Anyone play an SG? Opinions?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Johnny Morales, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Johnny Morales

    Johnny Morales Tele-Meister

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    I've owned dozens of guitars over the years (strats, teles, LP, PRS etc...). Sold all of them off except for a strat because I haven't been playing much. Just started playing again and I might be in the market for a second electric guitar. I have around $1800 MAX to spend and of course another strat or a tele are options but I'm also looking at some dual humbucker guitars. Never owned an SG though.

    Played two SG standards the other day - loved the feel of one - the other wouldn't stay in tune. Both a bit neck heavy. My main concerns about an SG are neck and tuning stability. Dealer not too far from me has a '61 RI SG that he has listed for $1599. Trying to determine the pros and cons of an SG versus just getting a second fender (which would be a few hundred cheaper) or a Les Paul (a few hundred more).

    I play mostly hard rock, blues, and jam band (Phish) type stuff. Want something that will hold its value reasonably well in case I decide to sell it down the road.
     
  2. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have a red Faded SG with added chrome pickup covers.

    I love it....stays in tune perfectly. This Faded SG is one of the most resonant guitar (unplugged) that I've played. It is slightly neck heavy but not so much that I am lifting while playing with the left had. Doesn't bother me at all. By the way, MF.com is selling these for $699 again. They seem to have a recent need to move Gibson units.

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    Comfy guitar. The neck has slightly more bulk than a Tele neck. Easy to grab. Love it.

    You need a mini trampoline to play Phish tunes....Gotta bounce and play. I love it.

    John
     
  3. Johnny Morales

    Johnny Morales Tele-Meister

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    What pickups are in that guitar?
     
  4. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    490R and 490T alnico magnet humbuckers - they sound harmonic, organic, edgy and fantastic.

    Faded SG $699 MF.com details
     
  5. tiktok

    tiktok Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have three SG's (a Classic and two SG-X single pickups), and they're all a tad neck heavy. As far as tuning stability goes, I found them the same as all the Gibsons I own--they benefit greatly from .011's, upgraded tuners and a proper setup. Then they're solid.

    Faded SG's are a great way to get into the SG vibe cheap, and I see them used on CL for ~$600 all the time.

    Buy a hardcase.

    And make sure that it's designed for the SG--LP cases won't work, and even the SG cases tend not to be designed terribly well. The neck/body angle on Gibsons makes it difficult to find a case that fits really well, where both the neck and body are fully supported. Usually there's a gap under one or the other the case, or at least in the half dozen I've been through.
     
  6. metropolis74

    metropolis74 Tele-Holic

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    I would say go for an SG instead of getting another Fender. It's nice to have second guitar that's completely different to get some new tones. I'm a Fender guy through and through, but when I want a humbucker sound I reach for my SG. It's the only Gibson that is comfortable for me. I have a Faded SG like studio1087 does, but haven't added pickup covers. It's cheap for a Gibson, but I picked out a good one out of four at the store and love it! Definately try before you buy. There is the SG Special also, which has the same specs as a Faded but with a gloss finish for an upcharge.

    The '61 reissue is a great SG also. It has '57 Classics pickups and a much nicer finish. But the vintage correct weak neck heel seems like an Achille's heel to me. I couldn't justify spending that much for a '61 RI personally, but if you got the budget and like it, go for it.
     
  7. metropolis74

    metropolis74 Tele-Holic

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    +1 infinity
     
  8. Scott V

    Scott V Tele-Holic

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    I would definately recommend the SG, If I had $1800 to blow, I would consider a faded SG and a nice Tele, perhaps used '52 Tele AVRI.
     
  9. TyPierce

    TyPierce Tele-Meister

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    I played an SG a month or so ago and really enjoyed it. I believe it was the SG Classic, because the P90 pickups were what really perked my ears up.

    It played well enough with the cheesy stock strings and Guitar Center lack of setup, and although it did feel a bit neck heavy it would be pretty easy to manage with the right strap.

    The two things I didn't get on at all with were the tuners and the price. The tuners may be rock solid, but something about those plastic button Gibbo tuners just look like the cheapest things in the world. And the price was the major issue, because I was looking at it as a second/backup and didn't have the $900 to shell out. Those P90s were something else, though.

    There are quite a few variations of the SG floating around - from the fat-neck reissues to ones designed for modern metal-ish styles. The pickups will be the big difference, so play a few and see what sounds solid to you.

    I ended up grabbing a used Reverend Daredevil 290 and am loving every minute of it. All the beefy twang P90s are known for with simpler tone controls and great feel. I even Bigsbyfied it with a Vibramate/B5 setup - which happened to cure the slight neck heaviness, by the way - and it's a killer. Although, it seems you're set on a Gibson, so my Rev suggestion might not be that helpful.
     
