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06sg

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  1. Cody, we're not talking about musicianship, or the inability to play an instrument because one feels better than the other. I'm saying they're not consistent. They want my money, and other people's money, myself and others should have some say in what kind of instruments we're willing to pay for. Can you imagine a salesperson from Gibson, or from Marketing saying "well, you should try another brand". I was merely trying to suggest that whoever at Gibson, who oversees quality control, should maybe take a look at how the Firebird's play, feel, sound, in comparison to the SG line. Such a thin body could use a better neck profile, heel design, I'm not alone on this one, trust me. They inflate prices on certain models that aren't any different from what they've released in the past. I've played more than a handful of LP Traditional's and they are not created equal. And that those prices, you should know exactly what you're getting.
  2. Oh for ****'s sake. I shouldn't have even posted. I wasn't really looking for commentary from players. I don't know how you can say that, heel joint, construction of these guitars doesn't affect the playability? It absolutely does, not how well you play, it doesn't make unplayable. But it matters. I won't justify it, or try to explain any of it. They do make SOME fine guitars, but not as a consistent general rule. I've spoken with a few techs, local guys where I live, and they ALL reiterate the same thing, there's just too much variation in quality, neck angles, etc. They're all over the place. A less dense, less well coupled neck absolutely affects how an instrument responds. Just like some of the comments to my first post last year, you guys are so fixated on this notion that any deviation from what an SG "HAS BEEN" in the past, renders it "Not an SG". — That's absurd. You need to try a Dean Z Time Capsule to know what I'm talking about. You should also try out that Firebird I mentioned. That coupling of neck to body, because it's a through body design, allows the instrument to resonate immediately, there's no latency from string energy to body, it just feels better. I don't want to try and justify technical things, turning this into a debate. I'm simply saying, they're not consistent, and they don't offer anything new that makes them play or sound better. They're simply re-introducing the same design, with some cosmetic changes. That shape, will always be associated with an SG, regardless of construction methods. — And Paul G — What the **** are you talking about??? — I don't think you have a clue.
  3. Here goes nothing. I own a used 2006 SG Standard. Has quite a beefier neck than other SG's I've tried. It's heavier, feels more dense than the newer ones, and has a real rosewood fretboard as opposed to the newer bakelite, or whatever it's called. I happened to get lucky with this particular SG. Because of it's weight, neck shape, it feels a bit more focused than other SG's. It expresses well, but I've always felt that ALL SG's have a weak neck/heel design. I've griped here once before, more of a rant actually, about why Gibson spends so much time on marketing new colors, finishes of their guitars etc. Things like adding a 3rd pickup to the SG Supra were just totally unnecessary to me, and yet somehow they completely ignored other more important factors like a straighter neck through body design, which is available on the Firebird models. — Yet I don't like the look or feel of the Firebird. They're not substantial enough, I might as well hold out for a used Dean Z. But, I LOVE the contour and shape of the SG. It's very comfortable to play, not because of the weight, because of the balance of weight distribution. It could weigh 10 pounds for all I care, and it would still be comfortable to play. I really wish someone at Gibson would respond to this — without a scripted and safe marketing answer. The fact is, the newer models over the past few years are so consistently inconsistent, that I'd NEVER buy a new one — ever. I sought out a used model, with the idea that it would somehow feel better, be more dense etc, by hunch or accident, it happened to be more in line with what I expected - luck. Still, I had a to address a few issues with the guitar - a much improved bridge, better nut, locking tuners, a proper setup, 500K pots, and a Burstbucker 3 bridge pickup, guitar wired in a vintage scheme. It plays considerably better than it did stock. So, the extras I put into a used 850.00 dollar SG, that all total come to about 1200.00 make it far more playable and expressive than anything new off the shelf. My gripe is this... Whoever at Gibson, in marketing, at the executive level etc, whoever you are, aren't addressing the core issues regarding the PLAYABILITY and sonic expression of these instruments. I hate to flog a dead horse, but in my last post I commented several times about a 2003 Dean USA Z Time capsule, that would rival any new Gibson SG or LP on the market. Dean Zelinsky knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he built these guitars. Their consistency, feel, fretwork, neck angles, neck joint, sonic expression are an absolute marvel of craftsmanship. The Dean USA Z Time Capsules are very much like a fantastic Les Paul but better in many ways which I don't need to go into or justify. If you ever get your hands on one to play, you'll know exactly what I mean the moment you play it. I love my SG, it is the right guitar for me, and basically gives me what I want from it, but it could definitely be improved in a number of ways. Last week, I played a new Gibson Firebird, this model in a black finish to be exact: Gibson 2014 Firebird To my surprise, it