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Epi SG

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by sgtrecon212, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. sgtrecon212

    sgtrecon212 TDPRI Member

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    I have a notion to buy a SG.. My budget puts that at an Epiphone. I like the sustain and I've always loved the look. In fact a while back I was looking for and Epi SG when I ran across my Genesis for a silly price so I bought it instead of an SG.
    Well.. I still want an SG. So I pose the question.. Which SG? It'll have to be and Epiphone. I see the Special for $179 at the big box stores, and some slightly more expensive ones as well. Is the Special a decent buy for the money or should I stretch the budget a bit? GC is right down the street from me. I drive by Sweetwater every day so I stopped in and played the Special for a bit. Great sustain, played good but it was a demo. I didn't pull the trigger. I missed out on the MF sale a few days ago but I could probably get GC or MF to come off their prices a bit. Not so sure about Sweetwater. They are having an Epiphone sale but only on the higher end LPs for the most part.
    Opinions please!
     
  2. Cheshiergrin

    Cheshiergrin Tele-Holic

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    I think the G-400 model has better hardware and pickups than the basic models that makes a big difference. I have a bit SG gas myself, but I will probably buy used, I have seen used Gibson SG specials on CL for as low as 450-475$ Just waiting for the right one.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Cheshiergrin

    Cheshiergrin Tele-Holic

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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .
    A friend's daughter wanted an SG for gigging so I was looking on Craigslist for quite a while, got her set up, but then because I had learned this particular market I bought a few for myself (Need to clear out the fleet!). Anyway, here are the suggestions for buying used, and I'd recommend used over new because there are a lot out there:

    SG-400 is a set neck, 4-pots, ~2013/2014 they upgraded the pickups and they are really nice sounding. 2015 I believe they added push/pull pots for coil splitting (I don't have this model). I typically see them in the $175-$300 range used, frequently right around $250, at the lower end they don't last long. I prefer the Korean built but the others are fine for playability. Some China built have printed/simulated wood grain, which is only a resale issue, not anything on the tone. These are made in several factories.

    SG-310 is bolt on but otherwise similar to 400 with 4-pots, discontinued a few years ago, not many around. They have the full batwing pickguard like a regular Gibson SG. They play nice but resale with bolt-on is more challenging. $75-$150

    SG-Special, has two pots and slightly narrower neck. Bolt-on. $50-$100. Could benefit from a fret level or they can be really fine. I only have the LP Specials and they range from solid to multi-piece to laminated bodies. Generally all sound good, can sound great after minor tweaking (pots and caps). I have a LP Junior that I swapped the pickup and it's in my constant player rotation. Ok tuners. A lot of fun value here if you get one of these. I had an SG Junior for a little while that I modded by adding two new pickups, that one sold quick.

    SG-GibsonBaldwin, is similar to SG-Special but for students. <$50. These will probably need a fret level or you could get lucky. One I had for a while had full neck binding like a regular Gibson. Bolt on. Poor tuners. If you want a project guitar these can be great finds because of the low price.

    Any you get, change the tone capacitor(s) to 300uF (voltage rating doesn't matter), whenever I came across a model that sounded great, I'd open the back and find a 300uF cap (mostly found this in the Korean built ones). Putting this cap in the other region built guitars improves them a lot.

    Good luck!
     
  5. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Afflicted

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    I got a G-400 LE in white with the '66 style batwing pickguard for my son last fall. I promised him something special when he made Eagle Scout, and I knew he wanted an SG as the guitarist in his band has a cherry G-400 and he was always talking about it.

    Musicians' Friend was having a sale, $279 brand new. I did a basic setup, and he pretty much hasn't put it down since.

    The pickups sound good through his small rig, and it plays pretty nice. Fit and finish are good, of course it's poly and a solid finish so I have no idea what it looks like underneath. I remember it sustained well though. I'd take it to my luthier for a full setup, but my son won't let it go long enough!
     
  6. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I pickup up the Epi G400 Worn Cherry ( the current model) at a Guitar Center for about 170 bucks.

