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looking to buy an SG standard - advice please


opaz
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Hi, 

After much watching of youtube and endless deliberation, I've settled on 490/498 pickups

1. Second hand (£800) v new £1200) 

I live in the middle of nowhere in France, so I'd be ordering one off ebay, probably from the UK, and so I wouldn't get a chance to try it out first. Is that a really stupid idea?

2. How important is neck width and neck material for tone. I'd like it sound as much like a Les Paul as possible (so sustain is desirable) and also have growl when I want that.

Aye thang yow 

opaz

 

 

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Another vote for thicker/wider necks from me.  I like wide as I have stubby fingers.

I have bought 3 electrics off ebay, 2 of them Gibsons from the USA (I am in UK).   I may just have been very lucky but both guitars are brilliant, and I'm very glad I got them.   Even though the tax and duty was a lot.

An SG has sustain and growl; of course it depends on what amp you have.

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IMO the Neck & the Pickups are the most important parts of the Guitar.. The Pickups you chose will get the Sound you want.. The Neck is subjective.. Everyone has different hands.. 

If you have friends who have Gibsons play theirs & research the specs of the neck s you like.. Then ask the Seller what the Specs are on the one for sale to see if it compares to what you like....

My advice; Buy it as cheap as you can.. Look at previous Sale prices on EBay. Buy at the lowest price possible.. If you don't like it, resell it.. And get another.. 

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Although I love my 2006 SG Standard if I were in the market I would be looking for one built after Gibson changed to the thinner white fretboard binding. 
 

I don’t like the color, width, or amount of fretboard real estate you lost with the old binding. At least on my particular example, you lose even a bit more fret real estate due to overly aggressive fret end beveling 

 

The stock 490r and 498t pickups on my SG were wound so far out of spec that I had to change them to really make the guitar properly usable. In my case the 490r was wound much hotter than the 498t. The dc resistance of the neck pickup was about twice that of the bridge pickup. This resulted in the neck pickup sounding much louder than the bridge pickup (although they did sound good individually)

 

Finally an SG from that era will have 300K pots which will sound a bit muddier than 500K pots. That’s an easy swap but IMO the newer SGs just have better specs

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There's so much to learn, it's mind boggling. It's far too easy to get sucked down rabbit holes (Alinco II or 5 magnets, machine wound or hand wound, and all that). 

There's a French guy not too far away selling a 2018 Standard for 900 euros, which seems like a good deal potentially.

Apparently, in 2018 they switched to the "61" vintage thing, so they have 'Burstbucker' pups, which are slightly hotter than 490s (but you need a better ear than mine to tell the difference).

Re necks, I'm gathering  that the basic trade off is that thicker necks are good for sustain but harder to play. The 2018 models have 'standard tapered' necks. I have absolutely no idea if that is relatively thick or relatively thin. 

   

 

 

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The best thing would be to play one and see if you like the tapered neck and to see if you like the way it sounds. The SG Standard is basically a very good guitar. There are a few different configurations of the Standard, one with large pickguard that has the rounded neck and the 61 style that has the half size pickguard and the slim taper neck. Including the Maestro Vibrola versions.. So basically it comes down to if you like the looks, feel and sound... Which ever way you go its a good guitar.............

 

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The 61 is when the tapered neck was introduced along with the SG. Before that they were the 50's style C profile fat necks. Over the years SG's had many variations of each of the basic styles of necks and types of neck tenons some were bulky but allowed the strap button to moved farther forward for better balance, then some like the 61 was a very fast neck joined at the 22nd fret.

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gibson_neckjoints_470.jpg

Edited by mihcmac
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33 minutes ago, opaz said:

Interesting, thank you!

Would you say the thicker necks are more conducive to the Les Paul sound?

 

Thats possible and stiffer as well, which is getting into the more 50's style neck. Look at your guitars photos of the back to see the neck and tenon configuration.

Edited by mihcmac
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No matter what they have their own particular sound.

I have 3 of them, a 2012 '61 Reissue, a 2017 Standard T in alpine white/gold hardware with a small pick guard and a 2019 Standard with the large batwing pick guard.

I like the 2017 best followed by the 2019.  The 61 Reissue has a really thin neck so it's good for lead work but not so much for chords if you have big hands.

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That's a fantastic database. 

I suppose the  problem with manufacturer sites is they try to make out every model is all things to all men - every variation will be perfect for anything you want to do.

That said, it's great for getting the basic details.

 

 

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There's a German online retailer selling on Amazon claiming to have 7 used Brian Ray SG Standards for 740 euros a piece. Seems like a great guitar, burstbuckers ,thick neck, but  suspiciously cheap?

Also, why  would you happen to have 7 of that particular model?

Maybe it's just an Amazon algorithm "only 7 left" .. could be referring to all their 2nd hand guitars or something 

 

Edited by opaz
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