was listed at about $1600.00, and it played not unlike the Dean TCZ. It didn't have the same explosive response — acoustically, it resonated a little slower. But it came very close; close enough that my friend who owns the prized 2003 TCZ (which weighs in at a whopping 9.55 pounds) was as impressed as I was. Then it dawned on me... LIKE the TCZ, it has a very straight neck, a similar body shape, no maple cap, far less weight, but the Firebird has a neck through design, which allows it to behave enough like the TCZ with a set neck, that they're similar, but not quite. The realization was, why the hell doesn't Gibson offer an SG with a much straighter neck, and a through body design - LIKE the firebird's design, but in an SG form factor? Hasn't this occurred to anyone at Gibson? Guitars with straight dense necks, with great heel joints feel better, they just do. They express energy from the strings much faster, they have a more percussive feel, snappier, better mid expression etc. Dean USA TCZ HEEL see how seamless that neck joint is? Friend's 2003 TCZ HEEL - absolutely seamless, as if it's one piece. The USA TCZ's, ML's and V's also showcase another unique feature, a V shaped contour on the back of the neck as opposed to the traditional C or rounded profile found on many other guitars. It's so comfortable to play, adds a mid focus to the guitar, and an immediate kind of resonance that in conjunction with the heel, deliver a very solid percussive attack to the strings, open and fretted. The detail, crispness and clarity in the strings is astounding. Look at the TCZ's neck angle And these guitars also feature rolled binding, no sharp edges on the binding around the neck. Long story short, I really wish Gibson would create an SG that has these features. If you can create a Firebird with a very straight neck through design, why does it elude the SG line of guitars? A thin guitar could use more neck reinforcement, and the only way to do it is to run the neck deeper into the body, or make the overall design thicker. Despite this, the Dean Z is only marginally thicker. Yes, it has more wood overall, the big fin, that maple cap adds some thickness etc. So to recap, an SG like the SUPRA, maple cap over mahogany 2 pickups Input jack on side, not on the front 500K pots, wired in vintage scheme Rolled neck binding V neck profile. And not custom shop either. I wonder if these kinds of discussions go around Gibson company between R&D and marketing? Are they aware of this stuff at all?
  4. Capmaster, man, you really know your stuff. I only understand bits and pieces of what you're saying - only because my friends call me the idiot savant. I can feel, listen, touch my way to a tone, on a guitar/amp by dialing things in or out by ear — I mean, that's what it's all about anyway right? — Using our ears. But I can't understand how to always get there. I think a lot of guys on forums, whether it's here, or My Les Paul, may not care, or even be interested in why this aluminum TP or that steel TP would affect the tone. I still don't quite understand why, I only understand what I can hear. My friends thought I was nuts when I started talking about all this speed of vibration transfer, fundamentals and harmonics, but the evidence is very clear. My "stock" SG felt like the strings were made of rubber or something other than metal strings. The bone nut, and the Faber bridge magically transformed that guitar into a very ballsy, punchy, midrange rock machine. Despite my whining and griping, I really do love this SG, and I'll never sell it. I'd love to understand more of what you're talking about. I always assumed, that a steel tailpiece, like a Callaham would give me more sustain, that the mass of steel, provided the tailpiece was screwed all the way down On my own SG, the TP is all the way down - completely, and I run the strings through the front holes of the TP, out the back, and over the TP again, over the saddles. It's not uncommon for LP players to do that too. I found that it kind of anchored everything a bit better, and I did notice a better kind of snap, or sustain after this was done, maybe a more uniform feel in the strings? Not sure. The only similar feeling I can explain I get with the SG now, is once I played a Les Paul Studio. It was older, didn't seem weight relieved, seemed very heavy. It had a very low action, similar to mine, just enough relief above rattle, and light strings, probably 9's. I can attest to the extra weight in the rear end attributing to this feel I experienced. It was like the feeling you get when you hit a baseball with a fat bat – DEAD center. That kind of PUCK sound, like you hit everything dead on, dead center. Only here we're talking string energy. I noticed that when picking over the bridge pickup, or just slightly in front of it, (you get that AWWW or TONG kind of tone from that place on the string) the same way I get it on my SG now, but on the LP Studio, it came MUCH more easily. Just a bit of weight behind the pick yielded this awesome PEEE—OWNWG sound in the strings - almost like a natural acoustic overdrive. I'm sure this is very similar to what you could expect on a TRAD with a similar setup, similar strings. I REALLY love that feel on a meaty guitar, and that through a Marshall, even at moderate volume, a hint of gain, just past clipping, is so....WOW! It's very likely that despite the heavy A** end, I'll end up with a used TRAD, full weight, which means a used 2013 model. I'll still love the SG, and I really only want 1 other guitar to have. It only makes sense that it should be a LP TRAD. There's just something about that neck, that weight, with a BB3 in the bridge, it has a meaty, midrangey honk that just blows my mind. Though I feel a bit stupid even considering making a purchase