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NGD: 2012 SG Standard


sbpark

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Had the itch to own an SG again and came across a decent deal on a 2012 Standard. Paid $700 with a (pretty beat up) TKL hardshell case, guitar was bone stock, not a mark or scratch on it, and it still had the film on the pick guard (which I promptly removed). Tossed the horribly soft nylon nut and made a bone nut earlier today. Love how the neck is much chunkier and substantial than the thin neck that was on a 2013 SG Standard I had in the past. More like the neck that was on an SG Classic I foolishly sold last year. I'm loving the neck. After making the new nut and setting the guitar up it plays and feels great.

 

The pickups are another story however. I'm not a super picky person, and really try my best to keep the electronics stock and not really a fan of modding and going down the rabbit hole of replacing everything, but I will say, despite messing with the pickups for a couple hours, they really aren't to my liking, in particular the bridge pickup. I can get it to sound just alright, but for the low gain, edge of breakup stuff the guitar just sounds generic and lacks clarity and note separation, and the pickup kind of has no character or personality. I like to play older country type stuff, alt-country/Americana, etc. Think along the lines of Wilco, Son Volt, Jayhawks, etc. I had 57 Classics in the 2013 SG I used to have and even though I though the bridge pickup was a bit bright, they were much more usable and "older" sounding than the 498T thats in this 2012 Standard, all I needed to do with the 57 Classics was roll off the tone a little and they were good to go. I messed with pickup height of the 498T, and lowering the pickup helped a little, but it always seems a bit too hot unless it's lowered quite a bit, but then it just ends up sounding small and weak and thin. Raise it up and it has a fuller sound, but then has too much gain, and I lose note separation when I play embellishments and quick little multiple note riffs, and also lose the chime that I remember from lower output humbuckers.

 

I really don't want to put any money into the guitar, but I could justify dropping in a different bridge pickup it it would make all the difference. Not looking to change the wiring harness or anything like that, and would rather spend my time playing than tinkering and modding. This guitar does have the PCB and quick connects (love it or hate it).

 

I'm wondering based on what I've just described and the type of music I like to play if one of the Burstbucker pickups would be a good choice, and if so, which version? I really do like this guitar a lot as far as the look, feel, weight, etc. Just wish I could get it to sound a bit more of a classic sound or have a bit more character/personality and make it more suited for the lower gain/edge of breakup type stuff I play.

 

UPDATE: Ended up ordering a 57 Classic to replace the bridge and think it will pair well with the 490R neck pickup and be a better choice for the stuff I like to play.

 

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Just to update, after a while messing with the 490R/498T combo I ended up replacing them. I messed with different pickup heights and riding the volume knob, etc. but just couldn't get anything I liked for the type of stuff I like to play. Was going to just keep the Quick Connect system and ordered a pair of 57 Classics with the Quick Connecters, but never installed them and ended up sending them back and instead went for some Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers and a pre-wired Golden Era harness from StewMac with absolutely no regrets. The guitar plays and fells great and sounds fantastic now. I put the Quick Connect pickups and harness in a box if for whatever reason I want to return it to stock in the future. I'm mostly an acoustic player, and when I do play an electric it's usually a Tele, but man, this SG definitely gives the Teles a run for their money. A few weeks ago I scored an old Gibson SG chainsaw case for $25 from someone who was cleaning out their garage because their kids have moved out of the house. Fits the guitar like a glove and all the latches work. Since I took the pictures below I ordered some thick, heavy adhesive-backed felt and replaced some of the worn out original felt and reinforced some spots where the felt was gone. It isn't the prettiest case, but it sure is burly.

 

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