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I returned my 61 SG today…


HamburgerShins
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It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made but, there it is. Even as far down the rabbit hole as the counter at Guitar Center when the guy popped the case to look at the condition,  I almost blurted out, I’m keeping it! Such a beautiful guitar and it needed almost no setup. Just sounded great right out of the box but, that neck just did not suit me. I mean it wasn’t terrible I had very good access to the higher frets. But, for some reason the shape of it made playing half major barre chords extremely difficult.  Also bending the g string in the lowest few frets was very difficult. Like my finger just wants to slide right off the top of the string.

I have an Epiphone SG Standard from 2020 or so and the neck on that is good for me. My knee jerk reaction is to just order one of the Standards but they didn’t have one for me to try out at Guitar Center. It’s weird I was checking out my buddies Ultra Tele the other day and I was just floored by how easy that guitar was to play. I’m just racked with indecision and dread. Any advice?

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It’s not easy to play the Guitars in Stores that I want to buy.. I don’t live in a Big City.. That makes it even harder.. I have purchased from many Online Retailers & Reverb. But, usually will order new Guitars from Sweetwater. They have one of the biggest inventories, provide several photographs of the actual Guitars, Serial numbers, weight & Specs.. Which I find helpful..

They do a pretty involved inspection & a decent Setup at no charge.. (Although they can provide all kinds of upgrades thru their Mod Shop)

Usually, the Guitars are keepers.. A couple times I had to do exchanges.. It seems to work pretty well for me..

Sorry to hear about your Guitar experience & hope you find the right one!

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11 hours ago, SteveFord said:

You know how they change neck profile on the SGs all the time, my recent Standard has a neck shape more like those older Faded models.

My '61 Reissue has a thin, flat neck, it's not my favorite.

 

 

You have a recent Standard? Is the neck more of a comfortable modern sort? Fat neck guitars seem to be all the rage right now. I see the custom shop doing a bunch of “Fat Neck” SG’s and I’ve got to say I’m just not a fan of 50’s style necks. Do they improve sustain and tone? Maybe but, they for sure make playing more difficult. I love my Les Paul Special but it’s definitely only good at certain things. The sound of “Sweet Jane” coming out of it…Well, there’s just nothing like it but, trying to whip out the alternate picked parts of “Walk This Way” on the bass strings around the twelfth fret is almost impossible. For me anyway. I think the original was recorded with a Special but it was a DC. Anywho, I digress.

 I dunno maybe I’ve just not played the right fat neck but for now I’d just like something comfortable and modern. Something with humbuckers that’ll do the things my LP Special won’t do.

Edited by HamburgerShins
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I have a '21 '61 std and initial feeling was the same to me.

But, i'm old school remembering the late 60s to earlly 70s stds. Slightly chunky, round, short of baseball bat. Those fill your hand. Thats good for my tastes.

But, eh, i kept mine. I've come to like the neck. And i bend allot. But, i feel its more of a lead guitarist guitar if that makes sense. I play mostly blues. Been trying to embrace the blues with the 61, but so far, its not happening.

Hence, i've been looking for an LP with the thicker neck profile.

Now if you have a personel issue with that neck, beware of the "asimetrical" ones. Those, you really have to play first. Me thinks, since you have an issue with the 61, you're not gonna like those.

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My SG Standard is a 2019, the neck is similar to a 60s profile Les Paul or Les Paul Jr.  Not super skinny and not really fat, either.

My old 2005 SG Classic had a neck on it like a classical guitar but it did sound good.  

If you can find one of these alpine white with the gold hardware they're just about perfect as far as necks go if you have big hands- not as fat as the 50s ones, fatter than the usual 60s profiles.

https://reverb.com/item/4791525-gibson-sg-standard-2017-alpine-white-w-gold-hardware

I don't know who adjusted the pick ups on mine but they had the bass side way too high, it sounded awful when I first plugged it in.  

Edited by SteveFord
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Buy them. 
Or return them. 
Shoot, maybe keep them forever. 

It's always going to be your own personal decision. 
Nothing we say is going to either validate or invalidate your decision. 

I do know this much;
I'm getting to the age where I'm learning to check out every guitar that I intend to buy thoroughly. 
Just to avoid such dilemmas. 