like that, I'm a hack, and don't feel like I deserve, or can justify an instrument of that caliber just to pound out chords and rock n' roll riffs. But it sure does feel good to do it! I got my used SG at a steal - a few nicks and dings, but I knew a few hundred dollars of the right upgrades would improve it drastically. It made much more sense than buying a brand new guitar, that I simply couldn't justify buying, given my limited playing ability. Like the guy who buys a Mazzerati, but has to live with his mom and keep 3 jobs, just to pay the insurance. HA. I have to say for Gibson, since installing this zebra BB3 in the bridge of the SG the other day, I keep running downstairs to plug in about every 2 hours or so, I can't put it down! I LOVE this pickup. I really dig that, big time. So, if I get my hands on a TRAD, and install say a Faber aluminum TP, I'll get a similar response because of the lighter aluminum? And what would be the effect of having say a steel TP, very rigid, dense, hard, screwed all the way down? — Very interesting stuff. Inertia is the word I often use to describe the FEEL of the Dean Z TC, compared to my SG. That oversized headstock, nut width in ratio to it, and the V countour on the back of the neck, an exceptionally well designed heel, and all that mass in the rear end etc, is similar to the LP STUDIO experience I had, but on steroids, and more of it. His Dean behaves acoustically like a tight snare drum. Play an open A chord, and it's like playing the same thing on my SG, but underneath the chord and that honk is a kind of "PUNK" tone, like hitting a tight snare drum in the center of the head, with the snares off. It's a loud guitar (acoustically speaking), and really spanks, some would call it bright, but it sounds amazing. It's as if the body wood itself, is tuned to a given resonant peak, not unlike a pickup. It's truly an amazing guitar. I find with my friend's Z TC, you can pick much more lightly, and get more energy return out of the strings, I fret more lightly with my fingers (maybe the jumbo frets?) it just responds by giving you much more than what you put into it. HYPER dynamic and responsive is how I would describe his Z. We always joke, "that Z plays itself". This you tube video (and I know it's you tube) but this German guy produces the best demos of guitars, amps etc I've ever seen/heard. Better than the vendors themselves, like Marshall etc. If you give this a quick listen - unless you want to invest the full 13 minutes, fast fwd and just listen to this part: From 6:40 on the timeline, to 6:55. Hear those punchy, whappy midrange chords? I can get that with the SG, only with a less body, sounds more upper mid and less focused on mine. Imagine that vibe now, but significantly beefier, on the Z TC, (it has a DiMarzio super distortion) in the bridge. It's tighter, more focused than that, immediate, with very little "give" - almost too much. But I think the Z with a BB3, or something similar, an A2 mag in a PAF would be fantastic. — Just took a look at one of those TP-6's. That is some serious hardware. Capmaster, what's the added benefit of having that? I've never even seen one. That's a great question, and I have no idea about his gear. Unless you already know, and you probably do, this guy: Solo Dallas is a master of all things AC/DC, a true scientist of tone, and a MONSTER player. Just for fun, here's the 2006 SG, a month after purchase: original everything, except the bridge pickup - a DiMarzio DP100, which replaced the 498T 2006 SG Standard Before Upgrades. SG now after upgrades: SG BODY 1 SG BODY 2
  5. I hear you SG 50, sounds like whining. You're entitled to your opinion. I won't go into it all over again, no point. And actually, I LOVE the SG, just not everything about it. I've tried Traditionals, I really like them, particularly the necks and the density in their tone. But, A** end heavy. Heavy is one thing, but it's all in the rear end. I sit when I'm playing (just a hack btw). I think despite the changes I'm suggesting, it would still be an SG. Look at the styling, vibe, etc of the SG Supra. Everyone gets so caught up in the "vintage" thing, as if there's no room for improvement. There are old school guys who rebuild muscle cars, and are ONLY concerned with keeping all the parts stock, and original, because anything that deviates from that doesn't make it all original or as "classic". Those are $30K-$50K or more... classic cars. We're talking modern production guitars here. The only thing that keeps them classic really, is the way they look. I'm pretty sure that if Grover Locking Rotomatics had been available to Jimmy Page in the late 60's, early 70's, and his tech at the time put them on his beloved 59' LP to help tuning stability and faster string changes, I doubt very much that Jimmy Page would have resisted. Certain approaches are better to building guitars than others, same with drums, amps, etc, and there's nothing wrong with keeping the style, look of a given instrument, while improving areas of the design. I call that progress, rather than just maintaining the status quo or filling orders. If it was a true "vintage" SG, then of course I'd understand. But they're current production guitars. I'm not alone here. I know tons of guys who identify with it's classic iconic looks, who've played them, but most of those guys all say the same thing - "they're too light, and too thin". I actually love mine, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be improved in some areas. I just think it makes sense to offer them in a production model (not custom shop) with a fatter neck, and thicker body, that's all. Look at the LP Studios and Standards, none of them are offered with a 59 neck — why not? It's reserved exclusively for the Traditionals. What if someone wanted the full weight of a TRAD, but a 60's slim neck? They're stuck with choosing only a weight relieved standard? That's a crap choice. This industry like many others, often suffers from inflated pricing. I'd love that SG SUPRA, not even in a high grade flame top, give me a plain maple grain top, 2 pickups, a fatter neck, and the guitar jack on the side. I'd be ecstatic with that. Do you really think the Supra's price at about $2374.00 is justifiable because it has 1 extra pickup, a bit more weight, and a AAA Grade maple top? You could get a 2013 LP TRAD for about $2150.00 with considerably more wood, binding and appointments. — It's absurd. The SUPRA, despite it's flamed top, 3 pickups is FAR then from being a typical "SG". But show it to someone who hasn't seen it yet, and they'll say, "yeah, that's an SG".