    Very nice guitar, neck and frets are nice. Plays great.

    Good platform as you can always put whatever pickups you want in it, and I doubt anyone would know the difference to a Gibson........tone wise.
     
  7. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    No doubt it would be the G400 of i were gonna get an Epi. I've had a few, and they're light years ahead of the 310 and Special in quality. Check around on Reverb as well. A lot of good deals out there to be found.
     
  8. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

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    I also agree. Get a used SG400. I still reach for mine more than my Gibson SG.
     
  9. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm with the others- an Epiphone SG 400 all Mahogany and they generally sound great but you may want to add better pups when you can afford it. JMHO
     
  10. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Tele-Holic

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    I have a really nice 66 limited edition g400 pro that I'm considering letting go. Cherry red, lightly used, especially since the Casino Coupe showed up...

    PM me if that sounds of interest.
     
  11. mattyboy

    mattyboy Tele-Meister

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    I have a G400 Pro that I bought from Sweetwater a couple years ago. Great guitar.
    Feels & plays great! I think I bought it for around $325.
     
  12. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Epiphone is really putting out some nice stuff lately. I am not an SG guy, but my Epi ES339 is amazing.

    Good luck on your quest. There is nothing like the anticipation of getting a guitar!
     
  13. Dirtybluegene

    Dirtybluegene Tele-Holic

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    The G400 Pro would be the best option I reckon. The pickups are supposed to be really great and most people don't end up replacing them, compared to the regular G400.
     
  14. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    You might search a little bit and find an SGJ for the same money. One sold a couple days ago with a hard case for $400. They're awesome.
     
  15. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know what your finances are, but my advice is buy the best Epi SG you can afford. If that is the 400 then do it. I would also suggest looking out for those Sweetwater demo-sales. I bought a Jazzmaster demo last year that was sold as being scratched $215 saved and only a few light scratches seen. Those savings can go in your pocket because Sweetwater does a nice setup, or go to strings, cables or whatever.

    As always buying used is best. If you can find a guitar for half price that's a good deal in any book.
     
  16. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can also probably score a Gibson SG Jr for not much more than one of the top end Epi's. I had one of the G400's for a few months and the neck was rubber. Moved it on fast. I know others have had luck with those, but I'd definitely play a bunch and find the one that feels right.
     
  17. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    I don't want to be that guy but...


    I just lucked into a NOS 2014 Gibson SGJ at my Sam Ash store. Dead mint, not a scratch, just a bit of dust. And it is one of the good ones. Was only $399.

    I actually sold my last Epi 65 with maestro for more than that...

    But if budget won't stretch, the recent Epi 65 and 66 versions are both solid and often can be had used for well under $300.
     
  18. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are some great off brands for super cheap out there. I've owned the g400 & couldn't offload it fast enough. Neck & body was razor thin. Looked great with good import hardware.

    I recently picked up an Austin brand (back when it was still St Louis Music owned) for cheap. I mean real cheap. The idea was to upgrade anything. I haven't touched a thing on it. The tuners are solid, pickups sound great through my Micro Terror, body & neck are fat. I'm still baffled by it. Complete under the radar guitar.

    image from ESG forum/psychobilly
    [​IMG]

    Same week I found a "Wenson"? branded SG with more authentic shape. Same thing. It's my bling SG, with neck & headstock binding. Unreal scores that week.

    Don't overlook the Guilds either. I see one on ebay/Reverb now.
     
  19. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

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    I should have mentioned Austin. I owned one for a while, $200 brand new and it was fine. I had no complaints. I just scored a couple of really sweet Gibsons so I sent that one to a charity. Keep your eyes open, the deals are out there.
     
  20. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I was playing this at rehearsal just last night (SG400 purchased used for I believe right around $200)
    [​IMG]
    Plays great, sounds as full as you'd want it to, just awesome. Stays in tune like a champ. If it has a fault, it's neckdive. Other than that, AWESOME guitar
     
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