Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar

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Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar

Gibson SG Special EB electric guitar - mahogany body and neck, 490R and 490T humbucker pickups, includes gig bag. Colour: Ebony.

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Review of "Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar"

published 02/05/2009 | blankfrank
Member since : 20/11/2005
Reviews : 45
Members who trust : 3
About me :
Excellent
Pro Plays well, feels great, sounds fantastic!
Cons Not cheap, could do with hard case supplying with it.
very helpful
Quality of sound
How easy is it to buy accessories?
Value for money
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How well constructed is it?

"SG - Special Guitar, Stunningly Good!"

Yes, yes I know, yet another geetar review. But a man has to have a hobby and sheep farmers keep a watchful eye on their livestock these days. Anyone want to buy a pair of second hand wellies?

Seriously, I've been after a USA built Gibson for some time now and decided to go for the SG Special in faded worn brown. This is the entry level for the legendary model (£645 in this case, though still expensive). Buying guitars online can save a LOT of money but it something of a lottery as you can get a real lemon sometimes. But as we'll see, I hit lucky this time.

This parcel arrived at my door and I eagerly opened it to reveal..... well, a real beauty! The faded worn brown of the body and neck wasn't so much worn or faded but rather minimal, unlike some of the over laquered models on offer., to the point where you can still slightly feel the wood grain. At best, I'd say it has only two coats of nitrocellulose, but thats fine by me.
Of course, this model is a good solid, set-neck type, as per standard. The hardwear was in nickel, with a black & white ply scratchplate and the four controls (one volume and one tone for each pickup) were also in black. The tuners are standard Gibson tuners in a light pale green. There is no logo on the headstock other than 'Gibson', nothing that says SG and the truss rod cover is the standard unlettered Gibson bell shape. And of course, the pickup switch is the usual Gibson three-way jobbie, to have either pickup on or both on together.

The body is slim and even though the body and neck are made from mahogony, it feels much lighter than my chunky Epi Les Paul. Add to this the clasic bevelled edges and the slightly asymmetric double cutaway of the body that prduces the 'batwinged' appearance of the two horns that go to make the classic SG body and you have a guitar that looks more 'feminine' but tough at the same time.

What did it sound like? I plugged it into my amp, switched to clean and picked up the guitar. The first thing that struck me was how well it sat, how good it felt in my hands, The slim C shaped neck feels good in my left hand and the body feels good to cradle. The action on this particular model is set low, which is just right for me but may not be for you. On playing a simple cord, I really was astounded at how good it sounded, both pickups, seperately or together. Chrystal clear tops and mids with meaty bass sounds on both pups, though as is often the case, the neck pup was slightly muddier than the bridge one, but nothing bad. Switching a little distortion in and playing a simple lead line via the bridge pup just really made this piece baby sing. A real joy to play. Though I must admit that I believe much of the excellent tone on my guitar is down to the fact that the body appears to be one solid piece of wood, rather than the usual 2 or 3 normally found on these models. Top marks all round to Gibson!

Playing this just made me realise the gulf between top makers like Gibson and the lesser known manufacturers (brilliant though many are). Bad bits? Hmm. None as such, though the finishing was a little patchy around one of the horns, though that was hard to spot. And I'm not a fan of open humbucker coils, which these 490 ones are. A padded gig bag was also supplied but really you need a hard case for a guitar this precious.

Anyroad up, I love this fancy and well built piece of wood and can see me keeping it for a loooong time indeed. Well worth looking around for, though the only other colour available at this price is in Worn Faded Cherry.

Here's a little tip though: don't do what I did whilst playing this and indulge in a little Pete Townshend style arm-windmilling. I am now looking for a new living room light fitting...

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Comments on this review

  • retireduser published 13/06/2009
    Nicely reviewed. ^_^
  • morticiaaddams published 02/05/2009
    Awesome review, very interesting!
  • jesperado77 published 02/05/2009
    Great review x
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Product Information : Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar

Manufacturer's product description

Gibson SG Special EB electric guitar - mahogany body and neck, 490R and 490T humbucker pickups, includes gig bag. Colour: Ebony.

Product Details

Long Name: SG Special Electric Guitar, SG Special HC, SG Special EB, SG Special Heritage Cherry Electric Guitar

Type: Electric Guitar

Manufacturer: Gibson

EAN: 711106002705

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Listed on Ciao since: 16/02/2003