  6. Excellent point RCT, and yes, I often do overthink things. It could be due to my obsessive compulsive nature — not in the clinical way. But I tend to get really nit picky over things like this. I was expressing some frustration I think, at not being able to get some of the benefits and traits of certain guitars - in another brand - that being a Gibson SG. I get fixated on the neck because it's such a crucial element in the way it shapes a guitar's tone, expressiveness etc. I know that I don't like slim necks. I REALLY dig the LP TRAD necks, they seem to feel the beefiest and pounding out rock n' roll riffs and chords on that guitar is a very satisfying experience. I mean, if necks weren't that important, why would Dean Zelinsky have spent so much time building his first prototypes and subsequent production models with that V neck profile? Or, the Gibson LP TRADS, with that beefy baseball bat like neck. I've found a similar feel and snap (when properly setup) in both of them, and I think a big part of that focus in the tone is because of the neck. It's construction, shape, heel joint etc, can make or break how it feels. I've found that thicker necks, or necks with V's tend to focus the tone, or transfer the energy into the body faster. So without going into it all over again, I'll simply reiterate, that it would be very refreshing for Gibson to offer SG's in another format, than the typical "Standard" or SG 61' reissue neck shape and size. Why not put a 50's neck on an SG with a thicker body? It just seems that most of the SG models don't vary in their physical construction. I really can't say that offering an SG with a slightly thicker body, and beefed up heel with an over-sized headstock would be such a drastic departure from what people are used to. It would simply be a beefier version of the icon everyone knows and loves. Capmaster, I do know exactly what you mean with the strings. In my case, we've AB'd a Dean Z TC, along side my SG, same bridge pickup, identical strings, very similar setup, same pot values, same amp, same settings, same room, same players. — We basically do this stuff for fun, and to learn why this guitar sounds this way or that way. I'm actually glad you replied, because I had no idea that there was an actual term "string compression". NOW, I understand that I'm not nuts. — My tech setup my guitar once, according to Gibson specs, X height from the 12th fret to the wound E, and a bit lower for the plain E, based on a "proper" setup. Of course, that was with 10 guage strings. Over time, I played with the setup, screwing it up, then figuring out on my own what felt the best. As it turns out, I absolutely LOVE that string compression you speak of from 9 guage D'addario's. If I adjust the truss rod to keep the neck as straight as possible, with a hair of relief, and lower the bridge thumbwheels — just slightly above the point of fret rattle - not buzz, but even rattle across all the frets, I get this very springy, even kind of give in the strings. If I hit the strings too hard, I still get all the tone, but some fret kiss off across the frets, I call it rattle, but in a way, it adds a percussive feel to the strings, like WHAAP! Through an over-driven Marshall, if you lay into the A chord with your pick, directly over the bridge pickup, the strings as you say, compresses, or go just slightly sharp, then returns to normal pitch. The sound is basically this if you word it out loud: PEEE-OWWNG! It's a glorious sound, basically the same PEEE-OWWNG tone that Angus gets when the A chord is played in the intro riff on Shoot To Thrill. With thicker strings, it doesn't respond the same way. If the string feel/action is too firm, then you don't get that WOWWW of the string. But there's a point where it really sings, and I've found that point on my SG. That same expression on a LP TRAD, setup the same way, is THE S*IT. Even with the bridge upgrade, bone nut, pots, this fantastic BB3 bridge pickup (which I've fallen in love with — mids and upper mids forever), I feel like I want more OOMPH in the body, more girth, solidness, which means more mass, neck and body. I've played a few TRADS setup properly, and they have that same honk in the bridge, but it's thicker, firmer, more... beefy I suppose, like my SG's feel, but on steroids. Capmaster, I'm currently loving the D'ddario EXL120 Nickel Wound, Super Light, 9-42. I came from 10's with a wound 3rd on the SG, moved down to the EXL 120+, 9.5—44, then even further down to 9's. For some reason, I'm getting more of this cut, or presence, upper mid zing with the 9-42's. Crunchy and snappy through the amp is a good way to explain it. They just seem to nail that Shoot To Thrill PEEE-OWNG tone so easily. Very classic sounding. And that BB3 is so absolutely amazing, which helps a great deal. I wish Gibson could make a 10 pound SG, black walnut and maple capped. 2 pickups, 1 tone, string through body, 50's neck. Almost a TRAD, but not quite.
