Seriously considering a Gibson SG

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Jason D, May 11, 2020.

  1. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    I have wanted an SG for as long as I can remember. I have only a couple sticking points-1) it has to have a satin neck, and 2) I’d like it to have as slim a neck as possible. Do you guys have any recommendations on models that you’ve experienced, and what did you like/dislike about them? I know I will have to go out and play several until I meet the right one, but I’d like to hear your opinions.I appreciate your input. Thanks everyone.

    side note-I don’t have any preference of features as I’m not extremely versed on Gibson guitars. So, any and all info will be appreciated.
     
  2. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You're going to have to play them and buy one in person.
    I have a 2020 SG Standard and the neck is on the thicker side... more like a 50s Les Paul.

    I don't know if the '61 series has a thin neck or not.

    But wanting a satin finish, you may want to look at an SG Special... added benefit that they are less expensive, but again, I don't know what the neck thickness is.
     
  3. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    Totally agree that I will have to play them and decide from there.

    I remember playing a faded SG a few years ago that felt good, and I guess there’s a Tribute model with a satin neck as of 2019. I’m thinking that might be worth a look. I do believe your right about the special as well. Thank you.
     
  4. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If you want a sating neck you'll want a SG Special Faded. I had a 2005 model that had a thick neck, great guitar. I've also had a 2019 SG Special (not Special Faded) with P90's, that one also had a fat neck. I now have a 2011 SG Standard, also with a fst neck. The Standard is by far the best of the bunch, the 2019 Special was the worst.

    They have come with a bunch of neck profiles and neck joints over the years. My favorite is the early 60's neck joint that gives you unhindered access to every single fret but they can be sketchy. My 2019 had that neck joint and suffered from dead spots due to resonance issues. If you find a good one it's a thing of beauty though.

    IMO the SG is the perfect electric guitar design.
     
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  5. Chuck8436

    Chuck8436 Strat-Talker

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    I got my SG faded for 500 bucks and I love it. It was faded cherry which wasnt my favorite so I refinished it and souped it up with gold hardware. I love it. The neck is chunky. Ive owned maybe 8 or 9 SGs over the years and Id say 5 have had chunky necks. In my experience, the specials tend to have chunky necks and the standards and deluxe ones I've owned have had slim necks. 20200414_204017.jpg
     
  6. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The Standard
    IMG_20200502_170827.jpg IMG_20200502_170838.jpg IMG_20200502_170858.jpg

    The Special (not faded) that I sold. Note that lovely neck joint!
    IMG_20200429_172216.jpg IMG_20200429_172222.jpg IMG_20200429_172231.jpg
     
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  7. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Also note the difference between the neck joint onbthe Special and the Std.
     
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  8. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster

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    I’d rather have an SG than a les Paul. The standard is one of the best value American built guitars around. I’ve ha d a couple I’ve the years and they’ve all been great - I’ve come across more 60’s profile
    Necks than chunky ones though

    if I was buying one i’d probably get a special with P90’s though... you can’t really go wrong though...
     
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  9. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

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    The Norlin era is maligned by some Gibson corksniffers but have a look at an early '70s SG. Ebony fingerboard if you can find one (they were only made two years). These have thin necks and the ebony feels and plays like a Fender maple neck. Fast, comfortable, clean,doesn't pick up dirt like rosewood and lasts forever. I still have mine and while I don't play it like I used to I will not sell it. You can find these things if you look around, there was one hanging in our local Sam Ash for about a year not too long ago.
     
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  10. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Strat-Talker

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    I know you want a genuine Gibson and that's great, I love my '99 Gibson LPDC, but I have 2 1966 Ltd. Edition Gibson authorized Epiphone SG's and really enjoy playing them. I always wanted an SG but couldn't fit it in my budget so back in the day when these were on the stupid deal of the day @ MF I grabbed one in cherry to get the feel of it and liked it so much bought the other one in silver burst. A friend of mine has a jaw dropping nice Gibson '62 reissue SG and was really impressed with them; especially for the price. The necks are a very comfortable slim taper and easy to fret, at least for my short fingers. The electronics are good in these particular models but I did eventually swap out the bridge pickups then added roller bridges and Les Trems and even then the cost savings was still half of their Gibson counterparts.
    An SG is neck heavy regardless of brand so like others have stated it's best to play several to get the feel and to find the one that's right for you. Good luck.
    Pair of Epi SG's.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  11. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It's important to play them first. My 2019 SG Special that was an otherwise amazing guitar came with some issues due to the nature of its construction. It was also neck heavy, something I'd expect an SG to be.

    My current Standard is not neck heavy though. If I let go it stays where I put it, even with a thin nylon strap.

    SG's in particular need to be played before bought.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    I assume you have a Strat being on this forum and one of things you'll note playing an SG is how switching from the Strat to the SG feels like switching from playing to your right to your left -- both sitting and standing due to bridge positions vs thigh cut and strap pins. Playing cowboy chords on an SG has the feeling of being 'way over there'. If you spend all your time above the 12th frets then you'll not notice a big switch.

    50s styled SGs will have chunky necks while 60s styled ones will have the skinnier neck like you want.

