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NGD: 2016 SG Special HP


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Been shopping around for new inspiration. I'm working on a new record and my main guitar, a Strat Delux from 2014, does have a humbucker, it doesn't have the meat of a Gibson. I've gone through a couple Les Pauls over the years and liked them, but there just wasn't the magic. I've always liked SGs when I noodled around on them in the store and so over the past couple days I've been in the local GC (well, 45 minutes away) trying out a few. I first thought I wanted a 2017 SG faded. The prices right now are incredible and it was down to $699, but that was just a little rich for me as I'm trying to get rid of some stuff to pay for some stuff, but the GAS was upon me. Alas, the GC dude couldn't get PayPal to work on their machines, so I had to wait.


Meanwhile, they also had this 2016 SG Special HP high on the wall marked Clearance. It has the GForce tuners on it and it seems no one in the store knew how to use it or even how to charge the battery. It was dead. I looked at it day one and it was horribly out of tune, the tuners were dead, and when I turned the knobs it made a grinding sound that didn't seem right, so I put it back. The GForce thing seemed interesting and I haven't been paying too much attention to Gibson since I bought my last LP, so I had no idea what they were all about. The Dude didn't know anything about it. He was of the opinion that the thing only tuned to standard tuning.


So, the GAS still upon me I went back yesterday. I still was thinking about the Faded, but really I was leaning more toward an Epiphone Standard LP. Played a couple and they were nicer than I thought. I liked the ProBuckers more than I thought I would, so then I grabbed the Special HP, asked the new Dude to go to the back and get the stuff that came with the guitar so I could charge the battery for the tuner. Meanwhile, knowing I wasn't breaking anything by tuning it myself I tuned it up. Immediately I loved the mini humbuckers. Still a lot of bite but more ring and more clarity. I play more country influenced rock, I guess, and while crunch is important, so is something a little less Angus Young.


I went back and forth between the Epi LP and a few other guitars but kept coming back to the Special HP. The tuners make me nervous. I have perfect pitch and any slight deviation bugs the **** out of me. I got the battery charged a little and tried it and it worked, but with less than a full charge, it seemed not perfectly functioning.


The guitar was marked at $729, clearance. Definitely didn't want to go there. So I asked what the best they could do was. They said that cost included the bag as well (bag, really?). I said I don't want the bag. Much backroom talking ensued and they came back and said $649 without the bag. The only problem was, as a clearance item, it's non-returnable, so I got them to give me two weeks to try it. Brought it home last night, fully charged the battery and then played around a little. I don't like it as much with the onboard Logic amp sims, but I just use those for fun or something weird. After a while, I found something that worked and I put down a couple ideas. It was giving me something to work with, stayed in tune relatively well, and the GForce worked OK.


Of course, this morning I'm having a little buyer's remorse. I do need to put together some money and just sold a guitar to get most of the way there, but now I bought another, albeit cheaper, guitar. I A/Bd between the Strat humbucker and the minis some this morning and there's a definite difference. And a good one. But enough to set myself back in the hole again?It's a great guitar but I work the GForce will give me fits, although when it works it's a time saver. I can tune a guitar without a tuner, however, so if it acts wonky I'll just get pissed. I know I can take it off and put on regular tuners, but why pay for something just to ditch it? Especially when I need $. It's like I need an operation or anything, but I need the cash to pay an editor who's working on a book I wrote.


Anyway, this is longer than I intended. Just thought I'd tell the story. Thanks for reading and tell me what you'd do in my position. It's a lovely guitar, but I was toying with the idea of getting an Epiphone G400 and putting a '59 in the neck and calling it a day.

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I have one of these and love it. They are great guitars in my opinion. I am not sure why you are interested in the Epiphone as it definitely pales in comparison to this.


Mostly I'm thinking about the Epi because I need to be cheap. Trying to be responsible and I'm having a hard time. This is a great guitar. All things being equal I think getting this guitar for $649 is a steal, but it's still more money than I planned on spending.


I actually just ordered an Epi G-400 Pro from Sweetwater. I'm going to shoot them out and see how they both feel.

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