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Having recently posted a glowing review of my Squier Stratocaster, I thought it would be a good idea to review my other guitar. One I'm not so happy with. This is less to do with a lack of product quality and more to do with the type of Guitar player I am.
When you get into playing Guitar, you'll want more than one. Ideally you will want a Guitar that's fairly different from the one you already have, or you want a similar but much higher quality instrument. At the time, I decided to go down the fairly different route.
Already having been impressed by Fender's entry level brand, Squier, I decided to opt for Epiphone. Gibson's entry level brand. The guitar still cost more than my Strat, but the reviews looked good, the fingerboard felt comfortable in the shop and the pickups certainly had a great deal of grunt in them. Oh, and it looked like the dog's ah - teeth.
The Epiphone G400 is the only Gibson authorised copy of the SG. A guitar that will be familiar to many. Angus Young uses one. Eric Clapton used one in cream before opting for the Stratocaster. The Edge uses one. Tommi Iommi of Black Sabbath. Even Santana's picked one up from time to time.
So where did it all go wrong?
Gibson guitars tend to have a shorter scale length than I'm used to. This is how long the neck is. The result is a tiny bit less room between the frets, the metal strips running across the top of the neck next to where you place your fingers.
Their necks also flatter and wider than the Strat. All great news for stretching your fingers across multiple frets, which helps with the opening riff to Gold on the ceiling by the Black Keys or Message in a bottle by The Police. General navigation is just that bit quicker. String bending is a breeze, thanks in part to the stop-tail bridge.
But all this comes at a price. When forming barre chords from the 8th fret upwards, my fingers are crowded. Positioning becomes awkward. Sounds can be dulled and muted. Why? Mainly because I have fairly large hands. They're not oven mitts, but they're not delicate little things either. A guitarist with smaller hands may well find a Stratocaster or Telecaster scale too wide and awkward to navigate.
There are other things that are more subjective. The shorter scale length plus the lack of a strung-through body means that the instrument feels less alive for me. The Guitar is also very light, so it doesn't sit as well against my body. The front strap button is actually on the back of the Guitar, something else that some players might find an adjustment too far.
Buzzy, buzz buzz
Lastly, there is some fret buzz on the low E (that's the top string) around the fourth fret (that's about a handspan in from the headstock). Fret buzz is when a string is plucked open or with finger pressed down and the string vibrates harshly against the fret. I've performed all the adjustments that should remove the buzz, but it remains.
It's entirely possible that spending £25 on a setup by a Luthier will resolve it, but many Gibson enthusiasts are of the opinion that this is a design flaw. In any case, when playing through an amp, you can't hear the buzz through the amp. Anyone more than 5 feet away won't hear it on the guitar either, but it still irritates me.
Hey, Mr Bright side
So, what's good? The Guitar looks amazing in cherry red. The trapezoid inlays on the dark rosewood neck make it look far more expensive than it is (£219). The two humbucking pickups are very powerful, yet have their own character. The neck pickup is sweeter, with more warmth. The bridge pickup feels like the volume switch should go up to 11.
There is a "pro" version out for £40 more than the £219 I paid for this. It gives the option to "split" the coils of the Humbuckers to give a greater range of available tones.
The sustain of the mahogany body is great. Held notes seem to last forever. The control knobs are of a high quality. For a Guitarist who loves the shorter scale, but finds the weight of a traditional Les Paul crippling, this is a no-brainer.
Can I play this guitar? Sure. I can. I even find some things easier on this. But it just doesn't feel like part of me when I'm playing it. The Strat does. I will be selling this Guitar to help fund my Fender modern player Telecaster plus (the one in my member picture).
It's not a Strat, but it does have a similar weight and heft, the same scale length and neck radius and a strung-through body. I know what kind of player I am, and that feels like a milestone to me.
I am a complete beginner and do not know much about guitars, but I felt I need to try and review this guitar as I love it so much. I have always loved the SG, ever since I saw Kelly Jones from the stereophonics on TV when I was younger. Then after having learnt the basics of guitar on my dads old stratocaster, I decided to buy my own guitar, and this is the one I went for.
When I first opened my G-400, I could not believe how much smaller it was to the strat, and so much lighter. The guitar looks so much more stunning when you have just opened it too. The deep cherry red is a gorgeous colour and goes so well with the rosewood fret board.
The guitar sits very easily on your lap and puts it in an incredibly comfortable position to play in. The sound that this guitar is truly beautiful for the price, I may only be a beginner but I could tell there was a massive difference between this guitar and my dads old strat, this was miles better.
The guitar has 4 control knobs on it, each one changes the tone and volume of each pickup, it also has a switch which switches between either pickup and both to get that perfect sound that this guitar can promise you.
There are one or 2 bad points with this guitar though. The neck is a lot heavier than the body so when standing up and you stop holding the neck the guitar tilts to the floor, which gets really annoying. Though this could just be the earlier models because a friend of mine recently bought one and his does not do this. Also the way the lead plugs into the face of the guitar is a little annoying, but adds to the overall charm of the guitar and makes me love it even more.
After my disaster with my terrible epiphone les paul special 2 some said i was crazy to go for another epiphhone .. but i was young and crazy and it looked nice and it was red and i got it in a half price sale ...
But the SG proved them and the voice in my head wrong and hads definatly chaged my opinion of Epiphones.
i had the red version of this guitar and it looks great pretty much identical to the Gibson version it has lovley fret inlays which top of the authentic image.My partner now owns this guitar and it looks even better on her than it does on me :-)
the action on the guitar is amazing for the price, it is probably up there in the best i have ever played.Its has a fixed bridge which i have found getting the intonation spot on to be difficult with. the sound is great it has a volume and a tone knob per pick up which is great and an uncomplicated switch between the labeled as rythm or lead. the only problem i have found on this guitar is the balance seems to be slightly out on the strap connectors and it has a tendance to nose dive if you reach for a beer. also i am not fond of the cable input being on the top of the body.
I would recommed this guitar to anybody it is probably the best balance of looks and playability for the price you are going to find (i got mine for £!20/00 but they seem to retail at £200 - £250.00) and is great for any skill level
SG's had never really appealed to me before I bought mine.
First things first, I have to say, do not be fooled the price tag,
It may be cheap, but it's definetely one hell of a good axe.
I thought that buying this SG was going to be a step down from my other guitars (an ESP and a Gibson Explorer) sound wise and the general stuff you look for in a guitar.
I've been proven wrong.
I bought it basically to save myself the hassle of having to take my VERY expensive ESP about, especially as I was playing with my band at some very dodgy venues.
I've now had it for around 10 months, and it has served me fantastically.
The neck is just right, smooth, with very easy fret access (22 frets) as more or less any SG is bound to have.
The pickup quality was better than I expected, with great tone differiention with each selection (Bridge, Brigde and Neck and Neck).
The quality of the wood aswell is by far (I'm ashamed to say this) better than my ESP, it has taken a lot of minor bumps, and scratches, and none of the marks are recognisable.
Aswell as being easy on the eye, it's also very easy on the ears.
Aslong as your going through a fairly decent amp setup, then this axe will sing like an angel.
The weight is nice and light, though not because its cheap wood (which it isn't), but because SG's are fairly slim guitars as it is, compared to something like a Les Paul, which is chunky, aswell as weighty, this SG really is a breath of fresh air, wether your rocking out at Download, or playing it in your room it defintely proves that it is more than a bargain.....
It's a fecking bargain!