But it happens. 
Don't sweat it. 
😗

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S: Gibson changed all of their fretboard radius's to 12” because tooling their new pleck fret grinding machine to do multiple radius lengths would be to expensive. So now all Gibson guitars, whether they be acoustic or electric, have a “Standard” 12” radius.

It’s a supposition, a guess, and please if I’m getting any of this wrong please enlighten me.

My problem with this is that somewhere around 10” is pretty much the industry standard for electric guitar necks. Where as 12” is the standard for acoustic. Anyone who has played both knows the difference.  I didn’t want to say anything about this until I had a chance to play my friends SG Standard from 2005, give or take a year or two he’s not quite sure, again. Last night I did and man is that a sweet guitar. It’s what made me want an SG to start with and, it’s definitely closer to 10” radius. 
I don’t want an electric with an acoustic fretboard which, sucks big time because it seems that every single recent Gibson is made this way. Now I’m just in limbo. I really had my heart set on a Gibson. You just can’t get that glued in mahogany tone anywhere else. Just so damn sad man…

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3 hours ago, HamburgerShins said:

S: Gibson changed all of their fretboard radius's to 12” because tooling their new pleck fret grinding machine to do multiple radius lengths would be to expensive. So now all Gibson guitars, whether they be acoustic or electric, have a “Standard” 12” radius.

It’s a supposition, a guess, and please if I’m getting any of this wrong please enlighten me.

My problem with this is that somewhere around 10” is pretty much the industry standard for electric guitar necks. Where as 12” is the standard for acoustic. Anyone who has played both knows the difference.  I didn’t want to say anything about this until I had a chance to play my friends SG Standard from 2005, give or take a year or two he’s not quite sure, again. Last night I did and man is that a sweet guitar. It’s what made me want an SG to start with and, it’s definitely closer to 10” radius. 
I don’t want an electric with an acoustic fretboard which, sucks big time because it seems that every single recent Gibson is made this way. Now I’m just in limbo. I really had my heart set on a Gibson. You just can’t get that glued in mahogany tone anywhere else. Just so damn sad man…

I haven't known Gibson electrics like LPs and SGs to be anything other than 12" for many years...  When you say it feels like 10", there is a way to actually measure it.  It's called a radius gauge.  StewMac sells one.  Fender makes those 9.5-10" radius guitars.  Has nothing to do with the neck shape though whatever the radius happens to be. 

My advice with your dilemma is either you like the neck, or you don't.  Since this seems to make or break it for you, just going to have to hunt trying out guitars in-hand.  Find places that allow a return window and that you know won't jack you around when you decide the guitar is a no-go over a few days of really trying it out.  In the end, hope you find something you like as you should if you're throwing down "Gibson" money.  But hey man, it's only a guitar.  They're nice, but it's not everything in life that makes someone happy. 

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Yeah, I’ll bet you guys are getting sick of my whiny little ***** attitude. I am so, I broke out the LP Special today and had the greatest, like four hour, session maybe, I think ever. You just can’t get that sound from a Fender or an SG, for that matter, although they sound good too just not as good as a LP. So I’m taking a leap of faith…Ha ha, that’s bull **** I’ve way over thought this. Point being tomorrow I’m going to order a 50’s LP. If I can coax the sort of warmth I can get out of my Special out of the humbucker laden variety I think I’ll die a happy man. Thanks for all the well thought replies!

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9 hours ago, HamburgerShins said:

Yeah, I’ll bet you guys are getting sick of my whiny little ***** attitude. I am so, I broke out the LP Special today and had the greatest, like four hour, session maybe, I think ever. You just can’t get that sound from a Fender or an SG, for that matter, although they sound good too just not as good as a LP. So I’m taking a leap of faith…Ha ha, that’s bull **** I’ve way over thought this. Point being tomorrow I’m going to order a 50’s LP. If I can coax the sort of warmth I can get out of my Special out of the humbucker laden variety I think I’ll die a happy man. Thanks for all the well thought replies!

Good luck and don’t worry about whining. You’ll know when someone is sick of you here haha! Cheers!

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Sorry the SG didn't work out for you.  There are a few different Gibson neck profiles and hopefully you can find one that is comfortable for you.  The radius is the curve of the fingerboard and Gibson has used a 12 inch radius for many years on most electric guitars.  That has nothing to do with the neck profile, which can be rounded, C shape, D shape, or slight V shape.  You really have to try them to see which fits your hand best, so good luck in the search.

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