  7. Yes I have seen them, but never in person or in a store. How interesting that you pointed out that model. I've always wanted to try one. I REALLY dig the look of them, the thickness of the body, a plain maple top over flame etc. My only hope would be that they have a 50's profile neck - just like on the LP TRAD. Damn fine looking instrument. Reminds me in way, of this Gretsch Amber Jet, release from 2001-2003. What a shame, they're some of the nicest Gretsch guitars ever built in my opinion. Almost like a LP TRAD, but not as much if that makes any sense. It was one of the nicest I'd ever seen. http://www.sheltonsguitars.com/2009/10-15-09/gretsch-new-jet-10-15-09.html
  8. Thanks for your input guys. Bender 4 Life: I'm not into "modding" guitars. I only learned this stuff along the way, more out of interest, and trying to understand why they behave the way they do. I think I'm so adamant about the changes, or revamping of the SG, because I absolutely love them. Their classic shape, comfort playing in the sitting or standing position. The upgrades I did came about because I wanted more mids, and a faster reaction of resonance in the body, the Faber Tone Lock bridge I installed is an absolute work of genius. It'll take a mediocre guitar, and make it spank and sustain for days. That and the bone nut, changed the guitar into an SG that people pickup and say' OMFG, that thing just rings forever. There's more muscle, snap, midrange, upper mids, I always go back to the elliptical effect of striking the strings with a proper action - you can see the strings oscillate back and forth until the chord decays. It's truly amazing. I don't think every guitar should be modded, but that Faber Tone Lock bridge is simply outstanding in what it does for any guitar. — Like hitting the loudness button on an old stereo, everything goes from PLUNK, to KERRANGGGG! If you ever wanted to replace the bridge on your SG with a Faber, it would blow your mind. You'll want it on every guitar. Holmis: Funny you should mention the mahogany issue... "mahogany construction yields the little slower and bassier respons compared to Ibanez artist" what you said is SO accurate and true of how they feel, sound, respond etc. I love the warmth of mahogany, but I think in a thinner body like an SG, it doesn't work as well as it should. Case in point, I recently played a local builder's own design he calls the The Spaltecaster It's a black walnut body, with a spalted maple top. It has a bolt on neck, very well coupled to the body. I played this thing, and it absolutely kills. He chambered it slightly or rather "weight relieved" it somewhat. Despite this, it feels MUCH heavier and dense than an SG, and this thing absolutely rocks. Spank, mids, upper mids, snap, bite, sustain, for DAYS. But, it's not "classic" looking enough for me. And if I wanted him to make a custom SG for me, I probably wouldn't be able to afford it. Back to the Dean USA Z Time Capsule - which also incorporates a mahogany neck, ebony fret board, and jumbo frets. It's neck material is the same as the SG's, minus the ebony fretboard, and jumbo frets. And yet, it's everything the SG SHOULD have, particularly because the SG is such a thin bodied guitar. The Dean is upper mid warm, but the resonance transfer speed is explosive, instantaneous, and felt simultaneously in the neck, and body, as if the guitar is all 1 piece. I think that "feel" and response in an SG form factor would be very popular, and a real hit. It's too bad about the AR325, I don't like their styling, that south western feel of the inlays, gold hardware, it's not understated enough. I wish it was plain maple grain on top, nickel hardware, and plain pearl block in lays. It would be very cool too, if Gibson had a tone chart on their site, ex: If you want a warm, slow resonating guitar, try THESE, or if you like mids and upper mids with a very fast resonance in the neck and body, try THESE. It just seems like there's nothing in the middle of the Gibson line, that isn't as thick and rear end heavy as a Les Paul, yet thicker and heavier than an SG. The only 1 I can think of is the Nighthawk, 20th Anniversary Standard. But, again, don't like the styling, cutaway, pickup positioning. Yet, the thickness of the body, flat top VS arch, string through body is cool. Like a flat Les Paul, but not quite. I like the idea of the SG Supra, but they lost me with the addition of the added middle pickup, the 60's Neck Profile and the unnecessary Grade-AAA flame top, and at that price? That price point is absurd for that instrument, if compared to say a LP Traditional. But, I love the antique natural finish, the larger headstock, but wish they could revamp that damn heel, with a rounded, contoured heel - similar to the AR325, and a 50's neck, WITH a soft V, or I'd take just the 50's profile neck. If money was no object, and even though I'm just a hobby player, I'd have their custom shop make me an SG with those specs, and a significantly