I’m a guitarist and bassist with over 35 years of experience as a musician. But, while they aren’t as hefty in price as a Les Paul, a new Gibson SG Standard will still run you a pretty penny. Of course they are worth it: Gibson guitars are among the best in the world. But if you don’t want to drop all that cash on a new guitar, you might want to check out the Gibson SG Special. The Gibson SG first appeared as a replacement for the legendary Gibson Gibson sg standard Paul. While the Les Paul wouldn’t be easily unseated as heavyweight champion of the guitar world, the SG carved out its own niche in rock history. Today, both guitars coexist side by side in Gibson’s lineup, and both are great choices for guitarists looking for that thick rock sound.
The SG Special delivers on the Gibson SG tradition, while coming in at a reasonable price. You can grab some real Gibson tone and vibe without busting up your wallet. If you want an SG but you’re finding you can’t justify springing for the Standard model, this could be the guitar for you. But you probably have a few concerns about how the SG Special stacks up against the Standard, and this article can help you out. Is the price cut worth it?
Will a new Gibson SG make you better looking? Yes, but only when you’re holding the guitar. We’ll explore these questions and others in greater depth. The Gibson SG Special TMahogany is where it’s at with this guitar, specifically for the neck and body. Mahogany is the tonewood that accounts for the thick, legendary tone and resonance in both the Gibson Les Paul and SG, and it has not been forgotten in the Special. So, far that’s one big check in the plus column for the SG Special T. The SG Special sees some nice upgrades for 2017. The Gibson classic 490T and 490R pickup set is back, having replaced the ’61 Zebra pickups on models from a few years back.
Rs are quality pickups that will deliver classic Gibson SG sound with a touch of bite and aggression. I’d count this as another check in the plus column, and the chrome covers look much nicer than the open coils. The fingerboard is made of thicker rosewood. Previous models featured a granadillio fretboard, a newish tonewood Gibson has been experimenting with. Of course the preferred option here is rosewood, so it’s nice to see. The standard two volume controls, two tone controls and three-way pickup selector switch rounds out the electronics setup, and the bridge is a Tune-o-Matic. Mahogany body and neck, Gibson humbucking pickups, Tune-o-Matic Bridge, standard SG design and appointments.
Gibson SG Special, standard SG design and appointments. I’d count this as another check in the plus column, much of the difference here is cosmetic as well. Legendary tone and resonance in both the Gibson Les Paul and SG, but for for the extra cash why wouldn’t you go for the SG Standard? If you really need to stick to a budget – the Gibson SG Faded TThe Gibson faded models have gone in and out of the lineup for decades. It makes sense to consider the Studio, but instead of the mahogany neck Gibson has chosen maple.
Gibson cut some minor corners on this guitar, but it sure looks like it’s worthy of the SG name. So what’s the difference between this guitar and the Standard? The Gibson SG Standard TThe SG Special is a great guitar, and you can save a few bucks compared to the SG Standard. So where are those compromises coming from? The SG Standard has a pretty, bound fingerboard made from rosewood, complete with classic Gibson trapezoid inlays and with a somewhat thicker design. By comparison, the Special has smaller inlays, and more of a vintage look. This is a cosmetic difference for the most part. Both guitars have slim-taper necks with identical measurements.
The Standard’s pickups are chrome-covered Gibson ’57 Classics. R combination, some feel the ’57 Classics offer better clarity and definition, and a little more warmth. 57s offer a better voice for the SG Standard. Generally speaking, from the woods used to the hardware, the Standard features better quality pieces. How much does this influence the sound of the guitar? While the average guitarist may not know or care what grade mahogany their SG body is made from, we tone geeks make note of these things. You’ve got chrome tuners instead of the vintage keystone tuners found on the Special.