  10. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

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    The SG has been gibsons most-selling guitar since '61, and is one of very few gibsons to never be discontinued.
    It's comfy(moreso than a strat to me), powerful(The sound has a real "push" to it), lightweight(Thin, fast, mahogany), toneful(clean or dirty, the right pup can make it sing dirty or clean, it's one of the best slide guitars there is), and it's a lot of guitar for the price they usually go for, when compared to les pauls, Vs, explorers, or pretty much any other gibson.
    The neck dive, is the biggest problem most folks have with 'em.
    People have been finding ways to balance out SGs for a long time. When they first came out, the '60s neck and lightweight mahogany balanced fairly evenly. But, as the neck and heel design has gone through various cosmetic and structural improvements, it's become a bit more neck heavy.
    Lots of folks use les paul junior tuners for light weight, or use a leather strap for no movement, or attach a bigsby for more body weight, or even put lead washers in the control plate.

    My personal remedy is to move the strap pin from the neck heel, to the upper horn area, similar to a strat. Problem solved, but it may dent the resale having a hole drilled in your gibby.
     
  11. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    MF.com sells their own private branded SG case for 50 bucks. I love my MF SG case. You can defray the hard case cost by selling the free Gibson gig bag on eBay for 25 bucks. Worked for me.
     
  12. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In the price range you describe you can get a used Custom Shop 1962 SG Standard reissue VOS (the serial number will be six digits, the first two will be the year of manufacture and the last digit will be a 2 representing a 1962 reissue - so my 2007 one is 07xxx2). Those guitars come either with a stoptail (my preference for tuning stability) or a Maestro vibrola (a little airier sounding, looks great, not so good for tuning stability). These are built with better wood, to a higher standard than the non-custom shop ones, are balanced weight-wise (not neck heavy) and come with an ABR-1 bridge instead of the Nashville on the regular SG Standard, and PAF-type Burstbucker 1 & 2 pickups rather than the more modern dirtier 490 and 498 pickups in the regular SG Standard. http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Ele...-Custom/SG-Standard-Reissue-VOS/Features.aspx

    Don't confuse this with the regular SG Standard (a fine guitar but not in the same league) or the 1961 reissue, which is not a custom shop offering.
     
  13. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

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    Owned a few back in the day,always liked them.Now I have an Epi LP/SG,shown here stock.Of course I swapped the pups and pots.Plays and sounds great.
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  14. Tidepoolbay

    Tidepoolbay Friend of Leo's

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    I like an SG, and have played many.
    The balance is a little off on some.
    But, a cool guitar anyway.
     
  15. Wardpike

    Wardpike Friend of Leo's

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    Here's my opinion of an SG
    1. Body is a neck accessory
    2. Body is just a place where the pickups and controls are mounted
    3. They sound kickass and have the best midrange punch of any guitar.
     
  16. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like the '61 style, I call mine the "Anti-Tele". Could two guitars be more opposite?
     
  17. -Vampyre-

    -Vampyre- Tele-Meister

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    I used to have an SG standard when you could get one for 700 back in 93. Unfortunately sold it. I was looking for another SG, but I had to have neck binding and the trapezoid inlays. I searched for a circa 2003 Korean made epi cause I heard they decent quality and still had fretboard binding. I found one on the bay for 80 bucks because someone misspelled epiphone and it even came with case. My second favorite guitar to my tele.
     
  18. Caffeine Patrol

    Caffeine Patrol Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had two (three if you count the Pan SG copy I grew up with). One was a newer SG standard (neck heavy, kind of bland), the other was a late '60s Special w/P-90s (sounded pretty good, neck heavy). I really like the one '61 reissue that I played; wasn't neck heavy, played and sounded great. I'd look for a used '61 reissue.
     
  19. Rooney

    Rooney Tele-Meister

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    I had an SG Classic for a while and I loved the neck. I never personally noticed any of the neck heavy-ness that they are associated with. I also always had a hand on the neck so it didn't really matter. I P-90s really growled but when I started trying out semi-hollows I found the SG sounded too thin to me. I ended up selling my SG and getting the semi-hollow I have now but sometimes I really just want to get that guitar back.
     
  20. ddhr

    ddhr Tele-Holic

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    Having played single coils most of my life, it took some adjusting to get used to hums, but I love them now. I've got a Standard. It is light, comfortable to play and sounds great. I don't really notice the neck being heavy when I play, but I would not let go of it like I would my Fenders or a LP. +1 on the 11s.

    Doug
     
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