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The SG probably one of the coolest looking guitars there is, and a design that is over 50 years old (this was called the Les Paul when first released). This is the faded model, so the pain is matt rather than a high gloss, but in my opinion it looks better, and the result is it's cheap so is excellent.
I paid £550 for mine in a faded cherry red, it was an absolute bargain. What we have here is a typical Gibson affair in terms of materials. Mahogany body, with a rosewood fingerboard, standard hardware in terms of a tun o matic bridge and some nice P90 pickups in mine.
The build quality on mine was excellent, nice smooth flat finish, well finished frets and a nice medium to low action out of the box that really suits the guitar, with the medium frets and shorter scale neck this guitar makes bending the notes really easy.
The sound, ah the sound of P90s with a slight hint of drive through a valve amp, there is nothing that says blues rock like that sound, but this guitar does everything from nice cleans, to just breaking up rock to an all out distorted rock sound.
Is this the best value for money SG out there, no, it's the best value for money Gibson full stop.
I purchased a wine red Gibson SG Special for £500 about 4 years ago. However the price now seems to be ranging from around £600 to £800 at most online dealers. Therefore it is certainly not an ideal guitar for beginners, make sure you will stick at playing before buying one!
The main body of the guitar (the wide end that you strum) is made from solid Mahogony, as is the neck (the thin part that you play the notes). The fingerboard where you place your fingers to play the notes, is made from Rosewood attached to the Mahogony neck. These materials used to build the guitar are very high quality, as reflected in the price, and have a great look and feel. Despite the solid Mahogony body the guitar itself is surprisingly light in weight compared to other Gibson guitars such as the Les Paul model, making it a very comfortable guitar to hold for long periods of time.
The guitar has 22 frets (individual playable sections) on the Rosewood fingerboard. It has a clearly marked 3 position switch to select which pickups are used to pick up the sound, allowing you to have more of a treble sound, a rhythm sound or a neutral sound. It also has 2 volume controls and 2 tone controls so you can set up the tone and volume for both the treble pickup position and the rhythm pickup position seperately. Each control is numbered 0 - 10 for ease of use.
Quality of Sound
The quality of sound of an electric guitar often largely depends on the type of amplifier used, however I have played this guitar through a range of amplifiers from stage quality to one the size of a cigarette box and it has always had a clean, concise sound. It sounds great played clean, and also sounds great when using distortion for a heavier rock sound.
As the body of the guitar is cutaway at the top and the bottom, it is easier to reach the highest notes on the fingerboard. The neck is shaped like a C so it is comfortable for your thumb and fingers whilst playing. A slight downside for really high speed metal style guitarists would be that the varnish on the neck could be a bit sticky when trying to play 1000 notes a second! However for the majority of guitarists this would cause no problems whatsoever.
Overall I couldn't be happier with this guitar, I have been playing it nearly every day for about 4 years and the reliability of it has been fantastic. It suits my guitaring needs perfectly and my mates are quite jealous of it which is always a bonus! I would recommend it to anybody that is sure they will stick to playing guitar and will get fantastic value for money as I have.
I recently purchased an sg special, and it is the best guitar i have owned yet, it has the craftmenship of every other gibson, excently built, the weighting is good (and you dont get a dead leg like with les pauls!!!) when on strap the head end does seem a bit heavy and the guitar slightly tilts but other than that its fine. the contours of the body make it easy to play on your fore arm. The action and intination on purchase were perefct didnt need altering at all. AS for sound, played acousticly it has a large sustain time, quite unexpectadly due to the body thickness, it has a mid boost, which is very good for heaveir stuff when pluged in. Once pluged in it is a beast due to the stripped down 390 pick ups and lack of binding on the neck and small inlays it gives u a real attack perfect for ne thing with meat!!!! you can also get a realy lovey jazz sound if you use the neck pick up with a little tube crunch. The only quible is that it lacks detail in the playabilty, which could b a bonus if your a messy player as it will just clear up all your mistakes!!