW, they are Velvet Brick pickups, not zebras unless they were replaced...the pickups sell for around $250 each over here...Bill Lawrence designed the Velvet Brick pups while he worked for Gibson. They were used on the Sonex Deluxe, the lowest price of 3 Sonex models, and a version of the SG. They have 2 adjustment screws on one side and one on the other, and supposedly Lawrence had them sound in Germany by Schaller to his own specs...VERY hot, high output but nice tone. Some of them don't have adjustable pole pieces, most do. They were made from '79 to '83 only, still one of the highest output pups Gibson ever made.

    Most people never heard of the guitars or the pickups. They sold new for under $300.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  8. Alty

    Alty Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, it was a 180, which came with Zebra Dirty Fingers, I've seen them as low as £250 ($380 - €340) in the UK, not playing electric and being left handed sort of stopped me trying it....:D

    :)
     
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  9. DPaulCustom

    DPaulCustom Well-Known Member

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    Flip it over, Jimi did...
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Alty

    Alty Well-Known Member

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    Hehe....tbh I've no real desire to play one, I'm happy with my Tanglewood just plodding along amusing myself and thinking I'm better than I am, it's my world and I like it....:)

    And strangely he's playing right handed in that pic....but I see what you did....:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
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  11. Alty

    Alty Well-Known Member

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  12. DPaulCustom

    DPaulCustom Well-Known Member

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    I've only seen em in double black, but I won't swear to anything, "G" can be tricksy
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. old mark

    old mark Well-Known Member

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    They are not Dirty Fingers...they are Velvet Brick pups. Designed by Bill Lawrence and used in these guitars and one odd SG variation of that era and never again...they are near the top of the hottest pickups Gibson ever made...IIRC, I think they are #3.

    You occasionally see one for sale for around $250 each.
     
  14. Alty

    Alty Well-Known Member

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    It's irrelevant now anyway regardless of what 'they' were/are as the guitar is long gone and only hot because they are ceramic, nothing special really.
     
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  15. wildeman

    wildeman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a Dirty brick or Velvet finger?
     
  16. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    well rolled the dice got one anyway -- chunky neck -- but NOT so bad I cant play it---
    the thing sounds amazing HOLDS TUNE better than 3 other Gibsons-- and plays great!
    SONEX1.jpg
     
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  17. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    You didn't even text me? Ouch!
     
  18. LSAR

    LSAR Active Member

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    Three years later? :rofl:

    A Sonex thread is an appropriate necro-thread though...they don't ever seem to die despite the beating they're often subjected to by punk rockers and plastic hating purists on the internet. They can handle all that and more with ease.

    Congrats on the Sonex, and enjoy! :dude:
     
  19. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Don't look at me, I didn't even get an email from him.
     

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