beefed up neck joint, heel. Hell, there aren't even any SG Supras around here for me to even try. No store would order one for you unless you put a deposit on it — to buy. It would almost require going to Gibson in Nashville, and trying them out in person - road/guitar trip. I should add, that I changed the bride pickup in my SG over the holidays. Originally had a 498T - I hate them considerably. Last year put in a DiMarzio super distortion, liked it a lot, didn't love it, and wanted more upper mid snap, or detail. On a whim just before Christmas, my wife offered to get me a Gibson BB3, open coil, in cream/black zebra I had seen online. — WOW! This pickup kicks ***! So much so, I think Gibson should ship their SG line with them stock. It is definitely "THAT SOUND" in terms of the classic rock tones of the 70's and 80's. It has exceptional detail and crispness for its output and bite. Yet, the mids/upper mids have a very prominent peak, that's cutting, yet warm and biting, and an edge to the notes, chords that isn't offensive. LOVE this pickup.
  9. Hi BigKahuna. I'm happy with it for the most part. And btw, I've played a handful of LP Traditionals, and really liked them. I wouldn't complain about their weight, they're supposed to be heavy. It's that they're weight isn't balanced. All that meat in the rear-end, with a very rounded rear-end to boot. I love the balance of the SG, the curves are spaced evenly, which means it could afford more thickness, and weight. The list wasn't really intended to be a complaint list, but rather appointments that seem to never make their way into these guitars. I totally understand where you're coming from, the SG being a staple of Gibson's for so long. — It's the reason I wanted one in the first place. Some people might retort with, "well then buy a Dean Z, or that guitar etc", but that's not the point. I also wouldn't argue the "acoustical" issue being unimportant. The fact is, the neck construction, wood material used, shape of the neck, size of headstock, tenon, heel etc, play a HUGE role in terms of how quickly the guitar resonates. And this, translates into the resonant qualities of that particular guitar. I play through a Marshall tube amp, and the fact is, different guitars, even with the same pickups will have drastically different tonality from one another, depending on the natural acoustic properties of either guitar. We've done more than a few comparisons, with the same amp, same settings, same strings, same setup - everything except the guitar. The Dean Z for example (and I attribute this to the amount of wood in the body, but also that amazing neck joint, V neck profile, the frets) has a naturally crisp, mid/upper mid resonance in the body - unplugged. Plug it in, and it becomes immediately apparent why it sounds as focused, tight, percussive, crisp, detailed etc. Very similar to how a well setup LP Traditional responds acoustically. Much of the energy is felt in the mid section of the body. They have a similar mid emphasis if setup correctly, a kind of "POWNK" type of tone, very snappy, bright, and midrangey. I just want an SG, with a thicker body, a beefier neck, and more ooomph. If you've ever heard of Gearmandude - he's a guy with a you tube channnel who does really good reviews of guitars, gear, amps, you name it. He did a review of an SG once, and he said, he likes the SG he's got, it's heavy, that he hates light SG's. I guarantee you, if Gibson ran a web poll on their site, asking people if they'd like certain aspects of the SG improved, like the thicker body, more weight, larger headstock, better neck joint, heel etc, and the check boxes had a yes/no option beside each item, you'd find far more yes's than no's. Anyone who's ever pickup my SG has said, "wow, it seems heavy for an SG", and how they don't like the "newer" versions. I think mine actually comes in closer to 8 pounds, or very close to 8. My SG, I had to put some serious work into to get it — close. With that said, I'm not comparing it to the Dean so much as I'm astounded at the construction in the most critical areas of the Dean, which all seem to be centered around a very straight neck, a very dense neck at that, a V profile on the back of the neck, and heel that meets the body like a perfectly joined piece of custom furniture. This area requires improvement on the SG, either by running the neck joint deeper into the body, and/or making the body a bit thicker. Again, that acoustic response I'm talking about is crucial to the tone of the guitar. My SG resonates mainly from the neck joint, directly above the neck pickup - it's the weakest part in the build, the least amount of material being coupled to the body. Compare it with the Ibanez AR325, also a double cutaway, similar thickness, and yet the neck joint and heel are so exceptional, that the tone is much more focused into the center of the body — Yeah that stuff matters! I just find it a poor stance to say that because something has