Gibson SG Special '60s Tribute
Gibson SG Special '60s Tribute

SG Special '60s Tribute, SG-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the SG series.

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King Loudness 08/11/2011

Gibson SG Special '60s Tribute : King Loudness's user review

« Is Gibson listening... I think so »

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The Gibson SG '60s Tribute is a branch off of the infamous Les Paul '50s and '60s Tribute Studios, which were loaded with killer features at a great price. The SG '60s Tribute is for those players who are just more a fan of that devilish delight. It is part of their faded series and features their famous thin finish that consists of pore filler and a few light coats of lacquer over top. It features all mahogany construction (body and neck), a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and dot inlays, and a pair of firebreather Gibson P90s loaded under the hood. Here's the full list of specs:

# Mahogany body
# Nitrocellulose lacquer finish
# Mahogany neck
# '60s Slim Taper neck profile
# Rosewood fingerboard
# 22 frets
# 12" radius
# Acrylic dot inlays
# Corian nut
# P-90 neck pickup
# P-90 bridge pickup
# 2 volume, 2 tone controls
# Black top hat knobs with chrome inserts
# 3-way Switchcraft pickup toggle
# Vintage Kluson-style tuners with pearloid buttons
# Tune-O-Matic bridge
# Stopbar tailpiece
# Black '67-style pickguard


The SG has always seemed to be a very light and ergonomic instrument to me. It sits on the body well and they are usually light in weight. This guitar is no exception, and because it has the '60s neck profile, I feel that the body and neck match together better size-wize than it would if if had a '50s neck profile. The upper fret access is golden on these guitars... much like the PRS' I've tried.

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is really simple. It has P90s in it, which I'm a huge fan of and would argue that if you can't get a good sound out of a P90 loaded guitar then I'm not sure what to say! They're like the perfect step between the bright and jangly single coil, and the dark and complex sounding humbucker. Overtones just leap from the pickups, and combined with the all mahogany construction of this guitar, it just makes for a very thick and juicy sounding instrument that works well for many different styles.


I've tried this guitar through various Fender and Mesa Boogie amps and can safely say that it's more than a one trick pony. The clean tones are an excellent blend of the bright and jangly mixed with some darker and thicker sounds to create a wonderful tone that's unique and all its own. It works well for jazzier/bebop lines as well as comping chords quite well, especially though a good Fender amp. The combination of both pickups is prime time for country pickin' and the bridge pickup has that perfect amount of bite for styles like rockabilly and surf guitar.

The drive tones are thick and viscous all around. It sounds like a Gibson that is trying to respond like a Strat and that marriage brings to the fore a really thick and chewy, yet still bright and distinct drive tone that is PERFECT for 70s and 80s hard rock flavours as well as some doom metal and even some modern rock. The guitar has a great underlying smooth quality to it as well, so lead lines just sing for days... add some echo and reverb and it's perfection.


All in all I feel that the Gibson SG '60s Tribute is a great axe. It doesn't look like too much from a distance, but in my experience some of the greatest sounding guitars ever were the plainest of them all. It combines that understated yet subtly classic look with a monster set of tones and excellent playability. For the $800 or so these sell for new, you cannot go wrong. If you want a killer P90 guitar but missed the boat on the limited edition LPs, you might want to take a look at these before they're gone gone gone!