    As for the brand choices ... I have both a Gibson and an Epiphone and the Epiphone gets all the play time. It's a stock G-400 MIC 2005 model except for a capacitor change which I learned from the MIKs I've had that used 0.033uF tone caps instead of 0.047uF typical (to get more sparkle of highs through). This particular one has a slightly thicker body than typical with a little more weight and less neck dive plus the fretwork on it was great plus I got it cheap like $150 with a hard case half a decade ago.

    I had a friend who's daughter wanted an SG so during and after getting her settled into one I flipped a lot of SGs and so saw and played a lot of them. My recommendation is get either the older used Epiphone G-400 model or one of the recent 2020 Epiphone SGs new (because used ones are unlikely available yet). The G-400s from 2015 to newer had reworked pickups that many like the sound of better than the older ones (or you can do some cap swaps or even pot swaps to tweak tones if a particular one suits you best).

    If you really feel you 'might miss out on the Gibson tone' then buy a set of Gibson SG pickups and the Gibson pots (just as critical) to swap into an Epiphone SG. If you ever sell the Epiphone you can swap back the original parts and keep the Gibson parts for another guitar. However, on the other side, I also see a surprisingly large group of players who 'gotta have a Gibson' and then immediately swap the factory parts out for aftermarket pickup brands like Seymour Duncan pickups -- which tells me they are really only after the Gibson logo ...

    Know that with the Gibson headstock you'll need to worry about it snapping off from just the simplest falls, even inside a hard case or packed inside a hard case packed inside a box shipping it to sell to someone later. The Epiphones use scarf joints along with a slightly lower angled headstock and smaller truss rod hole so they are far more durable than the Gibson design. The 2020 Epiphone models moved the scarf joint from the neck up to the headstock itself -- perhaps they are testing for which version that may finally fix the Gibson models. If you get one and it breaks and you pay for a pro repair you'll only get half what an unbroken used SG sells for plus have to deal with a pile of questions and drama while trying to sell it. If you buy a used Gibson SG there are many broken/repaired/cracked headstocks out there that you need to look at very closely as most of the sellers do not divulge the damage. I'm not buying any more Gibsons of any model until they fix the design. Do an internet and youtube search of 'broken headstock repair' and you'll see mostly Gibson.


    .
     
  13. space

    space Strat-Talker

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    I have a faded sg special 05 satin neck but its very thick
     
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  14. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Strat-Talker

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    I really like my 1991 Special. Bought it new for $364 BITD.

    It has an ebony fingerboard and slim neck profile. Stock pickups are fine. Over the years I'ved tried a few different pickups, but went back to stock.

    It has a painted neck, not satin.

    I love playing this guitar - it's light, comfortable and can cover a lot of ground. Mine's not neck heavy and balances very well. The orientation of the fingerboard is "left" of a Strat, but I can easily switch between. Super easy to play all over the neck.

    Mine has faded from a bright white finish to a nice cream color.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    How about a Standard with P90s?

    Current project...
    Neck depth @ 1st 0.8500", depth @ 12th 0.9875"
    For comparison, my Les Paul is 0.8055" @ 1st, 0.8970" @ 12th

    Debating black or chrome covers.

    black.jpg
    chrome.jpg
     
  16. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My SG Junior has the fattest neck of all my guitars.
    Wide and thick. Les Paul 59 at least.
    Baseball bat. I love it.
    I tried a mid 70s the other day and it had a super thin neck and I could use it as a bigsby. It did not sound great at all but it had T-Top pickups.
    Anyway, it looks like SGs and Vs have the most variations in neck thickness and width from all Gibson guitars.
    You have to try an SG or send it back if you don't like and you can.
    Otherwise it would be a gamble .
    SG are just awesome guitars if you can stand the far out neck joint.

    All the best,
    Robin
     
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  17. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I was never a fan of SGs until I bought a beat up '68 Junior and fixed it up.

    The prior owner added a second P-90 and a Bigsby B5.

    It was a real POS when I got it.

    It is ALL neck and very light weight

    IMG_1041.JPG IMG_1042.JPG
     
  18. SurfsUp

    SurfsUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I love the looks of a decent SG, but find them difficult to play, especially on the first few frets. Clearly a scale length issue.

    Something I'm sure I'd get over in time. But I'd DEFF be looking at some secure strap lock option.
     
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  19. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Senior Stratmaster

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    That might be the prettiest one I've seen...
     
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  20. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    If you're looking for a fairly late model SG with a slim neck and satin finish then you are looking for a Faded, Tribute or Special. The 2017-2018 Faded and Special models had slim taper necks. For 2019 those were dropped and they added a Tribute model - note that the 2017-18 Faded models and the 2019-present Tributes do have maple necks; the 2017-18 Specials have 24-fret mahogany necks.

    I had a 2019 Tribute and it had the "rounded" neck shape, which wasn't too thick. It was more like a slim tape to start but got a little bit thicker as you moved down the neck. It was comparable to the depth of the Fender "deep C" on American Professionals but the rounder feel of the Fender "Modern C" as found on American Standards/American Specials/American Performers. I did wind up selling mine - I had always wanted an SG, but found after a few months that they just didn't "fit" me well from an ergonomic perspective.

    Here was my old one:

    [​IMG]