been a fixture in the market for so long, that it doesn't need any kind of review. I'll put it this way, as you've said, "there are plenty of fine quality SGs available" There may be, but they're more hit and miss than consistent. That's one thing I'll say for Dean USA series guitars, the level of consistency and build accuracy is something to be admired. Those SG design idiosyncrasies that seem to be acceptable by some, or most, people at Gibson, whoever, shouldn't be acceptable. That's resting on your laurels, and not feeling the need to improve upon a design, because people simply accept the brand, or really don't know any better. People should ask for better, it's their money. I know many techs who will reiterate this; being baffled at the neck angles on a lot of Gibson guitars, where the neck angles seem to be more of a subtle suggestion, rather than a consistent design approach. My own SG's mid section of the neck with natural relief, only lasts until after the 12th fret, where the neck starts rising again, ramping up like a banana, instead of staying straight. — I'll post a picture next time I'd also want to choose an instrument hand's on, but that's not always possible. Most local vendors won't order in 20-30 SG's to find the ONE. It sounds obsessive, but people pay money for these things, hard earned money at that. I deliberately purchased mine used, because the neck felt good, and it seemed heavier than the other SG's I'd tried, and I knew upgrades like changing the bridge, bone nut, a proper setup etc, would make it respond better. Having said all of that, there's no way I could ever afford to buy a custom built guitar, and I'm not nearly good enough to even justify considering owning that type of instrument. I think a big part of the success of the SG you're referring to can be attributed in part, by it's affordability, and it's iconic nature. The SG would be an afterthought if it hadn't been for players like Tony Iommi, and Angus Young. I'm certain SG sales went through the roof after the release of Back In Black. Those are the first 2 players that come to mind when you see that guitar - at least for me, and most of the guys in my age group. As a buyer or potential buyer of these instruments, I think Gibson should at least recognize that the points of contention above are worthy of review. They want my money, and I want a better product than what they're offering in the SG line. I mean, in the past few years, the bulk of what I've seen for these guitars are color changes, or re-marketing, re-branding them like when the first colored imacs were rolled out by Apple.
  10. I'm new here, and this is my first post, so please bare with the length, it's necessary. PART 1: Last year, I purchased a used, 2006 Gibson SG Standard. I had been looking for a solid bodied guitar, that was in a price range I could afford. I'm not a serious player by any means, but can sometimes get obsessive about how an instrument behaves, acoustically. I get so annoyed whenever I go into a store, and a salesperson says, "What? You don't want to plug it in?" If a guitar doesn't respond well acoustically, plugging it in won't make any difference. Pickups, bridges, machine heads, nuts, electronics etc, can always be changed, but the inherent physics and properties of the wood, neck joint, weight of the guitar, straightness of the neck can't. If those traits aren't there to begin with, then it is what is, amp or not. When I first bought the SG, I liked the weight, feel of neck, basic feel in my hands. It did resonate slowly however, and it felt kind of like "plunk" or dulled when I hit the strings, no volume, sustain or snap. However, I knew certain things could be changed to greatly improve the resonance, sustain, and general snap of the guitar. Fast forward a month later. I purchased a Faber Tone Lock bridge, replacing the crappy Gotoh Nashville style cast bride. It's saddles feature retainer wire, not clips. Although it served its basic purpose, it sucked in comparison to the Faber. My link With the new Faber Tone Lock bridge installed, a new bone nut — properly cut, 500K pots all around, and a new bridge pickup, the guitar was considerably better than stock. It now spanks, sustains for days, and produces much better fundamentals and harmonics that just wasn't possible with the stock components. PART 2 After having the guitar for well over a year, I still like it very much. But, I've had the opportunity to play a slew of other guitars, Gibson, and non-Gibson. I have several gripes with Gibson about the SG Standards and previous SG 61's reissues. Namely: construction methods, wood selection and build choices when it comes to the following: Headstock size Neck straightness Fretboard Material (ebony VS rosewood VS Richlite Neck shape (50's rounded, or V shape etc.) Neck joint & heel construction (length of joint), (shape of heel) Fret wire size (medium or jumbo) Body thickness Type of wood used With that said, after playing other guitars, SG's, LP Standards, LP Traditionals, Gretsch guitars, a Dean USA Z Time Capsule, an Ibanez AR3 25 and a few others, I've come to the conclusion that the Gibson SG Standard and SG 61's re-issue style guitars are in need of some changes, or "alternative" offerings, that aren't "custom" shop offerings. It's one thing to keep something "vintage", or in line with what people perceive as "vintage". I understand it from a marketing point of view. But as someone who plays guitar - even just as a hobbyist, a lot of these newer SG's feel like toys. They are so light, that they can't sustain like a more dense, substantial instrument. The neck joint construction is far too minimal. In my humble opinion, these are guitars that could be so much better if a few areas were revisited and re-tooled, yet in keeping with the vintage look and expectation that people have of these guitars. I find it exceptionally frustrating, that Gibson will typically change the "look" of the SG, but won't ever release a newer or ACTUALLY improved design from a players perspective. The case in point is the new SG SPECIAL: My link The copy title reads: "Hit The Stage In Style", and "Don't Sell Your Soul" — Are you kidding? It almost reads like a JC Penny commercial. Butterscotch Vintage Gloss??? I'm terribly suspicious that Gibson has hired someone from Apple to head their marketing team, or maybe Martha Stewart? SG Standard VS Ibanez AR325 I recently played a new Ibanez AR325. A guitar at a lower/midrange price compared to a Gibson SG. At a price point of about $599.00, the Ibanez AR 325 is a guitar I probably wouldn't buy. I have no experience with it, no brand devotion, etc. Having said that, I recently played one in a store — acoustically, and despite it not being setup properly, it had an extremely pronounced midrange/upper midrange snap, that eludes even my modified SG standard. The resonance in the body of the AR325 was felt simultaneously in the neck and body, with a very tight SNAP and explosive focus. The feel for a less expensive guitar was phenomenal. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the neck is much straighter on the AR325 than on my SG, yet both guitars use a similar ABR style bridge. The thumbwheels on the AR325 were positioned much closer to the body without significant fret buzz or rattle - hence the straightness of the neck. The genius design of the heel on the AR325 was immediately noticeable when I played it. SEE: My link After playing the AR325 for about 10 minutes, I realized its strongest features were: Straighter neck Exceptional heel construction Jumbo frets And yet, it's weight is almost identical to my SG Standard, a little over 7 pounds, and although the body is wider at the tail, the thickness of both bodies is very similar. After playing the AR325, I looked for it online, and found some of the ad copy. It says, "Three-piece neck is ultra-rigid for exceptional performance. Multi-ply necks are ultra-rigid, which means they help transmit string energy to your guitar's body faster and better." That is an extremely accurate description of how the guitar felt when I played it. It had exceptional sustain, an upper midrange snap, you didn't have to dig into the strings to get the guitar to respond. It spanked with resonance and an immediate energy in the body, producing that fantastic elliptical string effect. Immediately after, I also played a newer Gibson SG Standard in the store. The overly light weight of the SG's body, the lack of density and focus in the tone, lack of mid/upper mid snap, and much slower resonance in the neck/body left me feeling disappointed with the feel. And I'm sorry to say that this experience has been repeated many times with the SG line. I really wish Gibson would incorporate some of the design concepts of the other vendors, into their own designs, whether those vendors are considered significant competitors or not. These design concepts make such great sense, in terms of the physics behind them. It would be such an amazing guitar if the SG responded in a similar way to the Ibanez AR 325, or the Dean USA Z Time Capsule series, which although has considerably more wood to the body, a completely different shape, the CONSTRUCTION approach to both guitars is exceptional. Imagine a revamped SG Standard with the following: An alternative wood, black walnut, maple cap. (If keeping the same thickness as current models.) More substantial heel (similar to a Dean Z Time Capsule, or the Ibanez AR325) A 3 piece maple neck Much straighter neck angle - like that of the Dean Z. Oversized Gibson headstock Ebony fretboard (not Ebonized rosewood) Wider body like the early 70's models 50's profile neck with a V, (like a LP Traditional meets a Dean Z Time Capsule neck) Slightly thicker body with mahogany and maple cap,or walnut with maple cap. Guitar jack on SIDE of body, not on front 500K pots, no more 300K Thanks for reading.
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